07 August 2014, The Tablet

No hugging or kissing during the sign of peace – and priests must stay on the altar, states Vatican

More restraint is being urged by the Vatican on the faithful when offering the sign of peace during Mass. The Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) has instructed bishops to draw up new guidelines so that the gesture can be performed with more sobriety and less “excess”. It advised bishops to find alternatives to “familiar” or “profane” greetings. In a circular letter, the CDW said it would offer practical guidelines better explaining the exchange of peace “and to moderate excessive expressions that give rise to disarray in the liturgical assembly before Communion”. 

Read the letter in full.

Read our news story.

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User comments (2)

Comment by: Bob Hayes
Posted: 10/08/2014 21:03:15

Doctorwho (09/08), Friday abstinence is not a case of 'bishops lording it over their flock'. It concerns Catholic identity. In an age when 'identity' has such a high profile in aspects of life ranging from Facebook 'likes' to sports team followed, from ethnicity to sexual orientation, a subtle measure reflecting our Catholic identity seems very wise; after all it was Christ Jesus who told us 'No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub'.

Comment by: Doctorwho
Posted: 09/08/2014 00:38:10

Whilst there may be abuses from time to time, how serious is this - I mean really? I would have thought hymns at this time on exchanging peace is a great and creative idea, not an abuse? What did Jesus say about the Pharisees who put burdens on others, something about gnats? And on that subject, when will our English bishops revoke their mandatory Friday abstinence. The time of bishops lording it over their flock has passed.

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