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  #1  
Old Feb 21, '06, 4:46 am
Elzee Elzee is offline
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Default Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

I'm not a lector, but a couple people in our parish who are were talking about their confusion on what to do when they walk from their pew to the ambo to read.

Here is the set-up in our church:
The tabernacle is off to the side of the altar - probably at about '3 o'clock' if the altar is at '12 o'clock'. When lectors approach the sanctuary to read and then when they leave the sanctuary, should they :
  • bow towards the altar or turn and bow towards the tabernacle
  • And...should the bow be a profound bow, or a head bow?
Our liturgist instructs people to not do anything, but a couple people what to do what is right (the pamphlet from our Bishops instructs people to bow, but I guess it's unclear on what to do if the tabernacle is not behind the altar).
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  #2  
Old Feb 21, '06, 5:07 am
Ghosty Ghosty is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elzee
I'm not a lector, but a couple people in our parish who are were talking about their confusion on what to do when they walk from their pew to the ambo to read.

Here is the set-up in our church:
The tabernacle is off to the side of the altar - probably at about '3 o'clock' if the altar is at '12 o'clock'. When lectors approach the sanctuary to read and then when they leave the sanctuary, should they :
  • bow towards the altar or turn and bow towards the tabernacle
  • And...should the bow be a profound bow, or a head bow?
Our liturgist instructs people to not do anything, but a couple people what to do what is right (the pamphlet from our Bishops instructs people to bow, but I guess it's unclear on what to do if the tabernacle is not behind the altar).
Ok, I'm not basing this on anything official, but rather on faulty personal memory. I'm pretty sure I recall that one is to bow to the altar, and genuflect to the Tabernacle. Therefore, if the instruction is to bow, I'd pressume it's to be directed towards the altar.

In my church we have a similar situation, and everyone who reads bows to the altar. It's a pretty devout congregation, too, so there's no automatic warning bells for me (many even appropriately genuflect towards the Tabernacle when entering their pew, as opposed to towards the altar which is a common mistake).

Peace and God bless!
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  #3  
Old Feb 21, '06, 5:30 am
Elzee Elzee is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

If you're sitting in a pew where you have to pass in front of the tabernacle to walk up to the sanctuary, do you genuflect in front of the tabernacle, and then bow when you get to the altar?
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  #4  
Old Feb 21, '06, 5:50 am
twiztedseraph twiztedseraph is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elzee
If you're sitting in a pew where you have to pass in front of the tabernacle to walk up to the sanctuary, do you genuflect in front of the tabernacle, and then bow when you get to the altar?
Yep. Bow to altar which symbolises Christ, kneel to Christ in tabernacle.
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  #5  
Old Feb 21, '06, 9:36 am
Joan M Joan M is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elzee
If you're sitting in a pew where you have to pass in front of the tabernacle to walk up to the sanctuary, do you genuflect in front of the tabernacle, and then bow when you get to the altar?
No. When Mass is being celebrated attention is on the Altar. At the entrance, the people in the entrance procession (the priest, altar servers, and anyone else) genuflect to the Tabernacle. At the end, when they are leaving again, they genuflect.

At other times during Mass, all that is done is to bow to the Altar, except, I believe, when opening the Tabernacle to take out a Ciborium.

I'm sure one or our "resident" Deacons can correct me, if I have got it wrong.
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  #6  
Old Feb 21, '06, 2:34 pm
John Lilburne John Lilburne is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

Bow to the altar, do not bow or genuflect to the tabernacle.

From the liturigical book, "Ceremonial of Bishops":

"72. A deep bow is made to the altar by all who enter the sanctuary (chancel), leave it, or pass before the altar."

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), n. 274:

Quote:
During Mass, three genuflections are made by the priest celebrant: namely, after the showing of the host, after the showing of the chalice, and before Communion. Certain specific features to be observed in a concelebrated Mass are noted in their proper place (cf. above, nos. 210-251).

If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is present in the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself.

Otherwise all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession.

Ministers carrying the processional cross or candles bow their heads instead of genuflecting.
So as I see it, the lector is a minister who should not genuflect "during the celebration of Mass itself".
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  #7  
Old Feb 21, '06, 2:51 pm
maryalene maryalene is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

I was taught that we should not be bowing or genuflecting during Mass. However, we walk up the side aisle of church and never cross in front of the altar or tabernacle when we read.
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  #8  
Old Feb 22, '06, 12:33 am
Andreas Hofer Andreas Hofer is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Lilburne
Bow to the altar, do not bow or genuflect to the tabernacle.

