No kneeling at Mass


#1

At my church, our rows are comprised of chairs instead of benches. Years ago, during the time of the previous priest, some of the chairs (the ones in the first few rows) had pull-down kneelers in the back, but other, similar chairs (in the later rows) didn’t. The people in the later rows had to kneel on the non-carpeted floor. At some point, the kneelers from the front rows were removed, and, from then on, we’ve sat during the parts when we’d previously kneeled. This has continued through our interim “parish administrator” following the death of the former priest and into the administration of our current priest. I assume this has diocesan approval, since my mom had attended the funeral Mass of our former priest at which the local bishop presided. I’m just curious if anyone else has come across a church that does this.


#2

There are, unfortunately, a lot parishes that for whatever reason, have no kneelers.
Maybe you could start a “new pew” campaign. Get the Knights of Columbus to help…or just start a grassroots plan. With the pastor’s approval, of course.
Maybe the parish simply can’t afford to change it.

My parish has the awful habit of slamming the kneelers when they put them up.
It’s always something, eh?

Peace.


#3

It goes both ways…I like kneelers gone…because too many people didn’t know how to use them…every time they were used there was a several second long ruckus of dropping kneelers which broke the rhythm of the liturgy and as a result detracted more from reverence than enhanceing it,:shrug:


#4

Our Church seats around a 1000 people. I don’t know percentages, but most pews do not have kneelers, some do. The vast majority in the church kneel even on the hard floor. Personally, I would rather do it that way. Kneelers take too much time, and everyone has to cooperate. I will say, if my knees hurt, it just takes me more time to get up and down.

All of this CAN get painful at the Easter Vigil, but I just think of the pain our Lord went through.


#5

I have attended Mass where there were folding chairs and no kneelers.
Some people kneel on the floor, others remain seated and still others stand at those parts of the Mass where we are to kneel. I am unable to kneel on the floor so I don’t know which is more correct - to remain seated or to stand.


#6

Bring a cushion for your knees.


#7

In the Roman Rite it is universally wrong not to kneel. I can’t think of a single place where the Holy See has allowed bishops to unilaterally and totally ban kneeling. That said, if there are real physical impairments, then there is no obligation to kneel, it’s as simple as that.

However, if a parish decides, “Hey, we’re all growed up now and Vatican II and stuff so let’s rip the kneelers out,” then the parish is utterly incorrect.

Churches should be built with the space to allow people to kneel. Today, people expect kneelers, so there should be kneelers. If they’re removed because of some political or pseudo-intellectual ideology, that’s wrong. Every time.

Money: someone, I guarantee it, will bring up the issue of money. Please don’t. I don’t believe that a parish doesn’t have the money to put in kneelers, of all things, which are a pretty basic thing like pews, an altar, candlesticks, floor tiles, windows, etc., for a new church building. I just don’t believe it a bit, especially in a first world country. Especially considering the fact that pews have them built in already and a parish would have to purposefully decide to buy kneeler-less pews. A parish can go without stained glass and a super-dee-duper sound system for a few years if it has to just to make sure kneelers are installed imho. Now, if a church is established already and was either built in the Time of Kneeling Hatred or had its kneelers ripped out during the Time of Kneeling Hatred and said parish doesn’t have money to fork over to reinstall them, I understand that. I don’t like it, but I think it’s understandable, and I accept it as a temporary–even if long-term–unfortunate situation. It should be at least something on the to do list, though, I think.


#8

Yes a Roman Catholic church I used to attend has pews near the altar but most of the seating is chairs with no kneelers. The bishop was present as well when I attended a Confirmation there once. Another Roman Catholic church where I more recently have attended has all chairs. No kneelers. There are a handful of people at most who kneel on the floor. Most everyone sits. Both are large parishes.


#9

YoungTradCath, you need to calm down a little!

Your response, although I am not surprised by it, is fraught with questionable merit and charity.

You state:

In the Roman Rite it is universally wrong not to kneel. I can’t think of a single place where the Holy See has allowed bishops to unilaterally and totally ban kneeling. That said, if there are real physical impairments, then there is no obligation to kneel, it’s as simple as that.

Its hardly “universal” then, if there is for any reason no obligation. I think what you meant to say, was “I feel it is wrong”.

You said:
if a parish decides, “Hey, we’re all growed up now and Vatican II and stuff so let’s rip the kneelers out,” then the parish is utterly incorrect

Your comments goes beyond your disagreement with Vatican II, it implies your belief that Vatican II should be ignored as contrary to the faith. This is hardly a “Traditional” or “Catholic” sentiment, but rather borders on disrespect for the Church

You said:
Money: someone, I guarantee it, will bring up the issue of money. Please don’t.I don’t believe that a parish doesn’t have the money to put in kneelers, of all things, which are a pretty basic thing like pews, an altar, candlesticks, floor tiles, windows, etc., for a new church building. I just don’t believe it a bit, especially in a first world country.

