Kneeling at blessing

I am asking this question because I am new at learning the traditions of the Catholic church and some of the ways of Mass before Vatican II. I attend an ordinary form of the Mass because there isn’t a TLM near us. There are others there I noticed who appear to be traditional Catholics. Not sure, but I have noticed the women’s headcoverings and kneeling or genuflecting at Communion. Of course there is a lot written regarding headcoverings and the difference in recieving Communion but I noticed something else. At the end of Mass rather than standing for the blessing they continue to kneel. I understand the reasons for headcoverings and kneeling at Communion, you hear about those a lot, but does anyone else kneel at the final blessing and maybe let me know the reasons.

Thank you.

God bless.

I notice that at Latin Mass, women wear a veil on their head,at time,s we kneel, but at the end off Mass we stand…

In my St. Joseph daily missal from the '60s it says to kneel starting with the prayer just after the Ite Missa Est and it doesn’t say to stand again until the last gospel of St. John at the end of Mass beginning with the greeting “The Lord be with you.” So it looks like kneeling for the blessing for the Tridentine Mass.

In the Extraordinary Form, I remember that you are to kneel when receiving a blessing, so when the Ite, Missa Est is finished, all kneel, excluding the priest, and the priest will say, “Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus…” and all will continue kneeling until the Last Gospel.
In the Ordinary Form, there is no kneeling at the final blessing, as the rubrics do not call for it, to my knowledge.

I attend the TLM regularly, and have done for about 15 years and have also served the TLM, so I know a little bit about it (not much though!)

A lot of what lay people do at the TLM regarding standing, sitting, kneeling etc. is governed by local custom. At sung Masses I think the general principle is that they follow what the assisting clergy in the sanctuary are doing - which does include kneeling for the blessing, then standing again for the Last Gospel which follows.

For Low Mass, as I remember, the rubrics are pretty sparse regarding the laity, I think there may at one point have been a one-sentence rubric in the Missal saying that people were supposed to kneel for Mass, apart from at the Gospels. There seems to be a bit of leeway for local custom, but it seems universally normal to kneel for the last blessing. In the UK, which is where I live, a general pattern for Low Mass would be:
[LIST]
*]stand when the priest leaves the sacristy/vestry, remain standing as he goes to the altar and places the chalice on it and opens the Missal
*]kneel when he goes back down the altar steps to start Mass
*]remain kneeling until he goes to the left hand side (from the congregation’s point of view) of the altar for the Gospel
*]stand for the Gospel
*]sit for the sermon if there is one,
*]stand for the Creed, genuflecting at the "et incarnates est… " etc
*]sit for the offertory, until the end of the Preface
*]Kneel when the Sanctus starts
*]remain kneeling until you go to the altar rails to receive Communion
*]after receiving Communion remain kneeling until the Last Gospel right at the end
*]stand for the Last Gospel, kneel for the Leonine prayers if said, then stand again when the priest leaves the sanctuary.
[/LIST]

I think Mark is correct that generally, the position of the laity is governed by local custom - I actually have no idea what the actual prescriptions are. In the US, at least, every TLM has the same “local customs” for a Low Mass and the same “local customs” for a High Mass. Then again, I’ve only been to a small handful of different parishes for the TLM.

I am really just posting because I wanted to say that as far as I’ve observed, it’s more of a genuflection for the blessing. It’s only kneeling at a Low Mass because one is already kneeling at the time the blessing occurs at the end of Mass, but at a High Mass (at least in my experience), it is only a genuflection - one is standing at the time the blessing is about to occur, and I have always just done a genuflection (i.e., down on one knee) while the priest is blessing us, and I notice the majority of the congregation doing the same thing. I could be totally wrong on that, but that is just my observation. As with the other positions of the laity at the other parts of the TLM, I have no idea what the actual prescription is, if any, for the blessing.

Edited to add: Also, obviously if one wants to actually kneel at the blessing, that is perfectly fine, and for all I know, that is the more appropriate/correct thing to do.

I am asking this question because I am new at learning the traditions of the Catholic church and some of the ways of Mass before Vatican II. I attend an ordinary form of the Mass because there isn’t a TLM near us. There are others there I noticed who appear to be traditional Catholics. Not sure, but I have noticed the women’s headcoverings and kneeling or genuflecting at Communion. Of course there is a lot written regarding headcoverings and the difference in recieving Communion but I noticed something else. At the end of Mass rather than standing for the blessing they continue to kneel. I understand the reasons for headcoverings and kneeling at Communion, you hear about those a lot, but does anyone else kneel at the final blessing and maybe let me know the reasons.

Thank you.

God bless.

What you describe is an optional and personal piety practice [frowned on by some]

Kneeling is a act of sublime humility. It can also be seen as an act of obedience.

Romans 14:11
For it is written: As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

God Bless you

Why would the church give us guidelines in posture for Mass in the OF that if one follows those guidelines it would be the less appropriate, less correct thing to do?

Yes, I agree with this also. For a Tridentine Mass, there are specific instructions to kneel during this timeframe. It’s not a suggestion.

Which brings the question: Do people who attend a TLM do some other posture than what is prescribed? For example, some posture changes depending on whether you attend a low Mass or a High Mass. What if someone ignored what was prescribed for a certain Mass because they felt it was the more appropriate thing for them to do? Would the criticism be the same for those who do not follow the prescribed posture at the TLM as it is for those who do not follow the prescribed posture at the OF?

