Q. What is the correct posture of the faithful during the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer) at Mass?
A. No specific instruction is given about the posture of the faithful during the Lord’s Prayer at Mass. However, earlier in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, it is made clear that after the faithful stand either following the announcement The Mystery of Faith or after the Great Amen, until the distribution of Holy Communion, the faithful are to remain standing. Therefore, that the Lord’s Prayer falls within this time, it is implied that the correct posture is standing. As to whether or not it is instructed or encouraged that the congregation would extend their arms or hold hands is not referenced at all. It is likely that this now widespread practice evolved out of imitating the priest who does employ this posture of prayer (the orans posture) as instructed by the rubrics. However, this posture is proper to the leader of prayer and not specifically the congregants. While the practice of standing with arms extended or holding hands is not outright forbidden, nor is it called for, which generally implies that it does not belong.