how to genuflect

I’m looking for a visual explaination of ‘how to genuflect’. Does anyone know where on the internet I could find it.

check out this site… :thumbsup:

Go down on your left knee and cross yourself with the right hand.

I thought it was down with your right knee?

It is, I am sleep deprived.

Does it matter?
I always do left knee, It feels weird doing it with my right knee…

Edit: I think I have a stronger right leg, so I can get up easier when my left knee touches teh ground…

Genuflecting on the left knee is for earthly monarchs. The right knee is for God. If it’s a matter of a real disability, by all means genuflect on your left knee rather than not at all. If you just need to strengthen the other knee, then do it for the Lord.


Oh, I was just going to say…I have been doing it wrong for a long time then!

** If it’s a matter of a real disability, by all means genuflect on your left knee rather than not at all.**

I genuflect on my Left knee for three reasons…I walk with a cane due to arthritis, previously torn ligaments in my right knee and degenerative vertebrae discs in my back.

However; during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament I will make the effort under pain to get down on both knees prostrating before My God hidden in Monstrance.

I have heard some priests make comment that going down on both knees was no longer necessary. In fact I have witnessed some priests taking parishioners aside after the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and scrutinize their actions.
Not sure what gives in this instant. Whats wrong with prostrating oneself on both knees?

Nothing at all is wrong with it, but it is no longer required. Those who wish to genuflect on one knee are free to do so without breaking any rules.

I’m very impressed that you genuflect at all. In your situation I’d be doing a profound bow and not giving it a second thought. You have inspired me.



actually one can ‘go down on your left knee’ before men. Kings and such…

before the Blessed Sacrament --it is adoration–of Christ—so one goes down on ones** right knee.

"274. A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration**…"**

–General Instruction of the Roman Missal

one may make the sign of the cross…but it is not part of the genuflection per se.

Adding to what others have said, genuflecting on the left knee is also a very traditional (and rarely used) way of honoring a bishop or the pope. When one kisses the episcopal ring you can genuflect on your left knee. This is an important distinction becuase the right knee is reserved for God.

As a 19 year old I was never alive when a “double-genuflection” was required however I still genuflect on both knees when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in a ciborium or monstrance. Otherwise, when entering or leaving a pew or entering the sanctuary outside of Mass I genuflect on my right knee, often times (but not always) crossing myself.

your future bride…if that is your voc.
may like it too…

The Roman Missal describes a genuflection simply: “274. A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground …”.

Here is my more involved description and suggestions for practice. Step forward with the left leg. Bend the right knee to the ground, level with the left heel. Try to keep you back straight and head up. Hold the position for a few seconds. Then stand up by stepping back with the left leg, and straightening the right leg.

Having mastered the above, practice genuflecting with hands joined. This is described in the Ceremonial of Bishops: “107. Unless the bishop is holding the pastoral staff, he keeps his hands joined: [footnote 80: “Hands joined” means: “Holding the palms sideward and together before the breast, with the right thumb crossed over the left” (Caeremoniale Episcoporum, ed. 1886, I, XIX, 1).] when, vested, he walks in procession for the celebration of a liturgy, when he is kneeling at prayer; when he moves from altar to chair or from chair to altar; when the liturgical books prescribe joined hands.” (Reference: Ceremonial of Bishops, Liturgical Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8146-1818-9, page 43.)

The original Latin description includes that the fingers are to be extended, so they should be straight, when joined.

Sometimes you will not be able to step forward to genuflect. For example when saying the Creed on the feast of the Assumption and Christmas a genuflection is required at the words “and became man”. But there may be another seat in front of you. So in this case, move the right leg backwards a step, then bend the right knee to the ground, next to the left heel. Stand up by bringing the right leg forward.

In our Adoration Chapel I have noticed most people get down on both knees upon entering and exiting. A LOT of people actually lay down before the Blessed Sacrament and kiss the floor. .What does that mean? Even old ladies and old men do this and I can almost feel their pain as they do it. :frowning:

Kneeling could be called a “full” genuflection. Laying on the floor is a prostration. They are many verses in the Scriptures that speak of men falling on their face before God. In order from least to greatest reverence of those actions: bow > genuflect > kneel > prostration. :slight_smile:

Thank You! I’ve always wondered. I’ve been meaning to look it up lately.

Single genuflection (Before the Eucharist, in the tabernacle or exposed, outside of Mass unless in procession, at the Incarnation on the Assumption and Nativity, and to the cross on Good Friday): At a deliberative pace, step back with the right foot, touch your right knee to the ground next to your left foot, and rise, returning to the starting position.

Double genuflection (Pre-1973 practice before Eucharist exposed except in procession): Once your right knee is down, bring your left kneel down.

Profound bow (When approaching, passing, or departing the altar, at the Incarnation and, if standing, after the elevation when the priest genuflects): Standing erect, bend at the hip.

Bow of the head (At the names of Jesus, the Trinity, Mary, and the saint of the day and before reception of Communion standing): Standing erect, bend the head and shoulders slightly without bending the hip.

That is called “double genuflection.” Before the 1970s, it was required when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. It is no longer required. A simple genuflection is all that is required. However, double genuflection is still common. It is perfectly fine to do it, it’s just not required.

In case the OP is a lady: I find it easier in a skirt to put the right knee somewhat in front of the left foot, rather than even with the heel. Even with the heel doesn’t work at all in a pencil or other straight skirt, and in knee-length a-line skirts can lead to exposing your underwear. (Speaking as someone who just tried it in my size-too-big pencil skirt…)

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