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Sign of Peace

 

In the early Church, the ordinary greeting of the faithful to one another, as well as in liturgical functions, was an exchange of the kiss of peace (Pax).

Four times St. Paul wrote: “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26; Rom. 16:16). Likewise, St. Peter: “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (1 Pet. 5:14).

The Pax is a token of charity and union. It is an expressive bond uniting the faithful to one another and to Christ.

It is a sacramental, conferring actual grace and purifying the soul. It is also an excellent preparation for Communion, which infuses charity and fortifies the peace existing among the communicants.

© Evangelization Station, 2010 

 

Sign of Peace

 

In the early Church, the ordinary greeting of the faithful to one another, as well as in liturgical functions, was an exchange of the kiss of peace (Pax).

Four times St. Paul wrote: “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26; Rom. 16:16). Likewise, St. Peter: “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (1 Pet. 5:14).

The Pax was first given before the Offertory, later on after the Pax Domini (Peace of Christ), and finally came to occupy it present position in the Mass.

The Pax is a token of charity and union. It is an expressive bond uniting the faithful to one another and to Christ.

It is a sacramental, conferring actual grace and purifying the soul. It is also an excellent preparation for Communion, which infuses charity and fortifies the peace existing among the communicants.

The Pax comes from the altar, that is, from Christ himself, of whom the altar is a symbol. Thus, it is Jesus who gives his kiss to those participating in his Sacrifice.

The words, “The peace of the Lord be with you always” said by the priest and the faithful’s response “And with your Spirit”, are required at all Masses. However, the invitation to offer the sign of peace is an option

If the congregation makes the sign of peace, it should be made without undo noise or commotion and only to those in the immediate vicinity.

The celebrant, as the guardian of the Eucharist, does not leave the altar and he does not shake hands as doing so may contaminate the Eucharistic species.

© Evangelization Station, 2010 

 

 

 

 

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