The Archdiocese of San Fernando on February 07 2023 released a Circular Letter on the policy of raising hands during the Lord’s Prayer. Please see below.
HIS EXCELLENCY THE REVEREND MEMBERS OF THE CLERGY, MEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS AND THE LAITY OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA
REITERATION OF POLICY ON THE RAISING OF HANDS AND HOLDING OF HANDS DURING THE “IBPA MI” IN THE CELEBRATION OF THE MASS
1. Circular Letter 24, Series 2000, Policy-Norm (Pink)-Liturgical Guidelines in the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the Archdiocese of San Fernando
2. Circular Letter 42, Series 2005, Information (White) – CBCP Clarification on the “Holding of Hands” during the Eucharistic Celebration
“It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.” 1 Timothy 2:8
Regarding the question whether the lay faithful are allowed to raise hands and hold hands during the “Our Father ” in the celebration of the Mass: The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) does not forbid it, nor speaks of it. Nevertheless, the Italian Roman Missal states as translated “The faithful can hold or raise hands during the ‘Lord’s Prayer’. This signifies the fraternal communion we have as children of God, when this is done with dignity. (Precicazioni circa la normativa liturgica, 2nd edition. LEV. Citta del Vaticano 1963, p. 50). That the faithful should not do the “orans” position during the Lord’s Prayer is not historically founded. It is not liturgically founded; it is not legislated in any rubric or norm in the liturgical books. Every now and then a mere opinion comes out.
To put to rest the issue; in the Precisazioni of the New Italian Roman Missal 2019, the Episcopal Conference definitively reiterates: “During the singing and the recitation of the “Our Father” you can keep your hands outstretched; this gesture is done with a dignity and sobriety, in an atmosphere of filial prayer.” (Missale Romano, num. 8, L111). In the past, the Lord’s Prayer was considered a priestly prayer; the liturgical reform promoted by the Second Vatican Council has restored it as a prayer of the whole celebrating assembly. Therefore, the “orans” posture expresses the prayer directed to God by his children. This gesture is not a case of the laity trying to usurp priestly functions.
In Section C. Communion Rite, the Our Father subsection b. of Circular Letter 24, Series 2000, Policy Norm (Pink) – Liturgical Guidelines in the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the Archdiocese of San Fernando, we reiterate the liturgical policy of our predecessor “The Eucharistic Liturgy recommends that in a Mass where there is singing, the “Our Father” be usually sung (see SCR, Instructioni Inter Oecumenici, #48, g: SCR. Insturctioni Musicam Sacram, #29.c) which places the Lord’s Prayer in the first category. i.e. those songs recommended for use in all Masses with singing. The people may extend their hands apart and upwards, that is, the “orans” gesture used by the priest during the Lord’s Prayer.”
In Circular Letter 42, Series 2005. Information (White) CBCP Clarification on the “Holding of Hands” during the Eucharistic Celebration, we reiterate “There has been NO directive from the bishops (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines) that bans this practice (ie., holding of hands while singing the Our Father during the celebration of the Mass) among priests and laypeople.” The title of the issued CBCP clarification stated it simply: “No ban on Our Father singing, holding hands.” As a matter of exception, particular liturgical directives and issued accordingly when there are medical health concern/s that calls for needed prohibitions of this or other liturgical practices.
Wherefore, to provide the People of God in the Archdiocese of San Fernando the clarification on these matters, we reiterate the following policies:
1. The people may extend their hands apart and upwards, the ancient “orans” gesture used by the priest during the Lord’s Prayer in the celebration of the Mass.
2. The people may raise and hold hands while singing the “Our Father” during the celebration of the Mass.
3. As a matter of exception, particular liturgical directives are issued accordingly when there are medical health concern/s that calls for needed prohibitions of this or other liturgical practices and/or activities.
We enjoin the reverend parish priests, parish liturgy ministers, and catechists to provide the needed catechesis on the traditional religious gesture of the “orans” position and the holding of hands during the Lord’s Prayer in the celebration of the Mass. We fervently appeal to all concerned to humbly comply with this liturgical directive in accordance with Vatican II and in conformity with the spirit and objective of our Archdiocesan Integrated Pastoral Plan.