My Father? Our Father?
Out here in Dairyland everybody feels a bit low and squabbly this time of year, what with the end of county fair season and the kids grousing about going back to school. So it’s maybe no wonder that the usually below-the-surface disagreements about hand-holding during the Our Father have recently become an issue with local Catholic broadcasters and reporters.
Naysayers like me find the practice unhygienic (the kiddies who just coughed your next illness into their hands are the most enthusiastic hand-holders), awkward (do you jump the aisle, just hold your hand toward the person sitting in the pew across the aisle, or what?), and contrived (Midwesterners are not demonstrative people, mostly opting for the single-pump handshake on rare occasions when public affection is required).
Others want to know why they can’t kneel to take communion. No, it’s not in the rubrics, but neither is hand-holding, which has never been in the rubrics. More evidence that the happy clappies are taking over the Church
Still others say that holding hands is a lovely symbol of our one-ness as the Body of Christ. It’s Our Father, after all, not My Father.
I like to think this will all blow over when the Oktoberfest beer tent goes up. But the movement against hand-holding during the Our Father seems to be gaining ground.