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Pope Francis Sign of Peace

Pope Francis Interprets Sign of Peace Rule

Pope Francis Sign of Peace

Many readers here will remember the tightening-up under Pope Benedict of the RC Sign of Peace rules. “Abuses” were to be stopped, such as the departure of the presider from the sanctuary in order to give the sign of peace to some of the faithful, and the exchange of peace being the occasion for expressing congratulations, best wishes, or condolences among those present.

I noted that many contemporary church buildings did not have a separate “sanctuary” from which the presider could depart. Others had noticed that also, so the rules were clarified that the presider was not to depart from the altar.

I also noted that Pope Francis was a sabbath-was-made-for-us type of person when it comes to church and liturgical rules, and I predicted:

It would not surprise me to discover Pope Francis on occasion leaving the sanctuary/altar to offer the Sign of Peace. He seems that sort of person. I have thought from the start that in his papacy I would be surprised to see energy expended in reworking the rules and rites and translations legacy of Pope Benedict. But I do think that his style of living with liturgical rules sets a different focus – he refocuses that the rules are not there for their own sake, they are there for worship, for community, and for our relationship with God.

So, do click on this video clip below, thinking as you watch it: “Bosco said this would happen.”

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13 thoughts on “Pope Francis Interprets Sign of Peace Rule”

  1. All right Clever Clogs 🙂

    Being proved right about his character.

    Our Peace is a free for all, and causes some slight delay, but the Presiding Priest normally calls for some calm and the next hymn, which settles people down as they scuttle back not to miss the start of hymns – we do love singing. (nearly typed sinning there 🙁 )

  2. Well, the English tradition and global Anglican practice is to share the Peace before and during the Offertory. I love warm, inclusive sharing of the Peace, but I know it within that context. From an Anglican point of view, I do find leaving the altar between the Eucharist Prayer and Communion itself rather odd, particularly if one has a view of transubstantiation. Isn’t it like saying ‘See you a bit Jesus, while we shake hands’!? The whole ‘leave your gift at the altar and be reconciled’ might be quoted, but sacramentally we have already moved beyond ‘gift’.

  3. Some of them seem to be so overwhelmed they are hanging on to him a bit long.
    Horrified to see the priests or brothers with their cellphones and tablets taking photos of the Pope, when they are just in the next pew! Surely there are enough official photographers taking photos. I personally don’t want to experience my life through a cellphone lens, but rather joy in the moment. I had similar thoughts at a wedding recently.
    Funny wee bit when his alb almost got caught in the handle of a wheelchair.

  4. Reassuring to see his Holiness getting his chasuble caught on things – in this case a wheelchair handle. An occupational hazard for all of us, a bit like getting the cable to my radio mike caught on the corner of the altar.

  5. When I was a teenager, in the Byzantine liturgy, the priest used to say: «Let us love one another» &c., but only clergymen exchanged the kiss of peace. I am pleased to see nowadays, in many parishes of the Byzantine rite, irrespective of the jurisdiction, that often the priest leaves the sanctuary, and greets, with triple kiss of peace, the people of the first row: «Christ in our midst!» – «Is and shall be!»

    So, I don’t think the Byzantines be more Catholic thant the pope of Rome. 😉

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