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Source: (consider it) Thread: I fled the peace today
Uncle Pete

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Like the elderly lady, I would prefer not "to do that shit", but like others on this thread, I have found a "Namaste" greeting gotten out first precludes any attempt at handshaking. Like others, I do make an exception for a child who proffers his/her hand with a wide smile on its face. My druthers are forestalled by theirs.

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Even more so than I was before

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Ariel
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
I usually find the Pauline epistles frustrating and difficult to understand, but gosh we could use a strongly worded missive from St. Paul on how to express the idea that we are at peace with each other.

In Paul's day his early congregations probably all mostly knew each other by name. Many would have been there because they'd been brought along and introduced beforehand by friends and/or relatives. It'd be unlikely that there was a sign on the door of the building inviting complete strangers to walk in off the street and join in.
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Autenrieth Road

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I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at Ariel. Because strangers are invited to come to church today, we are in more need than in Paul's day of trying to greet and hug as many people as possible during the peace, so they feel welcome? Something else? Genuinely confused here.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by deano:
I don't think anyone actually likes it. ... If it were scrapped tomorrow I don't there would be many tears shed in my church and probably from many others.... Has it always been in services or is it a modern thing?

Deano, I can't speak for your church, but as a general statement, I'm afraid you are quite wrong. When the peace was first introduced in about 1970, there was quite a lot of resistance to it. There still is some, as evidenced by this thread, but resistance seems to have become now rather a minority grouse. Gradually, mainly over the period 1970-90, it became accepted and then popular. One of the strongest pieces of evidence for this is the way when it, along with the cup, was suspended during the scare about swine flu' there was a lot of complaint, and a lot of ostentatious hand-shaking and hugging when people were allowed to resume it again.


What Autenrieth Road and Chive are talking about is something quite different.

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at Ariel. Because strangers are invited to come to church today, we are in more need than in Paul's day of trying to greet and hug as many people as possible during the peace, so they feel welcome? Something else? Genuinely confused here.

Perhaps the only thing confusing is that it is evident by this thread that there are at least a few people who do not equate hugs etc with welcome, but perceive it as a threat or a negative gesture.

But as Enoch notes, there are many for whom this is important. It is a part of the service which involves and engages them when so many other bits do not. I do not feel that his use of the term "minority grouse" is particularly helpful-- the detailled explanations of posts here indicates that discomfort is rooted in a number of causes.

I fear that we have one of these situations where there might not be any easy common ground. Perhaps some clerical leadership to educate parishioners in the need to be sensitive to others??? Otherwise, we grousers will have to continue cowering in the corner and going to early morning services.

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The Silent Acolyte

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As is his wont, Augustine the Aleut has offered wise and moderate words. We would all do well to exercise restraint and patience in the service of comity.

For my part, instead hewing to the behavior of the sensible old lady who mutters, I don't do that shit, when next some masher hugs me at the Peace I'm going to announce to them, The next time you touch me, I'm going to file a sexual harassment grievance, you pervert.

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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by The Silent Acolyte:
An important discipline, indeed, Zappa. Yet, I still break out in rousing song:
quote:
We will, we will, we will not be smooched!

Yes, to be fair, I don't do infiltration of personal space very well, and as for the vigorous rubbing of some available part of my body while looking lovingly into my eyes, bring me a bucket.

But just an enacted reminder a brief hey, this separation isn't all there is ... I think we need that. Even if I personally would prefer hoi polloi to stay out of my life.

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Ariel
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at Ariel. Because strangers are invited to come to church today, we are in more need than in Paul's day of trying to greet and hug as many people as possible during the peace, so they feel welcome? Something else? Genuinely confused here.

What I'm trying to say is that Paul wasn't writing for our culture nor when he wrote, did he have in mind a scenario where a large group, mostly composed of people who didn't already know each other, would be expected to suddenly hug each other during the middle of a service, having previously not exchanged a single word with each other, then sit back down and act as if it never happened.

