Genuflecting in Anglican Churches - Anglican Eucharist


hey, I know that teh Anglican church teaches Real Presence in their eucharist, but does that mean it is valid? Since theyre not in communion with Rome, we dont recognize their priests as part of the apostolic succession right? So, doesn’t that mean that their Eucharist is not truly consecrated like those in a Catholic Mass celebrated with an ordained Catholic priest who is in communion with the Holy See? We all genuflect when we pass by the altar or enter our pews in Catholic churches because we believe that Jesus is truly present in the consecrated hosts. I personally only genuflect in Catholic Churches, and never in Anglican churches because I do not believe their’s have truly transubstatiated. And I definitly dont at Lutheran churches. What do you guys think? Genuflect in Anglican churches?


“Anglican Eucharist” is a contradiction in terms. Since the Anglican ecclesial communities lack valid orders they cannot confect the Eucharist. I agree with both your analysis and practice. I see no reason to genuflect in an Anglican church. Naturally I would be respectful in all ways appropriate to a house of Christian but not Catholic worship.



Actaully, as has been discussed on numerous threads here, some Anglican priests and the last four Archbishops of Canterbury have valid apostolic succession.

Here’s the quote from their Eucharist:

For in the night in which he was betrayed, he took bread;
and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his
disciples, saying, “Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for
you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Likewise, after supper, he took the cup; and when he had
given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink ye all of this;
for this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for
you, and for many, for the remission of sins. Do this, as oft as
ye shall drink it, in remembrance of me.”

–1979 Book of Common Prayer for the United States

If they have valid apostolic succession, and their priest intends what the Church intends, their Eucharist is valid, but not licit. Therefore, I’d genuflect.



Other churches not in communion with Rome in like manner do have Validated mass services. Such churches are the SSPX, the
Orthodox Church, the Old Catholic Church(not sure but is this SSPX? I’ll list them diffrently for now) , and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. SSPX, Old Catholic and the CPCA are protestant churches, CPCA in only that it is forced to be so by the Chinese Government(without that order, it would be part of the Latin Rite).

The real reason why the Vatican does not Validate Anglican masses is because of the fact that their church actually does not uniformly teach the Real Presence and therefore it ordains ministers who do not teach this practise. You are thinking only of the Church of England, it is the main Anglican denomination yes, but it is not the whole Anglican church and is far from it.

If it was uniformal doctrine, or the COE(Church of England), which is the one that teaches that doctrine, seperated itself from the Evanglical Anglicans, I’m sure the Pope would have no problem declaring it Valid mass.

Personally I think the pope should validate the COE mass service as it is quite within the normal specifications for valid Mass as another poster pointed out. But it does not represent the netire Anglican Church.


I’m not sure.

If the Anglicans all genuflect, I probably would if I was visiting their church during a service. Sort of a “when in Rome.”

In a similar way, I once went to the wedding of Muslim who was a friend of my wife’s from college. I took off my shoes when I entered the mosque. They do this because the believe the mosque is sacred. I didn’t do it because I believed that, but just because they do and to be respectful of them.

Likewise, I would do so in a Shinto temple or something similar.

I don’t think that such a simple gesture necessarily communicates wholesale endorsement, just respect for your fellow human beings.


There is no need to genuflect as there is nothing there to genuflect to. The Anglican “Eucharist” is nothing more then Bread and Wine.


But the thing is the COE follows the correct specifications for having a Valid mass service. The only gripe the Pope has with it is that the entire Anglican Church has no clearly defined doctrine on the Real Presence, the evanglicals believe it’s not real, the Anglo-Catholic High Church COE members do.

If the COE was not in “communion” with other Anglican churches that do not teach the Real Presence, he would have no real issue with declaring it valid.

Except of cause that Anglican COE churches in westernized countries outside of London(where it once existed as part of our church) tend to be right next door or just a stone throw away from Catholic parishes and that probably would factor too! hehehe!

I still think he should validate the COE mass. It meets the specifications. I’m looking forward to the day when we start working actively to bring the COE back into the Universal church’s fold. I would love having 2 conveniently placed catholic cathedrals in my home city even if it doesn’t happen during my lifetime.


You know I wish it were that simple. But it’s not. It’s even more simple. The issue is the validity of Anglican orders, to confect a valid Eucharist, so there’s something to genuflect toward. *Apostolicae Curae *made a general judgement that Anglican orders were null and void. From the historical, and some other standpoints, it’s an arguable call. But for RCs it’s the Word.

I’m Anglican, I genuflect at our Altar (except when I’d be genuflecting to the Altar of Repose), and I genuflect toward any RC altar, whether I can find the Tabernacle or not. And some RC friends, traditionalists, too, who are aware of the issue still have genuflected when entering our sanctuary. Yes, I tell them they shouldn’t.

Appreciate the gesture, though.


Anglicanus Catholicus


But even they do not believe in a real, physical presence through transubstantiation. They use the same phrase, but mean something different.

An examination of the documents from the Vatican provide no basis for that conclusion at all. Since there is the explicit denial of transubstantiation, talk of “real presence” in Anglican circles does not mean what the Church teaches.

That’s rather doubtful.

We can no more validate the COE “mass” than we can validate same sex “marriage.”




Except for those who affirm the Canons of Trent, Session XIII. You really can’t generalize about Anglicans like that. Successfully, anyway.


