Wednesday 4 June 2014

The Kiss of Peace

FIUV Position Paper 19 is now available

The Kiss of Peace or Pax, in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, before the Agnus Dei, in its fullest form in Missa Solemnis, involves the celebrant kissing the Altar, and passing the Peace of Christ from Christ, represented by the Altar and the Consecrated Host upon the Altar, to the other Sacred Ministers, and others in the Sanctuary, with a light embrace. The historic meaning of the ceremony included the notion of the people sealing and approving of the mysteries just accomplished, and the preparation necessary for the reception of Holy Communion. In earlier ages the Pax was extended to the Faithful, in the form of an embrace or of the kissing of a Paxbrede, the latter serving to emphasise the origin of the Peace in the Blessed Sacrament, and making possible its exchange between the sexes. This later died out in most of Europe, for practical reasons. The Faithful continue, however, to unite themselves with the very clear symbolism of the ceremonious exchange of the embrace among the Sacred Ministers in the Sanctuary.