The faithful kneel


In the Mass, the missalette declared:

  The faithful kneel after the "Angus Dei" unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.      

What would have the Bishop of the Diocese decide that the faithful do not kneel after the "Angus Dei"?


The only thing that comes to mind is that in some parishes, the faithful kneel before the Agnus Dei. At an EF parish nearby, that question arose when a new priest was assigned and he asked if it was the custom of the parish to kneel before or after the Agnus Dei. One long-time parishioner said, “Do what you want, Father, we’ll follow along.”


Kneeling after the Agnus Dei is pretty much an American thing. This was added to the GIRM adaptations because the US Bishops wanted to preserve this pious tradition. Some Bishops, in diocese near the borders of Canada and Mexico, wanted the faithful to remain standing since that’s the way it was over the border and it would be more uniform, especially for people who traveled frequently. So, we ended up with a hybrid instruction in the GIRM which (theoretically) appeases both groups.


He wants to follow the universal norm rather than the US adaptation?


Interesting. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, and now, in my area of Southern California we’ve always knelt, for both Spanish and English Masses, and now EF. The loud thump of kneelers coming down is almost part of the Mass itself for me! :smiley:


I follow what everyone else does, except when my sciatica bothers me to the point I have to sit or sneel. :slight_smile:


This is totally untrue! I have been to Mass in a variety of countries - some Caribbean Islands, Venezuela, the UK, Ireland, Italy and others. As far as I remember, kneeling after the Agnus Dei was universal. I do not remember a single one where people did not kneel.


What you say is true, but that’s because the universal GIRM, which calls for kneeling only at the Consecration, has generally been ignored since it was issued in 1975. Even in countries where the GIRM was not adapted (Canada, for example), many parishes ignored the norms and continued to kneel at those times when they had always done so.

The new universal GIRM, issued in Latin in 2002 and promulgated in English in 2011, still only calls for kneeling at the Consecration but allows parishes to keep kneeling for the entire Eucharistic Prayer and after the Agnus Dei if they have been doing so.


I don’t think it has been in the GIRM for any country other than the US. The universal GIRM is to kneel for the consecration. I am not saying that people don’t kneel elsewhere. BTW, I lived in three cities in Venezuela and no one (other than US visitors) knelt after the Agnus Dei with the exception of a few who knelt for the entire Eucharistic Prayer. Most of the time, everyone who knelt for the consecration stood at the Memorial Acclimation and stayed standing until just before or after Communion. Same thing in Colombia, Mexico and some of the far east countries we have visited.


Moving from different states had us look at this. Our parish does not kneel after the Agnus Dei and the ministers are infront of the altar, which I though is kind of weird. the diocese where we came from always kneels after the Agnus Dei and have the Eucharistic minsters at the back of the altar with the priest.

We have always thought that the priest is presenting Jesus in front of us and it is only fitting that we kneel before our King. Why is every diocese have a different rule on this?


The Vatican does allow that, so it is within the prerogative of the bishop.

It’s not my favorite either, but that is the decision of the bishop, not ours.


A group of parishioners are arguing about whether to kneel or stand after the Agnus Dei. They decide to take their case to the bishop.

The first parishioner says “Your Excellency, they say we must kneel after the Agnus Dei but we prefer to stand! You must tell them to stand too!”

The bishop says “no, that’s not the tradition.”

The second parishioner says “Your Excellency, they stand during the Agnus Dei but we kneel! Shouldn’t they be doing the same?”

The bishop says “no, that’s not the tradition.”

The parishioners cry out together, “But Your Excellency, we have been arguing over this for the longest time! We cannot come to a decision and everyone is doing his own thing!”

The bishop says, “ah, that’s the tradition!”


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit