April 16, 2017

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On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”
John 20: 19-21

May peace abound on this glorious Easter Sunday! You will hear again the familiar words “Let us offer each other the sign of peace”. You will see as well something new. Our priests and servers in the sanctuary will receive and offer the sign of peace individually.

Showing his open hands to the one receiving the pax, the priest will bring peace from the Lamb of God, risen from the tomb, present on the altar, to the server on his right. The clasp of arms is preceded and followed by a slight bow. If there is a server on the left side of the altar he will then exchange the sign of peace with him. Then each server having received the pax will give the pax to the next server down the line in the same manner. At the Solemn High Latin Mass the Priest, Deacon and Subdeacon will do likewise as they always have done. Meanwhile, the faithful choir will be doing what? Leading us in the chant, “Lamb of God, you take way the sins of the world, have mercy on us… have mercy on us… grant us peace!” Perfect.

In the pews, I encourage you to consider adopting the same gesture. Handshakes are nice between friends and smooches are welcome in family. The embrace is a sacred. If you happen to be sitting next to Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, they won’t want to shake your hand or kiss your cheek. A prayerful bow and a smile will do just fine. That might be a good approach in general. Just remember to smile.

May the peace of the Risen Christ abound in our hearts!

Happy Easter!

Rev. Christopher J. Pollard