Bowing/Kneeling during the Nicene Creed


#1

2 Questions, very simple:

  1. I hope this is a unique thing to me, but I fear it is not. I have been to several different Churches in my life, at none of them did the Priest or the congregation bow en masse in reverence to the Incarnation, despite it being in the Missalette, nor did the Priest ever point out that we should. Why has this fallen by the wayside?

  2. Same thing for kneeling during the Creed for the Annunciation and Christmas. It never happens, even though it should. Again, why?

I realize some Priests are more orthodox/traditional than others, but I feel like this is almost everywhere, not just an isolated happenstance for the Churches I have gone to. Have ALL priests really just let this practice largely slip into irrelevance without a second thought?

God bless.

-Paul


#2

Well if it makes you feel better not ALL priests have abandoned this. I know it was pointed out by the pastor at our local parish a couple times when the new translation came out. I assumes he bows at the *incarnatus *(I'm too busy bowing to notice if he does ;)), but since he does bow his head at the name of the Lord I assume he bows during the recitation of the creed. At another parish we generally attend Christmas Mass at we kneel. Father had to remind people before hand, but the teachings aren't completely lost.

Now that being said, I think it is more widespread to not bow or kneel. I have noticed that the seminarians and new priest are doing it much more so hopefully there is a renewed focus on liturgical posture. Hopefully if the clergy are doing it then the laity will follow suit. Heck many of them copy the orans so why not the gestures that are proper to the laity?


#3

Friend,

Remember that the new order of the Roman Missal wasn't exactly before everyone's eyes from 1973-2011. Most people went with a missalette that had the bare readings for the days of the week. Everyone did what the priest did.

Since priestly formation was lackluster for a period of about 20 years (especially in the US, Canada, and the UK), it's easy to see why undereducated priests wanted to tone down such 'empty gestures' as not taking place in the heart, but being an outward show. There is some merit to the criticism, for the first liturgical posture we should have is a heart that is humbled before Christ our God, and if it's just outward acts it is purely meaningless puffs of smoke.

Whatever the merit of the postures, there is no excuse not to use them now. Lay-people actually have the rubric in front of them on the cards since last Advent. Most just didn't know it was there, I imagine. Out of sheer inertia (or stubbornness, in our more liberal brethren) they will just forget to do it, or they'll be nervous in case the padre will look at them askance. :p


#4

At the churches I've been to, the responses are projected and no matter if we say Apostles or Nicene Creeds, it tells when to bow for the Incarnation part. I usually follow along in my hand missal so when its time to bow, I can follow along without losing a beat. I rarely pay attention to see who is or is not bowing.

For EF form with the Credo, yes, there is the genuflection during the Incarnation part. But most who go to it, follow others and very few people forget to genuflect unless they cannot do for a health reason as an example.


#5

Just about everyone bows at the appropriate time in my parish.

When I can get away, there is a parish nearby my work that has a noon Mass. I was there for the Feast of the Assumption. About 1/3 of the people bowed during the Creed. The priest did not, but he is just came off of knee surgery, so I could not determine what he normally does (as it is normally not said at a weekday Mass)


#6

Wow, wish I could go to the parishes you all go to. Maybe it is just me and the specific Churches I have been to…

God bless.

-Paul


#7

Maybe one in ten bow at the Incarnatus at my parishes. This one baffles me since it's right there in both the Missalette as well as the little response cards they print and leave in the pews so people to have to fumble with the book. It's not like the obligation to perform a minor bow at each mention of the name of Jesus, the three divine persons together, Mary, or the saint being honored that day, which you'd overlook if you don't read the GIRM; this one's right there for all to say.

Disobedience, I guess? Embarrassment?


#8

[quote="sw85, post:7, topic:295830"]

Disobedience, I guess? Embarrassment?

[/quote]

Yes, that is what I am afraid of. And our Priests and Bishops should be models for us, not participating in the disobedience. Sadly, this very often is not the case.

God bless.

-Paul


#9

[quote="PJD1987, post:8, topic:295830"]
Yes, that is what I am afraid of. And our Priests and Bishops should be models for us, not participating in the disobedience. Sadly, this very often is not the case.

God bless.

-Paul

[/quote]

It may be the case that priests are not obligated to bow at the Incarnatus. I don't know. The rubrics for the priest are not the same as those of the laity, though the laity often improperly mimic him.


#10

[quote="sw85, post:9, topic:295830"]
It may be the case that priests are not obligated to bow at the Incarnatus. I don't know.

