Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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Also known as Pax, it is the mutual greeting of the faithful during Mass as a sign of their union and love of Christ. Certainly in practice by the second century, it became more and more limited in the West. Since the Second Vatican Council it has been restored to being regularly given during the Eucharistic liturgy. The official text of the ritual says, "Then, depending on circumstances [pro opportunitate], the deacon or priest adds, 'offer each other the peace,' and all the people, according to local custom, show one another some sign of peace and charity; the priest gives the peace to the deacon or minister."

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