It's the falseness of it that gets me. You turn up for a Sunday service, there's a bunch of people you don't know and may not have seen before or have never exchanged a word with, suddenly in the middle of the service you're expected to get up and warmly shake hands or embrace them as if you're being introduced to a new friend, but you're not. All you do is wish them peace, then you all sit down again and the service resumes as if nothing had happened until you all leave at the end. Big deal. It makes the lonely feel lonelier and the people who don't want physical contact are put off by it. If you're going to wish people peace surely either the beginning or the end of the service would be more appropriate places for it.

[ 07. September 2014, 06:24: Message edited by: Ariel ]

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The5thMary
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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
quote:
Originally posted by The Silent Acolyte:
An important discipline, indeed, Zappa. Yet, I still break out in rousing song:
quote:
We will, we will, we will not be smooched!

Yes, to be fair, I don't do infiltration of personal space very well, and as for the vigorous rubbing of some available part of my body while looking lovingly into my eyes, bring me a bucket.

But just an enacted reminder a brief hey, this separation isn't all there is ... I think we need that. Even if I personally would prefer hoi polloi to stay out of my life.

I hope this makes you laugh. Or at least smile, slightly. Every single time I see the title of this thread, I find myself singing, "I fled the peace today, oh boy..."

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
It's the falseness of it that gets me. You turn up for a Sunday service, there's a bunch of people you don't know and may not have seen before or have never exchanged a word with, suddenly in the middle of the service you're expected to get up and warmly shake hands or embrace them.

And there are people there who exchange the Peace but who, you also know, have been gossiping and backbiting about those same people and may do so again the moment the service has finished. (Yet, having said that, perhaps the Peace can at least sow a seed of reconciliation?)

By the way, I don't like it when people prowl around the Church seeing how many victims they can hug ... but a polite hand-shake and "The peace of the Lord be with you" to near neighbours is quite a different matter.

[ 07. September 2014, 08:20: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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balaam

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quote:
Originally posted by The5thMary:
Every single time I see the title of this thread, I find myself singing, "I fled the peace today, oh boy..."

I fled the peace today, oh boy.
Enthusiasm does not suit my style.
And though the hand shake was well mean,
I wanted to rebuke,
It made me want to puke.
I want to beeeee... a-....lone.

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LondonKnight
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At my current (Anglican charismatic) church, we do not do the peace during any of our communion services, but make use of the post-service fellowship time over tea and cakes to share peace and discussions, and even hugs, where it seems more appropriate and I believe it more welcoming for visitors.
At my former (Anglican almost anglo-catholic) church, it could have not been any different. The mid-week communion was halted for at least six or seven minutes while the majority in the congregation left their seats and there was a conveyor-style peace set in motion. I always sat at the back of church beside a pillar, and did not need to move in my seat... it was akin to the handshakes before a World Cup football match where the teams passed by each other shaking hands. What got me the most was that I often noticed that as many were shaking my hands, while just saying 'peace', their eyes were already looking towards the next person they had in line to shake hands with.
It was sad because there was no peace felt and, for me, it tended to distract from the focus I was trying to keep on the communion itself.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Josephine:
quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
quote:
Originally posted by deano:
How did this detested piece of the service come about? Has it always been in services or is it a modern thing?

It's a modern thing that was suddenly inflicted on us at some point during the era when I'd stopped going to church. I came back and found it in place.
It's actually very, very old, because it's a liturgical bit that's shared between the Eastern and the Western church.
Indeed - it was done in the earliest church Romans 16:16

See also 2 Corinthians 13:12 and 1 Peter 5:14

In the Middle Ages, this had become a kissing of a 'pax brede'.

It survived in a high mass as a sort of shoulder hug between the sacred ministers and then was given back to all the laity in 1964 with Series 1.

