Bishop clamps down on chatter at Sign of Peace

A Brazilian bishop has clamped down on chatter during the Sign of Peace at Mass.

Bishop Milton Kenan Junior of Barretos issued a decree on the distribution of Communion, the exchange of peace and norms for extraordinary ministers.

The bishop stated that during the exchange of peace, the faithful should avoid moving around too much.

The priest celebrating the Mass “should not leave the altar” to greet the faithful.

The prelate also explained that on feasts or celebrations such as Easter, Christmas, a confirmation, marriage, ordination, or a funeral Mass, “the rite of peace is not a time for ‘congratulations, Merry Christmas’, ‘Happy Easter’, or any other type of greeting”.

Bishop Kenan Junior referenced the 2014 instruction from the Congregation for Divine Worship on the meaning of the gift of peace at Mass.

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