During Mass you may notice the priest will at times assume the orans posture, hands raised and outstretched with elbows at his sides, especially during the prayer of the Our Father. Many members of the Faithful may join the celebrant in such a gesture. Would it surprise you to learn that doing so is contrary to Church teaching?
Orans, a loanword from the Medieval Latin ōrāns meaning one who is praying or pleading, is a posture of prayer where one standing has their hands outstretched sideways palms up, with their elbows close to the body. The Orans is seen an ancient Christian symbol of a soul in union with God interceding on behalf of mankind, frequently depicted in Early Christian art in a gesture reminiscent of Christ’s outstretched arms as He offered Himself on the Cross.
Question for thought:
- After reading the article, which posture will you use during the Our Father at Mass?