Et homo factus est and Kyrie

Does anyone knoe why we are supposed to refrain from kneeling at Et homo factus est in the OF? I was actually told by a Priest that kneeling is forbidden.
Why did they take away the proper kneeling?
Why should we bow instead of kneeling? It feels weird not to kneel.
Was kneeling problematic or something?
In both OF and EF we stand at the Kyrie (even if some kneel in the EF). If I wanted to ask the Lord to save me I would do this kneeling. Why is standing for better for the Kyie than kneeling?
Sometimes in the EF the Confiteor is said kneeling.

Why didn’t you ask the priest why kneeling was “forbidden”?


You are free to kneel if you wish - it’s not forbidden. Although we all stand for the Gospel, when we kneel, stand or sit tends to vary from one diocese to another. In the OF, it is customary to genuflect at the words “Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto, ex Maria virgine, et homo factus est” (or the equivalent words in other languages) at Masses at Christmas and the feast of the Annunciation. For the rest of the year, it’s customary to make a profound bow. (That’s from the waist rather than the neck). Many of us can’t manage either.

Under the EF, the confiteor forms part of the Prayers at the foot of the altar, for which it is customary to kneel. In the OF, it is one of a number of versions of the Penitential Rite for which we stand. It has never been the custom to kneel for the Kyrie in the Latin rite. During a sung Mass in either form, if there is a long musical setting for the Kyrie and Gloria, the priest may choose to sit for both, standing to intone the beginning of the Gloria, and the congregation do the same.

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I guess that there is a difference rubrics between the two types of Masses.

What country do you live in?

I see. The Priest told me it was forbidden.

Why do we stand at Mass? I know it is a proper posture for greating the king but…at the Confiteor we are not doing this. Isn’t kneeling more proper for the Confiteor? Why stand up asking a king to forgive and be merciful? Thus Confiteor and Kyrie should be done kneeling. This not correct. My thinking isn’t flawless.
A butler would probably stand and wait for an order. This is not what we do when saying the Confiteor or Kyrie. We stand for some prayers eg Pater Noster.
Bowing would be a posture somewhere between kneeling and standing.
Posture is complicated. When the Pope walks into a room you would stand (at least for ceremonies) but genuflect when meeting him eye to eye.
Where can I learn the meaning of all those postures?

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Technically, there are no prescribed rubrics for the laity in the traditional Latin Mass. Tradition and custom govern (and continue to do so just fine as they did in the past). The new current GIRM is actually a bit more clericalist–granting more freedom to the priest (who before had very little), and less to the laity (who before had a whole lot). When the new Mass was instituted, the laity were told what they should and should not do, despite even what traditional pieties had indicated up until then (this thread being a perfect example).


Why do we stand? Standing has always been a proper posture in Christian worship. There is a time and place for kneeling and there is a time and place for standing. The Church and local custom defines the details.

Interestingly, the Council of Nicaea, the Church’s first ecumenical Council, forbid kneeling PERIOD on Sundays in honour of the resurrection. This prohibition is still in place in the Eastern Churches.

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I have to be honest, I’ve always wondered this myself.

However, I WONDER how many people were kneeling for the “Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto, ex Maria virgine, et homo factus est.” in other parts of the world?

I know it was done in English speaking nations, but were the laity kneeling at that point all over the world or not? I don’t know.

If they were not in some places, that might be the reason they went for the bow.

We have to remember, there was no real rubrics for the laity, but there were customs. Also, if you compare a number English hand Missals for the Latin mass, you will see that many of them have different instructions for the laity.

The below is a interesting article from the Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem (a TLM order founded by Cardinal Burke). Towards the end of the article, there is a chart of different stand/sit/kneel instructions per different English hand missals.

God Bless!

For the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed the Roman Missal has:

“For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,

At the words that follow, up to and including and became man, all bow.

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.”

For the Apostles’ Creed it has:

“ I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

At the words that follow, up to and including the Virgin Mary , all bow.

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried; ”

But some Masses have special instructions. For example from the Roman Missal, The Nativity of the Lord, At the Mass at Dawn:

“The Creed is said. All kneel at the words and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate. ”

It has the same rubric for the Christmas Vigil Mass, At Mass during the Night and At the Mass during the Day.

