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folding hands

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  • asteresplanetai
    +++ so i looked at all the pictures on the new liturgical movement blog and whispers in the loggia blog, and noticed that people there were very concerned to
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 30 11:00 PM
      +++

      so i looked at all the pictures on the new liturgical movement blog
      and whispers in the loggia blog, and noticed that people there were
      very concerned to keep their hands tightly pressed together at all
      times.

      i know it's "traditional", but where does this come from, and why?
      it's quite unknown in the east, and after a while it even begins to
      look, um.... strange... to a foreigner like myself. What can anyone
      say about the practice?

      regards,

      john burnett.
    • cantor03@aol.com
      In addition to the clergy and servers in the Latin [Extraordinary] Rite of the Roman Catholic Church folding hands much of the time, it is routine for the
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 1, 2008
        In addition to the clergy and servers in the Latin [Extraordinary]
        Rite of the Roman Catholic Church folding hands much of the
        time, it is routine for the congregation to do so also on the way
        up and back from Communion.

        This folding of hands is common in the Anglocatholic parishes,
        too.



        David Strang.



        **************Gas prices getting you down? Search AOL Autos for
        fuel-efficient used cars. (http://autos.aol.com/used?ncid=aolaut00050000000007)


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Scott Knitter
        Personally, it helps maintain a prayerful focus, and it just looks more graceful than walking about with arms dangling at one s sides. ... -- Scott R. Knitter
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 1, 2008
          Personally, it helps maintain a prayerful focus, and it just looks
          more graceful than walking about with arms dangling at one's sides.

          On 7/1/08, cantor03@... <cantor03@...> wrote:

          > This folding of hands is common in the Anglocatholic parishes,
          > too.

          --
          Scott R. Knitter
          Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois USA
        • John Dornheim
          Or swinging by one s side s, shoved into one s pockets, etc. The congregation in which I am currently participating has the practice of shaking the usher s
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 1, 2008
            Or swinging by one's side's, shoved into one's pockets, etc. The
            congregation in which I am currently participating has the practice of
            shaking the usher's hand when leaving the pew for communion, as well as when
            one descends the chancel steps afterwards. I generally can't escape the
            first but receive funny looks as I leave the rail with my hands properly
            folded as I was taught in seminary.

            John Dornheim

            On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 8:44 AM, Scott Knitter <scottknitter@...>
            wrote:

            > Personally, it helps maintain a prayerful focus, and it just looks
            > more graceful than walking about with arms dangling at one's sides.
            >
            > On 7/1/08, cantor03@... <cantor03%40aol.com> <cantor03@...<cantor03%40aol.com>>
            > wrote:
            >
            > > This folding of hands is common in the Anglocatholic parishes,
            > > too.
            >
            > --
            > Scott R. Knitter
            > Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois USA
            >
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Mar Michael
            Godchildren still greet their Godparents in this way (without kneeling) in Hodnuras. Shalom b Yeshua haMoshiach, +Michael Joe Thannisch _____ From:
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 1, 2008
              Godchildren still greet their Godparents in this way (without kneeling) in
              Hodnuras.



              Shalom b'Yeshua haMoshiach,



              +Michael Joe Thannisch



              _____

              From: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com [mailto:liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
              Of Tom Poelker
              Sent: 01 July 2008 11:48
              To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] folding hands



              As many service elements in the eastern churches developed from the
              Constantinopolitan court, folded hands were transferred to the western
              liturgy from the medieval royal courts.

              Folded hands as a ceremonial position comes directly from Germanic
              feudalism.
              It is part of the ceremony of investiture in office and of submission to
              an overlord.
              The overall concept is to put oneself into a position of total
              vulnerability to show acceptance of another's superiority.
              It is akin to a dog exposing its belly to the pack alpha.

              The ceremony had the unarmed subordinate kneel before the overlord and
              put his folded hands between the hands of the superior and verbally
              offer subservience/fealty/faithfulness [feudal is etymologically related
              to the fees owed to the overlord]. The king required the occasional
              repetition of this ceremony from the nobility who received and
              transmitted to the king the fealty from their own knights and retainers.






              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Tom Poelker
              As many service elements in the eastern churches developed from the Constantinopolitan court, folded hands were transferred to the western liturgy from the
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 1, 2008
                As many service elements in the eastern churches developed from the
                Constantinopolitan court, folded hands were transferred to the western
                liturgy from the medieval royal courts.

                Folded hands as a ceremonial position comes directly from Germanic
                feudalism.
                It is part of the ceremony of investiture in office and of submission to
                an overlord.
                The overall concept is to put oneself into a position of total
                vulnerability to show acceptance of another's superiority.
                It is akin to a dog exposing its belly to the pack alpha.

