We NEED to Hold Hands at Mass
AJF Vanden Boer, Bethlehem – Michael Shackleton’s “Open Door” article on holding hands during the recitation or singing of the Our Father (May 31) perplexes me.
With due respect to Mr Shackleton and his liturgical knowledge, I am sadly surprised at the tenor of his article on holding hands during the recitation or singing of the Our Father.
Definitely it is not in line with the spirit of the document on liturgy of Vatican II or with Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).
What about adaptation and local customs?
In the pope’s letter we read: “How I long to find the right words to stir up enthusiasm for a new evangelisation full of fervour, joy, generosity, courage, boundless love and attraction!” (Nr 261).
Instead of being warned and being put off, our congregations ought to be encouraged to show unity and joy in word and deed. What about “active participation”, if everyone stays rigidly and individually in her or his place?
Of course, some congregations are more actively engaged and extrovert than others. Indeed, as Pope Francis writes: “I realise of course that joy is not expressed the same way at all times in life…”—and in all places, may well be added.
What congregations need are positive forms of encouragement instead of negative warnings in the style of the concluding paragraph of Mr Shackleton’s article.
Faith and life make a celebration.