Question about kneeling duriing the Consecration


My parish was renovated at the time when kneeling was not required, and as a consequence most stand during Consecration and the Our Father. You might see a couple people kneeling but it’s rare. I heard recently from a pretty liberal person that if most are standing, you should stand as well. I’m wondering if that’s correct. If most, say 99% of people are standing, should one stand as well or should one still kneel?


I’ve been Catholic for over 50 years and don’t remember a time where kneeling was not required during the Consecration. OTOH, kneeling during the Our Father is not an appropriate posture unless you are at a Mass in the EF.

That being said, if you are not prevented from kneeling during the Consecration by a health or safety issue, it shouldn’t matter what others are doing. The rubric for the faithful at that point in the Mass is kneeling. Unity is important but unity with the Church is more important than unity with people who are not following the Church.


I’d agree with that, making a point of doing something different than everyone else draws attention to you and is distracting to the other people there who are praying and is confusing to newcomers. The general instructions I would give to anyone not accustomed to attending mass is to follow the lead of the others there as to whether they should be kneeling or standing.


Okay, here we go again. At our parish we don’t have kneelers and we stand during the Consecration. We are expected to stand. When I go to a parish with kneelers I have to remind myself to kneel during the Consecration. I would prefer to kneel. But my understanding is that our priest can ask us to stand during the Consecration.

A lot of us cannot kneel on the floor and I have great trouble doing it myself so I don’t kneel. In our chapel where we have Daily Mass we do have kneelers and we still stand. Except last time when we had a substitute priest at Daily Mass about 75% of the attenders were kneeling. :cool:


I question if a priest can ask you to stand during the Consecration. Priest can’t just make up their own rite. They should follow the GIRM. I once saw a question where it was asked if it was required to have kneelers. The answer was kneelers weren’t required only kneeling. There are reasons for not kneeling but not having kneelers is not one of them. I kneel on the floor because it easier than kneeling on kneelers. Do you and others make a profound bow at the Consecration?


From the GIRM:

…In the Diocese of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration.

It doesn’t say to do what others are doing. If you can’t stand on bare floor because of bad knees or some other good reason, then you stand. Otherwise you kneel.


A protestant husband was finally dragged off to Mass by his devout wife. Eventually, after much standing, sitting and kneeling, he finally achieved that half sitting and kneeling often seen amongst the very confused. His wife leant over and said “What is wrong. Is your fly open?” He replied “No, should it be.”
Follow the sheep and hope you are in the right flock.


Over the years, this question has been asked in the “Ask the Apologist” Section many times. The above is the usual answer. Go ahead and do the Search, and you will find this same answer over and over again from not only the Apologists, but the priests as well.

It’s straight out of the GIRM.


You make a good point here…but this is something for the bishop to address. The GIRM allows for “some other good reason”. The average Catholic, in seeking clarification on what might constitute “good reason” will ask his or her parish priest and, by the normal practice of our faith, be guided by him as shepherd.
Therefore - if the pastor says to his flock that the lack of kneelers is “good reason” then the faithful do not err by following his direction…The priest himself might err…if his Bishop has taught otherwise…

One of the problems with churches without kneelers is that most benches and chairs are not designed to have people kneeling behind them. I’m six feet tall and if I kneel behind a normal kitchen chair it comes up to my collar bone. Plus, kneeling on the floor - even carpeted - IS hard and uncomfortable for any length of time and a floor will naturally be dirtier than a kneeler.
For all these reasons the lack of kneelers will cause a goodly number of people to assume that they have “good reason” not to kneel and will therefore choose to stand.
I would also suggest that most parish priests, being kindly sorts, would not choose to be sticklers on the kneeling issue when they are pastoring a church with no kneelers.
So -
Now - by consensus within the parish and by church design - you will have most people standing. Those who choose to kneel are now most likely blocked from seeing the chalice and host at consecration by those standing around them. In addition you have a lack of “unity” which is mentioned in the GIRM…and on a personal level…If I’m kneeling and those in front of me are standing…the view I have isn’t the best…:rolleyes:

I believe that for the above reasons, most parish priests in such assignments will take a position of encouraging the faithful to stand, seeing unity of posture as the best solution and a “good reason” not to kneel.

Just some thoughts.



If playing organ or keyboard for the mass, I bend from the hips ever so slightly when a profound bow is prescribed, but sit very still and erect when kneeling is prescribed. I am in full sight of the congregation, and I don’t wish to be a distraction to any one who may glance my way.

When I do not play, I kneel when prescribed - that is, until my legs are quite pained. Then, I assume what I used to call the “Anglican squat” where in my “seat” is on the pew bearing my weight, and my knees are on the kneeler. When the pain leaves, then I kneel again.

Off topic, I once attended an Ukranian liturgy and was much confused by persons standing or being seated at no particular point in the mass, and not in unison with any one else. Afterwards, I learned that the correct posture was to stand…for nearly 2 hours. One would sit when necessary, and then resume standing, until they needed to sit again.


kneeling during the consecration is a norm in the dioceses of the united states which has been approved by the Vatican.

There are some countries that actually have standing during it.

In the Dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by ill health, or for reasons of lack of space, of the large number of people present, or for another reasonable cause.


Personally, I would kneel and not worry about the other guys not doing it. I can understand that kneeling was not required because of the construction going on but that’s passed. Still, if others aren’t doing it, that’s on them. I’m certain that the Priests at your Parish notice this and will eventually say something or pass on a kind and charitable message for them to do so.

God bless and the peace of Christ to you.


No, standing because most do makes no sense, but neither is advice from conservatives who say you must kneel credible. If you chose to kneel and nobody else does, kneel…and if you wish to stand when all others kneel, go for it. Liberals and conservatives have their opinions, but only what God thinks counts.


This question has been asked over and over again and I have posted on the threads. :smiley: Many, many of our parishioners cannot kneel even with kneelers. I myself have great trouble kneeling without kneelers. Our priest has told the congregation that we are to stand during the Consecration. The bishop has been to our church and celebrated Mass so he knows what is going on. So I believe I am obligated to stand during the Consecration and not kneel.


Sounds to me like most people know what is the right thing to do, but they don’t want to upset your priest.


I don’t believe there are any countries in which kneeling during the consecration is not the norm. The US adaptation to the GIRM simply dictates a longer period of kneeling. We kneel for the entire Eucharistic Prayer, while the norm in the GIRM (without the US adaptation) states that the people should kneel for the consecration. This is from the GIRM without the US adaptation:


This is a tough one. We do owe obedience to our priests, but they owe obedience to the bishop. Whether or not he has chosen to take on this issue personally, the expectations of the bishop are clear. An individual priest does not have the right to change the liturgy of his own accord. Sometimes bishops decide that they have more pressing responsibilities than taking on every “minor” liturgical abuse, but that doesn’t change the anything. The instructions in the diocese that covers most of Northern California (so I’m guessing it is your diocese) are that we are to kneel from after the Sanctus through the Amen, then again after the Agnus Dei until the reception of communion.


I am guessing that the bishop doesn’t care since he has celebrated Mass at our parish. I believe most of the parishioners would prefer to kneel but, ha ha, we don’t want to annoy the priest. I think maybe I don’t understand the reasoning behind us not kneeling and I fear to ask the priest.


You are certainly not obliged to stand. You may be excused from kneeling for various reasons, including the direction of the priest or bad knees. But it would never be** wrong** to kneel during the Consecration since that is the universal instruction of the Church.


Jesus is on the altar in the form of the Eucharist. Of course you kneel!! You kneel before the Almighty…

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