genuflecting


#1

A couple of questions about genuflecting:

  1. When genuflecting, do you do the sign of the cross while falling to one knee, or not?

  2. When entering a church where the tabernacle is not inside the sanctuary, but perhaps in a side chapel or something, I am correct that one makes a profound bow to the altar?

  3. When does one do a double genuflection. Would one do a double genuflection to the exposed Body during an Adoration?


#2
  1. It’s your choice.
  2. Yes.
  3. Yes. This was the norm for some time. It has, however, recently become acceptable to perform a simple genuflection before the exposed Eucharist.

#3
  1. When the priest genuflects during Mass he does not make the Sign of the Cross. This gesture is made by everyone when they are standing. On entering a church the Sign of the Cross is made with holy water. So I think it is better not to mix up the genuflection with the Sign of the Cross.

  2. The tabernacle should be visible on entering the church. As Benedict XVI wrote in the 2007 Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis: “69. … Therefore, the place where the eucharistic species are reserved, marked by a sanctuary lamp, should be readily visible to everyone entering the church.” So the instruction of the Ceremonial of Bishops should be followed:
    "71 No one who enters a church should fail to adore the blessed sacrament, either by visiting the blessed sacrament chapel or at least by genuflecting."
    Reverence to the altar is separate:
    “72 A deep bow is made to the altar by all who enter the sanctuary (chancel), leave it, or pass before the altar.”
    (Ceremonial of Bishops, Liturgical Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8146-1818-9, pages 36-37.)

  3. One should never do a double genuflection. The current liturgical books of the Roman Rite forbid this:
    “1103 Genuflection in the presence of the blessed sacrament exposed for public adoration is on one knee.”
    (Ceremonial of Bishops, Liturgical Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8146-1818-9, page 297).
    Also in the liturgical book “Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass”:
    “84. Genuflection in the presence of the blessed sacrament, whether reserved in the tabernacle or exposed for public adoration, is on one knee.”
    (The Rites Volume One, Liturgical Press, 1990, ISBN: 0-8146-6015-0, page 671).


#4

#5

This reminds me, when genuflecting is it essential for your knee to actually touch the ground?
I have knee problems and it’s sometimes painful to actually go all the way down to touch my knee to the ground, I see a lot of people doing the same thing but I’m not sure if I should be making the effort to go an extra few inches to the floor.


#6

I have the same problem. I often get stuck and me knees crack when I try to get back up. Thank Heavens for the pew to hold onto for support. :eek:

I have to keep reminding myself, “Offer it up, offer it up, offer it up…” :slight_smile:


#7

Since you have a medical issue, it seems like it would be up to you and how flexible you are at any given time. My peeve is with the girls that do the little “curtsey” genuflect–my dd included many times. I think part of it is laziness and part of it is that it might be indecent for them to kneel all the way down! :eek: I know on my dd’s part, it is mostly because she sees the curtsey as more ‘feminine’–and yes, we are discussing it!


#8

I knee down on one knee. When the knee touches the floor, I bow my head and make the sign of the cross. Unbow my head and stand up.

Yes, one should bow as a sign of respect to the relic contained in the main altar which is why I bow my head during genuflecting in #1 above.

It may no longer be required but I still get down on both knees. I doubt the Lord would be offended by that.


#9

I was told that you should do a profound bow to the altar, not a genuflection, as that is reserved for the Blessed Sacrament. I’ve seen people face the Tabernacle (which is in a side chapel) and genuflect to that.


#10

When that happens, do you do both? A bow to the altar and a genuflection toward the Tabernacle?


#11

I kneel going into the pew regardless of the tabernacle placement when I first come in.

If I am active in the mass (e.g. Sacristan, EM, etc…), I kneel only when I am on a direct line extending out of the tabernacle location.


#12

I always make the sign of the cross when I genuflect. This is how we were taught in our Catholic school when I was growing up. I can’t imagine it’s incorrect to make the sign of the cross during a genuflection.


#13

#14

Exactly. I combine both (bow & genuflection).


#15

Yes, one should bow as a sign of respect to the relic contained in the main altar which is why I bow my head during genuflecting in #1 above.

We bow to the altar because that is where the sacrifice of the Mass takes place. There are many altars that no longer contain relics. The last three parishes I worked at and my home parish does not have relics.


#16

I believe that ALL main [FONT=Arial]PERMANENTE [FONT=Verdana][sp] altars are still required to have a relic contained in it.[/FONT]
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#17
  1. When genuflecting, do you do the sign of the cross while falling to one knee, or not?

Initially, I do. That is, my first genuflection I do. But if I cross before the Tabernacle more than once, I will simply genuflect without the sign of the cross.

  1. When entering a church where the tabernacle is not inside the sanctuary, but perhaps in a side chapel or something, I am correct that one makes a profound bow to the altar?

I believe that is correct.

  1. When does one do a double genuflection. Would one do a double genuflection to the exposed Body during an Adoration?

I’ve always done a double genuflection when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.


#18

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