Cebu archbishop seeks common stand on ‘Our Father’ hand postures

June 23, 2023 - 2:55 PM
People wearing face masks and face shields as a protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), attend an Easter Sunday Mass outside the St. Peter Parish Shrine of Leaders, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, April 4, 2021. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

A senior Catholic Church official said he will press for a unified church policy on proper liturgical gestures during Mass.

Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu spoke to reporters on Tuesday, stressing the need for a common stance, particularly regarding hand gestures when reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

The archbishop made these comments ahead of the plenary assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), which will take place in Kalibo, Aklan, from July 8 to 10.

“The way we experience in the CBCP, it is helpful if we have a common stand with regard to certain practices,” Palma said.

“And I’d like to believe that would be reviewed and eventually a final recommendation will be made,” he said.

While each bishop is the decision-maker for his diocese, he said that a CBCP recommendation would be helpful “for us to be more united”.

“This will also show that we are indeed one in expression of the liturgical practices,” said Palma, former CBCP president.

Bishop Julito Cortes of Dumaguete earlier decreed against churchgoers raising or holding hands while singing or reciting the Lord’s Prayer at Mass.

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He asked the faithful to instead “join his or her own hands” as the priest extends his hands in prayer.

In February, Archbishop Florentino Lavarias of San Fernando allowed the churchgoers to raise and hold hands while singing the “Our Father”.

Palma still reminded the faithful of the most important aspect of the Mass, which is Jesus’ real presence in the Eucharist.

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