Glad-handing in the middle of Mass: Father John tries to put not-so-glad-handers at ease

Arthritic fingers crushed, fending glad-handers off . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: Notes from a massgoer's underground

A “Catholic New World” reader put it to Question Corner priest Rev. John Dietzen, in December of ought-five:

I’ve had my arthritic fingers crushed. I’ve had parishioners blow their nose and then offer their hand to me. . . . I’m tempted to isolate myself in back [of church]. . . . [T]his . . . scenario is unnecessary and superfluous.

Neither is it required, but more about that later.

Father John, calling up an an old liturgical reformer’s argument, says this scenario is not new. They did it this way in the middle ages and, yes, in New Testament times. Late middle ages, the “kiss of peace” was for priests only, but now (for, say, 40 years?) it’s “prescribed.” (Not clear about that, but more later.)

A “sign of peace” is currently called for. There are “deep roots” here, Fr. J. continued. Handshake, embrace, or kiss may not be…

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