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  #1  
Old Sep 11, '06, 11:27 am
Fergal Fergal is offline
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Default Why genuflect with the right knee?

This was a question I asked our Altar Servers on Friday last. One little guy put up his hand and said, "becuase the right side is very important." "Well Done" I said.

I asked him why the right side was important and he said "because Jesus is God the Father's right hand man!!"

Can't argue with that I said to myself as I laughed inside. I just love their pure logic.
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  #2  
Old Sep 11, '06, 11:32 am
Damascus Damascus is offline
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

Well, the Son is seated at the RIGHT hand side of the Father....
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  #3  
Old Sep 11, '06, 11:33 am
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Scott Waddell Scott Waddell is offline
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

I have been told that left knee denotes respect, but the right knee is for worship. Can't verify that though.
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  #4  
Old Sep 11, '06, 11:43 am
Fergal Fergal is offline
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

Emmmmmmmmmm, I do know why.....I was trying to show the humour of the answer?
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Ruins: the grass is high here Christ arrived, passed by
here the Mass was said.
The church across the way, here Christ comes every day
here the Mass is said.
Until that secret hour, when Christ returns in power
the Mass will still be said
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  #5  
Old Sep 11, '06, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

hmmm, never thought about it ... certainly if I do a double genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration I don't inevitably start with the right knee, my legs arent the best so it very much depends!

Does it have to always start with the right knee?
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  #6  
Old Sep 11, '06, 3:35 pm
batteddy batteddy is offline
 
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

Quote:
I have been told that left knee denotes respect, but the right knee is for worship. Can't verify that though.
True.

You should genuflect with your left knee while kissing a prelates ring (where that is still done)...but the right knee is reserved for the Blessed Sacrament.
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  #7  
Old Sep 11, '06, 3:37 pm
MrS MrS is offline
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

The explanation I was given.....

Kneeling on the left knee was the form for respect to Kings, Emperors etc.

The Church, or someone in it, wanted to differentiate between lords, and the Lord of Lords.... by using the right knee in the Church, left knee in the castle.


.
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  #8  
Old Sep 12, '06, 4:56 am
Nekić Nekić is offline
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

Quote:
Originally Posted by batteddy View Post
True.

You should genuflect with your left knee while kissing a prelates ring (where that is still done)...but the right knee is reserved for the Blessed Sacrament.
You can't kiss your bishops ring anymore?
Would he look at you funny if you did so?
Does it make any difference if he's a cardinal?
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  #9  
Old Sep 12, '06, 11:51 am
RCCDefender RCCDefender is offline
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

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Originally Posted by Nekić View Post
You can't kiss your bishops ring anymore?
Would he look at you funny if you did so?
Does it make any difference if he's a cardinal?
I have only seen this one time, at the Rite of Election (actually now that I think about it, is that what it's really called?). It was done by an RCIA candidate, well he may have been a catecheumen, I don't know, but what I'm trying to say is that he did it so gracefully I don't think the Bishop even realized what had happened. It was awesome, as if he had been doing it his whole life!
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  #10  
Old Sep 12, '06, 3:48 pm
catsrus catsrus is offline
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

Once I was approached by a Nun after Mass and told by her that I am not supposed to kneel on my left knee but my right.
I said, 'Sister, if God minded which knee I go down on to Him, He would heal the arthritis in my right knee."
She turned and walked away.
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  #11  
Old Sep 12, '06, 4:05 pm
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Rawb Rawb is offline
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

My Grandma crosses herself with her left hand and genuflects, when she can, with her left knee. She does that because she's left handed. Somebody mentioned once that your supposed to cross yourself with your right. Her response was that God had made her left handed and that to her it was more respectful to use her dominate hand. She's my sponsor in RCIA and when she crosses me at the Rite of Acceptance, I bet she'll use her left hand.
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Old Sep 12, '06, 4:24 pm
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Cool Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekić View Post
You can't kiss your bishops ring anymore?
Would he look at you funny if you did so?
Does it make any difference if he's a cardinal?
Just be careful if you do -- A priest friend of mine has joked that, should he ever become a bishop, he would slip his ring into his hip pocket were I to attempt to kiss it.

tee
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  #13  
Old Sep 13, '06, 4:39 am
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

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Originally Posted by Rawb View Post
My Grandma crosses herself with her left hand and genuflects, when she can, with her left knee. She does that because she's left handed. Somebody mentioned once that your supposed to cross yourself with your right. Her response was that God had made her left handed and that to her it was more respectful to use her dominate hand. She's my sponsor in RCIA and when she crosses me at the Rite of Acceptance, I bet she'll use her left hand.
I too cross myself with my left hand as I'm left handed.

