Creed: genuflection to bowing?

Friends :),

In this 1962 missal some handed to me, I see that the words of the Nicene Creed “and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man” require “all” to genuflect. When the Creed was recently said at a Christmas Mass here at the cathedral, I saw that the text we are using requires “all” to bow. Now, what is the reason for this change? Is it universal to all prayers that required genuflection in 1962? For example: in the Te Deum, do we still genuflect when beginning Jesus to help us: “We therefore pray Thee: aid Thy servants, who thou hast redeemed by Thy precious blood”?, or do we bow?

I know the Nicene Creed is hardly ever used outside Christmas and Easter, but it’s still important to ask, for when it does come up!

Here in the United States we do use the Nicene Creed on all Sundays and Holy Days although when the new texts come out in November the priest will have the option of using the Apostles Creed. We do bow in the Creed at “by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary,” and will continue to do so with the revised text “…incarnate of the Virgin Mary.” Also on Christmas, we still genuflect at those words and will continue to do so.

Same in the UK. The Nicene creed is used all the time at Mass (except when the creed is missed out all together at a weekday Mass, of course).

Is it true that Canadian churches don’t use the Nicene Creed or is this an example of a priest taking liturgical matters into his own hands?

I know at the Churches I’ve been to people bow during the recitation of the Creed and kneel during Christmas (and I thought Easter too, but I may be mistaken) at the line mentioned above.


Ditto that here at my parish, though at the parish where I grew up we never bowed during those words.

As well as on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. :crossrc:


That’s interesting, my wife and I went to Mass at a near(ish) by church we don’t often frequent and I remembered being supprised that they substituted the Apostles Creed for the Constantinople-Nicene Creed. I remember being taken aback at the time and having serious reservations as to whether this was correct or not, interesting to find that it is not.

I think I’ll double check with the GIRM, but it’s it’s good to see confirmation just so I can know.

It probably varies from church to church. At my church we say the Nicene Creed occasionally. The rest of the time we use the Apostle’s Creed.

Here’s what the GIRM says:

  1. The Creed is sung or recited by the priest together with the people (cf. no. 68) with everyone standing. At the words et incarnatus est (by the power of the Holy Spirit . . . and became man) all make a profound bow; but on the solemnities of the Annunciation and of the Nativity of the Lord, all genuflect.

It is not a matter of a priest taking matters into his own hands whatsoever. For decades the Catholic Church in Canada has had the option to use either the Nicene Creed or the Apostle’s Creed. It is up to the individual priest which one is said at his parish Masses. Some choose the Nicene Creed but it seems that the majority opt for the Apostle’s Creed. However there are certain feast days during the year where the Nicene Creed must be said . . . . Christmas Day, The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, the Annunciation, Pentecost Sunday and the Feast of Christ the King.
By the way, even before Vatican II, the Apostle’s Creed was allowed to be used in Canada at Mass. I’m not sure to what extent this permission went but nevertheless it was there.

Being tri-ritual, OF, EF, Dominican, I just genuflect all the time no matter which Form I’m at.

same here. interior wants to prostrate and cover my head.


Yes, Canada has an indult to use the Apostles Creed and it’s what used most frequently.

In my present parish we used the Nicene for the first time in years this past Christmas. We had a visiting priest ministering to us and he was very orthodox in his celebration of the Mass. I don’t know if most people noticed but he did things no priest has done in this parish for years, even though they are supposed to be done, things like genuflecting when the entrance procession reaches the sanctuary since the Tabernacle is there.

I was really hoping this same priest would be coming here for Easter since our pastor will be gone to minister in a far away parish, but unfortunately he’s not available. Darn.

The OF and EF are not different Rites. They are different forms of celebrating the same Rite.

Mea Culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. :o

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