Physical gestures by the people

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I continue to enjoy and learn from your posts,  articles and your books. Thank you!

We have a question we are “debating” locally.   In some of our parishes, people have begun the habit of raising their hands quite high when the presider prays “Lift up your hearts”  at the dialogue at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer. We can find no directive on that in either the Roman Missal or the GIRM.  The rubrics seem to indicate that it is a presidential gesture and an invitation to prayer, not a direction about a physical gesture with our hands.  Others feel that it is an outward sign of our spiritual action. It helps them with” full, conscious, active participation.” Both the English and the Spanish communities seem to be adopting this custom.

Your insights and comments will be helpful for us.  Thank you!


Thanks for your comments on my work.

There really is no universal rule on this topic, although you’ll find people claiming that there is.

As with many other such practices, I generally follow this personal policy: I neither invite it nor forbid it.