Kneeling during the Eucharist *Problem*


#1

I have a lot of health issues, I can't get into all of it with you because I have no diagnosis, no one knows what is wrong with me (the doctors say I am a medical mystery). Well this isn't about my health, just some background. One of the huge medical issues I have is fainting and dizziness, and possible seizures.
This all happens a lot while I am standing but not always. However, every single time I get into the kneeling position it starts up. What happens is that I start to go lightheaded, get clammy, my heart starts to race and I feel like passing out. I try to kneel until the "Let us pray" despite others already sitting. I just don't know what to do, obviously I don't want to pass out but I feel very wrong if I don't kneel. Does anyone know why this would happen first off? Is it that bad if I stay sitting. I am pretty young so I don't want to look disrespectful? What would you do?


#2

[quote="MaryRita85, post:1, topic:324160"]
I have a lot of health issues, I can't get into all of it with you because I have no diagnosis, no one knows what is wrong with me (the doctors say I am a medical mystery). Well this isn't about my health, just some background. One of the huge medical issues I have is fainting and dizziness, and possible seizures.
This all happens a lot while I am standing but not always. However, every single time I get into the kneeling position it starts up. What happens is that I start to go lightheaded, get clammy, my heart starts to race and I feel like passing out. I try to kneel until the "Let us pray" despite others already sitting. I just don't know what to do, obviously I don't want to pass out but I feel very wrong if I don't kneel. Does anyone know why this would happen first off? Is it that bad if I stay sitting. I am pretty young so I don't want to look disrespectful? What would you do?

[/quote]

The general forms for posture in Mass are Guidelines. Even the Priest himself can be excused from the normal postures when there is a good reason.

I would advise you to sit or stand as suits, and if you are unable to kneel then don't.

I would be very surprised if anyone says anything. Lots of people have good reasons for not following the general norm. Look around at mass I'd be very surprised if you're the only one who doesn't kneel.


#3

Dear Mary,

I suggest telling a doctor about your symptoms, if you can afford it. They don't sound like something normal a person should just "live with."

To my knowledge, being ill or infirm excuses Catholics from just about anything that is normally required. If kneeling and staying conscious is not possible, by all means sit and don't injure yourself. Talk to father if it will make you feel better. I'm sure he'll say the same.

You'll be in my prayers.


#4

Thank you!
I’m currently seeing 6 different doctors and have had two procedures in the last two weeks, so I am trying.:slight_smile:
I just worry about looking disrespectful.


#5

Mary Rita -

Wishing you the best & good doctors!

I spent quite a few years in off & on pain from a misdiagnosed back problem. Sometimes I could kneel, sometimes I couldn't. Sometimes I could stand, sometimes I couldn't. Sometimes I could bow, sometimes I couldn't. Oddly enough, I could usually genuflect!

I still have leftover side affects from nerve damage that make it difficult to stand still for very long. So even tho I look well, I sometimes have to sit while everyone else stands.

Don't worry about what others will think. They would be far more distracted if you were to faint or have a seizure in the middle of Mass.


#6

Haha, well this is true!
I don’t know why I worry so much what others will think. It is frustrating too look healthy and to not be. God knows my situation and both Priests do too so maybe I should stop trying to hurt myself:)


#7

I understand how frustrating that can be. Here, it is not unusual for various members to be unable to kneel, and while age and advanced pregnancy are both obvious, there are those who do not kneel for other less obvious reasons - but by their general body language (hands folded, head bowed or eyes focused on the altar, body still) they easily communicate that they are focused on the mass and it’s disability rather than disrespect that keep them off the kneelers. I’m sure it’s the same for anyone who might happen to notice you not kneeling - I’m sure they can tell you are focused on the mass as well, and not think a thing about it.

Hugs & Prayers,

CJ


#8

As a lay-person you are not bound by any rubrics, so you are not actually required to sit, stand or kneel at any point in the Mass. You are only expected to assume a suitably appropriate position (and you are not even bound to do that). If you are ill and it is bad for your health and well-being to kneel then don’t kneel.

There are many people who sit rather than kneel anyway because of health reasons, nobody gives them a second thought, and if someone did think it was disrespectful then that is their problem, and not the problem of the person sitting. God knows your reasons for not kneeling, and that is all that matters.


#9

I had the same symptoms, vertigo, passing out, dizziness, it turned out I had Meniere's disease. Praying you find some one to help you. May the Lord give you strength to cope.

