Saturday, 29 January 2011

Now there's holding hands during the Pater Noster! And I'm suffering from the thin, red mist....

NO - NO - NO! I can not believe what I have read on a blog.....I was so overcome with nausea I even forgot to note whose blog it was but it was a debate about holding hands with your neighbour in the pew whilst reciting the Our Father at Holy Mass.
And the debate seemed settled on the fact that it was a good and desirable thing to do (retch, retch, vomit).
I even believe that a nun may have started this particular hare running on her blog...what am I saying?.....of course it must have been a nun it's got twin set and pearls written all over it. Ugh.
I cannot even begin to imagine what is in the minds of such people (if anything at all).
I suppose this sort of thing takes place at 'Masses' where the celebrant begins by turning to the congregation  audience before fixing them with a sickly smile and proclaiming "Good morning everybody". To which the holy response is: "Good morning Farver". Personally, I would go for the unholy response which has "off" pre-fixed by a three letter word but then, as I do not go to the OF Mass I do not have to worry.
As if the kiss of peace is not bad enough, we now have the prospect of hand holding going on around the pews. Soon it will be a bit of the "left leg out shake it all about" hokey cokey nonsense. Where are my statins?

Freemasons do it.....Episcopalians do it.....even Boy Scouts do it.....but not real Catholics!

What is the point of holding hands? Has anyone stopped to consider the ramifications of being a middle aged unaccompanied man who suddenly realises that an 8 year old child is standing next to him at the Lords' Prayer? Has the paedophilia issue gone so rapidly from our minds? Or, worse, having a 17 year old Lolita look-alike alongside?
Does holding hands make us love one another more? Does it bring us closer together?
When Our Lord said to His Apostles "Let me show you how to pray" did He ask them to form a circle and link arms?
A few years ago when there was something called the charismatic movement slinking around the faith, I witnessed a few nutters standing up at Mass with arms outstretched as if they were waiting for a tennis ball to come flying down the church towards them. Again, it was so very self-centred, 'look at me aren't I holy' Catholicism. I trust that stupidity has vanished now.
But, of course, while the kiss of peace handshaking business is still in place what can one expect? The real kiss of peace is received at Holy Communion - and you can't improve on that.


  1. Hey Richard! " I wanna hold your hand! "

  2. Totally agree! I feel similarly about the request made at the beginning of Mass at my parish. "Greet your neighbor so that no one is a stranger." Well gee now that we've said hi I guess I can trust you with my kids because we are not strangers anymore! (Kids are hypothetical. I'm 18.)

  3. Verily, my sick bucket doth runneth over!

  4. Unfortunately, no one read what JPII wrote on the Vatican webpage discouraging holding hands during mass, unless people joined hands across the aisle, and the last person in a pew towarad the wall reached the hand behind them. That would show true unity. I've never seen it.

    Holding the hands up during the Our Father indicates a ministry that the congregation doesn't have, but only the priest.

    Again, JPII, not me. Now if he'd only said it, not just wrote it.

  5. How about blowing kisses during the penitential rite?

  6. Jackie - I reciprocate spiritually!
    Patricius - Whatever floats your boat!

  7. I have been to some masses where the congregation holds hands during Our Father and some where it doesn't.

    While I prefer not to, mostly because I have sweaty palms :), it really doesn't bother me when people do do this. Sometimes I have seen where just families hold each others hands for example.

    Then again, charismatic masses don't bother me either. :)

    Interesting writing though, I enjoyed reading your post.

  8. Yes, yes, we must all join hands. I haven't played The Big Ship Sails on the alley-alley-oh for years. It would lead perfectly into the communal hug of peace.

  9. I agree that holding hands is wrong at Mass and the sooner it dies away the better. It seems to be receding a bit here in Singapore, thankfully. On the other hand, "it was so very self-centred, 'look at me aren't I holy' Catholicism." is might be a very unfair judgement of the intent and disposition of many people who pray the way you describe, don't you think?

  10. I have always felt creeped out about handholding in prayer. It doesn't seem to have any foundation in Scripture, and is more of a feelgood distraction. The kinds of treacly prayer that force us to hold each other's hands are far from the sort of spiritual agony and wrestling that is so often described in the Bible. The image of the sinner, far off, alone, afraid to look up and beating his breast, saying, "Oh Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner!" is the embodiment of true prayer.
    I'm not Catholic, but handholding is just wrong to me.

  11. I agree that handholding is wrong;it lacks spiritual humility; it makes some people feel uncomfortable; it gives the impression that you are 'in' or 'out'; it is a digression from the true commmumion of the Mass; it leads people to make judgements.....and so on and so on.

  12. Richard - you need to buy in some of those joke electric hand-buzzers. What fun!

  13. Gareth - good idea but I might opt for a taser!