VATICAN CITY (RNS)
In an effort to insure a more sober ritual, the Vatican has urged bishops to clamp down on singing, moving around and other casual expressions of affection when the sign of peace is exchanged during Mass.
Among them, he said, were turning the sign of peace into a “song of peace,” the priest leaving the altar during the interlude, or use of the ritual to offer congratulations at weddings or condolences at funerals.
....In the letter
, Cardinal Canizares Llovera and the congregation’s secretary, Archbishop Arthur Roche, said the issue was raised during a synod on the Eucharist in 2005.
[In a 2007 exhortation “Sacramentum Caritatis,” former Pope Benedict XVI] wrote: “Nothing is lost when the sign of peace is marked by a sobriety which preserves the proper spirit of the celebration, as, for example, when it is restricted to one’s immediate neighbors.”