Saint Jude helper of the hopeless please hear our prayers,
and pray for MaryRita

Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy
Sacred Heart of Jesus hear our prayers


#10

You all are so right, that makes me feel so much better. I will continue to kneel but if I start to have issues, I won't try to fight through them. I'm still for the right reasons even if I can't fully do what everyone else is doing. That isn't the point, your words really helped. Thanks!


#11

I have a friend in her mid 20 found out she has low blood pressure. IT would get better/worse when she was doing certain things. You might want to get a second opinion. They gave her maintenance medication and she is great.

If you are worried about people talking smack, go to your priest he can give you a special dispensation.

Your Fellow HOOOOOSIER!!
JILL


#12

Mary Rita, I hope you find out what your problem is. My aunt (in her late 80's) had the exact same problem, and the only time it would happen is at church. She would start swaying a bit and then seemed to pass out. Her eyes were open but she was totally unresponsive. It only lasted a few minutes and she didn't seem to remember anything happening. I called the ambulance half a dozen times but usually by the time they got there she was perfectly fine (and angry as a cat!) She was examined by the doctor several times but nothing was ever found. I finally had to stop taking her to Mass because it was just so stressful, not knowing if she would have an episode. No problems since then. I would love to know what might have been causing it.


#13

Dear MaryRita85,
I feel your pain. When it comes to kneeling, I think you need to follow your body's limitations and constantly seek doctors who will provide a proper diagnosis. Over the years, I have had many health problems which has meant that I haven't been able to stand the entire time or because of knee problems, sometimes I can't kneel either. The most important thing for you to do is listen to your body which means when people are kneeling, it is perfectly alright to sit in your place. If they are standing and you aren't well, remain seated. The last thing people want is for you to feel faint or become ill during mass.

I once had someone ask me why I didn't kneel, once I told them, they understood.

We will all pray that the doctors figure it out.

God bless,
SG


#14

I'm glad to know that I am not alone. I am trying for answers but I am so tired of doctors, procedures and surgeries.....I know why I am there and so does God. That doesn't take away any of my full participation by any means. I may never know what is going on but I have faith. Faith, which is so new and amazing to me because up to 9 months ago or so, I was full of hate and had no faith. I will be ok:D


#15

[quote="MaryRita85, post:1, topic:324160"]
I have a lot of health issues, I can't get into all of it with you because I have no diagnosis, no one knows what is wrong with me (the doctors say I am a medical mystery). Well this isn't about my health, just some background. One of the huge medical issues I have is fainting and dizziness, and possible seizures.
This all happens a lot while I am standing but not always. However, every single time I get into the kneeling position it starts up. What happens is that I start to go lightheaded, get clammy, my heart starts to race and I feel like passing out. I try to kneel until the "Let us pray" despite others already sitting. I just don't know what to do, obviously I don't want to pass out but I feel very wrong if I don't kneel. Does anyone know why this would happen first off? Is it that bad if I stay sitting. I am pretty young so I don't want to look disrespectful? What would you do?

[/quote]

As far as I recall, when one cannot kneel due to health reasons, he may remain seated. It is perfectly respectful.


#16

If you can't kneel, stand. If you can't stand, sit. If you can't sit, stay home. You're not obligated to risk your health to attend Mass. You can have the priest or his minister visit you with Communion.

I'm often stranded in the back at Mass and I stand. Just remember to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration.


#17

I understand your frustrations and this is by no means meant to take the place of a dr's diagnosis. I have Meniere's Disease. It affects the inner ear and can cause various forms of dizziness and even GI symptoms. It took the drs years to figure out what was wrong. For a while it was assumed it was a psychological problem. I ended up getting diagnosed after I lost hearing in one ear and now we are working to prevent hearing loss in the other ear. I have other medical stuff going on too, but the Meniere's is at time completely crippling. I can't stand, sit upright, kneel, or even move during a severe attack. I am too likely to fall and also have "motion sickness" occur. It's scary to feel and scary to witness (for my kids especially). Too often inner ear problems are overlooked and not taken seriously. You are in my prayers and so are your drs. As for kneeling, most of the people in my parish don't kneel the entire time. Our priest even makes a point to say, "please kneel if you are able," so no one feels bad if they can't. Take care.


