Mass Practices: Holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer at Mass

Should we or should we not? Fr Ignatius Yeo explains


One posture the faithful can adopt during the Lord’s prayer is to simply put their hands together.

Firstly let us take note of the extract published in the Archdiocese’s webpage (catholic.sg):

“Gesture at the Lord’s Prayer: Liturgical laws have consistently not allowed the holding of hands during the Lord’s Prayer nor the raising of hands in the orans position by the laity. (Senate Minutes, April 2018).

The Church through the Congregation for Divine Worship has consistently taught that “holding hands during the Our Father has become common place, but it is an illicit addition to the Liturgy. Holding hands is a sign of intimacy and not reconciliation, and as such disrupts the flow of the Sacramental signs in the Mass which leads to the Sacramental sign of intimacy with Christ and our neighbour, Holy Communion.”1

The flow of the Sacramentals used during the Mass, like the sign of the cross, the beating of our breast at the I Confess and the Kyrie. A sign of our openness to the word of God particularly at the Gospel when we stand in reverence (Nehemiah 8) and we sign the cross on our forehead, lips and heart.