[ 07. September 2014, 15:49: Message edited by: leo ]

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Stephen
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Deano, I can't speak for your church, but as a general statement, I'm afraid you are quite wrong. When the peace was first introduced in about 1970, there was quite a lot of resistance to it. There still is some, as evidenced by this thread, but resistance seems to have become now rather a minority grouse. Gradually, mainly over the period 1970-90, it became accepted and then popular. One of the strongest pieces of evidence for this is the way when it, along with the cup, was suspended during the scare about swine flu' there was a lot of complaint, and a lot of ostentatious hand-shaking and hugging when people were allowed to resume it again.


What Autenrieth Road and Chive are talking about is something quite different.

Yes I agree with Enoch here I think. Deano it was first introduced sometime in the 1970s although as Leo says liturgically in the mid-60s.We used just the versicle and response but when we introduced it in the 1980s I think there was a lot of resistance and I mean a lot. However yesterday's innovation became today's tradition (!!) and if it were left out there would be quite some comments - not half!
I must admit I didn't like it at first but now I've got used to it and there have been times in my life when I have greatly appreciated
What I really don't like about it is when the Peace becomes a 'how's your chilblains' moment. I honestly think that is an abuse. A simple handshake is sufficient with 'peace be with you'. In fact I think you could omit the handshake and just say 'peace' to the person near you. You certainly do not have to go walkabouts round the church which is what happens all too often at times. It is comparatively restrained in our place but there are churches where it's not.
The organist does have a role here - IMO! - and that is to start playing should it start getting a bit silly!
[Smile]

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Best Wishes
Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10

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Jengie jon

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This post has taken me several days to prepare.

First, I am another person who has left the building during too friendly acts of receiving the peace. Now before the charismatics think this is something they get right. The only time I have screamed while trying to escape was during a Charismatic service. The worship leader had just said "Please turn and give your neighbour a hug".

Second, an individual has a visceral reaction to people touching them is a known phenomena particularly common amongst people who have been abused. Although there are other categories of people who find touch difficult. I got this information from a trained counsellor who actually used me to demonstrate the reaction. He did not touch me but made to and I flinched.

Thirdly I am well aware that people do signal do not touch, people therefore can learn to read it in a number of cases. This is about body language. Thus it is possible within the confines of the Peace and without holding a conversation to negotiate whether to hug someone or not.

Given this context I have come to realise that forcing on someone physical contact during sharing of the Peace is abusive. As if you are a normal person, capable of reading body language and you over-ride someones expressed desire for limited contact (none or restricted), then you are putting your desires before that of the other person. What is more you may well be doing it in a way that exacerbates prior experiences of abuse.

What I am asking is, that people, who are into public displays of physical affection, pay attention to who the other person is. Please do not assume that your desire for a hug is going to be affirming for everyone else. For People like you it will be, people with other stories and personalities may well find it threatening.

This is not an anti-peace rant, when I was in a more sensitive state I collected ways that the peace could be shared that would not put me at risk. Anything from passing an olive wood dove around to singing a song while holding hands with others in a circle.

The peace is important, make sure you are sharing it, not just using it as an excuse for self gratification. You can hug, shake hands or use other form of contact appropriately if you remain attentive to the other person.

Yes it goes both ways. Even in my worst days if I felt someone's need for a hug was more important than my need to not be touched, I would not only allow the hug to happen, I would instigate it. This was exceptional and would not have happened during the sharing of the peace.

Jengie

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ChastMastr
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quote:
Originally posted by The5thMary:
Every single time I see the title of this thread, I find myself singing, "I fled the peace today, oh boy..."

Oh thank God it's not just me. [Killing me]

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roybart
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What Jennie Jon wrote (each nuanced paragraph).

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Autenrieth Road

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Jengie Jon, thank you for what you posted. I've been thinking that one of the odd things about the peace is that people can be so oblivious to social cues that I think they would usually pick up on in other contexts.

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Truth

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lily pad
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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
Jengie Jon, thank you for what you posted. I've been thinking that one of the odd things about the peace is that people can be so oblivious to social cues that I think they would usually pick up on in other contexts.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is true. People have no clue.

