I think so, here’s why:
What is the “orans” posture?
The orans posture is an ancient “prayer” posture. It is, sort of, humorously described, in an incident where Moses, prayed with arms outstretched, for the Israelites to defeat their enemies. His hands got so tired that his attendants had to hold his arms up. Because every time his arms drooped, the Israelites would begin to lose the battle. They eventually won.
Jesus died in the “orans” position
Did you know that? I didn’t. Moses praying in the orans posture, centuries before Jesus was even born, is considered a “foreshadowing” of Jesus’ posture on the Cross.
Think about that, Jesus could have died in any posture. But he chose to die upright with arms extended in a position exactly like that of a person in prayer.
In other words, God designed all of salvation history with the aim that Jesus would die in the prayer or orans posture.
The orans is a cruciform posture
If Moses foreshadowed the Crucifixion when he prayed in the orans position, that means that the orans position is a symbol of the Crucifixion. If you look at anyone praying in the orans posture from behind, they make the shape of the Cross.
What do we celebrate in the Mass?
The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The one remaining Sacrifice for our sins. In the Mass, we unite ourselves with Christ. The water that is added to the Precious Blood. That water symbolizes us. The grains of the wheat that are crushed to make the bread, those symbolize us. We are united to Christ in the Eucharist. Let me show you how St. Paul said it:
Galatians 2:19 For through the law I died to the law, that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ; 20 yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.
This is what happens in the Mass. This is what we celebrate.
But isn’t the orans position restricted to Priests?
No. But even if someone claims that it is, we are all baptized “priests, prophets and kings”.
What about holding hands in the orans posture?
I don’t think there’s a problem with that either, as I explained in a previous article.
Does the Church forbid this stance?
No. In the years since I’ve been back to the Church. A little more than thirty now. The Church has put a stop to:
a. milling around at the time of the sign of peace. Do you remember when people would walk all around the Church, apparently trying to shake everyone’s hand? I rarely see that anymore. And when I do, I also witness the People of God admonishing that person that it is wrong to do so.
b. people rushing the altar at the consecration prayer. Do you remember when people would come out of their pews and surround the altar after the sign of peace but before communion? I only witnessed that a few times. But it was quickly put to an end, by the Church.
c. glass containers for the Precious Blood. Do you remember when most of the chalices were made of a see through material? I do. The Church decided that it was more appropriate to make the chalices out of a precious metal.
I could go on and on with examples of behaviours the Church corrected in the Mass. The Church has proved to me that She is completely in charge when it comes to the Mass. So, if the Church considered it wrong to hold hands during the Our Father, or to pray in the orans position during the Our Father, I am absolutely certain that She would have put a stop to it a long time ago.
Obedience, the Spirit of Christ
Having said that, remember that mine are simply the opinions of a lay man. There is one thing that is in the Spirit of the Mass, because it is in the Spirit of Christ:
Philippians 2:8 he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
So, if the Church says that we are no longer to pray in the orans position or that we are no longer to hold hands, I’ll be the first to stop. I hope you will also.