British Traditionalist Roman Catholic Ttony, whose blog is called “The Muniment Room”, relates here that a priest is thinking of founding a “Society of Pope Paul VI” in order to perpetuate the current Novus Ordo celebration of the Mass in the face of “the reform of the reform” in Roman Catholic matters liturgical. One of the practices apparently at issue is the celebrant leaving the altar to greet congregants at the exchange of the peace. Reading this inspired me to describe how the peace is exchanged in the Qurbana, the Divine Liturgy or Mass, of the ACCA:
First, just before the beginning of the Anaphora, or Eucharistic Prayer, the celebrant offers a prayer for peace. The following, from the Liturgy of St. James, is typical:
"O LORD and God of all, account us unworthy ones to be worthy of this salvation, that freed from guilt and united in love we may greet one another with a kiss of peace and offer to † Thee glory and thanks and to Thine Only-begotten Son and Thy Living Holy Spirit, One God, in both worlds unto the Aeon of aeons."
The congregation responds: "Amen. Barekhmar!"
“Barekhmar” means, “Master, bless”.
The celebrant then takes “the peace of Christ” from the gifts upon the altar and from the altar itself, making the sign of the cross upon the corporal. This is called “taking power from the Mysteries”. He then turns to the congregation and blesses them, saying
“Peace be † with all of you”
The congregation responds: “And with thy spirit.”
The celebrant then turns to the deacon, taking the deacon’s hands between his, and repeats this exchange with the deacon alone. The deacon then goes to the congregation and “passes the peace,” as above to one member of the congregation, who then does the same with the person next to him, who then repeats the same exchange with the person next to him, and so on. Thus, the peace of Christ is passed, from one member to another, one by one, throughout the congregation. Finally, the deacon receives the peace from the last member of the congregation, and returns it to the celebrant, who returns it to the gifts and altar, thus completing the circuit. The celebrant then begins the anaphora with the three-fold dialogue. All of this is done “decently and in order” and the congregation has expressed its mutual reconciliation, indicating that all are one with the celebrant in offering the Holy Sacrifice. The celebrant, however, does not need to leave the altar and “the passing of the peace” is not turned into “half-time”. (If there is no deacon, a server takes the role of receiving the peace from the celebrant and delivering it to the congregation.)