Hands Out During Our Father?

I have often wondered why quite a lot of people at Mass hold their hands out like the priest during the Our Father. I've never heard anything about why it is done or what it means, so personally, I've never done it, since it is my habit to only do things for a reason and once I understand them.

Today I came across this video from Fr. Paul Nicholson which I found really interesting because it is not simply remedial, it also explains where this practice comes from and gives some really useful history and context. Fr. Paul has a really gentle way of explaining things like this and really should be applauded for doing this. I would love to hear what you think of his explanation here.

Should You Hold Out Your Hands During The Our Father?


  1. No Mark, definitely not. Despite Fr Nicholson's case for it.
    It smacks of showmanship and the ego trip that so many Catholics like to indulge in nowadays.
    I call it the 'invisible balloon' syndrome.

    1. He's explaining why it's not appropriate Richard, not arguing for it. Did you watch it?

    2. I tried but could not get sound after 40 seconds or so. He appeared at first (or it may have been an assumption on my part) to be making a case for it. My apologies to both him and you.

  2. Good stuff, but I can't believe it will change anything: try refusing to hold hands at the Our Father with somebody who tries to insist. And wait until after Mass before saying "It isn't Auld Lang Syne" and see what happens next.

  3. Fortunately I keep my hands under my scapular. I remember the hand raising and holding came in when Catholics began attending and adapting the Charismatic movement which is rooted in Pentecostalism born out of Africa.

  4. Could a case be made that the faithful assuming the Orans position at the Pater Noster is in fact prohibited?

    "Can. 907 In the celebration of the Eucharist, deacons and lay persons are not permitted to say the prayers, especially the eucharistic prayer, nor to perform the actions which are proper to the celebrating priest."

    The rubics direct the celebrant to assume the Orans position - surely that is an action?

  5. An excellent video, Mark. Thanks for sharing. Although I had heard this before and understood it, Fr Nicholson gives a very clear explanation and the historical background is very helpful.

  6. As a recent convert to Catholicism it is very hard to "feel" Catholic in anything other than an "I'm here "way. There is little guidance regarding the structures that are the Catholic faith and the there is a complication of human interference in the simplicity of belief in God that Jesus criticised the Jews for. My wife ( a life long Catholic ) holds out her hands because her mother always did. I do not because it seems pointless doing something unless there is a reason for it.


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