genuflection


#1

Is there a proper and improper way to genuflect? I go down, touch my right knee to the ground, and come right back up. I also usually make the sign of the cross while doing it, though it’s not a “part” of genuflecting. However, some people i’ve noticed, in the church I attend, will go down on one knee and stay there for like five seconds, or even longer. Some people will go down on two knees and stay there for a while also. I just notice it when they enter the pew. Is this good? Not good? does it matter? Also, some, a lot in my parish, although it has kneelers, choose not to use them. Like during Mass and whenever they’re kneeling in the church. Is this good? not good? does it matter? I’m just curious what others think about this. It makes me wonder sometimes.

-in Christ
Gilbert


#2

Length kinda depends on the stiuation. I’ve heard to genuflect on the right knee as it denotes worship, while left knee denotes respect. Both knees when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.

Scott


#3

Hi,

Usually you would genuflect on one knee if the Blessed Sacrament is in the Tabernacle, and on both knees if the Blessed sacrament is exposed. I do not think there is a specific time mentioned.

re:

Also, some, a lot in my parish, although it has kneelers, choose not to use them. Like during Mass and whenever they’re kneeling in the church. Is this good? not good?

Are you saying they kneel on the floor, even though there are kneelers? What type of kneelers?

SuZ


#4

Genuflection is the act of touching the right knee to the ground.

Touching both knees to the ground is called “kneeling”. :smiley:


#5

You got me :thumbsup:

When I was a kid, we were told to “genuflect on both knees” before entering the pew when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed.

I guess that would really be “kneel for a second or two”, but I guess it was easier to explain it the other way when teaching kids to genuflect before entering the pew–one knee or two depending upon if the Blessed Sacrament was reserved or exposed.

(actually the dictionary says
genuflect-1. kneel: to bend the right knee to the floor and rise again as a gesture of religious respect, particularly in a Roman Catholic or Anglican church
so then couldn’t kneel be: genuflect using both knees???) :cool:


#6

Yes, there are regular cushioned kneelers that are connected to the pew in front, that have hinges so you put the kneelers down when kneeling, and put them up when not kneeling. It’s a hard floor otherwise.


#7

It is not how you genuflect that is important, it is the appropriate usage of genuflection.

For example, when you come into the Church you should not genuflect towards the altar unless the Tabernacle is behind the altar. One should bow out of respect to the altar before entering the pew. However, one should also turn to the Tabernacle and genuflect.

I want to add an anecdote about some children I have observed going up for Communion with their parents. They are too young to receive the Eucharist. Anyway the children have been taught to cross their arms in front of them. At the same time they have been imitating others, such that when the father genuflects before receiving the Eucharist so do the little boys. The little girl is just two years old, and it is so cute to see her copying others as she too genuflects. What was really cute was the way that she opened her mouth as if she was going to be allowed to receive the Eucharist. To see these children going up at Communion time and genuflecting is really beautiful and it always makes me smile.

Maggie


#8

SuZ - While the genuflection on both knees before the Exposed Sacrament is still a pious practice, it is no longer mandatory.


#9

JMJ

grandadmiralboo

Your Post -** genuflection**
Is there a proper and improper way to genuflect? I go down, touch my right knee to the ground, and come right back up. I also usually make the sign of the cross while doing it, though it’s not a “part” of genuflecting. However, some people i’ve noticed, in the church I attend, will go down on one knee and stay there for like five seconds, or even longer. Some people will go down on two knees and stay there for a while also. I just notice it when they enter the pew. Is this good? Not good? does it matter? Also, some, a lot in my parish, although it has kneelers, choose not to use them. Like during Mass and whenever they’re kneeling in the church. Is this good? not good? does it matter? I’m just curious what others think about this. It makes me wonder sometimes.

-in Christ
Gilbert

Every Knee Shall Bend (Biblical references)

Romans ****14:1111 for it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.”

Psalms 95:6****
****6 Enter, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us.

Isaiah 45:22-23****
****22 Turn to me and be safe, all you ends of the earth, for I am God; there is no other!

23 By myself I swear, uttering my just decree and my unalterable word: To me every knee shall bend; by me every tongue shall swear,

Philippians 2:10
****10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

God Bless!


