Bowing during Mass...


#1

At my Parish, the priests and deacons, when passing between the altar and the tabernacle to go to the ambo, bow to the altar. Are they supposed to do this? It doesn’t seem reasonable that they would turn their backs to Christ in the tabernacle, in order to bow to a sacramental (the altar). Can someone help me on this?


#2

I have been taught as a reader that once the mass has begun the focus of the mass shifts to the altar. Thus before a Mass and to do the intro we genuflect to the tabernacle when going up to or leaving the ambo. Once the mass begins we bow to the alter when ascending and descending the ambo. This came from our pastor in traditional parish. But that always made me think that if people come to mass late (ie after its begun) should they bow to the altar or genuflect towards the tabernacle?


#3

In our church they walk in front of the altar when going to the ambo thus when they bow the altar is between them and the tabernacle. The altar servers are taught to bow to the tabernacle and give their backs to the altar when walking between the two of them.


#4

I have been taught as a reader that once the mass has begun the focus of the mass shifts to the altar. Thus before a Mass and to do the intro we genuflect to the tabernacle when going up to or leaving the ambo. Once the mass begins we bow to the alter when ascending and descending the ambo. This came from our pastor in traditional parish. But that always made me think that if people come to mass late (ie after its begun) should they bow to the altar or genuflect towards the tabernacle?


#5

It is correct to bow to the altar and not genuflect to the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle during Mass.

From the 2002 General Introduction to the Roman Missal (GIRM) which can be accessed from romanrite.com/girm.html :

“274. … If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is present in the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself.”

According to the Ceremonial of Bishops,
“72 A deep bow is made to the altar by all who enter the sanctuary (chancel), leave it, or pass before the altar.”
(Ceremonial of Bishops, Liturgical Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8146-1818-9, page 37.)

The 2002 GIRM is not as specific about when to bow to the altar, but it does nothing to change this instruction in the Ceremonial of Bishops. It has in 2002 GIRM:
“275. … b. A bow of the body, that is to say a profound bow, is made to the altar;”.


#6

Off topic:

For some reason I read the Title “Bowling during Mass” and I thought “NO WAY. What have we done to the liturgy NOW?!?”

Now back to our scheduled thread.


#7

Thank you…that answers my question. :thumbsup:


#8

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:


#9

Wonderful…“Bowling for Jesus”.

“And now Father, assisted by an altar boy, wipes his hands clean and places his canonical fingers in the ball. A hushed congregation looks on with wonder. He looks, bows his head, makes his approach, and with one unusual genuflection lets loose! Oh No! It’s a split! Will he go for the Blessed Virgin Mary side or the Joseph the Worker side?..”


#10

…of course all of this would be avoided if the tabernacle were returned to its rightful place on the altar.


#11

:eek: :thumbsup:


#12

But how about a whole gaggle of EMHCs and altar servers, bowing to the altar then scooting into pews in front of the tabernacle on the side with no genuflection?

Seems to me that something is wrong there.


#13

Well although many people don’t realize it, but if you look closely enough above the altar at the back is a Crucifix, and the reason for bowing.

If there isn’t a Crucifix just behind the Altar, then I think there should be.


#14

I was taught that the act of bowing to the altar is called “reverencing” the altar. It is not the crucifix, but indeed the altar that is bowed to. We reverence the altar because it is holy, the place where the sacrifice of the mass is made.

So when I enter church, as I pass by the tabernacle, I genuflect. As I pass by the altar, I bow. If I do not pass by either, I still turn towards the tabernacle and genuflect before entering my pew (and silently greet Him)

As far as what the priest is supposed to do during mass. Don’t know. Ours turns to the tabernacle at the side and bows/genuflects. (priest has bad knees and bows, altar servers genuflect) I believe he kisses the altar when he first approaches.

The priest across town bows to the altar, then kisses it as he takes his place behind it. As a funny note, this priest moved his chair to the side because some people thought they were bowing to him as they reverenced the altar.


#15

Well your probably right in that they do bow towards the Altar, all I know is there is a Crucifix at the back of our Church just above the Altar, so it is hard to tell.

Yes the Celebrant always kisses the Altar, some priests as they walk around the Altar genuflect towards the Tabernacle, yes it was put to the side 10 years ago, in accordance with new changes.


#16

All of this is very intresting. At our parish, the altar, and tabernacle are in the center on a High Altar. And the priest and the acolytes always go in front of the altar and and make a profound bow, like that called for in the Ceremonial of Bishops. Also, when Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and also when readers come into the sanctuary to do their ministry, they genuflect towards the Blessed Sacrament. The focus is shifted towards the altar of sacrifice, but this has gone a litte to far, because this is part of the reasons our Eucharist is put to some side Chapel. Pray, pray my brothers & sisters.


closed #17

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