Bow your head at the name of Jesus

I have begun the devotion of bowing my head at Mass whenever the name of Jesus is spoken. But then I started wondering "what about whenever I hear the word “Christ?” I think Christ is a title for Jesus, not a name, so I should not bow my head then, just as I would not bow it for any other titles such as *Lamb of God *or even the pronoun He.

Do any of you also bow your head at the name of Jesus, and if so, what about these others?

When I was a little girl back in the early 60’s, the nuns taught us to bow our heads at the name of Jesus, which I always tried to do. I was gone from the church for many, many years, and a lot of things changed. But I notice that many people still bow their heads at the name of Jesus, and I try to always, also.

I think the reason for this is Philippians 2:10 - “At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.”

I think it’s a wonderful practice, an excellent way to show reverence to our Lord.


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It is.

Bowing your head whenever you pronounce the initials “S.J.” is a little too tongue-in-cheek and over the top, though, IMHO. :smiley:

I do it for ‘Jesus’ only, or when the Name is connected with ‘Christ’.

This is much better than the ‘Jesus is my homie’ modern approach to our Lord.

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Yes, if the angels kneel at the sound of His name, a little nod says I love Him too. I also teach them to do this in my RCIA class as a devotion.

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You needn’t bow your head at other titles for Jesus – Christ, Word of God, Lamb of God, etc. Just the name of Jesus.

You also bow your head at the invocation of the Trinity, and at the name of Mary, and the name of the saint(s) being celebrated that day.

Brooklyn gave us the scriptural source for a bow at the name of Jesus (even though the text suggests bending the knee, rather than bowing the head). Is there a known source for these other traditions/devotions?

It was liturgically codified by Pope Gregory X at the Second Council of Lyons in 1274:
Each should fulfill in himself that which is written for all that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow; whenever that glorious name is recalled, especially during the sacred mysteries of the Mass, everyone should bow the knees of his heart, which he can do even by a bow of his head. (Constitution 25)
I don’t know how/when/why the other liturgical bows of the head were introduced, but it stands to reason that a bow of the head for Mary and for the celebrated saint is a customary Catholic sign of respect. Technically, the name of Jesus should receive a deeper bow of the head than the name of Mary, and the name of Mary should receive a deeper bow of the head than any other saint.

In the Divine Office, the invocation of the Trinity (in the Gloria Patri recited at the end of each psalm) is accompanied by a profound bow (of the body, rather than of just the head), while in the Mass, a bow of the head suffices.

Would someone bow there head when someone uses the Lord’s name in vain in situations outside of Mass? Or what does one do in that situation/

It used to be (still is?) customary/traditional for a man to remove his hat when the name of Jesus is spoken. In the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, the priest removes his biretta during the Gloria both times the name of Jesus is mentioned.

Doing that and/or bowing the head, even when his name is said in a secular context is praiseworthy, especially when does as an act of reparation for blasphemy.

I usually at least whisper, “Blessed be His Name” or something similar in this situation.

As regards OP and replies: Bowing your head at the Name of Jesus is a beautiful / most respectful thing to do - and I do it but hadn’t thought about the post regarding the angels bowing at Our Lord’s name ---- so, isn’t bowing the very least we can do? Same for making the Sign of the Cross when passing a Church. I’ve never heard of bowing head for Our Lady’s (Mary) name though. But I love her - heartfelt - as if she were my own - I know she is by reason of Our Lord giving her to us - but as if she were my very own.

This is an awesome practice. I am seeing more and more priests do it as well. It is a little act of reverence and humility on the part of man who owes his Redeemer everything.

Whenever I say/hear the name “Jesus” I always bow my head. my own personal opinion here is that it shows reverence and love for our Lord. I also do it in reparation for those who use the name of “Jesus” as a swear word or in an irreverent manner. :bowdown:

in that situation there are two things (both easy) to do. (1) you could say quietly ‘Jesus I love you’ or (2) next time you go to church say a prayer to Jesus for all who do not reverence his name. (you can use your own words).

Yes, when you hear the Lord’s name taken in vain you should respond with a prayer of reparation, at the least. :slight_smile:

Traditionally this is ‘Blessed be the name of Jesus.’ One could say a few of the Divine Praises, like, ‘Blessed be God. Blessed be His Holy Name, Blessed be Jesus christ, true God and true man. Blessed be the Name of Jesus.’

There is also the Golden Arrow Prayer:

The Golden Arrow

May the most holy, most sacred,
most adorable, most mysterious
and unutterable Name of God
be always praised, blessed,
loved, adored and glorified,
in heaven, on earth and under the earth,
by all the creatures of God,
and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ
in the most holy Sacrament of the altar.

The Golden Arrow was revealed by Our Lord Jesus Christ to a Carmelite nun of Tours in 1843 as a reparation for blasphemy.

Jesus said: “This Golden Arrow will wound My Heart delightfully, and heal the wounds inflicted by blasphemy.”

I love this thread :slight_smile: this is beautiful. I want to do this too, especially because I used to say the Lord’s name in vain before I was Catholic :frowning:

Yes, some may say this is an awesome practice. I learned it back as a child in the 50’s. It is a practice or tradition. At our church it varies from a simple bow to complete bending at the waist.
It is all that is in your heart.

Two responses to that situation come readily to mind. Doing one or the other or both at the same time.

1st. To pray silently “forgive us Lord for we know not what we do”.

2nd. To make the Sign of the Cross.

Thank you for asking!

in Dominio,

Amen! I find the Jesus is my homie approach highly offensive. I always say that if our Lord Jesus Christ were to walk before you, that the correct response would be to fall on your knees out of reverence for Almighty God; not to run over to Him and give Him a high five and say, “What’s up buddy. Glad you could come by.” Of course the latter would show their worship for the Lord by dancing and banging on tambourines and carrying on, while the former would humbly adore our Lord and offer Him worship in the spirit that he has instructed us. There is only One true God, and He has told us how he wishes to be worshiped. We would do best to reverently adore Him and His Holy Name.

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