Saturday, 6 April 2013

Hand During Prayer

I've had a very busy week - both of my children have been ill (by turns, not both together) and we've been preparing for my son's baptism, which takes place tomorrow. I've not had time to finish my post about the Easter Vigil, but I will get to that in the coming few days I hope.

In the meantime I'll share the first entry from my offline log - below is a post from July last year (2012):

Hands During Prayer (July 2012)

I’ve gradually started putting my hands palm-to-palm as I pray, something I’ve never done before (maybe as a child, but I cannot remember it). I feel that it focuses my mind in a new and peculiar way – having my hands raised in front of me seems to make the prayer in my mind (both the words and the deeper intention) more intense.

Until now I have always had my hands clasped in front of me, which seemed to be respectful, but not to be contributing to my prayer. Having my hands palm-to-palm gives me a much more spiritual feeling; strange for such a simple thing, but it is the case.

Whilst I have been making the most of this new-found aid in concentration during the divine office and whilst saying other prayers, I have found it more difficult to sit/stand/kneel with my hands like this in mass. It is easiest to do this whilst kneeling, perhaps because of the comfort of a pew-back in front of me; but prohibitively difficult whist sitting or standing. This is, I believe, a result of self-awareness, and not wanting to seem overly ‘holy’ (maybe devout is a better word, but I suspect ‘holy’ would be the one people use) in other people’s eyes. I’m not sure yet of a solution for this.
Now, 9 months on, I am still holding my hands like this during prayer whenever I can. I still find it difficult to do when standing or sitting in mass, although I have tried it (and found a similar focus) when standing to listen to the Gospel.
All the best

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