Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/115

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CHAPTER IV


THE KISS OF PEACE


The kiss, as expressive of deep, spiritual love, also came to figure in the primitive Christian Church.

Christ has said: "Peace be with you, my peace I give you," and the members of Christ's Church gave each other peace symbolically through a kiss. St Paul repeatedly speaks of the "holy kiss" (φίλημα ἅγιον), and, in his Epistle to the Romans, writes: "Salute one another with an holy kiss"; and he reiterates this exhortation in both his Epistles to the Corinthians (1, xvi. 20, and 2, xiii. 12), and his first Epistle to the Thessalonians (v. 26), wherein he says: "Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss."

The holy kiss has gradually found admission into the ritual of the Church, and was imparted on occasions of particular solemnity, such as baptism, marriage, confession, ordina-

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