Are my diocesan norms for Mass wrong?

My archdiocese has the following instructions for Mass, since late 2011:

*We sit for the Procession with the Gifts, then we stand for the prayer: “May the Lord accept the sacrifice…”

We remain standing until the invocation of the Holy Spirit in the Eucharistic Prayer*, when the priest joins his hands and extends them over the bread and the wine. **At that point, we kneel, **and remain kneeling for the Institution Narrative and the Consecration.

We stand at the words “The Mystery of Faith”, and continue to stand until all have received Holy Communion. Communion is received standing. The sign of reverence before receiving Holy Communion is a simple bow of the head, not a genuflection.

I find this innovation strange. I particularly miss kneeling throughout the whole Eucharistic Prayer, to the Great Doxology. What does the GIRM say? Are individual Catholics of this diocese bound to follow the local norms? Does the universal tradition & law of the Church allow individuals to act out of accord with these local norms? Who exactly do I “obey” in this matter?

In what country do you live?

You are bound to obey your Bishop, until someone with more authority than your Bishop says otherwise.

The US Bishops have an adaptation. I believe that Canada has made no adaptation.[LEFT]43. The faithful should stand from the beginning of the Entrance Chant, or while the Priest approaches the altar, until the end of the Collect; for the Alleluia Chant before the Gospel; while the Gospel itself is proclaimed; during the Profession of Faith and the Universal Prayer; and from the invitation, Orate, fratres (Pray, brethren), before the Prayer over the Offerings until the end of Mass, except at the places indicated here below.

The faithful should sit, on the other hand, during the readings before the Gospel and the Responsorial Psalm and for the Homily and during the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory; and, if appropriate, they may sit or kneel during the period of sacred silence after Communion.

In the Dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by ill health, or for reasons of lack of space, of the large number of people present, or for another reasonable cause. However, those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the Priest genuflects after the Consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.[53]

For the sake of uniformity in gestures and bodily postures during one and the same celebration, the faithful should follow the instructions which the Deacon, a lay minister, or the Priest gives, according to what is laid down in the Missal.
2011 GIRM

the diocesan bishop can prescribe certain practices in line with the cultural disposition of the people. the best thing to do should be to find out from the bishop or chancery what the diocese recommends.

YoungTradCath, I live in Canada. I think our archdiocese is unique in these requirements. I would rather not divulge where I am particularly.

JM3, do the GIRM and the rest of the Catholic Church not count in matters such as these?

Vico, the GIRM section you quote involves kneeling until the final “Amen” of the doxology. This is what our archdiocese did until Advent, 2011.

pacomius, this wasn’t the “cultural disposition of the people” prior to December, MMXI. I wonder if the New Translation of Mass wasn’t just an excuse the liturgical-committee had been looking for, to implement their ideas. There are still many lay-people who continue to kneel after the “Mysterium fidei” acclamation. At any rate, thank you for the recommendation.

I’m in French Canada and we’ve been kneeling from the just before the consecration until the Mystery of the Faith for as long as I can remember.

43….Ils s´agenouilleront pour la consécration, à moins que leur état de santé, l´exiguïté des lieux ou le grand nombre des participants ou d´autres justes raisons ne s´y opposent. Ceux qui ne s’agenouillent pas pour la consécration feront une inclination profonde pendant que le prêtre fait la génuflexion après la consécration.

Il appartient toutefois à la Conférence des évêques d´adapter les gestes et les attitudes décrits dans l’Ordinaire de la messe à la mentalité et aux justes traditions des peuples, selon la norme du droit. On veillera cependant à ce qu´ils correspondent au sens et au caractère des différentes parties de la célébration. Là où il est de coutume que le peuple demeure à genoux depuis la fin du Sanctus jusqu’à la fin de la Prière eucharistique, et avant la communion quand le prêtre dit Ecce Agnus Dei (Voici l’Agneau de Dieu), il sera bon de conserver cette coutume.

(source: Vatican website)

I believe this is what the typical edition probably says in Latin. The extract quoted in English was specific that kneeling from the Sanctus to the Amen of the doxology was particular to the United States only.

So if in Canada, your diocese is doing it correctly.

Wow, my mind is blown! I thought our diocese had created some sort of strange local custom by standing after the Mysterium fidei. I had no idea that it was universal and expected practice. Thank you for enlightening me. Deo gratias.

So, this brings two more questions:

  1. Does the Extraordinary Form of Mass require kneeling on the part of the faithful up to the Amen of the Doxology? Perhaps that’s where some laity get the idea?

  2. Why do the dioceses of the USA kneel for the second half of the canon of the Mass? Is it related to memories and customs from the Extraordinary Form?

Would it surprise you to know that kneeling only from after the Holy, Holy, Holy until the Mystery of Faith has been the posture called for in both the universal GIRM and the Canadian GIRM since 1975?

Most Catholics aren’t aware of that because most parishes in Canada totally ignored the GIRM when it was promulgated in 1975. I’m not sure if dioceses/archdioceses tried to impose standard postures across the board but my experience is that you could go to Mass in one parish and go to a Mass on the same day in a parish across town and the postures would be different.

Postures varied from kneeling right after the “Holy, Holy” until the “Amen” to right after the “Holy, Holy” until the “Mystery of Faith” to only for the words of institution; also from kneeling after the “Lamb of God” to not kneeling after the “Lamb of God”; from kneeling upon return from Communion to sitting or standing upon return from Communion.

The posture for Communion and upon return from Communion was standing in the 1975 GIRM but were you ever in a parish that did that? The default is still standing but the new GIRM also allows for sitting or kneeling at that time.

There are no rubrics for the laity in the EF, rubrics for the congregation only started with the Novus Ordo, but there were general practices that were followed such kneeling during the entire Canon. But, what is interesting is that there are rubrics for the postures of the servers, and the servers stand for the Canon, only kneeling at the consecration.

I was not aware of that in the EF. I do know that outside of the sermon and choir singing, the servers never sit. Neither does the priest for that matter.

Yes, I remember the first time I served for a Sung Mass it felt a little counter-intuitive, since I have been attending the EF in the pews a lot longer than I have been serving it.:stuck_out_tongue:

So your diocese used the USA adaptation (although in Canada), and then in 2011 started using the norm (which applies to Canada).

*] The longer period (USA) of after the Sanctus 'til the Amen before the Lord’s Prayer (End of doxology) vs.
*]the shorter period (the norm) of Epiclesis (the prayer calling for the sending down of the Holy Spirit) to the Mysterium Fidei (The Mystery of Faith).

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