Mass at hospital chapel and didn't kneel


I went to Mass today in a hospital chapel. There were no pews or kneelers — just a small room with chairs. It was a bit crammed, and I noticed that most people didn’t kneel (but the people off to the side where there were no chairs in front of them kneeled). I felt uncomfortable not kneeling but didn’t want to cause a minor disturbance, so I just followed the people around me and just bowed more than normal. (Because the room was small, it was the closest I’ve ever been to the Holy Eucharist…which didn’t make things any better.)

Did I commit a grave offense…?


No. No offense at all.

It’s completely a non-issue.

Hospital chapels often lack kneelers either because they are multi-faith rooms, or because kneelers cause problems for people with mobility issues (we wouldn’t want people tripping on them, or getting hurt trying to kneel down or get up).

Again, this is a non-issue. Don’t worry about it nor give it another thought.


It is fine, as far as I know, not to kneel during Mass. Today I myself didn’t do it because the person in front of me was turned to the side with her elbow sticking out towards me and I didn’t kneel because I thought it would be too crowded. Like you, I bowed more than usual instead of kneeling. When I’ve sat in pews which have no kneelers I’ve done the same. And many infirm people also bow low rather than kneel too. I think as long as you are showing reverence it doesn’t matter whether you are bowing while seated or kneeling.


Why would you think it was a grave offense?


In cases where there’s no room, too many people, or physically unable to kneel do to illness, kneeling during the consecration is not required. You can’t be obligated to do the impossible.


Indeed. Hospital chapel Masses tend to be reverent to begin with so posture shouldn’t be a problem. I noted when my father was dying in a hospital, the Masses were televised in each room, not that it would fulfill your obligation but just so you’re still in touch, so to speak.


There are more rules and regulations about Mass in Catholicism compared to Protestant churches that I grew up in.

And since Jesus is truly present 5 feet away from me…

I didn’t mean “grave offense” to mean like mortal sin…more like, liturgical no-no…


Not at all.


Yes, I can’t understand how anyone could think it’s any kind of offense at all. :confused:


I am sure The Lord cares more for what is in your heart rather than outward signs of reverence.


The parish by my family’s summer home doesn’t have kneelers either, and just has everyone stand when they would normally kneel. I don’t like it, but I do try to concentrate more on the Mass when I’m there so that my inward reverence is stronger than ever.

Still makes me feel much better to go back to my home parish that does have kneelers though. :wink:


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