Since we are talking the Sign of Peace, I won't use the euphemisms that most in the know call the blog Praytell, but this is what Deacon Fritz writes about the Sign of Peace:
It is worth noting that this is a practice that, in its current form of a handshake accompanied by a verbal wishing of peace, is a largely modern invention, an attempt by the modern liturgical movement to recreate something like the early Christian Kiss of Peace. Those who deride modern liturgies as “fabricated” might present the Sign of Peace as Exhibit A, since it is not something that arose from popular practice and has at best an indirect connection to historic practice. But whatever its provenance, the Sign of Peace seems to have become in the popular imagination a distinctively Christian and Catholic ritual, no less than veiled nuns and altar boys ringing bells. It is one of those weird things that Christians do.
Read the rest there:
Kissing is a liturgical gesture (the priest kisses the altar, sacred objects are kissed, at a Solemn Mass when the deacon hands something to the priest he kisses both the object and the priest's hand). The 'kiss of peace' at a Solemn Mass is a stylized gesture which does not involve actual kissing.
Shaking hands is a social, not a liturgical gesture. Waving and blowing kisses are likewise not liturgical gestures. Some years ago I attended a cathedral Mass where everyone in the sanctuary, the bishop included, milled around shaking hands with everyone else. It was not a dignified spectacle.
The rubrics of the Mass indicate that it is optional. Also, that the sign of peace should be shared with those nearest. NOT crossing the aisle; NOT going into other pews so that family members get their hug and kiss; NOT with everyone within a 25 foot radius; NOT doing the "V" sign to everyone beyond the 25 foot radius; NOT blowing kisses and certainly NOT doing it during the Lamb of God when others are actually trying to sing it.
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