Gestures During Mass
The celebration of the Holy Mass involves all of our senses in our worship. As Catholics, physical postures and gestures have always been an important part of worship. Our actions reinforce the words we speak and the attitudes behind our worship. But which gestures are appropriate in the context of the Mass? In recent years American Catholics have seen a dramatic rise in the use of innovative gestures used by the laity in the Mass. But innovation in the Mass is NOT a good thing. That’s why the Church prescribes rubrics for our participation in the Mass.
My wife and I have received “dirty looks” from others in Mass when we don’t hold their hands during the recitation of the Our Father. Some people will simply grab your hand and attempt to force this participation if you don’t respond to their offer to join hands. Obviously this can be an awkward moment. Some folks seem insulted that you don’t want to hold their hands. My wife and I don’t even hold each other’s hands at this point in the Mass, we simply fold our hands and pray. Why? It’s simple, holding hands during the Our Father isn’t an approved gesture for the Mass.