Only solution is to toughen up your skin. Make a plan. Protect yourself. And laugh it off with whatever phrase you need. I say, "Bless your heart!" to myself when I have to implement my strategy to deflect someone.

Shouldn't need that advice for anything at church but we do.

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Bishops Finger
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I think I've said before that at our place (Anglican A-C), we have The Peace immediately before Communion i.e. in the Roman position. This means that the organist (or computer operator if the organist is away) can give peeps just enough time to greet/shake hands with their neighbour before we start singing the Agnus Dei. [Snigger]

Works fine, because there simply isn't time to wander around the church, though there is time to briefly include visitors/newcomers. Personally, I wish we could do away entirely with the exchange of The Peace (at a weekday Mass, I now stay seated, in an attitude of prayer), but that's unlikely under our present Roman-inclined regime!

Ian J.

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Stephen
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I don't like it in that position though, mainly because it is a precursor to Communion and the danger is in having a free for all just before Communion, which I don't think is on really

It's not entirely RC though. Apparently in the Ambrosian rite the Peace is before the offertory as we do it........and I think they still do it in Milan Cathedral

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Stephen

'Be still,then, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations and I will be exalted in the earth' Ps46 v10

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The Phantom Flan Flinger
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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by The5thMary:
Every single time I see the title of this thread, I find myself singing, "I fled the peace today, oh boy..."

Oh thank God it's not just me. [Killing me]
Or me.....

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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One church I frequent occasionally, it would seem that physical contact is not to be encouraged. The peace together with its response is given verbally, but the liturgical type of Mass on offer is traditional. However, there are just a few people there who do make the physical contact and I will respond if such a gesture is made towards me.

Where I worship more regularly, people do circulate, and I exchange the handshake (and no more - though with one or two people, I may kiss on the cheek) with as many people as possible in the time allowed. Rarely, do I catch up with the news at the same time, preferring to leave that for over coffee afterwards. Where I am a visitor, I prefer to stay in my pew and leave it to people to come to me.

In short, I don't mind either way whether or not I do the physical contact at the peace.

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sabine
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Is it possible that passing the peace would be easier to negotiate for those who don't like it if it came at the end of the service?

I know--most of the attenders at highly liturgical-type churches have no control over this (and that would be Autenrieth Road's case), but perhaps some of the folks here who don't like the peace and belong to churches where the order of service can be tinkered with might speak with their pastors.

We Quakers end worship with a handshake, and for those who don't like doing this, there is always the option of immediately saying something like "good to see you" which deflects from actual touching.

However, I do have sympathy for those who are adverse, even though I love it myself. I think the namaste gesture is the best work-around I've heard about.

sabine

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Albertus
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Well, AIUI the liturgical justification for it is that it is a (symbolic) reconciliation before receiving communion. So it would need to be at the beginning rather than the end.Or of course you could leave it where it is and people could just ditch the huggy-wuggy touchy-feely crap and comport themselves with some dignity.
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Belle Ringer
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Given that some hate it, some love it, some have gotten used it, how about marking a few pews marked "quiet peace pews" for those who are much happier with the peace done quietly instead of enthusiastically?
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sabine
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:

Well, AIUI the liturgical justification for it is that it is a (symbolic) reconciliation before receiving communion. So it would need to be at the beginning rather than the end.Or of course you could leave it where it is and people could just ditch the huggy-wuggy touchy-feely crap and comport themselves with some dignity.

I'm not sure you read my post carefully. I acknowledged that in some cases (the one you mentioned for example) things couldn't be changed. But I also suggested people talk to their pastors about moving it if their order of service could be tinkered with.

[To the thread in general]
I like Belle Ringer's suggestion, but I'm afraid that the folks who don't like the peace might not like being segregated even though they are not eager to practice a gesture that would signify inclusion.

OK, I get it. Some people go to church to be alone with God rather than to meet God in community. Some people have real medical reasons to not want touching. Some people have a standard of dignified behavior that passing the peace affronts. Some people find certain parts of liturgy uplifting and don't want distractions.

