Should we kneel during the consecration?


#1

I was recently told that the mass is about unity, and that any gesture that might be performed, such as kneeling or bowing, should be performed by the entire congregation or no one at all.

A lot of my friends will kneel for the consecration of the eucharist even when that particular church is not accustomed to doing so. The same with bowing before recieving the eucharist. Is this wrong?


#2

You are correct that a common posture during the Mass is a sign of unity but it is your friends who are observing the correct posture (kneeling) during the consecration.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) states, “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” (GIRM 42).

To that end, the GIRM instructs, “[the faithful] 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” (GIRM 43).

Also, not for the sake of unity but out of reverence, the GIRM instructs, “When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence…” (GIRM 160).


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