                The ceremony had the unarmed subordinate kneel before the overlord and
                put his folded hands between the hands of the superior and verbally
                offer subservience/fealty/faithfulness [feudal is etymologically related
                to the fees owed to the overlord]. The king required the occasional
                repetition of this ceremony from the nobility who received and
                transmitted to the king the fealty from their own knights and retainers.

                As noted by others, it is very convenient for processions when one does
                not have large monk sleeves into which to thrust one's hands.
                However, as a position of prayer, there is no basis on which to prefer
                this and its accompanying kneeling posture to the Judeo Christian
                position of standing in prayer with arms extended, the orans posture.

                Kneeling and folded hands emphasize, historically speaking, the
                sovereignty of God rather than the dignity of sons, daughters, heirs,
                chosen people of standing before God in prayer, which is scriptural.

                Perhaps the architectural historians among us can specify when kneeling
                benches and seating came to be common in churches, as an indication of
                how long standing at prayer was the norm. Praying desks or prie-dieux
                for private prayer are another matter.

                I suspect that the folded hands posture for some prayers also came as a
                relief from the extended arms of the orans, but I have no source for
                that. On the other hand, the switching back and forth from orans to
                folded hands in the Tridentine rubrics did have that effect, and
                transitioning from one to the other can be done quite gracefully.

                Tom Poelker
                St. Louis, Missouri
                USA
                -- When you were born, you were crying
                and everyone around you was smiling.
                -- Live your life so at the end,
                you're the one who is smiling and
                everyone around you is crying.



                asteresplanetai@... wrote:

                > +++
                >
                > so i looked at all the pictures on the new liturgical movement blog
                > and whispers in the loggia blog, and noticed that people there were
                > very concerned to keep their hands tightly pressed together at all
                > times.
                >
                > i know it's "traditional", but where does this come from, and why?
                > it's quite unknown in the east, and after a while it even begins to
                > look, um.... strange... to a foreigner like myself. What can anyone
                > say about the practice?
                >
                > regards,
                >
                > john burnett.
                >
                >



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Ormonde Plater
                Aren t you talking about joined hands (palm to palm)? I usually think of folded hands as fingers interlocking, which lacks the imagery of submission and is
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 1, 2008
                  Aren't you talking about joined hands (palm to palm)? I usually think of
                  folded hands as fingers interlocking, which lacks the imagery of submission
                  and is more practical. Or maybe (as one sometimes sees, even in papal
                  liturgies), the hands are folded palm over palm, which suggests to me an
                  obsequious gesture, as of an undertaker.

                  Ormonde Plater
                  oplater@...



                  From: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com [mailto:liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                  Of Tom Poelker
                  Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 11:48 AM
                  To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] folding hands



                  As many service elements in the eastern churches developed from the
                  Constantinopolitan court, folded hands were transferred to the western
                  liturgy from the medieval royal courts.

                  Folded hands as a ceremonial position comes directly from Germanic
                  feudalism.
                  It is part of the ceremony of investiture in office and of submission to
                  an overlord.
                  The overall concept is to put oneself into a position of total
                  vulnerability to show acceptance of another's superiority.
                  It is akin to a dog exposing its belly to the pack alpha.

                  The ceremony had the unarmed subordinate kneel before the overlord and
                  put his folded hands between the hands of the superior and verbally
                  offer subservience/fealty/faithfulness [feudal is etymologically related
                  to the fees owed to the overlord]. The king required the occasional
                  repetition of this ceremony from the nobility who received and
                  transmitted to the king the fealty from their own knights and retainers.

                  As noted by others, it is very convenient for processions when one does
                  not have large monk sleeves into which to thrust one's hands.
                  However, as a position of prayer, there is no basis on which to prefer
                  this and its accompanying kneeling posture to the Judeo Christian
                  position of standing in prayer with arms extended, the orans posture.

                  Kneeling and folded hands emphasize, historically speaking, the
                  sovereignty of God rather than the dignity of sons, daughters, heirs,
                  chosen people of standing before God in prayer, which is scriptural.

                  Perhaps the architectural historians among us can specify when kneeling
                  benches and seating came to be common in churches, as an indication of
                  how long standing at prayer was the norm. Praying desks or prie-dieux
                  for private prayer are another matter.

                  I suspect that the folded hands posture for some prayers also came as a
                  relief from the extended arms of the orans, but I have no source for
                  that. On the other hand, the switching back and forth from orans to
                  folded hands in the Tridentine rubrics did have that effect, and
                  transitioning from one to the other can be done quite gracefully.