I genuflect left knee too and have been told off about it. I do it that way because it's less painful - duff knees make it hurt a bit left knee and hurt a lot right knee. If it weren't for the pain I'd happily swap over. Maybe I should give up on knees and just bow - I'd get away with that without getting told off!

I've only ever been told that it's right knee out of tradition and have never been given any reason beyond that.

But I don't think God minds - and he's more concerned with the prayers I pray while genuflecting than with my choice of knee.
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  #14  
Old Sep 13, '06, 5:22 am
mercygate mercygate is offline
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

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Originally Posted by asteroid View Post
I too cross myself with my left hand as I'm left handed.

I genuflect left knee too and have been told off about it. I do it that way because it's less painful - duff knees make it hurt a bit left knee and hurt a lot right knee. If it weren't for the pain I'd happily swap over. Maybe I should give up on knees and just bow - I'd get away with that without getting told off!

I've only ever been told that it's right knee out of tradition and have never been given any reason beyond that.

But I don't think God minds - and he's more concerned with the prayers I pray while genuflecting than with my choice of knee.
Lefty here! Thank God both of my knees are perfect. I assume that anyone genuflecting on his left knee has a pain problem. I can use my right knee and thank the Lord for my right knee every time I genuflelct on it.

But please do not confess that you don't give a hoot, or say that "God made me a lefty" when you sign the cross with your left hand, as if you were unable to do otherwise. That's just plain silly. Lefties are much more bi-manual than righties and for most of us it takes only a little practice to develop the habit of using the right hand for the sign of the cross. Maybe tennis, fencing, handwriting and fine needlework will always require your dominant hand, but the sign of the cross? You can do it!
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  #15  
Old Sep 13, '06, 9:14 am
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Default Re: Why genuflect with the right knee?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercygate View Post
Lefties are much more bi-manual than righties and for most of us it takes only a little practice to develop the habit of using the right hand for the sign of the cross. Maybe tennis, fencing, handwriting and fine needlework will always require your dominant hand, but the sign of the cross? You can do it!
But why would I want to? Is it really important? Sticklers for perfection in ritual might worry about it but does God? Does the hand I use to make the sign of the cross make any difference whatsoever to the meaning of it? Is the left handed priest I saw in the Summer in error and offending God by using the 'wrong' hand?

Let's face it, history tells us that ALL Catholics do the sign of the cross wrong and that it should be right shoulder before left - as it is in the Orthodox church. Someone somewhere mirrored the priest instead of doing as the priest does and we swapped over. Does it matter? No. God hasn't cursed us for going left to right. He hasn't cursed them for going right to left. He's more concerned with the prayer as a living reality.

I bet I use the 'wrong' hand position when making the sign of the cross too. Especially as for the first half I find I tend to be more Catholic and for the second half more Orthodox - thus getting the best of both worlds symbolically but not fitting into any 'proper' system.

As for having to genuflect a certain way because centuries ago people wanted to differentiate between life in a castle and life in a church, that's really utterly meaningless now. The tradition (with a very small t) might have had meaning then, but not anymore. We know full well that we're worshipping God, and God knows we're worshipping Him and that's what is ultimately important. (As long as we actually ARE worshipping him and not just going through the motions and the rituals)

traditions (small t) can be good and meaningful. But what was a good tradition once, full of meaning, can over the years become devoid of meaning and held onto more because it's 'what we've always done' rather than anything else. And that's when we start to turn the traditions of men into the commandments of God and become like the Pharisees.

End of moan. That moan was too long.

(In any case, my right wrist has lots of problems too but that's another story)
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