No kneelers--or kneeling--in the Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea

I was in Korea on a private pilgrimage several months ago. When I saw this, I wondered what was going on. Being a foreigner, I didn’t know the background of this situation.
To my knowledge, it is a universal norm in the Catholic Church to kneel during the eucharistic prayer during the mass. The people stood during the eucharistic prayer. The kneelers had been taken out.
I really don’t know what to make of this. The Korean people are especially devout Catholics.

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If you can kneel and you want to kneel, kneel. If you can’t kneel don’t. It’s between you and God.

Did they bow at the consecration?

Kneeling for the whole Eucharistic Prayer isn’t universal, it’s a US thing. Reference below has a very complete discussion of this.

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Actually, it is the norm to stand during the Eucharistic prayer. The indult is for kneeling.

Kneelers are a convenience, not a necessity, for kneeling. In places without kneelers, people kneel on the ground or bring their own kneeling pad.


You can kneel without kneelers, I do it all the time on the marble floors in one place.

Yeah, I’ve never seen a lack of kneelers anywhere stopping a Catholic who didn’t want to kneel.

The reason they don’t kneel over there in Korea is that it isn’t the norm to kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer outside of the USA. Kneeling is associated with sin and penitence, not with reverencing the Lord.

According to this
the Eucharistic Prayer is well summarized in its elements.
At Masses I have attended in Western countries of Oceania, the norm is to kneel at the end of the Sanctus with the Congregation rising for the Lords Prayer, and kneeling again at the Agnus Dei
This means a good part of the Eucharistic Prayer has the Congregation kneeling if they so wish and are able, or they sit.

The reference I posted above in the thread at post 3 supports what I said. I am sure there are some variations between countries but in general, the amount of kneeling at the Eucharistic prayer that the USA does is the result of tradition here and not elsewhere, and is currently only permissible due to an indult as 1ke said.

Bottom line is that if somebody goes elsewhere in the world and people are kneeling during Eucharistic prayer, fine, but if they aren’t kneeling then it is not proper to say “kneeling during the whole Eucharistic Prayer is the universal norm” because it isn’t. It’s the USA norm. Standing is the universal norm for most of the prayer. It may be the case that bishops of other regions have other customs and perhaps other indults.

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It is incorrect to say

as it is the norm in certain countries outside the USA also, and that was my point, to correct that statement.
Doing a forum search there have been a few threads on this topic over the years. To discuss it further would be going off topic for this thread.

It’s certainly the norm to kneel from the Sanctus until after the Great Amen here in the UK.

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It is not a norm in Japan as well. If my understanding is correct, the recent church buildings newly built may not have kneeler. I kneel on the floor in that case. My knee hurts. I kneel because I like this Western Catholic tradition. Most people either sit or stand.

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There are some US Catholic Churches where I’ve been a parishioner that didn’t have kneelers, because the worship space was filled with folding chairs. It was IMPOSSIBLE to kneel because the space to put your feet under the chair behind you was blocked by a metal bar. So we needed to stand or sit, but no kneeling.

Even at the Vatican, don’t people stand during the entire service?

All that being said, I prefer to kneel while I am still physically capable of doing so.

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At my Parish the area around the alter is being redone. The carpeting is being removed and beautiful tile put in. So we have been having Mass in the hall. We have folding chairs art up and the way it is set up makes it hard to kneel. Not enough room. This Sunday we will be back in the Church. :+1:

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