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  #1  
Old Sep 8, '11, 6:05 pm
ElToro ElToro is offline
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Default Standing vs. Kneeling

I found this to be some profound words from one of my favorites (and a favorite of Pope Benedict XVI's as well), the late Msgr. Romano Guardini:

"Standing is the other side of reverence toward God. Kneeling is the side of worship in rest and quietness; standing is the side of vigilance and action. It is the respect of the servant in attendance, of the soldier on duty.

When the good news of the gospel is proclaimed, we stand up. Godparents stand when in the child's place they make the solemn profession of faith; children when they renew these promises at their first communion. Bridegroom and bride stand when they bind themselves at the altar to be faithful to their marriage vow. On these and the like occasions we stand up.

Even when we are praying alone, to pray standing may more forcibly express our inward state. The early Christians stood by preference. The "Orante," in the familiar catacomb representation, stands in her long flowing robes of a woman of rank and prays with outstretched hands, in perfect freedom, perfect obedience, quietly attending to the word, and in readiness to perform it with joy.

We may feel at times a sort of constraint in kneeling. One feels freer standing up, and in that case standing is the right position. But stand up straight: not leaning, both feet on the ground, the knees firm, not slackly bent, upright, in control. Prayer made thus is both free and obedient, both reverent and serviceable."


Sacred Signs

Very Reverend Romano Guardini

Copyright 1956 by Pio Decimo Press
St. Louis, Missouri
  #2  
Old Sep 8, '11, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Standing vs. Kneeling

I found it to be interesting. I guess I always felt this way. We rise at the entrance of Mass. We stand at the national anthem. We stand when we receive communion. As standing is an integral part of the liturgy, it is good to understand that it is not a lesser form of reverence, just different.
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  #3  
Old Sep 8, '11, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: Standing vs. Kneeling

I found this interesting also, especially since it's copyright is 1956.
I guess this puts to bed the myth that standing is a post-VII thing
and the cause of all irreverence.
I am not opposed to anyone kneeling if they feel so called, I do have a problem with the attitude that if I don't kneel, I don't believe in the Real Presence.

For example,
I was having a conversation with a very traditional-minded friend a few days ago about this very thing and he asked me- "If Jesus were to appear in front of you, wouldn't you fall to your knees in reverence?"

My answer-
"Probably not! If Jesus were to appear in front of me, I would run to Him, throw my arms around Him and never let go!"

My friend was speechless!
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Old Sep 8, '11, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: Standing vs. Kneeling

Very interesting indeed. Thanks for sharing

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  #5  
Old Sep 8, '11, 8:52 pm
Digitonomy Digitonomy is offline
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Default Re: Standing vs. Kneeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneofthewomen View Post
I found this interesting also, especially since it's copyright is 1956.
I guess this puts to bed the myth that standing is a post-VII thing
and the cause of all irreverence.
I am not opposed to anyone kneeling if they feel so called, I do have a problem with the attitude that if I don't kneel, I don't believe in the Real Presence.
Bear in mind that presumably the author was not talking about receiving communion while standing, as that was not the practice in the West.
  #6  
Old Sep 8, '11, 9:02 pm
ElToro ElToro is offline
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Default Re: Standing vs. Kneeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnewton View Post
I found it to be interesting. I guess I always felt this way. We rise at the entrance of Mass. We stand at the national anthem. We stand when we receive communion. As standing is an integral part of the liturgy, it is good to understand that it is not a lesser form of reverence, just different.
Reading Guardini tends to stretch one's mind just a bit. He reminds me a great deal of Pope Benedict XVI. I really appreciate how he gave his thoughts on this matter when there was absolutely no kneeling bitterness in the Latin Rite as there is today.

I sure wish the tiny booklet "Sacred Signs" would be reprinted -- you can find it on-line in PDF for free. Every Priest, Deacon and liturgically-involved layperson should be required to read it. It's a wonderful little work from a remarkable man.
  #7  
Old Sep 8, '11, 9:12 pm
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Default Re: Standing vs. Kneeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitonomy View Post
Bear in mind that presumably the author was not talking about receiving communion while standing, as that was not the practice in the West.
I should clarify-
in the conversation I speak of, we were talking about kneeling vs. standing during the Eucharistic prayer, not for reception of communion. In my diocese, this was a very "hot-button issue" a while back and my friend and I were debating the merits of both.

