The Orans

Any visitor to a Catholic mass will probably tell you that there’s a lot going on – all kinds of prayers and responses, hymns, crossing and hand motions, sitting and standing and kneeling.

Quite honestly, some elements can be unclear for us average Catholics, too. And I wish congregants were better “trained.”

One thing that happens at one point during the mass is the praying of the Our Father. From what I’ve read, in days past the prayer was offered by the priest on behalf of the congregation.

These days, the whole congregation prays together. One thing that’s always bothered me (though I have never really been able to put my finger on why) is how at some churches, many congregants will join hands and/or raise their hands palm upward as they do this.

orans_posture

This morning I came across a couple tweets that illuminated this for me.

So this gesture is apparently called the “Orans Posture.” And although I’m sure there is no ill will (and in most cases probably no willful ignorance either), the practice of the congregation taking this posture during the prayer is poo-pooed in Catholic mass.

There are some very detailed explanations out there to be Googled, but the upshot is that the priest takes the Orans because he is praying on our behalf, and the form of the mass dictates that the congregation not copy the gestures of the priest celebrant.

Good to know.

-Bushi

bushi

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6 thoughts on “The Orans

    1. I mean no one is calling for an Inquisition; it’s just not in keeping with the proper form for the Catholic mass.

      Of course if *you* are calling for an Inquisition, I’m not saying I’m not on board.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m always up for a good Inquisition’ing!
        Inquisitions are like spring cleaning. Nobody likes them, they’re a lot of work but if you don’t have them, then my goodness, the junk builds up and before you know it, you’re living in a rat house…

        And of course….

        “Nobody Expects the Bookquisition!!!”

        Liked by 1 person

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