Here’s why the Faithful Are NOT To Use the Orans Posture during the Our Father
During the Eucharistic celebrations, deacons and non-ordained members of the faithful may not pronounce prayers e.g. the Eucharistic prayer, with its concluding doxology or any other parts of the liturgy reserved to the celebrant priest.
Neither should deacons or non-ordained members of the faithful use gestures or actions which are proper to the same priest celebrant.
However, it is a grave abuse for any member of the non-ordained faithful to “quasi preside” at the Mass while leaving only that minimal participation to the priest which is necessary to secure validity (ICP Practical Provisions 6 §2).
What the paragraph above means is that we should not say the Eucharistic prayers along with the priest — believe it or not, in our Church today, people keep mouthing the words along with the priest every week.
More importantly to this topic, it also means the faithful may not use the same gestures that are reserved for only the priest celebrant.
Let us look instead to main reason why the Orans Posture is not an appropriate gesture for the faithful during the Our Father.
The Our Father takes place in the Liturgy of the Eucharist. This moment of prayer and offering is directed to God (though the entire Mass, but more specifically during the Liturgy of the Eucharist).
Many people who prefer hand holding or the Orans Posture used to put up an argument that the Our Father is a community prayer, and as such holding and/or extending hands is a visible sign of that community.
However, Our Father is a community prayer, not just because we hold or extend our hands, but because we pray it together as the Body of Christ.
During the Eucharistic celebration, it was at the time of Our father, that the faithful were given permission to pray with the priest. However, the faithful maintained the same posture as before that is standing, with their hands folded in prayer.
Because, prior times, the priest prayed the Our Father on behalf of the faithful. The Orans Posture is represents praying on behalf of others.
So, the next time you are at Mass, watch the gestures of the priest’s closely. Each time he offers prayers on behalf of the faithful, he uses the Orans Posture.
Same as anytime he is offering other prayers, his hands are folded together. Having a better understanding of what particular gestures mean will lead us to a better understanding of the Liturgy.
In all, Jesus Christ, who is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords makes Himself present during the Holy Mass. And it is of the utmost importance that we treat the Mass with the respect it deserves.