From the liturigical book, "Ceremonial of Bishops":

"72. A deep bow is made to the altar by all who enter the sanctuary (chancel), leave it, or pass before the altar."

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), n. 274:


So as I see it, the lector is a minister who should not genuflect "during the celebration of Mass itself".
Thanks, John, for posting the relevant norms. I just thought I'd point out that lots of folks might remember things being different (I'm only 22, and my altar serving training had us genuflecting whenever we crossed the tabernacle), so it's good that you showed the official position on the matter.
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  #9  
Old Feb 22, '06, 1:03 am
InnocentIII InnocentIII is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Lilburne
So as I see it, the lector is a minister who should not genuflect "during the celebration of Mass itself".
Ah but in our church the lector does not [b]approach[b] the altar until it is time to read and as the tabernacle is dead centre in the sanctuary according to the instruction quote he/she should genuflect, as I and most others do.
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  #10  
Old Feb 22, '06, 1:09 am
bob bob is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan M
No. When Mass is being celebrated attention is on the Altar. At the entrance, the people in the entrance procession (the priest, altar servers, and anyone else) genuflect to the Tabernacle. At the end, when they are leaving again, they genuflect.

At other times during Mass, all that is done is to bow to the Altar, except, I believe, when opening the Tabernacle to take out a Ciborium.

I'm sure one or our "resident" Deacons can correct me, if I have got it wrong.
Joan is correct.

We genuflect or bow towards the tabernacle when we enter(before) or leave(after) the church.
If however, you come late for mass, then you bow to the altar.

During mass, the altar takes precedence. Bow to the altar when you go up to read.

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  #11  
Old Feb 22, '06, 1:15 am
InnocentIII InnocentIII is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob
Joan is correct.

We genuflect or bow towards the tabernacle when we enter(before) or leave(after) the church.
If however, you come late for mass, then you bow to the altar.

During mass, the altar takes precedence. Bow to the altar when you go up to read.

This would seem to contradict the GIRM however

[quote]If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is present in the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself.

Otherwise all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession.
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non confundar in aeternum

Innocent III
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  #12  
Old Feb 22, '06, 2:33 am
bob bob is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

GIRM Art 275:
"275. A bow signifies reverence and honor shown to the persons themselves or to the signs that represent them. There are two kinds of bows: a bow of the head and a bow of the body.

1. A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated.
2. A bow of the body, that is to say a profound bow, is made to the altar; during the prayers Munda cor meum (Almighty God, cleanse my heart) and In spiritu humilitatis (Lord God, we ask you to receive); in the Creed at the words Et incarnatus est (by the power of the Holy Spirit . . . made man); in the Roman Canon at the words Supplices te rogamus (Almighty God, we pray that your angel). The same kind of bow is made by the deacon when he asks for a blessing before the proclamation of the Gospel. In addition, the priest bows slightly as he speaks the words of the Lord at the consecration."

Highlight mine.

If the deacon bows before the proclamation of the Gospel, shouldn't the same reasoning be applied to the lector before proclaiming the Word?
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  #13  
Old Feb 22, '06, 5:01 am
Elzee Elzee is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

I thought this was such a simple question....I'm still confused! Could it vary by diocese?
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  #14  
Old Feb 22, '06, 10:31 am
Dorothy Dorothy is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elzee
I thought this was such a simple question....I'm still confused! Could it vary by diocese?
I know that readers are to bow to the altar before proceeding up to read, and again before returning to their seat.

A priest I consider holy said that we are to kneel before entering our pew, and again when leaving the pew to go home. He said it is not necessary to kneel in between if one happens to be passing the tabernacle.

However, this may be personal with some people, and they may wish to genuflect whenever they pass the tabernacle, regardless if they did so when first entering the Church.
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  #15  
Old Feb 22, '06, 2:40 pm
John Lilburne John Lilburne is offline
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Default Re: Lector - bow to altar or tabernacle?

[quote=InnocentIII]This would seem to contradict the GIRM however

Quote:
If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is present in the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself.

Otherwise all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession.
What I think the GIRM is saying is:
Do not genuflect during Mass.
Otherwise (i.e. Outside of Mass) genuflect when passing in front of the Most Blessed Sacrament, unless in a procession.

If the Lector was in the entrance procession, I think you would agree that he should genuflect at the beginning at end of Mass, but not during it.

I do not think you are correct in saying that a lector approaching the altar is a second entrance procession, for which he or she should genuflect.

The lector is clearly a minister (even if not in the entrance procession) and so genuflecting during the Mass itself contradicts the 2002 GIRM 274.
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