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Whole MIM






Sign of Peace

258. According to IG 82 "The form for giving the sign of peace is left to the Conference of Bishops to determine".

259. The invitation to exchange the sign of peace may be omitted. According to IG 154 "the priest may add: Let us offer one another a sign of peace". After the optional invitation, the instructions (to which I have added numbers) from IG 154 are:

1. The priest may give the sign of peace to the ministers, always remaining with the sanctuary, lest the celebration be disrupted.

2. He should do likewise if, for a good reason he wishes to offer the sign of peace to a few of the faithful.

3. All, in accordance with the decisions of the Conference of Bishops, make a sign to one another that expresses peace, communion and charity.

4. While the sign of peace is being given, the following may be said: The peace of the Lord be with you always. The response is: Amen.

260. At least as translated, these instructions are confusing and seem to be contradictory. No 1 suggests exchanging the sign of peace is optional, No 3 that it is compulsory. No 1 requires the priest remain in the sanctuary, but No 2 allows him to exchange the sign of peace with the faithful, who would not normally be in the sanctuary.

261. Conferences of Bishops may clarify this and introduce adaptions for the Order of Mass and introduction of the missal (IG 390).

262. For Mass with a deacon "he may invite all to exchange the sign of peace" (IG 181).

263. For a concelebrated Mass, "After a deacon, or in his absence, one of the concelebrants says the invitation Let us offer one another a sign of peace, all exchange the sign of peace with each other. The concelebrants who are nearer the presiding celebrant receive the sign of peace from him ahead of the deacon." (IG 239).

264. For Mass with only one minister, without a congregation, according to IG 266, the sign of peace may be given by the celebrant to the minister, the invitation "Let us offer each other the sign of peace" is not said.

265. For Mass with a Bishop, the bishop gives the kiss of peace at least to two concelebrants and then to the first deacon (CB 99). In Caeremoniale Episcoporum. n 100, it says the concelebrants, deacons, and other ministers give the sign of peace in a similar way "simili modo". The word for "kiss", "osculum", is not used in this paragraph. Surprisingly "kiss of peace" appears in CB 100, in the English translation [Ceremonial of Bishops (Minnesota, Liturgical Press, 1989) page 42.] No mention is made of the "kiss of peace" in the IG. According to CB 101, the faithful exchange the sign of peace in the manner approved by the Conference of Bishops. It may be accompanied by "Peace be with you" with the response "And also with you" (CB 103).

266. For the Stational Mass, the kiss of peace is not mentioned, except as a footnote. CB 161 suggests that while the invitation is optional, the exchanging of the sign of peace is compulsory:

267. One of the deacons may give the invitation to an exchange of the sign of peace by facing the people and saying, Let us offer each other. The bishop gives the sign of peace at least to the two concelebrants nearest him, then to the first of the deacons. All exchange a sign of peace and charity that is in accord with local custom. (Footnote: See nos. 99-103 of this Ceremonial on the kiss of peace.)



Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 18 March 2002. Last updated 15 April 2002.