For 25 March, The Annunciation of the Lord, the rubric is:

“The Creed is said. At the words and was incarnate all genuflect.”

The 1984 Ceremonial of Bishops has:

“69 A genuflection, made by bending only the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and is therefore reserved for the blessed sacrament, whether exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, and for the holy cross from the time of the solemn adoration in the liturgical celebration of Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.

70 Neither a genuflection nor a deep bow is made by those who are carrying articles used in a celebration, for example, the cross, candlesticks, the Book of the Gospels.”

[Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation and from the English translation of Ceremonial of Bishops © 1989, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.]

Does anyone know why we stand for the natiinal anthem and when a king or queen passes by or enters the room/church?
A butler would be standing so that he could folliw an order he is given. I don’t think this is why we stand for the national anthem or for the king or pope. Why is standing up a way to show reverence?

Kneeling (and not standing) is a penitential posture. This is why I ask: why do we stand and not kneel at the penitential rite?

When we kneel at the consecration it is to make us smaller and not a penitebtial posture.
We show revernce by kneeling, standing and bowing.

Perhaps out of consideration for the old and feeble who aren’t up for even mild calisthenics anymore?

In church, as in the ancient world when attending classes, standing is a posture indicating a willingness to be taught or ordered. It’s also associated with the military connotations of Mass, as an assembly of Christ’s soldiers. We’re also supposed to associate it with the Resurrection, or with the cherubim who stand in God’s presence to serve Him.

Sitting is about letting people relax, if things are going on for a while. In the olden olden days, you’d be sitting on the floor. In an ancient classroom, you’d have a bench, or amphitheatre style rows of benches on risers. We’ve got pews or chairs.

Prostrations or proskynesis are the ancient way you did homage or pleaded for mercy; it was a posture that came from the ancient Middle East and Persia, and it was also done for the Byzantine emperor. But apparently the Eastern view, strictly speaking, is that proskynesis is bowing for saintly stuff, whereas genuflections and prostration are different, and directed toward divine stuff.

Prostrations aren’t common in the West (except for religious who do prostrations for adoration, or priests who are about to be ordained).

Kneeling became a much bigger thing in the Middle Ages, because the laypeople wanted it, and because St. Francis of Assisi promoted it.

Bowing is all about doing honor, and also goes against people being 'stiff-necked" and stubbornly defiant.

People who are old or unable to do kneeling or prostrations have never been forced to do it, and it seems to have been common to have special seating areas close to the walls or the back, even when churches didn’t have any kind of seating for anybody else.

(I don’t know much about the other liturgical postures, if any, or about the Eastern view of things. I think they do some kneeling, and some normal bowing is called proskynesis, but seriously I do not know this stuff at all.)

emmm…not so much

more like a preference

It’s not a preference. It’s worded as a decree for the sake of uniformity. That canon is still enforced in the East.

From the link above:

Canon 20
Forasmuch as there are certain persons who kneel on the Lord’s Day and in the days of
Pentecost, therefore, to the intent that all things may be uniformly observed everywhere
(in every parish), it seems good to the holy Synod that prayer be made to God standing.

That’s certainly a rousing demand …

Prior to the Middle Ages, kneeling was only a position of repentance. Standing was the position of respect (and remains so to this day in the Eastern Churches).

During the Middle Ages in the west, kneeling before kings and the like became normative behavior. At that point, it was only natural to give the same gesture to the King of Kings.

Going back again, kneeling on Sunday was prohibited in the Canons of the Nicene Council! To this day, the East does not kneel during Sunday liturgies.

In all seriousness, my question is why there is any standing in the Western liturgy in this modern era, given the change . . .

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And the penitential rite is about repentance, right? Or am I wrong?

So standing for the homily would be proper?
So when the Priest enters the church for Mass we are standing as this is something military? And standing for the national anthem as something military?
Standing for Kyrie doesn’t feel military to me.

The butler I mentioned who is standing is waiting for an order. Is thus what you mean by military? Also prayer is warfare, spiritual warfare.

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