Kelsey: I don’t like giving kiss of peace. Fr. Rutler: Not to worry.

Kelsey J from Grand Rapids, MI:

It seems to me like a needless distraction. I can glad-hand Mrs Smith any time I want. On Sundays, I’m there to see Jesus. Is this uncharitable or disobedient?

Fr. R., :

The Sign of Peace is a distraction where it is presently situated in the Liturgy, especially if effervescent personalities wave and chat.

A patrician friend of mine, when I said Mass as he was dying, asked me to omit the Peace because it made his butler uncomfortable. I have used that as a sufficient excuse ever since, regardless of domestic arrangements.

God save the butler!

If done at all, it should be liturgical: greeting just the person next to you with a formal gesture. Influenza has a salutary effect because in flu season the Peace is often suspended.

Shame if it takes that.

The real fault with it is that it is cloyingly bourgeois. If someone intrudes upon you with an unwelcome smile, just say politely: “Noli me tangere”. Our Lord said that to the Magdalene, and if it was good enough for him it should be good enough for us.

Hands off, sister?

Best answer yet for me, and I have perused far and wide for same.

Oh, and Fr. R.? He’s Fr. George William Rutler, NYC pastor of parish in hell’s kitchen who takes boxing lessons ever since he got coldcocked by a poor-box thief he caught in the act.

Also essayist and book author supreme. Uses wit and learning in the cause of Jesus and His church.

1 Comment

  1. Jim Bowman says:

    Reblogged this on Blithe Spirit and commented:

    Solving a small problem


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