I realize that some may see my VII comment as a jab, it was not intended that way. Again, I was thinking of this particular conversation, and this is an excuse used by this friend quite often.

In any case, I stand by what I said, I don't care what anyone else wants to do- kneel, stand, it makes no difference to me. Just, whatever you do, make sure you do it with a pure heart and don't look down on me or question my motives or beliefs if I do it differently than you do!
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Last edited by Oneofthewomen; Sep 8, '11 at 9:21 pm. Reason: added something
  #8  
Old Sep 9, '11, 8:11 am
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centurionguard centurionguard is offline
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Default Re: Standing vs. Kneeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnewton View Post
I found it to be interesting. I guess I always felt this way. We rise at the entrance of Mass. We stand at the national anthem. We stand when we receive communion. As standing is an integral part of the liturgy, it is good to understand that it is not a lesser form of reverence, just different.

I guess a number of Catholics feel different about this Standing and Kneeling posture during various parts of the liturgy (Especially during the Eucharistic liturgy).

I'm honing particularly on Kneeling verses Standing at the Consecration.
It's difficult for me seeing how any meaning of Reverence towards Jesus Christ humbled upon the Altar of Sacrifice for our sakes, wherein many Catholic Churches use the Standing Posture during the Consecration.

And using the secular respect to the Nation Anthem doesn't quite jive with me in this situation nor do I think it does to other Catholics who have a great sense of Reverence.

Reverence towards the Holy Eucharist to me can't be taught, it has to come within.

It is as you say (just different).

I have no problem coming up the aisle standing to receive Holy Communion.
I would however prefer to knee if my health allowed me to do so.
And yes; I like the old Communion Rail Kneelers where in most Catholic Churches have disappeared into dust.

With all due respect
Fraternally
Chris
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  #9  
Old Sep 9, '11, 8:44 am
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Default Re: Standing vs. Kneeling

All the above is why I prefer to attend the TLM.

God Bless
  #10  
Old Sep 9, '11, 1:39 pm
ElToro ElToro is offline
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Default Re: Standing vs. Kneeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by centurionguard View Post
I guess a number of Catholics feel different about this Standing and Kneeling posture during various parts of the liturgy (Especially during the Eucharistic liturgy).

I'm honing particularly on Kneeling verses Standing at the Consecration.
It's difficult for me seeing how any meaning of Reverence towards Jesus Christ humbled upon the Altar of Sacrifice for our sakes, wherein many Catholic Churches use the Standing Posture during the Consecration.

And using the secular respect to the Nation Anthem doesn't quite jive with me in this situation nor do I think it does to other Catholics who have a great sense of Reverence.

Reverence towards the Holy Eucharist to me can't be taught, it has to come within.

It is as you say (just different).

I have no problem coming up the aisle standing to receive Holy Communion.
I would however prefer to knee if my health allowed me to do so.
And yes; I like the old Communion Rail Kneelers where in most Catholic Churches have disappeared into dust.

With all due respect
Fraternally
Chris
Nothing like trying to drag the good monsignor's words down into the muck, huh? If you actually read all of his comments I would bet that you have never heard anything quite the same before -- not ever. That's why I posted them -- so people could read them and meditate on them. For me Gaurdini showed some fairly deep insight to something I had never really considered. It did give me insight as to why I stand in my Byzantine Catholic Church particularly during the consecration.

I did not post it so a couple could dig-in defensively and defend "their right to kneel." The fact that you did says many things...
  #11  
Old Sep 9, '11, 1:46 pm
ElToro ElToro is offline
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Default Re: Standing vs. Kneeling

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Originally Posted by corsair View Post
All the above is why I prefer to attend the TLM.

God Bless
Please don't try to de-rail the thread. This is not the traditional forum and my posting has nothing to do with the OF/EF comparison. Thanks.
  #12  
Old Sep 9, '11, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Standing vs. Kneeling

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Originally Posted by El Toro View Post
I did not post it so a couple could dig-in defensively and defend "their right to kneel." The fact that you did says many things...
Pope Benedict XVI wrote extensively about proper posture (specifically kneeling) in a book he published when he was a Cardinal.
Spirit of the Liturgy.
There are groups, of no small influence, who are trying to talk us out of kneeling. "It doesn't suit our culture", they say (which culture?) "It's not right for a grown man to do this -- he should face God on his feet". Or again: "It's not appropriate for redeemed man he has been set free by Christ and doesn't need to kneel any more".
If we look at history, we can see that the Greeks and Romans rejected kneeling. In view of the squabbling, partisan deities described in mythology, this attitude was thoroughly justified. It was only too obvious that these gods were not God, even if you were dependent on their capricious power and had to make sure that, whenever possible, you enjoyed their favor. And so they said that kneeling was unworthy of a free man, unsuitable for the culture of Greece, something the barbarians went in for. Plutarch and Theophrastus regarded kneeling as an expression of superstition.