                  Tom Poelker
                  St. Louis, Missouri
                  USA





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Douglas Cowling
                  ... Palm-to-palm became the default position if there was no other position or gesture indicated in the Tridentine reforms. Since the laity had nothing to say
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 1, 2008
                    On 7/1/08 2:32 PM, "Ormonde Plater" <oplater@...> wrote:

                    > Aren't you talking about joined hands (palm to palm)? I usually think of
                    > folded hands as fingers interlocking, which lacks the imagery of submission
                    > and is more practical.

                    Palm-to-palm became the default position if there was no other position or
                    gesture indicated in the Tridentine reforms. Since the laity had nothing to
                    say or do. it became with kneeling the most common posture of passive
                    adoration.

                    We see this in the Middle Ages and Renaissance both in the north and south:

                    Van Eyck: the kneeling patron is adoring the Virgin at his faldstool:
                    http://www.abcgallery.com/E/eyck/eyck1.html

                    Raphael: the kneeling pope is adoring the miracle of the bleeding host:
                    http://www.abcgallery.com/R/raphael/raphael38.html

                    Interestingly, close scholarly observation of Durer's "Hands" revealed that
                    the famous "Praying Hands" of popular devotion are not being held in the
                    liturgical palm-to-palm formation and the sketch probably a simple life
                    study:

                    http://www.artchive.com/artchive/D/durer/duerer_praying_hands.jpg.html

                    Don't tell the bric-a-brac manufacturers!

                    Doug Cowling
                    Director of Music
                    St. Philip's Church, Toronto
                  • John Dornheim
                    palm to palm, fingers together and tip to tip, right thumb over left, hands held at about a 45 degree angle upwards was how some of us were taught. Entwined
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 1, 2008
                      palm to palm, fingers together and tip to tip, right thumb over left, hands
                      held at about a 45 degree angle upwards was how some of us were taught.
                      Entwined fingers could lead to some difficulties if knuckles get in the way.

                      John Dornheim

                      On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 2:52 PM, Douglas Cowling <cowling.douglas@...>
                      wrote:

                      > On 7/1/08 2:32 PM, "Ormonde Plater" <oplater@... <oplater%40cox.net>>
                      > wrote:
                      >
                      > > Aren't you talking about joined hands (palm to palm)? I usually think of
                      > > folded hands as fingers interlocking, which lacks the imagery of
                      > submission
                      > > and is more practical.
                      >
                      > Palm-to-palm became the default position if there was no other position or
                      > gesture indicated in the Tridentine reforms. Since the laity had nothing to
                      > say or do. it became with kneeling the most common posture of passive
                      > adoration.
                      >
                      > We see this in the Middle Ages and Renaissance both in the north and south:
                      >
                      > Van Eyck: the kneeling patron is adoring the Virgin at his faldstool:
                      > http://www.abcgallery.com/E/eyck/eyck1.html
                      >
                      > Raphael: the kneeling pope is adoring the miracle of the bleeding host:
                      > http://www.abcgallery.com/R/raphael/raphael38.html
                      >
                      > Interestingly, close scholarly observation of Durer's "Hands" revealed that
                      > the famous "Praying Hands" of popular devotion are not being held in the
                      > liturgical palm-to-palm formation and the sketch probably a simple life
                      > study:
                      >
                      > http://www.artchive.com/artchive/D/durer/duerer_praying_hands.jpg.html
                      >
                      > Don't tell the bric-a-brac manufacturers!
                      >
                      > Doug Cowling
                      > Director of Music
                      > St. Philip's Church, Toronto
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • asteresplanetai
                      +++ On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 8:44 AM, Scott Knitter ... Posted by: John Dornheim johndornheim@gmail.com johndornheim ... well, i
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 3, 2008
                        +++

                        On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 8:44 AM, Scott Knitter <scottknitter@...>
                        wrote:

                        >> Personally, it helps maintain a prayerful focus, and it just looks
                        >> more graceful than walking about with arms dangling at one's sides.

                        Posted by: "John Dornheim" johndornheim@... johndornheim

                        > Or swinging by one's side's, shoved into one's pockets, etc. The
                        > congregation in which I am currently participating has the practice of
                        > shaking the usher's hand when leaving the pew for communion, as well
                        > as when
                        > one descends the chancel steps afterwards. I generally can't escape
                        > the
                        > first but receive funny looks as I leave the rail with my hands
                        > properly
                        > folded as I was taught in seminary.


                        well, i understand the desire to have something to do with the hands,
                        but one might wonder what people did before they adopted the feudal
                        practice of folding them?

