Sunday, August 06, 2017

There's More to the Story on the "Kiss of Peace"

Switching from the country's gruesome political problems to an interesting theory on the "kiss of peace" (or the Handshake which Never Stops) which was re-instituted in the Ordinary Form Mass (it was not used by the laity in the '62 Rite), we have Fr. Hunwicke.

....Having criticised his fellow Christians for witholding the Kiss so as publicly to flaunt the fact that they had been fasting, [Tertullian] goes on ' ... on the day of the Pasch, on which there is a rule of fasting which is common to all and as it were public, we rightly drop the kiss, because we don't care about hiding the thing [i.e. fasting] which we are doing with everybody else'. Those familiar with the traditional Roman Rite will recall that, to this day, we do not exchange the Sign of Peace at the Good Friday Mass of the Presanctified, nor at the Mass of the Easter Vigil (even though the celebrant has said the words). This is because we are all deemed to have been fasting.

IOW, if a Christian was fasting, they 'withheld the Kiss.'  Tertullian didn't like that because he thought it was flaunting one's fasting (holiness).

BUT also recall that until John XXIII, Catholics fasted from midnight anticipating reception of Holy Communion.  Thus, if to fast = no Kiss, the absence of 'the Kiss' from the Old Rite is explained.


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