"When I offer the early morning Mass in our large church in midtown Manhattan, the people are generally sprinkled throughout the cavernous space, separated from one another by more than a pole's length. I know that some of them live alone in apartments, and I am always glad to see them get up from their places and move toward each other with hands and arms extended at the sign of peace. Especially for those who live alone, the ritual moment of 'passing the peace' may represent a high point in the service because it provides a safe space within which they can touch and be touched by others, even people they do not know. Exchanging signs of peace with our bodies reminds us that we must touch others only in peace and love."