Dictionary of Church Terms
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Kiss Of Peace
(Greek, aspasmos)

A greeting exchanged among the clergy and the congregation during the divine Liturgy of the Eucharist, as a token of pure love and the one spirit.

The aspasmos dates back to the apostolic age. In his epistles St. Paul repeatedly referred to the "holy kiss," as in Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; and 1 Thessalonians 5:26. Besides St. Peter described it as a "kiss of charity" in 1 Peter 5:14.

The kiss of peace is omitted in the Liturgy of Maundy Thursday, before Good Friday, and in the liturgy of the Bright (Holy) Saturday to remember that our reconciliation with God and with each other has been realized by the crucifixion and the resurrection of our Lord.

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