Holding Hands at Mass? Fr. John Riccardo’s 4-Minute Answer

by Steve Ray on September 22, 2019

I hate holding hands at Mass so this 4-minute video sure resonated with me….

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan E. Daigle September 22, 2019 at 10:24 AM

Which is how I avoid colds. Great way to spread anything, so “Amen” here.

Janet Tibolski September 22, 2019 at 12:18 PM



Tom Grelinger September 23, 2019 at 8:20 AM

Along with holding hands, it goes right along with the laity using the orans position which if the liturgy was consistent, the priest would not even be using per Dr. Ed Peters – http://www.canonlaw.info/liturgysacraments_orans.htm. The priest uses the orans position when praying on behalf of the people, and as the article mentions, it wasn’t until a concession was made for the laity in the extraordinary form to pray along with the priest in the 1950s that the laity even prayed in the Pater Noster in the liturgy (except the last line). One approach to correcting the whole hand holding is to revise the rubrics for the priest to join his hands together since both priest and faithful are praying together. Except with my wife, I don’t hold hands.

Connor Snoga September 24, 2019 at 10:15 PM

To Janets comment on the Sign of Peace: “ Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss.“ -Justin Matyr 155 AD, ch 65 The First Apolog. This is sacred tradition that has been a part a mass from the early church fathers.

The Orans posture is instructed in the GIRM as an action reserved only for the celebrating priest(s).
FAITHFUL IN THE SACRED MINISTRY OF PRIEST released from the Vatican in 1997 states this.
“§ 2. To promote the proper identity (of various roles) in this area, those abuses which are contrary to the provisions of canon 907 are to be eradicated. In eucharistic celebrations deacons and non-ordained members of the faithful may not pronounce prayers — e.g. especially the eucharistic prayer, with its concluding doxology — or any other parts of the liturgy reserved to the celebrant priest. Neither may deacons or non-ordained members of the faithful use gestures or actions which are proper to the same priest celebrant. It is a grave abuse for any member of the non-ordained faithful to “quasi preside” at the Mass while leaving only that minimal participation to the priest which is necessary to secure validity.“

It’s a liturgical abuse and should be stopped.

Greg Hogan September 24, 2019 at 11:50 PM

Where do shaking hands, hi 5’s and fist bumps fit on his scale?

Bill Hoogsteden September 26, 2019 at 9:42 PM

During the Our Father at my wife’s aunt’s funeral, I folded my hands. An older woman next to me grabbed my hand to hold hands. She would NOT let go! This was exactly what Father Ricardo was talking about! Instead of focusing on the prayer, I was more involved with this yenta invading my space!!

St. Longinus September 28, 2019 at 8:57 AM

During the Latin Mass (low Mass), the people kneeled as the priest recited the Pater Noster. If it was a High Mass the people stood during the Pater Noster. As for holding hands or extending one’s hands, no one would have thought to do that since it makes no sense.

Frances Medina October 7, 2019 at 1:02 PM

I believe the EUCHARIST should be our focus. We should do away with the peace sign, holding hands and be more much more reverent! It appears some liberal cardinals, bishops, priest are trying to go the way of the protestants, please stop it!!! Please stop modernizing our catholic church, we are not protestants.

Mary Charlton October 7, 2019 at 1:47 PM

Holding hands started during the charismatic movement in the 60’s-70’s when at meetings, everyone held hands during the Our Father. It was carried into the church by the same group. Others saw these wonderful prayerful people holding hands and decided it it was a great idea. It fit perfectly in the “New Mass” so it was picked it up and parishioners loved it, Soon, it was stretching across the aisle.
It became s a complete distraction from the Eucharist on the altar. ( I originally loved it and was so excited about what this new movement brought into the church). But, it is still going on today and we are now waving to friends across the aisle, laughing and having conversations with the people next to us. It is now, very distracting, so, as to not embarrass the people around me, I choose to kneel during the Our Father, keep my head bowed and focus on my Lord and Savior who is on the altar. There is
a big difference!
It is up to our priests to tell the congregation the instructions of the Roman Missal.

DB October 7, 2019 at 2:00 PM

I like holding my kids’ hands during the Our Father because it helps bring them back to the liturgy if their minds wander.

Mary October 7, 2019 at 10:24 PM

AMEN! It’s gotten ridiculous! We’re at mass to worship GOD.
Thank you good Father for setting things straight!

Fr Jordi Rivero October 8, 2019 at 2:14 AM

The Mass is the sacrifice of Christ which we join as a body. It is NOT just Jesus and me. To give a sign of love to our brothers and sisters cannot be separated from loving and worshiping Christ. There can be abuses in holding hands as well as in reacting against doing so.

HoraceJules October 8, 2019 at 12:43 PM

Do the Rubrics of the Mass command the faithful to imitate the Gospel reader as he crosses his forehead, lips and heart?

Father Khouri October 8, 2019 at 1:11 PM

Horace, regarding the signing of the sense at the Gospel there is no instruction for the people to do it, right on! But people do it anyway as a pious custom.

I’m not a fan of holding hands at Mass. It is foreign to liturgical tradition.

But as for the (optional) sign of peace which was part of ancient Liturgy we should continue it. It is not “Jesus and me” during the Holy Sacrifice.

Germaphobes can nod at people but then don’t we also have to extend this germaphobia to holy water fonts, hymnals and touching pews. What about taking bulletins from ushers?

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