Raise ‘em, Clap ‘em, Thump Wid ‘em (Shadow Puppets?): What am I to do with my hands during Liturgy?

It’s a common scene: A man or woman walks into their first Divine Liturgy and they are totally lost.  What are they to do with their hands?

When I was growing up in the Baptist Church, once one got seated in the pew, it was time to use the hands to dig in mom’s purse for some candy or gum.

This, of course, is not allowed in Orthodox Temples.  In fact, no food except the Eucharist and Antidoron should be consumed in the Temple.

When I got older, we tweens would sit in the back and use our hands to fashion paper footballs, flipping the hymnals over for a playing field.

But, we don’t have hymnals in Orthodox Temples and the services books are generally too small.  Besides, this is bad behavior not to be emulated.

Going back to the newcomers who are at a loss with their hands in church …

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