Obviously God has blessed you, if your parish has no issues with money. I would suggest that as you mature and see more of the world (including this country), you will find many parishes, and many individuals don’t have the money for everything they “want”, let alone, everything they need!

You also stated:
Churches should be built with the space to allow people to kneel. Today, people expect kneelers, so there should be kneelers If they’re removed because of some political or pseudo-intellectual ideolog, that’s wrong. Every time.

Sometimes, as you will find as you get older, it is often a cruel world, and we often don’t get what we feel we “should” have. You don’t have to have kneelers if you choose, or even if you are required, to kneel.

It appears you may have your own political or pseudo ideology to deal with.

Peace and all good!


#10

Hello, I am and was, as always, completely calm when I write posts. I don’t get excited. However, I like to make up fake conversations in my head and use bits of them to illustrate what I’m saying in posts because, often, I am really bad at prose.

  1. Universal in the sense that there is always the requirement to kneel? Yes, always and everywhere. But like going to Mass, if we can’t physically do it, we can’t be expected to do it.

  2. Well, no, my whole point is that ripping kneelers out/building churches without them is not about Vatican II at all… My whole post isn’t a single ounce about Vatican II. I thought it was clear that since I used quotes, and furthermore since Vatican II doesn’t say anything about kneelers, that I was using that bit of my post to show a point… that Vatican II says nothing about kneelers. I don’t see how my post shows a single bit of judgement towards Vatican II precisely because I didn’t write any judgement about it at all! I’m mocking the attitude of, “We’re all growed up now Vatican II,” because this does not square with Vatican II at all. I’m calling that silly. It is possible to be opposed to that without hating or disparaging Vatican II…

  3. I don’t think you read what I said. I don’t think that every parish has lots of money. I know most don’t. All I said is that, on a practical level, I find it ridiculous that a parish in the West wouldn’t be able to afford to install kneelers if a new church is being built based on financial grounds.

  4. Sure you don’t, but if you don’t–and I would argue that typically, but not always, if a new(er) church doesn’t have kneelers then this was purposefully done–then almost nobody will kneel. I don’t think that’s because parishioners are lazy, just, to most people kneelers=kneeling and if no kneelers then ???.

I understand how my posts may be interpreted in a certain way if one has not read lots of my other posts to see how I go to great lengths to disparage the, “We’re all growed up now,” attitude without disparaging the Council. However, I promise, I’m really tired of talking about Vatican II and I wasn’t really talking about it in my post except in the slightest, briefest way in passing.


#11

The church I go to sometimes without kneelers is on the university campus at the newman center. So I don’t know how much money the
Newman centers have. There are folding chairs and it is a small space.


#12

Indeed. Plenty about Gregorian chant and Latin in the Liturgy, but nothing at all about kneelers.


#13

I have also had this experience years ago. I grew up in a traditional “mission” style church. When I moved some states over to a large city I finally found the local Catholic parish and went to attend mass . i was shocked when I looked around and there were no pews… just chairs! I was so confused I went through the mass and was the only one who kneeled at the appropriate times. I felt very awkward and uneasy. I was so worried that I has gone to a church of the wrong denomination! To make matters worse I got into a bad fender bender right after mass and felt it was a sign to avoid that church. So, unfortunately and sadly that was all I needed as my excuse to stop attending mass while in the city.


#14

Kneeler or no kneeler, still kneel! The purpose why you kneel at church is not because of the kneeler alone. It is because you adore and worship Our Lord.


#15

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is undergoing renovation so some of the seats have no kneels and people sit instead. I’m of the opinion that the lack of a kneeler is reason enough to stand instead but it’s awkward if you’re in the front and the only one standing. In that case, I kneel without a kneeler.


#16

Untrue. It would depend on the setting. I can think of a number of battlefield, mobile hospital, retreat and other other settings where not kneeling would in no way be “wrong.”

It’s sad that “kneeling” is such a hugely dividing matter in the Church. Some seem to do everything they can to get rid of it. For others the single most important thing about going to Mass is kneeling. It’s all about pride and control.

I know super-duper Catholics whose pride drives them to kneel at Eastern Catholic liturgies even though they have been catechized more than once by the cognizant priest not to. Both extremes cause so much liturgical noise that the focus of Jesus Christ being sacrificed to His Father for our sins seems utterly lost on them.


#17

I have and I’m not very happy with it. IMO, it stems from mistaken ideas and poorly prioritized preferences. I always kneel, at the very least, from the epiclesis to the mysterium fidei. Once a priest actually stopped the Mass (he was in the middle of the consecration) and told us to sit with the rest of the congregation. This was in the 1980’s and he was riding the crest of the post Vatican II hoo hah. We got to our feet meekly, sat in our seats as directed, and never went back to that parish.


#18

Vatican II had nothing to do with the “kneeling issue.” Like all the other niggling issues plaguing the Church, the “kneeling issue” was a product of pride, control and ignorance.


#19

You mean like this?


#20

As if there are no theological or scriptural reasons for kneeling?


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