Thursday, June 9, 2011

Celebrating the Mass Lesson- Sign of Peace

(This lesson is in accordance with the new Roman Missal that is to be implemented on November 27, 2011.)

*Be sure to adjust this lesson to fit the needs of your students.

(Please take in consideration that I am just a Mom and I'm providing these lessons and activities to the best of my abilities. I will try to make them as accurate as possible, but I know I will make a few mistakes and it was not intentional.)

The Rite of Peace follows. The celebrant prays that the peace of Christ will fill our hearts, our families, our Church, our communities, and our world. As a sign of hope, the people extend to those around them a sign of peace, typically by shaking hands.

The priest prays a prayer out loud to Jesus, reminding Him of His gift of peace to the Apostles. He then asks the Lord to look down upon the faith of the people gathered in this church and to grant us His peace and unity.

Saying the prayer before Communion expresses our need to be reconciled with one another. When we receive the Eucharist it is a sign that we are in “communion with the Lord”.

During every Mass the celebrant invites the assembly to “offer each other the sign of peace.” With that gesture, parishioners connect themselves to each other within the parish family.

We are all standing and the priest, with hands extended, says aloud:

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.

(He joins his hands.)

Who live and reign for ever and ever.

People: Amen

The priest turns toward the people, extending and then joining his hands adds:

The peace of the Lord be with you always.

People: And with your spirit.

Then if appropriate, the deacon or priest adds:

Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

And all offer one another a sign, in keeping with local customs, that expresses peace, communion, and charity. The priest gives the sign of peace to a Deacon or minister.

During the Sign of Peace at our church we greet one another as Jesus greeted his friends. We shake hands with the people around us and say, “Peace be with you” to share God’s love and to bring God’s love and peace to all you meet.


Are we standing or sitting during the Sign of Peace? (Standing)

What do we say after the priest says, “The peace of the Lord be with you always.”? (“And with your spirit.”)

What do we do after the priest says, “Let us offer each other the sign of peace.”? (We shake hands.)

What do we say to the person when we shake their hands? (“Peace be with you.”)

How can you share peace with others outside of Mass?

Activity: Role Playing the Sign of Peace from Mass

Class Discussion & Activity:

Discuss with the students what they think the signs of peace in the world are. Where have you seen them? What did the signs say? Why were they publicly shown? Etc. How can you be a sign of peace to other people? Have the students break into groups and create their own sign of peace. Present them to the class and discuss.

*You can also do the above as a journal writing activity. Students can also create their own sign of peace in their journal and describe what it means.

Crafts: Sharing the Sign of Peace Crayon Hearts
Students can write on hearts with a permanent marker: “Peace Be With You” Peace Be With You Handprint Sign Peace Be With You Mural


Large piece of newsprint
Crayons, colored pencils, pens, markers
Magazines, newspapers
Glue stick


1. Hang the newsprint on a blank wall.

2. Have the children create a mural filled with images that make them feel peaceful. They can draw images, cut images out of magazines, or write words that remind them of peace.

Sign of Peace Wreath

Give each student a paper plate. Have them cut out the center of the paper plate to make a large ring to make a wreath out of. Give the students various colors of construction paper and have them trace around their hands to make a handprint. The students then cut out the handprints and staple them to their paper plate to make a wreath. Students then make a sign that says, “Peace Be With You” and attach it to their wreath.

Sign of Peace Mobile

Give each student a picture of a dove on cardstock. Have them cut out the dove and color. On five blank index cards (you can cuts these in half to make them smaller) have the students write 5 ways they can share peace with others outside of Mass. To make a simple mobile attach the dove to a long piece of string and hang the five index cards below it in a line.

*You can also make a dove craft and hang the index cards below it. Tons of dove crafts posted here.

Taking Flight- A bird that can be a dove that you make out of white paper and using the child's handprints. (From the Hands of a Child by Anthony Flores, page 41).

These activities below are free, however they can only to be used for classroom and personal use. They may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit. Reproduction or retransmission of any materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, is not permitted. All graphics/images/clipart etc. used on these activities are not my own and are from various internet sources.

Lacing Heart Door/Window Craft- (directions and templates)

yarn or ribbon
single hole punch
card stock


1. Print out templates on white or colored card stock.

2. Cut out the templates.

3. Put hearts back to back with words showing outward. Allow the students to make holes around the heart using a single hole punch near the edge (about an inch or two apart).

4. Provide the students with a length of yarn or ribbon. (You can wrap some scotch tape around the end of the yarn/ribbon to make it more like a shoe lace.)

5. Start at the center of the heart on the top or the bottom and have the students lace the yarn through the holes. Be sure to leave enough yarn or ribbon on the end so you can tie it off into a bow.

6. Tie off yarn/ribbon in the center with a bow.

7. Let the students use glitter, markers, crayons, paint, stickers, etc. to further decorate their completed project.

8. Hang craft on a door with a window so you can see both sides or just hang in a window.


Sign of Peace (cryptogram puzzle)- Try to figure out the message by the letters that are given.

Sign of Peace (fallen phrases puzzle)- Use the letters above to find out what the priest says.


lizville said...

last April I found out my 1st grade Catholic Schooled twin boys were "fist bumping" instead of hand shaking at Friday mass. My daughter has been in this school since PK3 they never had such practice nor were we ever informed of the change by the teacher or school. I was pretty upset but let it go since 1st grade was almost done and the teacher was new to me.
This 2nd grade I instructed my twins on the importance of a hand shake especially because they are boys soon to be men. They have come back to me and said the other kids just want to "fist bump" and didn't care to shake their hand at Friday mass. I'm going to talk to their teacher in a couple of days, she is an old veteran Catholic School teacher so I was very surprised she is still good with this "fist bumping" at mass. Am I just an "old fuddy duddy" or do I have a point? I haven't done a lot of reseach on this yet but I thought there would have to be a decree from the Catholic Diocise in order to change a rite.

Amazing_Grace said...

lizville- I don't like the "fist bumping" either. I never heard of it being done during Mass. I'm going to look into this too and I'll post what I find. :)

Amazing_Grace said...

lizville- This is what I found:

At the Rite of Peace all are to make an appropriate sign of peace, according to local custom. The Conference of Bishops in each country is to establish the manner of the sign of peace to be given, in accordance with the culture and customs of the peoples (cf. GIRM, no. 82). The sign should express peace, communion, and charity (cf. GIRM, no. 154). “It is, however, appropriate that each person offer the sign of peace only to those who are nearest and in a sober manner” (GIRM, no. 82).

Amazing_Grace said...

lizville- I asked our priest about the "fist bump" and he said it was okay.

Dan said...

I would humbly suggest that a fist bump is not "offering the sign of a sober manner". What do kids usually offer fist bumps for? Normally, "nice shot", "good work", etc. When it is time to share the Sign of Peace, they did not just make a 3-pointer or score well on a test. They are sharing peace with one another. Your pastor may deem the fist bump as a "local tradition", but I would then ask, is it evoking peace, communion and charity"?
I might sound like an "old fuddy duddy" as well, but everything we do at Mass means something. When we start "secularizing" the actions (or words) at Mass we change the meaning.
lizville, I would encourage you to stand strong in this. Peace & blessings, Deacon Dan