Should I kneel or stand for my school's mass?

At my Catholic school, we have mass in the gym. During the mass, when we are to kneel, everyone is standing. When I looked up this situation on catholic answers I found this article in which Jim Blackburn said that even if there are no kneelers we are still suppose to kneel.
I asked three priests at my parish. They all said it is okay to stand if there are no kneelers in contradiction to what the GIRM and catholic answers said. Last week my school had a mass, during the mass I was not kneeling during all the times that I am suppose to. I want to mention this confession because this bothers my conscience. How can I confess this to a priest when they don’t even claim it to be a sin? What do I do for my school’s masses? Do I stand like everyone else or do I kneel?

I would just kneel, but it is not necessary.


The law itself foresees the possibility that the celebrant could grant an exception, or the person excuse himself from kneeling, “on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason” (GIRM 43). The keys are good reasons and occasions. If Mass must be held in a gym or outdoors, or it’s a crowded Midnight Mass, or you are sick and don’t feel you can kneel, or similar just causes, then there is a good reason for not kneeling. Occasions means particular circumstances that apply once, or periodically, or even for a period of time, such as during a church’s construction, as opposed to being the norm.

It seems you have not yet taken the advice given in previous threads to get help for your scrupulosity from regular confessor and follow his advice. so i wil repeat that advice now: get a regular confessor and FOLLOW YOUR PRIEST’S ADVICE.

You have had not one but THREE priests give you the answer to your question and yet you still come here and ask.

Neither the GIRM nor has the answer to everything, particularly when it comes to local issues. It is within the authority of your bishop to give such permission for standing, and as noted in another post even the celebrant in some circumstances.

Ya know, often what some summarily dismiss as scrupulosity is really a manifestation of loneliness (a serious malady recently discussed by the Holy Father). The OP may be using this forum for the most readily form of human interaction available.

Rather than chastise, perhaps we should be more kind in our interactions, or simply bite our tongues.


If it were me, I’d kneel. I’m not saying it is a sin to stand, but the appropriate posture is kneeling, you feel moved to kneel (no doubt by the Holy Ghost), you can kneel, so why not? I used to attend a parish where everyone stood to receive Communion in the hand, I kneeled and received on the tongue. The deacon later came up to me and thanked me for being a witness to the the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. It maybe okay to stand, but it surely is better to kneel.

As for some of the other comments, it’s humorous how many ppl will tell us to follow our conscience so long as our conscience isn’t telling us to follow the traditions of the Church.

BTW, I don’t believe it is a sin (and certainly not a mortal sin) to stand, especially in the circumstances you are describing, so, if you decide to stand, I wouldn’t worry about confessing it.

Stand like everyone else and stop worrying about theses issues. You asked 3 priests, they gave you instruction in that there are not kneelers and this is in the school gym. Have some common sense here.

The priests said it was “okay” to stand, they (unlike you) did not command him to stand nor say it was wrong to kneel (which it would never be).

I live with m Father, Mother, Brother, and my dog, I have plenty of friends, I guarantee you i’m not suffering from “loneliness”. I do have scrupulosity and OCD. I just really want to know if I should stand or kneel. I don’t want to offend God by not kneeling.

If you are suffering from both scrupulosity and OCD, then the poster above gave much better advice than I did. Seek a regular confessor and listen to him. Standing, as I said above, in your situation is no sin. May God give you peace.

Can you explain to me why the article I posted contradicts what three priests have told me? The three priests said it was fine, but then on the article Jim Blackburn said you are still required to kneel, who is right and who is wrong?

God will not be offended by your posture, but by your heart.

From a practical standpoint, is there even room for everyone to kneel?

If you kneel and everyone else is standing, will you be causing a distraction to others? Will you disrupt Mass?

Consider your own advice here.

I was not speculating. The OP has been diagnosed with OCD and scrupulosity and really needs to be under the care of a regular confessor. Coming here to triple second guess his priest is harmful to his mental state. I care about the OP getting better, not what other people on the internet think about my posts.

I cannot speak for the author of that article, but he did not quote the entire relevant section. here is the GIRM 43 in its entirety:

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. **However, those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the Priest genuflects after the Consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.

For the sake of uniformity in gestures and bodily postures during one and the same celebration, the faithful should follow the instructions which the Deacon, a lay minister, or the Priest gives, according to what is laid down in the Missal.

A young friend of mine was in this situation exactly and decided to kneel because he really wanted to. He was the only one. Soon, most of the kids were kneeling and some of the teachers. It can’t hurt, just do it. You never know. Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

Oh, I guess I missed the compassionate part of your post, and only saw the lecturing. I apologize for not taking my own advice…you are correct, I should consider the fragile state of everyone’s ego.


I was never officially diagnosed. But I do have OCD.

Let’s just drop this and pray. The questions I was looking for have been answered. No worries.

Seriously, johnny, if you know you have OCD, please get some help for it. I would agree with 1kes advice here.

I have no idea who Jim Blackburn is and what authority he has and why you are giving him more say than what tree priest have already told you. Is this guy a priest or bishop? All you are doing is making yourself stand out, hurting your knees and causing yourself unneeded anxiety. If someone is causing me all this, I would drop him like a hot potato and move on.

I agree. We are not at Mass to show off how much holier we are than others, nor to evangelize others on the proper way to do things. We are there to become unified with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, stand if they are all standing, sit if they are all sitting, and kneel if they are all kneeling.

Do this while imagining that perhaps you are not the most important person in the room, and they may have neglected to personally inform you of a change in policy, or special permission, etc.

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