Gransnet forums


Sign of Peace

(52 Posts)
ExD Sun 09-May-21 13:55:43

After reading a post on another thread (I think it was called Hug or not to hug) I find myself agreeing with a poster who said she'd stopped going to church because of the silly embarrassing custom of shaking hands and wishing almost strangers "peace be with you".
It has put me off attending communion ever since it was introduced all those years ago.
I have written to our church wardens asking if we could delete it from one service a month so those who find it awkward and off-putting could feel at ease. I only got an acknowledgement.
I wish we could have a referendum smile
How do you feel?

25Avalon Sun 09-May-21 14:03:35

Idk about embarrassing it’s often highly hypocritical. When I lived in town a lady who lived near me would totally ignore me if she saw me in the street - not even a smile! Then in church she would shake hands and wish me peace! What’s Christian about that?

Calendargirl Sun 09-May-21 14:18:19

I posted on the other thread about it.

Hate it, we didn’t do it years ago, don’t know when it became the thing.

At our little country church, we just give a little wave to our near neighbour when the vicar announces it. At our main Group Church, the congregation trail up and down the aisles, hugging and kissing, (pre Covid)

Wasting several minutes of the service.

Then probably slagging each other off at the next coffee morning!

Namsnanny Sun 09-May-21 14:23:39

I often wondered who gets to decide and why?
I suppose 'they're think it makes the service seem more inclusive.

3nanny6 Sun 09-May-21 14:32:52

I think it makes the service more inclusive and the sign of peace is something I do not mind to do. In the service at the beginning we are referred to as brothers and sisters in Christ
so what is wrong to offer our sign of peace to our brothers and sisters, I go to the church to hear the service not be hypocritical.

wildswan16 Sun 09-May-21 14:45:40

But the people with you in church are not "strangers". We are all worshipping in the fellowship of other believers. Of course you don't need to hug people if you don't want to, but shaking hands, smiling, making eye contact is a way of bonding with others and ensuring everyone (especially strangers) are made to feel welcome within the Church.

EkwaNimitee Sun 09-May-21 14:49:49

I don’t go to church, nor am I a Christian but I would be happy to wish any one peace. Acquiring a bit of peace might make a troublesome person a nicer one!
But what I wouldn’t be happy about is shaking hands. When we stopped doing it due to COVID, I realised that I had never liked doing it (sweaty hands, yuk!). I’m going to avoid doing it future, I shall just raise a hand or do it the Muslim way, hand over heart which is a much nicer gesture.

Kali2 Sun 09-May-21 14:52:11

I read this and find it so sad. And makes me glad I have given up all this hypocrisy and nonsense.

Septimia Sun 09-May-21 15:39:42

We've never adopted the practice of exchanging the peace at our church - and I think people would leave if we did! We're a small community and we all know each other, so we greet each other informally and check on each others welfare before the service and say goodbye at the end. The peace has always seemed superfluous.

When visiting other churches we've had to do it but DH always complains that it just a way of wasting time and making the service go on longer! He is in favour of people getting together for coffee after the service, though, and having genuine caring conversations.

keepingquiet Sun 09-May-21 15:53:48

It is a revised but ancient tradition of the church- in medieval times kissing the pax ( often a simple wooden board) and passing it around, was a sign of peace for the whole community and not just the person sitting next to you.
I don't think there's anything wrong with wishing anyone peace, whether you shake hands or not.
I find the tone of this thread rather mean spirited, but wish you all peace nevertheless.

Cabbie21 Sun 09-May-21 16:05:00

Since my church reopened at Easter we do not do anything to share the peace, apart from the response which is written.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
Response: And also with you.
I for one am hoping this will be how it continues, without the break in the service whilst people used to shake hands or hug.

Peasblossom Sun 09-May-21 16:21:08

Yes Cabbie that was how I felt about it. That it intruded into the service. The move from the spiritual to the all-too physical hugs and kisses was too much for me.

Judy54 Sun 09-May-21 16:29:59

Whilst I can understand your feelings ExD I am very happy to exchange the sign of peace with my friends at church because there are no strangers there. As the saying goes strangers are friends that you have yet to meet. We are after all using the same words that Jesus did to greet his Disciples after his resurrection. So it is not a problem for me and sorry that you feel that way.

Anniebach Sun 09-May-21 16:40:42

I haven’t been able to attend Church for some time, I always liked passing the peace.

Gingster Sun 09-May-21 16:53:26

I agree with those who find it uncomfortable and hypocritical. I always do it but I’d rather not.

Peasblossom Sun 09-May-21 17:07:56

Does it mean different things in different churches then? What did you pass round Anniebach? And was it accompanied by hugs and kisses?

Anniebach Sun 09-May-21 17:32:19

No Peasblossom just holding a hand , not a polite handshake,
holding the hand for a few seconds longer than one would in a handshake, I wouldn’t want kissing , holding the hand is fine

Bakingmad0203 Sun 09-May-21 17:34:14

At our church since Covid we just wave to each other and say “Peace be with you”.
Pre Covid I didn’t mind shaking hands, but the kissing and hugging was not my cup of tea, especially by those who had a streaming cold!
When I first experienced The Peace I felt embarrassed as I didn’t know anyone, and wasn’t sure who I should shake hands with, as I had previously attended a Methodist Church and we didn’t do it there.
I think that it gives the rest of the congregation an opportunity to welcome visitors and show that we are friendly and welcoming.

Bakingmad0203 Sun 09-May-21 17:39:06

ExD Our new Priest has introduced Morning Prayer once a month with no Peace or Communion and it is very popular.

keepingquiet Sun 09-May-21 18:20:11

In the Catholic mass it is said prior to the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) another ancient prayer. It is a sign of reconciliation with your community prior to receiving Communion.
It isn't something that can be removed just because people don't like it. It has deep significance rooted in the Gospel. Sometimes people just nod or wave, which is fine, During Covid it has been removed for obvious reasons, but I will welcome its return for sure.

hulahoop Sun 09-May-21 18:31:16

When at a family christening my Mil misheard peace for pleased so shook hands with people saying pleased to meet you, saying to us ,they are very friendly here arnt they we had to smile .

hollysteers Sun 09-May-21 18:34:45

I agree with the poster who said it is for her an unwelcome interruption. I become more conscious of myself when I want to forget myself and it leads to some very clumsy situations, worrying about missing people out, watching people scrambling around to make the sign.
It’s rather like an unwelcome interval when watching an engrossing play!

muffinthemoo Sun 09-May-21 18:35:20

I wear gloves most of the year at Mass since the sign of peace is a superb way to spread germs.

I think post Covid we could give it a miss or replace it with something less.... touchy

Sago Sun 09-May-21 19:03:51

I hate it, I rarely go to Mass, I’m a poor Catholic but cannot quite get rid of the associated guilt.
I cringe having to do the whole sign of peace shenanigans.

lemsip Sun 09-May-21 20:52:39

I feel that if you don't want to do it, don't. There are others that do so why should you ask that it be deleted. It isn't compulsory.