#10

[quote=grandadmiralboo]. However, some people i’ve noticed, in the church I attend, will go down on one knee and stay there for like five seconds, or even longer. Gilbert
[/quote]

that would be me, waiting for somebody to help me up because my knees locked up on me


#11

[quote=MaggieOH]One should bow out of respect to the altar before entering the pew. However, one should also turn to the Tabernacle and genuflect.
[/quote]

In the U.S. the norm is to genuflect to the tabernacle if it is present, otherwise to bow to the altar; it is not the norm to do both.


#12

Genuflection is a sign of reverence acknowledging Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. As Catholics we believe in the Real Presence and upon entering church we should be doing this in great reverence as if Jesus was standing before us in real bodily form. The people you see genuflecting and staying down for a few seconds are giving the proper reverence. I see many people who are only doing it as a habit and there is no reverence whatsoever. It is proper for those with poor knees or other health problems to just bow with reverence.

Hope this helps.
Peace


#13

[quote=Joe Kelley]SuZ - While the genuflection on both knees before the Exposed Sacrament is still a pious practice, it is no longer mandatory.
[/quote]

Hi Joe,

And I have no problem with personal preference in private prayer. We are instructed to assume a uniform posture in public prayer.


#14

[quote=Danw]Genuflection is a sign of reverence acknowledging Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. As Catholics we believe in the Real Presence and upon entering church we should be doing this in great reverence as if Jesus was standing before us in real bodily form. The people you see genuflecting and staying down for a few seconds are giving the proper reverence. I see many people who are only doing it as a habit and there is no reverence whatsoever. It is proper for those with poor knees or other health problems to just bow with reverence.

Hope this helps.
Peace
[/quote]

What if you could genuflect touching your left knee down, but not your right? I have terrible knee pain when I touch down my right knee, but I can genuflect on my left, so that’s what I do. I always wondered would it be better to just bow? Maybe I’m being too legalistic here. The Lord knows my heart and that I want to show the proper reverence.


#15

[quote=StJeanneDArc]What if you could genuflect touching your left knee down, but not your right? I have terrible knee pain when I touch down my right knee, but I can genuflect on my left, so that’s what I do. I always wondered would it be better to just bow? Maybe I’m being too legalistic here. The Lord knows my heart and that I want to show the proper reverence.
[/quote]

I have never seen anywhere that we have to genuflect on the right knee only. It does seem to be tradition though. If you are unable to genuflect that is ok. It is proper to show some sign of reverence that you are entering into the presence of Our Lord. A reverent bow will suffice. You know in your heart, and The Lord, knows also.

Just love and revere the Lord, nohing else matters.

Peace.


#16

[quote=Danw]I have never seen anywhere that we have to genuflect on the right knee only.
[/quote]

How hard have you looked? Have you read the GIRM?


#17

The GIRM does indicate that by bending the right knee … signifies adoration., but I think in the spirit of this whole thread, we were discussing if age, or health problems would prevent you from genuflection. I do not think the GIRM would preclude genuflection using the left knee, or some other act of adoration, if circumstances prevents one from the norm.


#18

[quote=MaggieOH]It is not how you genuflect that is important, it is the appropriate usage of genuflection.

For example, when you come into the Church you should not genuflect towards the altar unless the Tabernacle is behind the altar. One should bow out of respect to the altar before entering the pew. However, one should also turn to the Tabernacle and genuflect.

Maggie
[/quote]

HOWEVER… if one is visiting an Eastern Rite church one SHOULD NOT GENUFLECT. This is not an Eastern practice. It is enough to simply bow one’s head and to bless one’s self…:smiley:


#19

Genuflecting arriving to the pew is acceptable, but what about leaving the pew at the conclusion of Mass? I see few (though many less than in years past) genuflecting before they turn away form the Tabernacle to leave. Is this ecouraged or acceptable?


#20

[quote=campion]Genuflecting arriving to the pew is acceptable, but what about leaving the pew at the conclusion of Mass? I see few (though many less than in years past) genuflecting before they turn away form the Tabernacle to leave. Is this ecouraged or acceptable?
[/quote]

I see this a lot as well. My understanding is that we ought to genuflect when entering the Church and when leaving, and that, when Mass is celebrated, it’s usually done when entering and leaving the pew before and after Mass. I think that since after Mass the aisles are very crowded people think it’s more appropriate to not genuflect when leaving. My question is this; is the practice of genuflecting when entering and leaving, a matter of law, or is it just custom? If it is a matter of law, does the law give reasons why one should not genuflect, such as inadaquate space?


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