Frankly, zab, it beats me why the Church got rid of kneeling/genuflecting for the blessing as the norm. I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t have used the qualifier “more” - but I can without a doubt state my opinion that it is certainly “appropriate” and “fitting” to kneel/genuflect for the blessing. I think one of the things contributing to a loss of a sense of the sacred and other things is a loss of outward acts of humility and reverence, and kneeling/genuflecting for the blessing is one of those things. I can understand that my calling kneeling for a blessing “appropriate” and “fitting” implies that not doing so is “less fitting”, but frankly, I agree with that. Obviously not sinful or anything like that, I am definitely not making that claim, nor do I mean to “judge” or “denigrate” or “look down on” anyone who doesn’t do so (since I know I’ll probably be accused of doing these things).

I can’t quite articulate the specific reasons for why I think it is “appropriate” and “fitting” to kneel for the blessing, but there we go, there’s my opinion.

Also, my comment was really talking about the TLM, about how it is “more appropriate” in the context of the Latin Mass. Though as I just indicated above, I do think it should carry over to the OF.

Frankly, bobballen, the OP’s question was in regard to the blessing at the OF Mass. As you have pointed out the posture is different at the TLM and it even differs depending on whether you attend the low Mass or the High Mass. You certainly may have your own opinion as I do mine. And frankly, bobballen, it wasn’t that you called kneeling “appropriate” and “fitting” that implied “less fitting”, it was however, your remark that it was “the more appropriate/correct thing to do” that implies that those who follow the set posture for the OF are doing what is less appropriate/correct. How is it less appropriate/correct to do as we have been instructed? Is there no good reason to follow rules and guidelines??? And speaking of outward signs of humility, following rules and guidelines against your own desires is certainly an act of humility.

OK, you’re right - I suppose I took it a little bit off topic, but not really. In any case, my first response was more directed towards someone who was saying the practice of kneeling at the blessing was derived from/carried over from the TLM.

Regarding “following rules and guidelines against your own desires” - there is no literal “rule” that states people must stand for the blessing in the OF, so it is not going against any rule or guideline to kneel if one so desires. Honestly, I have no idea and I suppose I should just look it up, but my guess would be, there is just no longer the mention of kneeling for the blessing as I’m sure there probably is/was with the TLM. Although I’m sure someone less lazy than I might look it up, and in the process, prove me wrong, and find that there is an actual requirement to stand to receive the blessing in the OF.

For the record, I personally do not kneel at the blessing when I attend the OF Mass (which is the majority of the time). I just see nothing wrong with someone else feeling like they should.

[QUOT]=Mark1970;13497650]I attend the TLM regularly, and have done for about 15 years and have also served the TLM, so I know a little bit about it (not much though!)

A lot of what lay people do at the TLM regarding standing, sitting, kneeling etc. is governed by local custom. At sung Masses I think the general principle is that they follow what the assisting clergy in the sanctuary are doing - which does include kneeling for the blessing, then standing again for the Last Gospel which follows.

For Low Mass, as I remember, the rubrics are pretty sparse regarding the laity, I think there may at one point have been a one-sentence rubric in the Missal saying that people were supposed to kneel for Mass, apart from at the Gospels. There seems to be a bit of leeway for local custom, but it seems universally normal to kneel for the last blessing. In the UK, which is where I live, a general pattern for Low Mass would be:
[LIST]
*]stand when the priest leaves the sacristy/vestry, remain standing as he goes to the altar and places the chalice on it and opens the Missal
*]kneel when he goes back down the altar steps to start Mass
*]remain kneeling until he goes to the left hand side (from the congregation’s point of view) of the altar for the Gospel
*]stand for the Gospel
*]sit for the sermon if there is one,
*]stand for the Creed, genuflecting at the "et incarnates est… " etc
*]sit for the offertory, until the end of the Preface
*]Kneel when the Sanctus starts
*]remain kneeling until you go to the altar rails to receive Communion
*]after receiving Communion remain kneeling until the Last Gospel right at the end
*]stand for the Last Gospel, kneel for the Leonine prayers if said, then stand again when the priest leaves the sanctuary.
[/LIST]

Thanks, nicely done

I don’t know about posture at Mass being governed by local custom. It seems to me that there would be liturgical guidelines that determined posture. At our parish, we have booklets for the people attending the TLM and it clearly states when the people are to kneel, sit or stand. And it also distinguishes posture between High Mass and low Mass. But I agree that following the posture of the attending priests and sometimes the altar servers is one way to know what posture to use. That is what I was taught when I was young.

P.S. I just found this guideline through a google search: latinmasstrenton.org/lmt/Resources/Helpful%20Posture%20Card/Click%20Here%20for%20Helpful%20Posture%20Card.pdf

To the best of my knowledge there were no “rules”/rubrics given in the official Extraordinary Form Missale Romanum governing the posture of the laity during Mass. I had a read through an English translation of the Ritus servandus, which is the set of rubrics governing the actual celebration of Mass in the EF, and it seems almost exclusively concerned with the actions of the priest, no reference at all to the actions of the faithful, apart from the reception of Communion. By comparison, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal for the Ordinary form does give directions in Paragraph 42: liturgyoffice.org.uk/Resources/GIRM/Documents/GIRM.pdf

I think that the guideline you found (which I couldn’t access for some reason) may be just that, a local guideline. The only information I have been able to find concerning posture of the laity at Low Mass is in the 1958 document De musica sacra, referenced in Fortesque’s The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described. These refer to the specific form pf Mass known as the Dialogue Mass, when all the congregation joins in with the server in making the responses. Tis document does give directions for Dialogue Mass, but that begs the question as to whether the rubrics given apply to all Low Masses, or only to those Masses celebrated as Dialogue Masses. It also gives directives for Solemn or Sung Masses, which seem to approximate to the comment I made previously about following what the clergy do.

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