From the Choir Stall- Fr. Corwin on the Sign of Peace

Fr. Corwin explains the Sign of Peace

April 19th, 2015
Many of you approached me this past weekend thanking me for giving catechetical instruction on the Sign of Peace. I thank you for this. All of us priests here at St. Dominic appreciate your feedback, even if it critical, because it helps us to adapt our message to you. We Dominicans sometimes have an awfully heady approach to theology, which is one of the reasons we have historically spent so much time teaching at universities. However we do try and make our points as accessible as possible. That said; if something we say in our homilies doesn’t make sense, then by all means, let us know and we’ll try and clarify.Peace be with you

Do not forget that most of our homilies, along with tons of other fantastic resources, are available to download on our parish website. And this particular homily is already posted and available (I checked). So if you happened to be traveling and could not be here, or if you just want to hear it again, you can find it, along with others, at:

Regarding the document I mentioned regarding the Sign of Peace (as approved and signed by His Holiness Pope Francis via the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments), its title is the Circular Letter on the Ritual Expression of the Gift of Peace at Mass. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has also published a document on how we, as Americans, should interpret and understand this letter in light of our own culture. Both can be found in their newsletter at the following address:

We often find rules and regulations regarding our actions to be stifling, particular ones that govern our liturgy. That’s understandable because knowledge is always one generation away from extinction, given our life spans. It’s frustrating when we’re asked to do something without some sort of explanation of why. However, if we spend the time understanding their historical development as well as their theological symbolism, then we see how important they can be in our worship. Our actions are not just beautiful; they are meaningful.

God, on his part, has no need for our worship. He is perfect and lacks nothing. But we do it because it is fitting that we do it. And if we’re disposed to this worship, then it elevates us and brings us closer to Him. Who wouldn’t want that?
~Fr. Corwin Low, O.P.