                        If byzantine practice is any indication, one stood or walked simply,
                        with hands at one's side. This strikes me as dignified and natural. Of
                        course, there are other gestures as well: outstretched somewhat to the
                        side (orant) or in front; with the right hand in the left, palms up;
                        etc. But otherwise, we just stand with our arms at our sides, and
                        that's how the priest stands as well, for instance to the side of the
                        altar when concelebrating but not particularly "doing" something. In
                        other words, "dangling" isn't quite how i'd describe it, but
                        dignified, in the way God created us.

                        but thanks for the answer about the feudal gesture. I used to take it
                        for granted that that was just how one prayed in the western church,
                        but now it makes sense.

                        regards,

                        john burnett.
                      • DJP4LAW@aol.com
                        I wonder whether the desire to do something with one s hands -- whether fold together or tepee together or stuff in pockets or whatever -- is a kind of natural
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 3, 2008
                          I wonder whether the desire to do something with one's hands -- whether fold together or tepee together or stuff in pockets or whatever -- is a kind of natural inclination: I watch people on TV who can't just stand with hands aside their bodies: They hold a microphone or notes, they stuff one hand into a pocket -- jacket or trousers --, plop them on a lectern, or ... . In court, I watched with amusement as people would do the crotch-protector, which seems to come natural to a lot of liturgy-servers, too.

                          I personally find the posture with the hands hanging straight down to be too reminiscent of at-attention, and it makes me uncomfortable. Give me a good old tip-to-tip at 45 degrees any day.





                          Peace
                          Dwight Penas
                          Minneapolis
                          ____________________________
                          We are an Easter people, and alleluia is our song. -- Augustine of Hippo






                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: asteresplanetai <asteresplanetai@...>
                          To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Thu, 3 Jul 2008 12:58 pm
                          Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] folding hands

























                          +++



                          On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 8:44 AM, Scott Knitter <scottknitter@...>

                          wrote:



                          >> Personally, it helps maintain a prayerful focus, and it just looks

                          >> more graceful than walking about with arms dangling at one's sides.



                          Posted by: "John Dornheim" johndornheim@... johndornheim



                          > Or swinging by one's side's, shoved into one's pockets, etc. The

                          > congregation in which I am currently participating has the practice of

                          > shaking the usher's hand when leaving the pew for communion, as well

                          > as when

                          > one descends the chancel steps afterwards. I generally can't escape

                          > the

                          > first but receive funny looks as I leave the rail with my hands

                          > properly

                          > folded as I was taught in seminary.



                          well, i understand the desire to have something to do with the hands,

                          but one might wonder what people did before they adopted the feudal

                          practice of folding them?



                          If byzantine practice is any indication, one stood or walked simply,

                          with hands at one's side. This strikes me as dignified and natural. Of

                          course, there are other gestures as well: outstretched somewhat to the

                          side (orant) or in front; with the right hand in the left, palms up;

                          etc. But otherwise, we just stand with our arms at our sides, and

                          that's how the priest stands as well, for instance to the side of the

                          altar when concelebrating but not particularly "doing" something. In

                          other words, "dangling" isn't quite how i'd describe it, but

                          dignified, in the way God created us.



                          but thanks for the answer about the feudal gesture. I used to take it

                          for granted that that was just how one prayed in the western church,

                          but now it makes sense.



                          regards,



                          john burnett.






















                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Tom Poelker
                          JAMES O REGAN, can you offer a comment here, please? It seems to me that the basic solution is to consciously select a posture and stay in it without
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jul 3, 2008
                            JAMES O'REGAN, can you offer a comment here, please?

                            It seems to me that the basic solution is to consciously select a
                            posture and stay in it without fidgeting.
                            For a service with large numbers of ministers, the rehearsal director
                            [MC] might select a uniform pose for those who serve by standing and
                            waiting.

                            Yes, the crotch protector pose is one of the worse solutions.
                            I do love having commodious alb sleeves for tucking in my arms, monk style.



                            Tom Poelker
                            St. Louis, Missouri
                            USA
                            -- When you were born, you were crying
                            and everyone around you was smiling.
                            -- Live your life so at the end,
                            you're the one who is smiling and
                            everyone around you is crying.



