Catholic Dictionary




Literally "peace." In the revised liturgy the kiss of peace, which the priest celebrant at Mass gives to the ministers at the altar and announces to the congregation with the words, "Let us offer each other the sign of peace." The faithful then extend to one another some appropriate sign of peace, as approved by the national (or regional) conference of bishops. In ancient times the pax took place much earlier in the Mass. And for centuries, until the Second Vatican Council, it was given by the celebrant only to those immediately assisting at the altar during a solemn High Mass.