“In our globalized, individualistic, and militarized age, one of the most counter-cultural statements the gospel makes is to declare that all who are in Christ are citizens of that joyful realm known as the Kingdom of Heaven, where pride, cruelty, greed, and all things that wreck our fellowship with each other are forever banished, and where the citizens always and fervently and joyfully offer each other ‘the peace of the Lord.’ This is what sanctity (‘sainthood’) is all about – this joyful receiving and greeting and well-wishing among all creatures.  And we, the Church, are the visible, flesh-and-blood sign of affairs.  Hell hates this, and sin does its best to destroy it:  but in the liturgy we proclaim and enact it – and resolve that it will be proclaimed and enacted in our attitudes and acts during the rest of the week.”*

To pass the peace, simply turn to those around you and say, “Peace be with you,” or “God’s peace.”

“It is most appropriate that we are asked by the Church to exchange this greeting with whomever happens to be sitting around us – anyone from spouses, siblings, and parents, to friends, enemies, and utter strangers.  We do not have the luxury of picking and choosing the one we might prefer to greet thus.  Charity greets everyone indiscriminately with this greeting.  The liturgy gives us an elementary lesson in charity.”*

*Howard, Thomas, The Liturgy Explained


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