There are a lot of reactions to the passing of the peace, and of course we are all entitled to feel the way we feel. Threads here seem to attract more posters who don't like the peace than those who do. I hate to think of anyone truly suffering because of something that happens in church. But, pick a topic, and I think there will be those who have to spend time in church rising above their annoyance (for me it would be organs that are so loud you can't hear yourself sing).

So we are back to the namaste gesture. There is very little else that will satisfy all.

sabine

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L'organist
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AIU it was never intended that the peace be an occasion for people - clergy and laity - to start going walkabout in the church, 'pressing the flesh' in the manner of campaigning politicians.

I was told - as were an entire church congregation - by a member of the Liturgical Commission that it was intended to replace the old BCP "YE that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours..."

The confession having been done at the beginning of the service, it was to lead straight into the Prayer of Consecration.

Perhaps what has gone wrong is in the general placing of it before the offertory when it should really go after any procession, hymn, etc.

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Rosa Winkel

Saint Anger round my neck
# 11424

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Being brought up with a good old-fashioned "shake the hands of those around you and no more" passing of the peace, I was shocked in Polish RC churches when, while some will shake hands, some will glare out of the corner of their eyes at those around them and bow a bit. I'm well introverted, not a fan of being touched, but I find this so cold.

I've been guilty myself of forcing people to sign the peace with me. I had never encountered people not wanting to do it.

JJ's talk of respecting body language is spot on. The thing is, in our leadership culture, we need to be told what to do by the priest about things like "sitting or kneeling" or "shaking hands or hugging", or need to have such things written down (I think this is a worse problem in GB). A culture of respect towards people would see people having the competence to simply look at what people are non-verbally saying. I guess that people with autism may not see that (perhaps this is a stereotype of mine), but a parish should be able to deal with the simple matter of communication, even if it's about asking people why they didn't pass the peace.

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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I actually wondered about people on the autism spectrum and then realised that probably the last thing they were likely to do was go around giving random hugs.

However, I can believe with some learning disabilities this might be a problem. However someone who cannot do body language quite often signals that simply by the oddity of their own body language. So we are forewarned and probably would place them in the same category as children.

Jengie

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Posts: 20894 | From: city of steel, butterflies and rainbows | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
MSHB
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# 9228

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie Jon:
I actually wondered about people on the autism spectrum and then realised that probably the last thing they were likely to do was go around giving random hugs.

However, I can believe with some learning disabilities this might be a problem. However someone who cannot do body language quite often signals that simply by the oddity of their own body language. So we are forewarned and probably would place them in the same category as children.

Jengie

Well, I am on the spectrum and I am uncomfortable with random hugs. My wife and daughters, and a couple of other relatives - fine. But I have great difficulty understanding how people know when it is appropriate to lunge forward and grab hold of the other person (my description of hugging). I cannot read the signs, so I "freeze" with uncertainty. Unstructured group interaction is always a difficult moment as I am very uncertain and anxious about what to expect and what to do. So the kiss of peace is one of the more stressful moments in what is already one of the most stressful times of the week for me. It is an exercise in endurance, and a thing of joy when it doesn't happen in a service (it happens sometimes at our church, but not regularly).

So yes, I don't go round hugging people, and I am usually standing rigid when people approach, as I have no idea what to expect or how to recognise the cues.

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by sabine:

There are a lot of reactions to the passing of the peace, and of course we are all entitled to feel the way we feel.

Yes.

If we abolish the peace the dear lady I met in Church last Sunday would miss out in a big way. Her husband died last year, she has no family.

She had a tear in her eye as she said to me 'I love the peace, it's the only time anyone ever touches me'.

The friendly touch of others is a deep need most of us has.

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 13030 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

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# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
So it would need to be at the beginning rather than the end.Or of course you could leave it where it is and people could just ditch the huggy-wuggy touchy-feely crap and comport themselves with some dignity.