[/quote]

Or maybe he uses the Apostles' Creed so many times, he forgets about the profound bow in the Nicene Creed, especially if he's reading it off his card. It's still an awkward gesture for many; even more awkward if no one else is doing it. At the EF Masses where only the Nicene Creed is said everyone knees/genuflects right after the "descendit de caelis." Have seen very little exception to this.


#11

At TLM, everyone genuflects. :thumbsup:

At NO, no one around me seems to bow. :(

At Christmas Mass at the national shrine, it was printed in the program for all to KNEEL! Loved it.


#12

[quote="ProVobis, post:10, topic:295830"]
Or maybe he uses the Apostles' Creed so many times, he forgets about the profound bow in the Nicene Creed, especially if he's reading it off his card. It's still an awkward gesture for many; even more awkward if no one else is doing it. At the EF Masses where only the Nicene Creed is said everyone knees/genuflects right after the "descendit de caelis." Have seen very little exception to this.

[/quote]

Even in the Apostles Creed there is a rubric to make a profound bow at the "he was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary". I live in Canada so the Apostles Creed is what's used every Sunday. The Nicene Creed is supposed to be used on Christmas (this year the Bishop used the Apostles Creed for some reason) and the rubric is changed to kneel. That said, the only Mass I've ever knelt during was the EF Mass.


#13

I believe the bowing rubric is not a very good one. The reason is that bowing is a very subjective, loosey goosey movement. There are bows of the head and bows of the body, small ones and profound ones. I think it works for situations like the mentioning of Jesus's name and the Trinity, since that is done several times in the Mass. However, enuflecting, kneeling and prostrating are all or none movements. Either you complete the action or you don't. It is often rather difficult to see if the priest is bowing if one is unsure, but if he genuflects or kneels, practically everyone will see it.


#14

At all Christmas Masses (including those in the Octave of Christmas), our priests leave the sedellia, walk to the front of the altar (between the congregation and the altar), face the altar/tabernacle/crucifix, and kneel at the Incarnatus. You can't miss it!

During the rest of the year, they bow. You can tell they are bowing because they are no longer facing the standing microphone and their voice diminishes greatly.


#15

[quote="GraceUnderFire, post:11, topic:295830"]
At TLM, everyone genuflects. :thumbsup:

At NO, no one around me seems to bow. :(

At Christmas Mass at the national shrine, it was printed in the program for all to KNEEL! Loved it.

[/quote]

At our NO, everyone around me bows....St Joe in Homewood IL!! :thumbsup: ;)

I expected to kneel at Christmas Eve Mass and we didn't..:shrug:..but there was still a deep reverent bow....so much so that the C&E attendees around me actually noticed and bowed themselves! :thumbsup:


#16

At my NO Mass, I, along with most people around me (who are generally in either their fifties or sixties), bow my head when "and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man" is said during the Nicene Creed; I don't usually see my priest (I'm too small to see over the people in front of me :blush:) during Mass except for specific moments, so I'm not sure of what he does.


#17

I attend Mass at 2 different parishes in 2 different dioceses.
In both, the priests always bow during the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed for the Incarnation.

A few weeks ago our priest reminded us to bow right before we started reciting the creed.

At our Christmas Mass at the other parish, we were reminded to kneel before the Creed. I'm pretty sure everyone knelt. Sometimes I forget to bow though, because as people have mentioned, it's a less obvious gesture. Also, I'm still not used to the new translation of the Nicene Creed (since in the beginning when the new translation first came out we decided to use the Apostle's Creed and then we switched a few months ago) so sometimes I'm too focused on reading the words and then I forget.


#18

Our priest asked us to do this at our Christmas mass and everyone that could did. Being new I assumed this was done always..?

mlz


#19

We knelt during the Incarnation part of the Nicene Creed at our Christmas Mass.


#20

[quote="snowflakeinlove, post:17, topic:295830"]
At our Christmas Mass at the other parish, we were reminded to kneel before the Creed. I'm pretty sure everyone knelt. Sometimes I forget to bow though, because as people have mentioned, it's a less obvious gesture. Also, I'm still not used to the new translation of the Nicene Creed (since in the beginning when the new translation first came out we decided to use the Apostle's Creed and then we switched a few months ago) so sometimes I'm too focused on reading the words and then I forget.

[/quote]

Speaking of reading while bowing, at the EF the server is required to make a very profound bow while kneeling during the Confiteor. So if you're far sighted, you better have it memorized. :)


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