The “Dominus vobiscum” is extended to the faithful 8 times during the Mass. At this point, it is the 7th time that we hear this greeting. In order to guard our hearts against tepidity due to familiarity and repetition, it would do well to call to mind what the greeting and gesture signifies.
From palms joined and held over the heart, to opening them up in salutation, then bringing them together again, our Lord, through the priest, greets us, imparts abundant graces from His magnanimous and Sacred Heart, and then enfolds us in a loving embrace. Fr. A. Croft, O.P., in his book, THE FULLNESS OF SACRIFICE, writes: “The opening out of the hands at the ‘Dominus vobiscum’ conveys the idea of salutation, of embracing all in the wide distribution of grace of which the priest is minister; by joining them again whilst still facing the people, the celebrant would weld them together in closer union with Christ…in the Mystery performed on the altar.”
How profound in significance, and rich in graces imparted, is this salutation and gesture by the priest!
Holy Communion, worthily received, preserves the soul from mortal sin. It is the pledge of eternal life, and each Holy Communion brings a soul closer and closer to the day when she will finally be able to gaze into the eyes of Christ her Beloved Redeemer! Let us strive to stir-up within ourselves greater and holier desires for our next Holy Communion.
Gihr writes, “Where there is an ardent longing for the Lord, the Lord enters there with His grace…To have Him with us who is our God, our Creator, our Redeemer, our Comforter, our felicity and supreme good and last end, our one and all, – what can be better, greater, more full of bliss?”
We may pray, “Lord Jesus Christ, who, after Thy resurrection, didst manifest Thyself to Thy beloved Mother and the disciples, to their great joy and consolation; mercifully grant me the grace that after this mortal life, I may with them rejoice in Thy heavenly kingdom, and enjoy Thy presence forever. Amen”
There is no Dominus vobiscum at this point in the New Missal. Of the 8 such salutations, 5 were eliminated. The extending of the arms merely indicate the greeting. There is no movement of joined hands held at the heart and brought back in a holy and spiritual embrace as in the TLM.