This is simply unkind and unfair to the person I mentioned above and those like her.

Dignity does not mean 'never touching other people'.

Dignity means being aware of other people, noticing their needs, taking note of their body language, and not touching them if they don't want to be touched.

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 13030 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Ariel
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# 58

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YMMV, but I wouldn't want to be embraced by some bloke I didn't know.

Also, my objection is that the handshake or hug aren't demonstrations of real friendship. Unless you know the people, it only offers the illusion of friendliness for that brief moment.

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
YMMV, but I wouldn't want to be embraced by some bloke I didn't know.

Also, my objection is that the handshake or hug aren't demonstrations of real friendship. Unless you know the people, it only offers the illusion of friendliness for that brief moment.

When you have been going to Church with the same people for 30 years it's not really a brief moment!

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 13030 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Albertus
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# 13356

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'Peace' is not the same as 'friendship'. We are to be 'in love and charity with our neighbours' when we come to the Communion table: to be that, genuinely, can be quite demanding enough, without our having to be friends as well.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

Posts: 6498 | From: Y Sowth | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
YMMV, but I wouldn't want to be embraced by some bloke I didn't know.

Also, my objection is that the handshake or hug aren't demonstrations of real friendship. Unless you know the people, it only offers the illusion of friendliness for that brief moment.

What has friendliness or even friendship got to do with sharing the Peace of Christ? These threads increasingly get on my goat with an apparant insistence - and abhorrance of the idea that it's all about being 'nice' and 'friendly' or being touched or not touched by other people, or shaking hands with them and so on.

It's not about any of these things principally. It's not even principally about me as one participant, or my fellow worshipper as the other participant. It's about whether Christ has been permitted to introduce his Peace into an act of fellowship and worship. It's as important as that.

It's also about following the practical example of Christ of inhaling and exhaling the mysterious work of the Holy Spirit - as he did in the Upper Room - the first time he breathed on his disciples and commanded 'receive the Holy Spirit' and went on to offer 'peace to you'.

We can do that, perhaps, by repeating a liturgical formula and maintaining ourselves hermitically sealed in our own personal unpenetrable space-bubbles, frigidly removed from other human contact. And perhaps there are some people who can do that by groping and grabbing everything with a pulse and slobbering over it. Though I very much doubt that - as a means of God's grace - either method has much to recommend it.

But we shouldn't confuse the crap packaging with the value of the gift. And we should be trying to enable Christ to fulfil his opportunity of sharing his Peace with us in better ways, rather than rubbishing it all as if it doesn't matter.

A continued mis-understanding of its purpose and importance will just keep him out of it altogether, and it will never even approach the useful, practical and healing opportunity it bloody well should be. Maybe - as a liturgical action - it needs a radical revision. Never satisfying everyone of course. But with a clearer emphasis on what the Peace actually is, rather than constant whinging on what it isn't, or what we think it is.

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Posts: 10002 | From: Scotland the Brave | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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That may be what it is meant to be, Anselmina, but in this fallen world what is meant to be often isn't the same as what 'is'. For example, someone can use the peace as an excuse to touch / embrace women that he would not normally be able to get close to. This could well be done for other than the purest of motives. I'm sad to say that in our teenage youth group years ago, that was the case - it did lead to unease and discomfort, hardly similar to 'peace'.

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

Posts: 34626 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Sad but true - and it can work both ways across the genders (as hinted earlier I often used to get lingering rubs from women that left me faintly nauseated. But I'm just weird like that*).

A holy handshake should be it. But it should still be ... for reasons Anselmina and others have stated.

*to be honest I don't get hugs at all. If I want to be momentarily cemented to pulpous body parts I'll buy squishy animals ...

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betjemaniac
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# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by sabine:

There are a lot of reactions to the passing of the peace, and of course we are all entitled to feel the way we feel.

Yes.

If we abolish the peace the dear lady I met in Church last Sunday would miss out in a big way. Her husband died last year, she has no family.

