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CBCP ends long debate on Our Father hand gesture

For a long time, the faithful especially those on social media have been arguing what should our hands do while praying the “Lord’s Prayer” in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

Should our hands be raised or hold each others’ just like how most Filipinos do it during the pre-pandemic time?

In the circular released on July 14 by the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Liturgy, Most. Rev. Victor Bendico, the Chairman of the commission, stressed that raising or holding hands is not prescribed or forbidden in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) ergo either is accepted as the liturgical gesture.

He continued that as Pope Francis remarked that Our Father is “the prayer of the Children of God; it is the great prayer that Jesus taught us,” one can recite or sing it with a gesture that can fully allow one to experience God.

You may read the Circular below:

The CBCP’s statement was seconded by a circular from H.E. Jose Cardinal Advincula for the Archdiocese of Manila.

Cardinal Advincula affirmed the statement of the CBCP asking to respect the decision of the faithful on the gesture they do as they recite or sing the Our Father. Thus, it is not proper to require the faithful what to do. Also, the good Cardinal reminds us that this prayer is a “program of the Christian life founded on the Good News” summarizing our filial relationship with the Father and Jesus.

Below is the circular released by the Archdiocese of Manila:

Moreso, Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista of the Diocese of Imus also released a circular on the matter. Supporting CBCP’s statement, he stressed that the gesture of either outstretching or holding hands, as long as done in a dignified manner and carried out in a prayerful spirit is acceptable.

Here’s the full text of the Circular from the Diocese of Imus:

Reading between the lines, all these circulars invite the faithful to pray not like the hypocrites who pray to show off but to pray with sincere and trusting hearts as children of our loving Father.

thumbnail photo from Sta Maria Goretti Facebook page

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