#18

Oh my goodness, bless your heart!:hug1:
That is on my list of possibilities they say it could be:
Menieres
MS
Chiari Malformation
Dysautonomia
My tests are coming back strange, they are abnormal but abnormal for abnormal, if you get what I am saying. A few issues with my cardiovascualr and neurological system but nothing that seems to be causing this.
GI problems are bad. I have already had 7ft of my Colon removed (yes, I am serious, it was that long, I have a picture:D). I am currently being evaulated for a Gastric Pacemaker for my Gasroparesis (it is debilitating). Swallowing issues… My entire Gastrointestinal system is gone.
I have all those GI issues, along with shortness of breath, Migraines, dizziness, numbness, tingling, a feeling of floating (this lasts all day), my vision goes strange, my ear feels like it is being hit or there is a vibration if I hear certain sounds and it it vibrates in my brain.Strange rash (could be related to my Thyroid)…HORRIBLE EXHAUSTION AND FATIGUE
I dont’ know what else to do.
I have had dozens and dozens of tests, I am seeing a
Endocrinologist
Rheumatologist
Gastroenterologist
Cardiologist
Dermatologist
Neurologist.
I have actually been diagnosed with Primary Hypothyroidism and Secondary (Hashimotos Thyroiditis), Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency, Gastroparesis, Anemia and Hypotension.
My BP runs around 90/60 but it doesn’t drop when I stand so it isn’t Orthostatic Hypotension. If I stand for an extended period of time, I can’t breath. Minimal exertion causes that too. I still exercise and I am of healthy weight 5ft6in, 129 pounds. I don’t know what is going on. Does any of this sound familiar to you?

ETA sorry this is so long, I needed to vent!


#19

[quote="MaryRita85, post:18, topic:324160"]
Oh my goodness, bless your heart!:hug1:
That is on my list of possibilities they say it could be:
Menieres
MS
Chiari Malformation
Dysautonomia
My tests are coming back strange, they are abnormal but abnormal for abnormal, if you get what I am saying. A few issues with my cardiovascualr and neurological system but nothing that seems to be causing this.
GI problems are bad. I have already had 7ft of my Colon removed (yes, I am serious, it was that long, I have a picture:D). I am currently being evaulated for a Gastric Pacemaker for my Gasroparesis (it is debilitating). Swallowing issues... My entire Gastrointestinal system is gone.
I have all those GI issues, along with shortness of breath, Migraines, dizziness, numbness, tingling, a feeling of floating (this lasts all day), my vision goes strange, my ear feels like it is being hit or there is a vibration if I hear certain sounds and it it vibrates in my brain.Strange rash (could be related to my Thyroid)...HORRIBLE EXHAUSTION AND FATIGUE
I dont' know what else to do.
I have had dozens and dozens of tests, I am seeing a
Endocrinologist
Rheumatologist
Gastroenterologist
Cardiologist
Dermatologist
Neurologist.
I have actually been diagnosed with Primary Hypothyroidism and Secondary (Hashimotos Thyroiditis), Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency, Gastroparesis, Anemia and Hypotension.
My BP runs around 90/60 but it doesn't drop when I stand so it isn't Orthostatic Hypotension. If I stand for an extended period of time, I can't breath. Minimal exertion causes that too. I still exercise and I am of healthy weight 5ft6in, 129 pounds. I don't know what is going on. Does any of this sound familiar to you?

ETA sorry this is so long, I needed to vent!

[/quote]

The dizziness, feeling of floating/dream like state, ringing/buzzing/vibrations in ear, pressure, pain or throbbing in your ear may very well be Meniere's. There is no test for it, just ruling everything else out. Those feelings can cause anxiety and frustration as well, so that MIGHT and I stress MIGHT account for some of the other symptoms, especially the tingling and numbness. If you already have GI problems than Meniere's WILL make that worse. If you don't have GI problems, it can cause them (IBS and car sickness types of feelings). Also, severe reflux and hiatal hernias can lead to many of those symptoms as well. We thought one of our daughters was having infantile seizures. Come to find out it was Sandifer's Syndrome. The good news is that it isn't "dangerous" like real seizures. It is hard to watch and I'm sure was terrifying for her as well, but it causes no brain damage at all. It was caused by GERD and a hiatal hernia. Once we got her GI stuff under control she no longer had the convulsions. She was an infant at the time, so I don't know if this can occur in adults as well, but you should ask the neurologist and the GI about Sandifer's Syndrome. I will continue to pray that all this can get figured out and that it is manageable.


#20

[quote="R_C, post:15, topic:324160"]
As far as I recall, when one cannot kneel due to health reasons, he may remain seated. It is perfectly respectful.

[/quote]

every well put


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