Q: I was taught that the option communicated the rubric in the Sacramentary / Roman Missal that says the deacon or priest MAY invite the assemble to exchange the Kiss of Peace has to do with the invitation, not the ritual act. As I understood it, the rite would always take place. The invitation might take place, but was not required. It this a reasonable and general understanding of the rubric?
A: I think it’s a stretch. In truth, the words “if appropriate” apply to the invitation. But I think the idea is that action only follows when the invitation is given. Still, if people give the sign without the invitation, no harm done.
At weddings Masses, the words “if appropriate” are missing, implying that the sign of peace is obligatory at a wedding Mass.