Need help with gestures during Easter vigil

I won’t get in to what wasn’t covered at my baptismal rehearsal, but let’s just say it was “lacking” in several details. So, I thought I’d ask some of the questions here since I was turned away today (let’s leave it at that). I was pretty much told to “not worry about it” and to “just go with it,” but I want to know how to do things the proper way.

I guess I can tell you how it’s supposed to go and then ask my specific questions?

We are to show up in this t-shirt they gave us, jeans, and shoes or flip flops. After we are seated, the Father will approach our pew (we’re sitting in the front) and ask us a series of questions, to which we respond “I do” (question #1). Later, we are called up, one by one, to the pool (question #2). Once we are in the pool, the Father will pour water on our heads (question #3). After that, we change while the Father sprinkles water on the congregation and we line up in front of our pews to receive our candles. Later during Mass, we receive our first communion (question #4).

  1. When the Father approaches us, I’m assuming individually, should I bow to him as he approaches me? I’m first in line and want to set the right example.

  2. Do I bow before entering the Sanctuary?

  3. Do I stand there with my hands at my side or should I have them in the “prayer” pose? I would just feel awkward having them at my side.

  4. I’ve been to Mass at several different parishes, and I watch the daily Mass on EWTN and notice all different things when people are in line ready to receive the Eucharist. Do I genuflect or bow? No one at my parish does either; they just line up and receive the Eucharist.

Thanks in advance for any and all help. I realize these questions may seem elementary but I want to set the right example for the Elect to follow.

OK

my thoughts

  1. No - just stand and answer

  2. yes indeed you should - doesn’t need to be a deep bow - but yes - stop and make a small bow. Are you going up individually or all together ? If all together it would be nice if you all made a line at the entrance to the Sanctuary and bowed together.

  3. up to you - it’s how you are comfortable at this time

  4. As I understand it the US Bishops aske for a bow of the head - so do that.

hope this helps - I’m sure any will tell you their thoughts too.

Just relax and enjoy it :slight_smile:

Congratualtions on getting there at last

Hi,

And welcome & congratulations.

From you posts, it seems that this parish is pretty liberal. I would say try to go with the flow, as long as it is an optional situation, since we are instructed to worship in community. If you prefer more traditional worship, it is better to look for a more traditional parish than to do things differently from the others.
From the GIRM

  1. The gestures and posture of the priest, the deacon, and the ministers, as well as those of the people, ought to contribute to making the entire celebration resplendent with beauty and noble simplicity, so that the true and full meaning of the different parts of the celebration is evident and that the participation of all is fostered.52 Therefore, attention should be paid to what is determined by this General Instruction and the traditional practice of the Roman Rite and to what serves the common spiritual good of the People of God, rather than private inclination or arbitrary choice.

A common posture, to be observed by all participants, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered for the Sacred Liturgy: it both expresses and fosters the intention and spiritual attitude of the participants.

  1. When the Father approaches us, I’m assuming individually, should I bow to him as he approaches me? I’m first in line and want to set the right example.

I agree-no bow and I wouldn’t worry about setting an example in that Parish.

  1. Do I bow before entering the Sanctuary?

This is the norm for ministers, but it is not always done, especially if there was a bow before entering the pew. A small bow with a very slight pause would not seem to interfere with the ceremony.

  1. Do I stand there with my hands at my side or should I have them in the “prayer” pose? I would just feel awkward having them at my side.

Folded hands is an acceptable prayer posture, and yes, it is very fitting at this time for you.

  1. I’ve been to Mass at several different parishes, and I watch the daily Mass on EWTN and notice all different things when people are in line ready to receive the Eucharist. Do I genuflect or bow? No one at my parish does either; they just line up and receive the Eucharist.

As was said, a small bow is the norm in the US. It is suggested to bow as the person before you is receiving. If you are first, just make a short bow as the Priest says “Body of Christ”

Relax & don’t let small worries distract you from the spirituality of this wondrous moment.

Love & Prayers,

Lux

Agree with all above.

See Top Cat’s answer. Clear, concise, and correct.

On the other hand, we should never follow the example of others if what they’re doing is wrong, for the sake of everyone doing the same thing. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Again, see what Top Cat wrote.

Just one thing to add though, remember NOT to genuflect or even bow toward the tabernacle, as it will be empty. Many Catholics forget this. The Eucharist will not be in the tabernacle again until after Communion at the Easter Vigil. So as you’re leaving the church, genuflecting would be called-for, but never while the tabernacle is empty.

Thanks for all the advice. The Master of Ceremonies was there to direct everything we did, so my worrying was for not.

Thanks again though.

:slight_smile:

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