A blessed afternoon.I am currently the parish lay liturgist, duly elected in the Parish Pastoral Council, and a teacher in a private catholic school.My problem is mainly on the proper gesture during consecration.There was this one incident which i feel should be given proper attention.I was currently conducting our school choir at the choir loft, during one of our wednesday masses.Now, during the consecration, as a tradition and commonly done, we, at the choir loft normally stands and gives a profound bow once the priest genuflects after elevating the body & blood of Christ.What happened was, there was this priest from a Franciscan Order, who, while elevating the bread, shouted us, telling us to kneel down.there was no suitable place then at the choir loft so i told my students to just stand, but he gave us another yell…i told my students to kneel down, in whatever difficult position they could.Now, another priest from a recollect order commented that standing or sitting during consecration is a mortal sin.I consulted the GIRM but it seemed it is only applicable to the diosceses of US.I eventually consulted the local diocese regarding this, and they told me that it’s not a sin not to kneel during consecration, since there are things to be considered such as by reasons of health, place or environment.Is it really a mortal sin not to kneel down during consecration? Does the action of the priest,shouting during consecration tolerable?
The world wide norm is: “The people should kneel at the consecration unless prevented by the lack of space, number of people, or some other good reason (General Instruction of the Roman Missal #21). (In November 1969 the National Conference of (American) Catholic Bishops extended the kneeling until after the great Amen.)
There is nothing intrinsically evil about standing. We stand to show respect at the reading of the Gospel. But the norm for the Western Church is to kneel unless impeded in some way. Both priests were way off. Certainly, if one remained standing with the intention of dishonoring the consecration, that would be a mortal sin. You and the choir do not qualify for such sin.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.