Our readers have brought an older piece back into the fold — The Lord’s Prayer During Mass: Should We Hold Hands? Or Raise Them in the Air? Father Henry Holguín reminds us that the practice of holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer is a Protestant tradition:
There is nothing in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal that indicates that we should hold hands. During the Mass, every gesture is regulated by the Church and its rubrics. […] We have to remember that not everyone wants to hold the hand of the person next to them, and trying to impose it on them creates a moment of discomfort to the detriment of prayer, piety and recollection.
There are so many points of etiquette and simple manners that come into play when people want to hold hands: can I reject that one person’s hand who coughed her way all through Mass? Can I hold one side’s hand and not the other? What if I simply don’t want to hold hands with anyone? … Oh, look, the priest has already moved to the next prayer and my own prayer was wasted because my mind was on the questions of the hands, and oh, look at all the people who are no longer paying attention to the Mass because they’re squirting hand sanitizer around to the whole family?
These distractions can take away from your experience of prayer, and your sense of solemnity at the Mass. What do you think?