(4.42) The Rite of Peace
Lord Jesus Christ,
who said to your Apostles
Peace I leave you, my peace I give you;
Look not on our sins,
But on the faith of your Church,
And graciously grant her peace and unity
in accordance with your will.
Who live and reign for ever and ever.
The peace of the Lord be with you always.
And with your spirit.
Let us offer each other the sign of peace.
Peace be with you.
Origin and Meaning
Christ left the apostles with the gift of Peace as he said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (Jn 14:27). But this is not the peace that this world can provide such as security, money, job or housing because these are built on shaky foundations.
The peace that Christ left for us is the internal peace of heaven which, through him, is manifested in our faith and devotion.
The Sign of Peace
In the ancient times, a kiss is a Sign of Peace and unity among the people and the Church as mentioned in Rom 16:16;
“Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.”
We should however maintain peace in our hearts, thoughts and actions or one’s sign of peace may fall into betrayal like Judas when he “approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?’ (Lk 22:47-48).
Nowadays, some may give a kiss, a hug, shake of the hands or just acknowledgment but it should be in respect with the customs and traditions of the people. The General instruction of the Roman missal however advised that it be done in sober manner and only to those who are nearest.
“Peace be with you” are the words by Christ on his Resurrection and when he appeared to the apostles.
Peace being encouraged in this part of mass is not a coincidence because it conveys to us an essential ingredient on how we can stay with God and under his Grace – by pursuing peace with everyone. As written in Heb 12:14-15;
“Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled.”