She had a tear in her eye as she said to me 'I love the peace, it's the only time anyone ever touches me'.

The friendly touch of others is a deep need most of us has.

On the other hand, if we abolish it then those likeme who cry and suffer anxiety every Sunday of our lives at the thought of doing it will be free. How do we trade off one person's misery against another's? (in all seriousness)

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And is it true? For if it is....

Posts: 1481 | From: behind the dreaming spires | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
The Silent Acolyte

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# 1158

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betjemaniac and Boogie, let us hug those who hug and refrain from hugging those who don't hug. That way Boogie's isolated, nobody-ever-touches-me old lady gets the physical contact she needs. And, I don't have to file a sexual harassment grievance every Sunday after mass.


My right hand is pretty fragile. Squeeze it in a confident-salesman kind of handshake—it really doesn't have to be a bone-crusher—and you hurt me. You can't tell just by looking at me or my hand.

Despite my best efforts, every other handshake causes me pain. I really wish it weren't so.

Posts: 7462 | From: The New World | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ariel
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# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
What has friendliness or even friendship got to do with sharing the Peace of Christ? These threads increasingly get on my goat with an apparant insistence - and abhorrance of the idea that it's all about being 'nice' and 'friendly' or being touched or not touched by other people, or shaking hands with them and so on.

It's not about any of these things principally. It's not even principally about me as one participant, or my fellow worshipper as the other participant. It's about whether Christ has been permitted to introduce his Peace into an act of fellowship and worship. It's as important as that.

Evidently I've misunderstood the nature of it. I thought it was supposed to be a symbolic demonstration that you're part of a Christian community and as members of such, you wish each other peace in the light of that. If it isn't about that, then fine. Thinking back, I don't think I ever actually had it explained to me. It was just there after I returned to going to church after an absence of years (and have since dropped out again).
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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
On the other hand, if we abolish it then those likeme who cry and suffer anxiety every Sunday of our lives at the thought of doing it will be free. How do we trade off one person's misery against another's? (in all seriousness)

Like I said, we make sure we are aware of other people, read their body language and only touch those who wish to be touched.

I have artritis in my hands and avoid handshakes at all costs, like The Silent Acolyte - some people seem to think a firm handshake is a good thing - it isn't.

But abolishing the Peace is not the answer - why go to Church if it's not to interact with the Church community? We may as well stay at home and put a DVD on!

If the Church community made me cry I wouldn't be seen dead there!

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 13030 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
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# 14322

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Well put Anselmina. That's good. Thank you.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7610 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
betjemaniac
Shipmate
# 17618

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
On the other hand, if we abolish it then those likeme who cry and suffer anxiety every Sunday of our lives at the thought of doing it will be free. How do we trade off one person's misery against another's? (in all seriousness)

why go to Church if it's not to interact with the Church community? We may as well stay at home and put a DVD on!

If the Church community made me cry I wouldn't be seen dead there!

To receive the sacraments?

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And is it true? For if it is....

Posts: 1481 | From: behind the dreaming spires | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged
MSHB
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# 9228

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Like I said, we make sure we are aware of other people, read their body language and only touch those who wish to be touched.

I cannot read the body language, which is one of the reasons why I am so anxious and tense during the peace greeting. People are something of a "black box" to me - I can't anticipate them unless I have known them well for a long time.

I sometimes fantasise about what an all-Aspie world would be like - how would we design things if we were in charge? I suspect an Aspie world wouldn't have the peace greeting during services. We might have Medieval dress-up church, though!

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Posts: 1522 | From: Dharawal Country | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Albertus
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# 13356

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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
Sad but true - and it can work both ways across the genders (as hinted earlier I often used to get lingering rubs from women that left me faintly nauseated. But I'm just weird like that*).

A holy handshake should be it. But it should still be ... for reasons Anselmina and others have stated.

*to be honest I don't get hugs at all. If I want to be momentarily cemented to pulpous body parts I'll buy squishy animals ...

