Friday, October 24, 2008

As for that sign of peace thing...

In addition to coming up with 72 different possibilities for closing the Mass, those attending the 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist had other important things to discuss -- like the timing and reach of the sign of peace. The Pope asked them to contemplate the former; the bishops extended their inquiry to include the latter.

As reported at Whispers in the Loggia:
"Cardinal Arinze said that in addition to its timing some have suggested that the sign of peace be limited to an exchange between the Massgoer and those in his or her immediate vicinity. He said that in some churches today, the sign of peace is extended to the point that it becomes 'almost a jamboree.'"
Clearly, the bishops haven't attended many Jewish synagogue services in general or ones that are even more exuberant expressions of community. (Simchat Torah comes to mind. ) I'm doing a lot of reading about first century Jewish-Christians for my next book and do not believe that either Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Christ envisioned his Body as represented by stiffs.


  1. oh for the good old days of the medieval "pax board." I imagine it was something like a cheese board, with a handle. The presider would kiss it first and then hand it off.

    Why did they stop using it? Two guesses. Someone grossed out about the germs. Or else someone was having a tough time and took a swing at the next person in line.

  2. Oh don't get me started (again) about germs. Did you read my post about receiving the Eucharist on the tongue?!?

  3. Eh! I regularly distribute communion at the prison. I have to give the talk about "how to receive" at least once a month.

    "Either open your mouth or open your hands. Not both."

    "Open your mouth wide. I have a hard time feeding the parking meter when it is moving."

    I have been licked, bitten, slimed, you name it.

    I'm glad people receive communion, but I tell you, I could put this in my act and take it on the road!


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