Archbishop Palma on proper hand gesture during ‘Amahan Namo’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said it is high time for the Church to issue a decree on the proper gesture of the hands when reciting the Lord’s Prayer.
This Palma said as many Catholics are confused about the proper hand gesture when reciting or singing the Lord’s Prayer during Holy Mass,
In an interview on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said that during the National Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in July, the bishops would ask the body to conduct a study if it is essential to have uniformity in the gesture of the hands for the Lord’s Prayer in all the parishes.
“Before, we have tackled it, but there is no national official decree [yet]…If a decree will be made by the CBCP, we will follow that,” he said.
Earlier, Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete issued a decree on the proper gesture of hands during the singing of the Lord’s Prayer.
He said he issued the decree because he observed that many faithful are confused about the proper hand posture during this part of the Holy Mass.
Palma said the Archdiocese of Cebu has not yet made an official statement on this matter, although individual bishops, he said, are the lawmakers in their respective archdioceses.
“Individual bishops have the right to make a decree in their dioceses, but the way we experience in the CBCP, it is helpful if we have a common stand with regard to certain practices. And I’d like to believe that would be reviewed and eventually a final recommendation will be made,” he said.
He, however, said that the difference in hand gestures does not affect the most crucial aspect of the Holy Mass.
Likewise, Msgr. Cesar Vergara of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Clergy said that what is important is what is being expressed through this gesture.
“The gestures, which we call liturgical gestures, are many times, even in the history of the Church, affected by what is happening culturally, and even what is happening at the particular period. For example, because of this virus and everything, there were so many changes in the gestures that they have to do [these] because of the effects [of the virus],” he said. /rcg
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