When it is used, it must be done with dignity and awareness that it is not a liturgical form of “good morning,” but a witness to the Christian belief that true peace is a gift of Christ’s death and resurrection.
“if it is foreseen that it will not take place properly,” it can be omitted.
Bishops should do everything possible to end “abuses” such as:
- “The introduction of a ‘song for peace,’ which is nonexistent in the Roman rite.”
- “The movement of the faithful from their places to exchange the sign of peace amongst themselves.”
- “The departure of the priest from the altar in order to give the sign of peace to some of the faithful.”
- People using the sign of peace at Christmas, Easter, baptisms, weddings, ordinations and funerals to offer holiday greetings, congratulations or condolences.
“Christ is our peace, the divine peace, announced by the prophets and by the angels, and which he brought to the world by means of his paschal mystery,” the letter said. “This peace of the risen Lord is invoked, preached and spread in the celebration (of Mass), even by means of a human gesture lifted up to the realm of the sacred.”
So basically if a priest isn't including it, then said priest must be scared that something will go wrong. Pretty sad that any priest would have that little regard for peoples' good sense.