                            DJP4LAW@... wrote:

                            >
                            > I wonder whether the desire to do something with one's hands --
                            > whether fold together or tepee together or stuff in pockets or
                            > whatever -- is a kind of natural inclination: I watch people on TV who
                            > can't just stand with hands aside their bodies: They hold a microphone
                            > or notes, they stuff one hand into a pocket -- jacket or trousers --,
                            > plop them on a lectern, or ... . In court, I watched with amusement as
                            > people would do the crotch-protector, which seems to come natural to a
                            > lot of liturgy-servers, too.
                            >
                            > I personally find the posture with the hands hanging straight down to
                            > be too reminiscent of at-attention, and it makes me uncomfortable.
                            > Give me a good old tip-to-tip at 45 degrees any day.
                            >
                            > Peace
                            > Dwight Penas
                            > Minneapolis
                            > ____________________________
                            > We are an Easter people, and alleluia is our song. -- Augustine of Hippo
                            >
                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: asteresplanetai <asteresplanetai@...
                            > <mailto:asteresplanetai%40jbburnett.com>>
                            > To: liturgy-l@yahoogroups.com <mailto:liturgy-l%40yahoogroups.com>
                            > Sent: Thu, 3 Jul 2008 12:58 pm
                            > Subject: Re: [liturgy-l] folding hands
                            >
                            > +++
                            >
                            > On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 8:44 AM, Scott Knitter <scottknitter@...
                            > <mailto:scottknitter%40gmail.com>>
                            >
                            > wrote:
                            >
                            > >> Personally, it helps maintain a prayerful focus, and it just looks
                            >
                            > >> more graceful than walking about with arms dangling at one's sides.
                            >
                            > Posted by: "John Dornheim" johndornheim@...
                            > <mailto:johndornheim%40gmail.com> johndornheim
                            >
                            > > Or swinging by one's side's, shoved into one's pockets, etc. The
                            >
                            > > congregation in which I am currently participating has the practice of
                            >
                            > > shaking the usher's hand when leaving the pew for communion, as well
                            >
                            > > as when
                            >
                            > > one descends the chancel steps afterwards. I generally can't escape
                            >
                            > > the
                            >
                            > > first but receive funny looks as I leave the rail with my hands
                            >
                            > > properly
                            >
                            > > folded as I was taught in seminary.
                            >
                            > well, i understand the desire to have something to do with the hands,
                            >
                            > but one might wonder what people did before they adopted the feudal
                            >
                            > practice of folding them?
                            >
                            > If byzantine practice is any indication, one stood or walked simply,
                            >
                            > with hands at one's side. This strikes me as dignified and natural. Of
                            >
                            > course, there are other gestures as well: outstretched somewhat to the
                            >
                            > side (orant) or in front; with the right hand in the left, palms up;
                            >
                            > etc. But otherwise, we just stand with our arms at our sides, and
                            >
                            > that's how the priest stands as well, for instance to the side of the
                            >
                            > altar when concelebrating but not particularly "doing" something. In
                            >
                            > other words, "dangling" isn't quite how i'd describe it, but
                            >
                            > dignified, in the way God created us.
                            >
                            > but thanks for the answer about the feudal gesture. I used to take it
                            >
                            > for granted that that was just how one prayed in the western church,
                            >
                            > but now it makes sense.
                            >
                            > regards,
                            >
                            > john burnett.
                            >
                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            >
                            >



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • James O'Regan
                            The short answer is that those who fidget do not know what they are doing at that very moment. Most everybody can walk around space unobserved as naturally as
                            Message 13 of 13 , Jul 3, 2008
                              The short answer is that those who fidget do not know what they are
                              doing at that very moment. Most everybody can walk around space
                              unobserved as naturally as can be. Yet when placed in front of 500 +/-
                              people, they get goofy. When we walk around in daily life, we tend to
                              have a goal i mind - off tot he store, etc. What we do to get there is
                              subconscious and natural to us as in individual. When we are tasked
                              with doing something in an artificial setting such as liturgy, we tend
                              to lose sight of what we are supposed to do because of a thousand eyes
                              staring at us.

                              A uniform response is not the best solution because it does not allow
                              for the necessary idiosyncratic response that the Word of God, now
                              understood in the vernacular and spoken in prayer, calls for. The call
                              at the non-verbal level is no different. Each has an individual
                              physical response to restful hands at the side. Each has an individual
                              way of picking something up.

                              Find out what the task is and rehearse it so that the person gets used
                              to doing physically what they are tasked to do, and let them do it,
                              more or less, in a way natural to them. This is especially the case
                              with kids who are naturally brilliant n this kind of thing and have
                              that brilliance beaten out of them by those of a more rigourous bent.
                              The natural reaction of a child will tell you what works. Such natural
                              physical reaction does not call attention to itself. Only awkward
                              physical reactions call attention to themselves.

                              All the best,

                              James O'Regan
                              oregan@...




                              On 3-Jul-08, at 2:45 PM, Tom Poelker wrote:

                              > It seems to me that the basic solution is to consciously select a
                              > posture and stay in it without fidgeting.
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