When you pray the Our Father during mass, do you hold the hands of the person beside you? or do you raise your hands on your own with your palms facing up? Or do you just keep your hands to yourself and just pray? The right way to pray the Our Father when it comes to posture has been up for debate for some time, so let’s dive in and find out, how exactly should we pray the Our Father. Is there a prescribed way by the Church? Let’s find out!
Holding Hands During Our Father
In some places, it is the norm to extend out your hands to the person beside you when we begin to pray the Our Father in mass. We see families, couples, and even strangers hold hands during the prayer, but some people find it a bit odd. Some people argue that holding hands during the prayer depicts being together and in unity with the community, yet others might argue that singing or reciting the prayer together already implies that.
Up till this day, the Church hasn’t put some ground rules on holding hands while we pray the Our Father. In simple terms, it is neither wrong nor right, and there are no physical rules to it. You can do it if you want to, but you also can’t force or look down upon others who don’t want to do it.
For sure, holding hands during the Our Father can be done when you are celebrating mass for a specific community gathering to emphasize unity, but it all boils down to whether the person if she or he is comfortable doing it.
Orans Posture During Our Father
The other posture that people do while praying the Our Father in Mass is the Orans Posture. It has been more prevalent since the Pandemic, because of people avoid touching other people’s hands. Is this a posture that’s accepted by the Church? Let’s find out!
Just like holding hands, the Church has no written rules on not permitting the Orans Posture in mass while praying the Our Father. However, a lot of people find it inappropriate to do so. This is because the Orans posture is primarily written as a direction for the priest in the direction of “with hands extended.” That instruction has never been written for the laity to do, and only for the priest. Some interpretations can be seen that since this instruction was just written for the Priest, then it is inappropriate for the laity to do it as well.
What is the Right Way to Pray Our Father?
At the end of the day we circle back to the Church not having any rules about the hand gestures that people do while in Mass. Just always remember that the Our Father is a solemn prayer for our Lord, and no one else.