*Anglicanus Catholicus *

An examination of the documents from the Vatican provide no basis for that conclusion at all. Since there is the explicit denial of transubstantiation, talk of “real presence” in Anglican circles does not mean what the Church teaches.

That’s rather doubtful.

We can no more validate the COE “mass” than we can validate same sex “marriage.”




I find so many posts in this thread disrespectful. Perhaps, as a former Episcopalian, I am more touchy on this subject than I might otherwise be. But thinking back to my old Episcopalian days, I would never have shown the lack of regard and respect for a Catholic church in the same way as I have seen suggested here that a Catholic would or should show in an Anglican church, or any other church for that matter.

Maybe it’s just good manners, but I was taught, and I believe it is just the right thing to do, that one should show the utmost respect when in the sanctuaries of other faiths, and, back when I was an Episcopalian, that is what I did when in a Catholic church, no matter if it was the local Catholic parish or St. Peters in Rome. There may not be a commandment that says so, but goodness gracious, common decency and good manners always apply as well.

I can’t help wondering what Jesus would think about all this nitpicking and fighting, not to mention the disrespect and lack of reverence.



Hey, i was the one who started this post. I didnt mean to offend you or anyone. I defintley agree with you about being respectful when in other churches. Like, if I went to a mosque I would take off my shoes if that is what they ask, or wear a yamuhkah (not sure how to spell it) when I go to a Jewish temple. Just like we catholics ask that you stand and sit during Mass, but never require visitors to kneel or genuflect if they dont want to. I would kneel and sit/stand at appropriate times at an Anglican service, but in my opinion genuflecting is something i only reserve for use to aknowledge the real presence of Christ in the consecrated Hosts in the tabernacle. I dont think it at all disrespectful if I dont genuflect in an Anglican service since I dont believe the bread/wine has been truly consecrated and transubstatiated like that at a catholic church. Just like I dont think it is disrespectful if a visitor decides to sit rather than kneel during Mass. But I heard the bishops in the Anglican Church are considering a plan to unite under the Pope. If this does occur and the Anglican church is in full communion with Rome, I will genuflect.


There is more to show reverence and respect to than the Host within the walls of a church. It is surprising to me that any Catholic would not feel obligated to show respect and reverence in another Christian church, despite any doctrinal differences regarding the Host.



There is defintley more to showing respect and reverence than just genuflecting. If I dont genuflect, that doesnt mean im not being respectful. I can be respectful by participating in prayer and meditation, worship, and etc. and showing reverence. I believe that all christian services are just different ways of worshipping God, but the reason Catholics genuflect is because we aknowledge Christ’s true presence in the consecrated Hosts in the tabernacle. Why should I genuflect if I the hosts in the tabernacle at an Anglican church are just bread? I dont think not genuflecting is being disrespectful at all. Wearing a hat inside, talking or not paying attention, sleeping during the service - that is being disrespctful. I believe all churches are valid houses of God, and that we should be reverent at all times, however I would never genuflect unless Im in a Catholic church. Am I the only who feels this way?


I can only imagine, then, that when you approach the altar in your own church that you likewise do not bow or genuflect either? After all, as long as the Host is in the Tabernacle, and you only genuflect towards the Host, then the altar has no special significance for you? And logically then, you would make no bow or genuflection when entering or leaving your seat?



In most parishes, the tabernacle is next to the altar. In my parish its right behind the altar, so I’ll genuflect when enter and leaving pews and when i pass by the altar, towards the tabernacle. Traditionally, before Vatican II, the tabernacle was on the altar. In any case, you’re supposed to genuflect towards the tabernacle.


In my parish the tabernacle is on the left side of the altar and is completely separate from it. Regardless of the location of the tabernacle, we show respect to the altar as well. I would give this same respect to the altar whether at an Anglican church or a Catholic church.

I’ve said all that needs to be said on the matter now.



Let’s try to explain with a little humour.
There was once an Anglican Minister and a Catholic Priest living in the same town caring for their two parishes.
At the time of the war, the town came under fire and the Anglican Church was hit by a missile.
Fearing desecration of the ‘Sacred Species’ the Anglican Minister entered his Church, opened the tabernacle and removed its contents.
He then fled to the home of the Catholic Priest, asking that the ‘Blessed Sacrament’ of the Anglican Church be held in the Catholic Tabernacle along with the Catholic Blessed Sacrament.
The Catholic Priest paused for a moment and said “You are a Military man aren’t you?” “Yes, I am” came the reply. “Well then you should know that in military circles, you never store the blanks with the live rounds!”

I guess it has all the appearence but none of the substance.


“But I heard the bishops in the Anglican Church are considering a plan to unite under the Pope.”

In a word, no.



It’s a bit of a fine line.

If one finds one’s self in a situation where one can be polite, one should, of course, be polite.

Were I in a situation where an action on my part would be seen as politeness, then I hope it would be forthcoming from me. But if that action sent the signal that I was acknowledging as real that which was not real, then I do hope I would have the courage to do what was needed to avoid sending a false message.

For example, I have no problem calling an Anglican (or other denominational) bishop or archbishop “bishop” or “archbishop” X. But to call them “your excellency” or “your grace”, as I would a Bishop or an Archbishop, is quite out of the question. So, a bow of respect is one thing, but a genuflection, as if the Blessed Sacrament were present, is quite something else.



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