Bowing during the Glory Be?


Is it required to do a profound bow during the Glory Be during stations of the cross? A layperson told me that it was and made it seem like a pretty big deal. I have done stations for years with Dominicans and we never did that during our stations of the cross (this was at a school, not a convent).


I do know that we are supposed to bow our heads in Mass when certain names are mentioned (Three Divine Persons named together, Jesus, Mary, Saint of Day, etc. - it’s in the GIRM), and it’s highly encouraged outside of Mass, but since the Stations are a private devotion I can’t see how this can be “required” in any way.


I know there are times to bow and all that, but is there a document that says to always bow during the Glory Be? What about during the Angelus?


No, it’s not required.

The GIRM and GILH, for the Mass and Liturgy of the Hours respectively, state that a bow should be made at the mention of the 3 divine persons together, so anytime Father, Son and Holy Spirit are said.

From that, a lot of people (myself included) will bow anytime the Glory Be is said, but what you do outside the official liturgy is not mandated so you can do what you want. This includes all private devotions such as the Stations, Rosary etc.


We use booklets with the St. Alphonsus Liguori version of the Stations, and there it shows the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be are optional. We bow at the beginning of each station at the words “We adore you o Christ…”


During the Angelus it’s traditional to genuflect (or bow, if more practical) at the words “The Word Became Flesh, and Dwelt Among Us.”

That’s good enough reason to do it if you’re able, but it’s not a rule.


The GIRM says to bow at the Trinity, Jesus, and Mary during Mass so I do. But outside of Mass, people only seem to bow at the Trinity. For the sake of consistency, I don’t ever bow outside of Mass.


The bow at the Gloria Patri is traditional. Done at the EF in the Aperges Me, the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, Lavabo, and Introit. I doubt if it would hurt to bow at the Rosary or Stations of the Cross.


At every Benedictine Monastery I’ve ever been to, the monks always make a profound bow (from the waist) at the Glory Be, which occurs several times during each hour’s liturgy, like after each psalm or parts of psalms, if a particularly long one is divided. I’ve retained the habit and make a bow of the head whenever I say the Glory Be, wherever I am.

God Bless


Yes that’s standard Benedictine practice. Also at the doxology of the hymns.


As far as I know all Anglican Use/Ordinariate and even those still within the Anglican churches always have and still bow at the Glory Be.

I don’t know about Anglicans of the low or broad parishes, however, the Ordinariate and Anglican Use parishes bow at the names of Jesus, Mary and the Saint of the day.

They also genuflect whenever the Incarnation is mentioned, etc. Creed, Angelus, the Last Gospel.

I believe that within the Ordinariate that is part of the rubics.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary



It’s a pious devotion that done at the mention of the entire Trinity. It’s similar to bowing one’s head at the name of Jesus or Mary.


Perhaps the question is “required by whom?”.

Stations of the Cross, like the Rosary, are private devotions. as such, there is no “requirement”, if by that you mean any liturgical direction by the Church; the answer is no.

There are, or may be, customs which may vary by area. If you are in an area where by custom, people bow at the Glory be, then it is up to you as to whether or not you follow the custom; but no one there has any authority to require you to, or to admonish you if you don’t.

There are, however, people who through the authority conferred upon them by no known person, take it upon themselves to admonish others if those others do not meet the expectations of the self-anointed “authority”. When confronted by such, charity in any response is the minimum any Christian should exercise. How you exercise it is up to you, keeping in mind the rule of charity.


This doesn’t answer the question of it being required, but when I was on a Sisters of Life retreat with John Cardinal O’Connor, the founder of that order and at the time the Archbishop of New York, he said that bowing during the names of the Father, Son, & HS signified a willingness to put one’s head on the block, i.e. to be martyred for the Faith.


What s/he said. Our Holy Mother the Church really does not have rules and regs for every pious tradition. No matter what you may have been told.


What if one’s parents do?


Well, since the parents will be busying bowing they won’t notice, will they. :smiley:


Related to bowing, I’ve seen a lot of people at my new parish making the sign of the cross whenever we say the Glory Be in a Rosary or Stations. I was never taught that, but should I be doing the same?


Wrong answer, says dad in Polish. :smiley:


No, bowing during the Glory Be at stations of the cross is not required. I think that maybe the person got that idea because a bow is usually made at the “Glory to the father etc.” when people do the liturgy of the hours.

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