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Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Left-handed Priests?

The rubrics describe the ceremony of the benediction, and other liturgical actions, as using the right hand. The maniple is worn on the left wrist.

But what if the celebrant is left-handed? Assuming that he is serving in the United States and there is no stigma attached to the left hand, can he swap? Can he reverse everything the rubrics say about the right and left hand?

I think so. I think this would give him better control at the distribution. Reverence first wants the Body and Blood of Christ handled carefully. All else is secondary. I also suspect that if he uses his naturally dominant hand, he will be more comfortable and therefore more competent.

But the liturgical actions aren't that difficult. A left-handed man could probably take one for the team and learn to use his right hand for distribution, the benedictions, etc. Every left-handed man I know shakes hands with his right hand.

So should he swap the rubrics left for right? Or should he learn to use his right hand liturgically? And, though it probably won't do any good, yes, I know this adiaphora, etc. I am not asking you to demonstrate how free you are. We're all impressed with your great grasp of libertine Gospel reading of the rubrics. I am asking what you think the strongest practice is and why, not to tell us what is commanded and forbidden. Assuming freedom and no condemnation for contrary opinions, what is the strongest practice?
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