Gestures: The Sign of Peace

In the Level I (Children’s House) Atrium, The Sign of Peace is the final gesture of the Mass when all are prayed in order. The children, as the priest does at Mass, prepare the cruets and the chalice, wash their hands through the Lavabo, pray the Epiclesis and Offering, and then, remembering that at this moment of the Mass Jesus is truly present in our midst, they exchange the Sign of Peace. What is peace? How is Jesus’ peace unique? Do we experience peace? How do we live peace? How do we share peace? How do we receive His peace and how do we express it? So much to ponder…but the children have thoughts!

What is Jesus’ peace like?
– “Having love.”
– “Heaven.”
– “The Cross​.”
– “It’s like the Kingdom of God, like the little seed that grows and grows into the big tree.”

The elementary children return to the Gestures, again pondering what is signified through these movements. In reflecting on the fraction rite, the breaking of a small piece from the Host and placing it into the chalice, and the distribution of the Eucharist to the people gathered to receive, shown by breaking the one Host into pieces, a 2nd grader commented…

– “It’s like the Sign of Peace. We share it and it makes us one. Here it’s the same – we share His peace but this time we eat it!”

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