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  #1  
Old Feb 27, '09, 8:31 am
kristie_m kristie_m is offline
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Default proper way to genuflect

Hi

I seem to recall hearing that there is difference in which knee you go down on. Is this true? If so, does anyone know why?
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  #2  
Old Feb 27, '09, 8:45 am
TheDoctor TheDoctor is offline
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Default Re: proper way to genuflect

Hi Kristie. I cannot give you a reference but what I have done all my life, and what I teach my kids, is that you genuflect with your right knee touching the ground for God (e.g. when passing by the Tabernacle) and your left knee for everyone else (e.g. royalty). For adoration, some folks will do right knee and some will do both knees, but I don't think it is spelled out.

Of course, if a physical condition (or mental inability to distinguish left from right - but enough about me) makes it tough to do right knee, you can left away.

If anyone has a reference, it would be appreciated.
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  #3  
Old Feb 27, '09, 8:54 am
WhollyRoamin WhollyRoamin is offline
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Default Re: proper way to genuflect

Genuflecting is done on the right knee. If you kneel to kiss the ring of a Bishop, you do it on your left knee. When you receive communion, you kneel on both knees.
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  #4  
Old Feb 27, '09, 9:34 am
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Miserissima Miserissima is offline
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Default Re: proper way to genuflect

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDoctor View Post
For adoration, some folks will do right knee and some will do both knees, but I don't think it is spelled out.
We learned to genuflect on our right knee while crossing ourselves as we sank down.

For adoration, when the Eucharist is not reserved in the Tabernacle and is in the Monstrance, it has become custom to genuflect on both knees, but is no linger required.

From here, emphasis mine:

Quote:
In 1993 the USCC/NCCB Bishops' Committe on the Liturgy published the Order for the Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist, a resource collection of rites and texts for use by those planning annual solemn exposition. In #9 of that document it states, "Genuflection in the presence of the blessed sacrament, whether reserved in the tabernacle or exposed for public adoration, is on one knee." The footnote references the Vatican document of 1973: the Roman Ritual: Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass (HCWEOM.) In #84 of that document is the identical wording...
Further down the page, another poster shares:

Quote:
Msgr. Peter J. Elliott in Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite wrote this:

Quote:
The 'double genuflection' is still required in some countries before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. Those who make it kneel briefly on both knees and incline the head reverently, hands joined as usual.

[footnote: Many people still make the double genuflection out of devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist. Pastoral sensitivity indicates that they need not be 'corrected.' However, those in the sanctuary should obseve the policy of the episcopal conference.](emphasis added)
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  #5  
Old Feb 27, '09, 10:49 am
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promethius promethius is offline
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Default Re: proper way to genuflect

[quote=TheDoctor;4873247]Hi Kristie. I cannot give you a reference but what I have done all my life, and what I teach my kids, is that you genuflect with your right knee touching the ground for God (e.g. when passing by the Tabernacle)[quote]

Correct. Genuflecting is a shortened form of kneeling from midieval times. Kneeling first on the right knee would make one more susceptable to attack, so it was considered a greater sign of respect and trust. To kneel on the left knee used to be considered an insult (equivalent to raising the visor of a helmet with the left hand... so that you could still keep your right hand free to reach your sword). Today, however, this distinction is little known and most people wouldn't notice the difference..

Quote:
and your left knee for everyone else (e.g. royalty).
Only if you wish to insult someone...

Quote:
For adoration, some folks will do right knee and some will do both knees, but I don't think it is spelled out.
Depends on the point of adoration and what is stated for the laity to do. Genuflect = go down on your right knee. Kneel is both knees, and if we're being traditional you would go down with your right knee first, and bring your right knee up last, but again, most people don't follow said traditions.
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  #6  
Old Feb 27, '09, 5:28 pm
TheDoctor TheDoctor is offline
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Default Re: proper way to genuflect

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Originally Posted by promethius View Post
Correct. Genuflecting is a shortened form of kneeling from midieval times. Kneeling first on the right knee would make one more susceptable to attack, so it was considered a greater sign of respect and trust. To kneel on the left knee used to be considered an insult (equivalent to raising the visor of a helmet with the left hand... so that you could still keep your right hand free to reach your sword). Today, however, this distinction is little known and most people wouldn't notice the difference.
Way cool! I had never read or heard of this before. It makes sense when you stop to think about it.
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  #7  
Old Feb 28, '09, 11:58 am
John Lilburne John Lilburne is offline
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Default Re: proper way to genuflect

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the USA, which can be accessed from http://www.romanrite.com/girm.html :

"274. A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil."

(My bold text.)
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  #8  
Old Feb 28, '09, 1:13 pm
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promethius promethius is offline
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Default Re: proper way to genuflect

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Lilburne View Post
From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the USA, which can be accessed from http://www.romanrite.com/girm.html :

"274. A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil."

(My bold text.)

Good to know. Between Good Friday and Easter, don't kneel or genuflect even to royalty or to kiss the ring of the bishop... huh. Learn something new every day...
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  #9  
Old Feb 28, '09, 1:46 pm
passus passus is offline
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Default Re: proper way to genuflect

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Originally Posted by promethius View Post
Good to know. Between Good Friday and Easter, don't kneel or genuflect even to royalty or to kiss the ring of the bishop... huh. Learn something new every day...
That's not what it says at all. Remember, the Blessed Sacrament is not consecrated until the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday; it is not reserved in the tabernacle.

Firstly, the genuflection this line from the GIRM is referring to is a genuflection on the right knee and not a genuflection on the left knee, which would be appropriate for royalty or a bishop.

Secondly, the line speaks of when it is appropriate to genuflect, not inappropriate to genuflect.

It is saying that genuflection on the right knee is reserved to the Blessed Sacrament--in addition to the Holy Cross. The part "during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil" is in reference to genuflection toward the cross and it tells when it is appropriate to genuflect toward the cross.
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Old Feb 28, '09, 1:58 pm
mullenpm mullenpm is offline
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Default Re: proper way to genuflect

Hate to throw this into the pot but I can't genulflect at all.

I have very arthritic knees (left and right) so I bow before the Blessed Sacrament. and when entering and leaving the pew.
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  #11  
Old Feb 28, '09, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: proper way to genuflect

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Originally Posted by passus View Post
That's not what it says at all. Remember, the Blessed Sacrament is not consecrated until the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday; it is not reserved in the tabernacle.
And yet the rule above states that between those dates genuflecting is reserved for the Cross and the Consecrated host. It says nothing about the tabernacle. There ARE still consecrated hosts in existence at that time, after all...

Quote:
Firstly, the genuflection this line from the GIRM is referring to is a genuflection on the right knee and not a genuflection on the left knee, which would be appropriate for royalty or a bishop.
I won't speak for a bishop, but as regards kneeling on the left knee this is traditionally considered to be a sign of distrust and an insult. If given the chance to meet a royal member, I would suggest BOWING rather than taking your left knee.

Quote:
Secondly, the line speaks of when it is appropriate to genuflect, not inappropriate to genuflect.
I'd have to consult a canon lawyer on that one, actually. The term "reserved" is, in the english language, generally considered a fairly exclusive one.

Quote:
It is saying that genuflection on the right knee is reserved to the Blessed Sacrament--in addition to the Holy Cross. The part "during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil" is in reference to genuflection toward the cross and it tells when it is appropriate to genuflect toward the cross.
I see what you're getting at, but at the same time the application of the word "reserved" as stated makes that a little different. In the end it doesn't really matter, as I only genuflect to the Eucharist anyway and I'll only be adding the cross as a result of this matter.
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