The passing of the peace in our Anglican service comes immediately after the general confession and absolution, after which, the priest stands and declares God’s forgiveness. We receive peace and reconciliation with God. But what about each other?
After the priest declares God’s act of forgiveness, she says “The peace of the Lord be always with you”, to which we respond “And also with you”. Then, at All Saints, nearly everyone greets everyone else warmly with a handshake or hug, while saying “peace be with you”. It is a wonderful moment in the service which establishes our love for each other.
This act of sharing the peace reminds us of Christ’s peace in John 12- 27. On the night He was betrayed, Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid”.
The passing of the peace is not a nicety or passive moment; it is a bold act of declaring our reconciliation as children of God before we go to his table for the holy Eucharist. Come and experience it All Saints – all are welcome!