Aristotle said that the humility of Christ and His love, which went as far as the Cross, have freed us from these powers. We now kneel before that humility. The kneeling of Christians is not a form of acculturation into existing customs. It is quite the opposite, an expression of Christian culture, which transforms the existing culture through a new and deeper knowledge and experience of God.

Kneeling does not come from any culture -- it comes from the Bible and its knowledge of God. The central importance of kneeling in the Bible can be seen in a very concrete way. The word proskynesis alone occurs fifty-nine times in the New Testament, twenty-four of which are in the Apocalypse, the book of the heavenly Liturgy, which is presented to the Church as the standard for her own Liturgy.

On closer inspection, we can discern three closely related forms of posture. First there is prostration -- lying with one's face to the ground before the overwhelming power of God; secondly, especially in the New Testament, there is falling to one's knees before another; and thirdly, there is kneeling. Linguistically, the three forms of posture are not always clearly distinguished. They can be combined or merged with one another.

In the Old Testament, there is an appearance of God to Joshua before the taking of Jericho, an appearance that the sacred author quite deliberately presents as a parallel to God's revelation of Himself to Moses in the burning bush. Joshua sees "the commander of the army of the Lord" and, having recognized who He is, throws himself to the ground. At that moment he hears the words once spoken to Moses: "Put off your shoes from your feet; for the place where you stand is holy" (Josh 5:15). In the mysterious form of the "commander of the army of the Lord", the hidden God Himself speaks to Joshua, and Joshua throws himself down before Him.
Origen gives a beautiful interpretation of this text: "Is there any other commander of the powers of the Lord than our Lord Jesus Christ?" According to this view, Joshua is worshipping the One who is to come -- the coming of Christ.

In the case of the New Testament, from the Fathers onward, Jesus' prayer on the Mount of Olives was especially important. According to Saint Matthew (22:39) and Saint Mark (14:35), Jesus throws Himself to the ground; indeed, He falls to the earth (according to Matthew). However, Saint Luke, who in his whole work (both the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles) is in a special way the theologian of kneeling prayer, tells us that Jesus prayed on His knees. This prayer, the prayer by which Jesus enters into His Passion, is an example for us, both as a gesture and in its content. The gesture: Jesus assumes, as it were, the fall of man, lets himself fall into man's fallenness, prays to the Father out of the lowest depths of human dereliction and anguish. He lays His will in the will of the Father's: "Not my will but yours be done". He lays the human will in the divine. He takes up all the hesitation of the human will and endures it. It is this very conforming of the human will to the divine that is the heart of redemption. For the fall of man depends on the contradiction of wills, on the opposition of the human will to the divine, which the tempter leads man to think is the condition of his freedom. Only one's own autonomous will, subject to no other will, is freedom. "Not my will, but yours ..." -- those are the words of truth, for God's will is not in opposition to our own, but the ground and condition of its possibility. Only when our will rests in the will of God does it become truly will and truly free.

The suffering and struggle of Gethsemane is the struggle for this redemptive truth, for this uniting of what is divided, for the uniting that is communion with God. Now we understand why the Son's loving way of addressing the Father, "Abba", is found in this place (cf. Mk 14:36). Saint Paul sees in this cry the prayer that the Holy Spirit places on our lips (cf. Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6) and thus anchors our Spirit-filled prayer in the Lord's prayer in Gethsemane.

On Good Friday, the day of the Lord's crucifixion, it is the fitting expression of our sense of shock at the fact that we by our sins share in the responsibility for the death of Christ. We throw ourselves down and participate in His shock, in His descent into the depths of anguish. We throw ourselves down and so acknowledge where we are and who we are: fallen creatures whom only He can set on their feet as Jesus did, before the mystery of God's power present to us, knowing that the Cross is the true burning bush, the place of the flame of God's love, which burns but does not destroy.
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