Monday, August 04, 2008

What IS "the sign of peace" anyway...and is it necessary?

Last week, Dom blogged on a rather wacky comment the celebrant made during the homily:

During daily Mass today, the priest in his homily said that since we’re all one big happy family, we should hug one another during the Sign of Peace.

Now that's just plain weird to me. Although I must admit that in my missal, after stating that the Deacon (or priest) says "Let us offer each other the sign of peace," the red instruction adds:

"The people exchange a sign of peace and love, according to local custom."

What's your "local custom?" If I were able to invent my local custom, I'd ditch the rite entirely. (Actually, the rite is optional and I silently but heartily bless any celebrant who omits it.)

Here's what I'm wondering:

Are you a sign of peace fan? If so, why, exactly? If not, what do you dislike about it most?

Me first.

Although I sympathize with Dom's aversion to the hugging thing, you know what jars me the most?

The "peace sign!"

You know what I mean. Folks looking like they just left Woodstock, waving their V-shaped index and middle finger around to everybody.

I can sorta understand it, since the rite was introduced during the 1960s, but it's a tad too hippie for me. And as a quasi student of history, I tend to think of the gesture in Churchill's terms, as in "V for Victory."

What about you?

(And Dominus vobiscum!)