Had an unexpected hug from a rather glamorous member of the congregation the other day- not even in church, just on meeting her in the street. I'm not a huggy person normally, and especially not in church, but that did rather make my afternoon! I'll take it as one of the perks of being a churchwarden...

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

Posts: 6498 | From: Y Sowth | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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Anselmina, I don't know how to make sense of what the peace is about. I mean, I understand it's to mean that we're at peace with each other, or Christ's peace is present, or however you want to put it.

I'm not normally a holdout from the peace by any means. I'm perfectly happy (apart from strange exceptional occurrences like the OP) to shake hands with people, and say "peace be with you", and I don't find that greeting (either the handshake or the words) to be shallow or superficial.

But when people talk about what the peace is really for, I find myself wondering, is my usual reserved manner, of shaking hands with those near to me (and with others who approach me) too frosty, I wonder? Does the fact that I don't particularly need or want to greet everyone present mean that somehow I'm rejecting Christ's presence, or showing myself to be not properly "in love and charity with my neighbours", as the phrase from our liturgy has it?

When people on these threads who do like the peace as currently constituted speak up, as you have, I always feel like I am somehow far more distant from everyone else at the service than I'm supposed to be. But my reserve feels perfectly normal and natural for the setting. I'm perfectly happy going to church with people a lot of whom I've rarely or never talked to outside of the service, but I'm still glad to see them during the service.

Going to church for me is in some ways a deeply solitary activity for me. I don't know quite how to explain that; I know that the service depends on more people than just me being there, and I like services that have lots of people there, and going to a church service is an entirely different (and better) experience for me than trying to read the words alone at home. (Of course a major difference is that I'm not going to make communion at home, but there's much more to the difference than just that.) I don't know of that solitary reserve means I'm not engaging with church services and the people around me in the right frame of mind. But I think it would hurt too much to try to change it.

I'm not even sure I have the right words for what I'm trying to express. Does any of this make sense?

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ethne Alba
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# 5804

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In front, behind, to each side and then only if folk come up to me.

It's all activity-overload and liable to end me in tears, so having tried that route it's self preservation and people who refuse to understand..are ignored.

Blunt, but it works for me.

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
Anselmina, I don't know how to make sense of what the peace is about. I mean, I understand it's to mean that we're at peace with each other, or Christ's peace is present, or however you want to put it.

I confess that I too am confused about this. I thought it was basically a historical hangover/symbolic reference to the fact that we ought to try to be at peace with one another before going to communion (that whole "If your brother has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go and be reconciled" thing). I'm good with the Peace meaning this, but I don't understand any more esoteric stuff about it. I haven't done historical liturgics, of course...

quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
I'm not normally a holdout from the peace by any means. I'm perfectly happy (apart from strange exceptional occurrences like the OP) to shake hands with people, and say "peace be with you", and I don't find that greeting (either the handshake or the words) to be shallow or superficial.

But when people talk about what the peace is really for, I find myself wondering, is my usual reserved manner, of shaking hands with those near to me (and with others who approach me) too frosty, I wonder? Does the fact that I don't particularly need or want to greet everyone present mean that somehow I'm rejecting Christ's presence, or showing myself to be not properly "in love and charity with my neighbours", as the phrase from our liturgy has it?

AR, I see no reason why your way of doing the Peace should be a problem. In fact, if you went further than that, you would doubtless be overstepping some of those neighbors' comfort zones and be actually less in charity with them as a result.

We're all made differently, and have different levels of tolerance for personal contact. I think that's okay. The particular form the Peace takes in a given cultures says AFAIK nothing about the real level of love or charity in the room. There are plenty of German heritage Lutherans who haven't touched each other in lo these seventy years, even at the Peace, and who sit carefully three pews apart from one another like evenly spaced chocolate chips in a cookie--and yet they would lay down their lives for one another.

I think it's just a cultural/personal thing, how outward and obvious people are (or aren't) in expressing unity and peace.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged



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