Extending hands before the gospel

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: The pastor of the parish where I serve as a deacon has asked me to extend my hands when I say “The Lord be with you” before the gospel. He’s wrong, isn’t he?


A: GIRM 175 says that the deacon greets the people with hands joined before proclaiming the gospel, and GIRM 134 says the priest does it the same way when there is no deacon. 

There’s no official explanation, but I think this shows that the proclamation of the gospel properly belongs to a deacon, and his gesture is different from the one a priest uses elsewhere in the Mass, but when a priest proclaims the gospel in place of a deacon, he is doing a diaconal function, and his joined hands signal this for the congregation.