Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Is the kiss of peace not to be exchanged between opposite sexes; and also not between priests and laymen from either sex? Is that to be attributed to rank, gender or sexism?

When laymen kiss each other with a holy kiss, they open their hands to give and receive the holy kiss as equals. The same applies to the priests when they exchange the Kiss of Peace among themselves. However, a layman gets the blessing from the priest but not the other way round. Therefore, it is not that the priests do not like you; but if they turn towards you, you are supposed to kiss their hands; not to stretch out your hand for them to exchange the holy kiss. The holy kiss is not gender restricted; it is a "holy", pure kiss.
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