Sunday, January 11, 2009

'Sign of Peace' to be moved?

According to my friend Jimmy Akin over at Catholic Answers "Sign of Peace Update" (, January 5, 2009), one of the truly notable items in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation document that came out after a long delay following the 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist was practically relegated to a footnote: "That was the announcement that the question of where the Sign of Peace is located in the Mass had been forwarded to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. (Actually, I think it referred to the appropriate dicasteries, but the CDWDS would be the key one.)

After discussing some of the problems centering on the 'Sign of Peace' in many contemporary Masses of the ordinary form, which have tended to turn it "into a big, distracting celebration of 'us'-ness,", Akin says:
"Anyway, it's been going on four years now and I've heard nothing about the proposal to move the Sign of Peace.

Until now.

I was just reading the newsletter of the U.S. Bishops' Committee for Divine Worship (formerly the Bishops' Committee on Liturgy) and ran across this item:
Survey of the Sign of Peace at Mass

The Committee [for Divine Worship] reviewed the findings of a survey requested of the USCCB by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Disicpline of the Sacraments regarding the placement of the Sign of Peace at Mass. Of the 89 Bishops who responded, 66% supported moving the Sign of Peace after the Prayer of the Faithful and before the Presentation of the Gifts, 32% recommended retaining the Sign of Peace at its current location before the Agnus Dei, and 2% offered alternative opinions. A report from the USCCB was submitted to the Congregation's then-Prefect, Francis Cardinal Arinze.
Akin's comment: "Cool. Good to hear that there is some motion on this and that the bishops seem to be responding favorably.


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