Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Don't Touch My Hand

From Mark Gross, OPL, when he first became a Catholic nearly 9 years ago, Fr. Ritchey had this delightful item in the bulletin during Mark's first year as a Catholic:

"Not long ago, someone asked me 'Father, do I have to hold hands with those around me during the 'Our Father.'' I had to answer 'no, you do not have to.' People holding hands during the Lord's Prayer or people holding up their hands in the 'orantis position' is not part of the Roman Rite. Holding hands, or holding one's hands up during the Lord's Prayer is a tradition that came from different movements in the Church like Search, Cursillo and charismatic prayer groups. People then brought those customs or expressions to the Sunday liturgy with them. Holding hands or holding your hands up in prayer during the Lord's Prayer is neither mandated nor forbidden. I personally do not like to hold hands with anyone during the Lord's Prayer. But that is okay, I am standing behind the altar by myself. As for everyone else, do as you please, but do not impose yourself on those around you. I used to struggle with the spiritual bullies that insist on holding my hand, whether I like it or not. On the other hand, it would not be a very Christian act to snub the person next to you when they try to reach for your hand. Maybe they could use a human touch. It is a delicate situation that calls for charity and sensitivity.

God bless, Fr. Tim Ritchey
Sunday Feb 2, 1997
Feast of The Presentation of the Lord"

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