Genuflecting


#1

Hey guys, today I was at mass and didn't genuflect on the way out. I had every intention to, but it's only a small church so it's sorta hard. I was waiting for everyone to go before me so I could genuflect in space, but a lady asked me if I wanted to cut it front of her, and not really thinking I said yes. I turned around and looked towards the altar/tabernacle and sorta acknowledged Jesus as best I could.

Is this a sin? Did I do anything wrong? I think I'm being scrupulous, as I've had a major issues with that lately, but just for future reference, is not genuflecting sinful? Thanks


#2

NOT a sin

Genuflecting is a sign of respect acknowledging that Our Lord is in the Tabernacle and is present among us.

It’s a pious practice and one that is normally done.

Don’t feel guilty - you did the best you could under the circumstances - You acknowledged He was there . Another time - once you can safely do so there’s nothing to stop you turning round as you near the door - and then genuflecting - but just make sure that other people can’t trip over you :slight_smile:


#3

Yes, you are being scrupulous. You did the best you could.


#4

My knees don't work, so I make the sign of the cross while facing the altar, or bow from the waist if I have room in the crowd. Surely it would be the acknowledgement of the Presence, rather than the form of the acknowledgement that counts? To genuflect automatically without thinking might be a sin though, or at least disrespectful.


#5

I have a story about genuflecting automatically, although not in church. When I was in college, six couples went together to our Hall of Music, which, all those years ago, was billed as the largest amphitheater in the world. We were all dressed “to the nines,” as we hurriedly descended in the vast theater (seating over 6,000) toward our choice seats near the front. I, the only Catholic among 11 Jewish students, led the way through the subdued lighting and hushed, almost reverent “electricity” that permeated the atmosphere, and when the usher motioned with his flashlight, as the lights went even lower, I quickly made the sign of the cross, genuflected, and started down the row of seats, hoping we’d all be seated before the curtain lifted. About halfway to my destination, totally mortified (because I really liked my date), I realized what I’d done and turned around, astonished to see that everyone behind me was also genuflecting! Guess they missed the Sign of the Cross part! Only the very last guy put his hands on his hips as if to say, “What IS this?” It took a long time to live down my embarrassment, but the others all joked about “monkey see, monkey do.” I kept thinking I’d submit the incident to Readers Digest for the prize money, but never got around to doing so. Many years later, I read of a similar incident. Of course, I don’t know if that incident actually occurred, or if it was merely a recounting of our story, but that contributor did receive the prize money for the genuflecting story that I’d always intended to write “some day” for the “Life in These United States” feature. In all honesty, though, I can easily imagine others doing the same thing.


#6

In this case it is not a sin. However it is good to see someone who wants to be respectful of the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament
:):):):)


#7

[quote="Qwestions, post:5, topic:304741"]
I have a story about genuflecting automatically, although not in church. When I was in college, six couples went together to our Hall of Music, which, all those years ago, was billed as the largest amphitheater in the world. We were all dressed "to the nines," as we hurriedly descended in the vast theater (seating over 6,000) toward our choice seats near the front. I, the only Catholic among 11 Jewish students, led the way through the subdued lighting and hushed, almost reverent "electricity" that permeated the atmosphere, and when the usher motioned with his flashlight, as the lights went even lower, I quickly made the sign of the cross, genuflected, and started down the row of seats, hoping we'd all be seated before the curtain lifted. About halfway to my destination, totally mortified (because I really liked my date), I realized what I'd done and turned around, astonished to see that everyone behind me was also genuflecting! Guess they missed the Sign of the Cross part! Only the very last guy put his hands on his hips as if to say, "What IS this?" It took a long time to live down my embarrassment, but the others all joked about "monkey see, monkey do." I kept thinking I'd submit the incident to Readers Digest for the prize money, but never got around to doing so. Many years later, I read of a similar incident. Of course, I don't know if that incident actually occurred, or if it was merely a recounting of our story, but that contributor did receive the prize money for the genuflecting story that I'd always intended to write "some day" for the "Life in These United States" feature. In all honesty, though, I can easily imagine others doing the same thing.

[/quote]

:rotfl:


#8

As far as I recall, if we can (that is, if physically possible), it used to be that we'd at least do a deep bow towards the Tabernacle (meaning head, shoulders, waist), but if the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, then we would at least genuflect, and adore with double genuflection (on both knees). From what I read, now:

Since a genuflection is, per se, an act of adoration, the general liturgical norms no longer make any distinction between the mode of adoring Christ reserved in the tabernacle or exposed upon the altar. The simple single genuflection on one knee may be used in all cases.

However, some bishops' conferences have voted to retain the use of the double genuflection for the Blessed Sacrament exposed, and it would be required in these countries. In this case, those who make the double genuflection kneel briefly on both knees and reverently incline the head with hands joined.

Needless to say, the simple genuflection should never be reduced to a sudden spasm in the right knee. The right knee should touch the place where the right foot stood while head and back remain straight. The gesture of adoration should be performed with due pause.

A reader from Kalgoorlie, Australia, asked what is the proper act of reverence for those who are physically unable to make a genuflection.

in this case the general principle "ad impossibilia nemo tenetur" (the impossible obliges nobody) is applied. It is enough for such people to do whatever act they are capable of: a deep bow; slowly going down on the knee in a pew; or, if even this is impossible, fulfilling the essential act of adoration which is an interior and spiritual movement of which the external gesture is an expression.

To willfully choose not to genuflect or even bow towards a Tabernacle or, much worse, to the Blessed Sacrament, is irreverent towards God and it constitutes sin.

The following account of Padre Pio is rather well-known:

One night I was alone in the choir and I saw a friar cleaning the altar late at night. I asked him to go to bed since it was so late. He said: "I'm a friar like you. I did here my novitiate and when assigned to take care of the Altar, and I passed many times in front of the Tabernacle without making the proper reverence. For this sin I am in Purgatory

God is there.

God.

You are not being scrupulous: we will never be able to show proper reverence to God, but at least we should try with all our heart and mind to do so.


#9

I try to genuflect, but sometimes i feel like I’m about to get ran over by people at the end of mass, and can only manage a half-kneel


#10

There’s no rush to leave after Holy Mass is ended. This simply adds irreverence on top of irreverence.

For about 15 minutes we are living Tabernacles. It is not too much to ask, to spend some time with Christ after Holy Mass is ended.

There is an excellent reason for which the original Mass (now Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) included a time of thanksgiving after Communion, including the Communion antiphon, the Post- communion prayer, the “Ite missa est,” and the Last Gospel. In theory, the Ordinary Form includes (as far as I know) the provision for a time of sacred silence after Communion, before the final prayer and blessing, but this is hardly ever long enough.

St. Philip Neri once observed a man habitually leaving the church immediately after receiving the sacred Host. He called two acolytes, asked them to take two lighted candles and accompany the man to his home. The servers obeyed and everyone in the street stared at them as they followed the man. Looking back and seeing the acolytes the man asked them why they were following him. They said that Fr. Neri had ordered them to do so. He therefore returned to the church and asked him what the meaning was of this unwanted escort? St. Philip replied: “It is to pay proper respect to Our Lord, whom you are carrying away with you. Since you neglect to adore Him, I sent the servers to take your place.”


#11

Thank you. I didn't realize genuflecting held such deep significance. It just thought it was nice, reverent practice I wanted to copy I observed when I went to a nice Church I visited once :p


#12

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