To kneel or not to kneel? That is the question

Ok, so my parish has a new “family life” building where the noon mass will be held from now on because of the need for space. The noon mass is the one I go to.

Today I went and there was a lot of people like usual but in a bigger building. Ok so Father told us that we didn’t have to kneel because of lack of space. When the consecration came… I just fell to my knees. there was no kneelers but the ground wasn’t that bad. and i had enough space. I felt kinda weird being one of the only ones… if not the only one kneeling, but I would have felt weirder standing…

So… What should I have done? Father did say to stand… but I don’t know… what should I do? Next sunday this will inevitably be the same situation so any advise would be great!

Norms for posture are given in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). First, consult that (the version approved for the diocese/region you are in).

Typically, it’s noted in the GIRM that times where kneeling is prescribed are the norm and yet may admit of exceptions. Unless there’s a clear reason not to, I tend to go by St. Augustine’s (paraphrased) adage that “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” If you’re at a Catholic worship service it’s generally a good idea to follow the custom there (though at times it may be contrary to the GIRM, which is a problem, but that’s something that needs to be resolved with the diocesan bishop).

Well kneeling is the appropriate posture BUT it is also VERY important to be looking at the species at the moment of Consecration. It is really sad when there are no kneelers available.

Did Father say “don’t kneel” or did he just say you didn’t have to kneel? If the latter, you could take it week-by-week. If you have room, kneel; if not don’t. We have no kneelers in our parish but everyone kneels if able. But I have been to Masses where the folding chairs were jammed in so close that kneeling would have been noisy and dangerous. :slight_smile:

yeap that’s the reason!

But in this case the OP may be looking at folk’s backs! If they could be positioned to see the priest this should work well.

I tend to go by St. Augustine’s (paraphrased) adage that “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Actually, it was said by St. Ambrose.

I would really say this before the Bishops reiterated the custom of kneeling. The USSCB have made it very clear that we are to kneel from the Sanctus until the great Amen.

I do think that most parishes are catching on by now though.

I would say that if you can kneel, kneel, as long as you are not in someone’s way or creating a hazard for them.

But please don’t judge the ones who can’t kneel on a hard floor. Thank you for being kind.

We do a special Family Mass at our parish. It’s in the school gym, and usually pretty packed, with people up in the bleachers. No one kneels. The floor is hard and dirty (it’s a gym floor, after all), there’s no room to kneel safely in the bleachers, AND many families are tending several tots, and they have to be able to give chase when the little ones charge up towards the altar!

There is another Mass going on at the same time in the sanctuary, and those who want to kneel (on comfortable kneelers) are free to attend that Mass. No one forces families with small children to attend the Family Mass, so many families take their little ones to regular Mass. But for those families who wish to attend a little more “family-friendly” Mass–nothing different about it, but almost everyone there has babies and small children, so you don’t feel self-conscious about your children’s little noises–it’s nice to have the option of Family Mass.

There is one difference between Family Mass and regular Mass–the priest calls all the children to the front–they sit on a huge rug in front of the Altar–NOT up in the “sanctuary” (It’s a make-shift sanctuary, but it’s a sanctuary none-the-less). And the priest does a homily just for the children, and after Mass, they always get some kind of take home surprise related to the homily.

Well of course I would not judge especially since Father suggested it… and most of them followed it and stay standing. and i don’t think 800 people cannot kneel? and the floor isn’t dirty at all… It’s new… It’s the first time it has been used… and for the purpose of space… . and Father said we didn’t have to kneel because of lack of space which defeats the purpose.

You misunderstood me… I think… the mass I mentioned is NOT a so called “family” mass… It’s a regular mass at noon. or maybe you were just commenting of subject then thats ok :smiley:

The rubrics command you to kneel. If you don’t, the members of the top secret liturgy super police will think you deny the real presence.

Kneeling is indeed appropriate if you are able. It is not, however, VERY important to be able to see the species at the moment of Consecration. It may be laudable, but it is nowhere required.

Not true. No where does the Church suggest we do – although we certainly are free to do so of course. Many, many people have their heads bowed in prayer during these points of the Mass.

That’s right. All offenders will be required to wear a mantilla and a lay-maniple to Mass for one month to let the top-sected liturgy super police know they accept the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

No, that’s just what they want: vestments proper to the ordained ministers of the Church!

We were in a similar situation a year ago when our church was being restored. Mass was in the gym. Our pastor told us that there was no provision not to kneel but of course those who could not kneel without great difficulty did not have too. Someone donated a bunch of garden pads for kneeling. Some used them but most didn’t want to bother with them and knelt on the hard floor. Most of the people did not seem to have a problem complying with the kneeling. I admit it was a little awkward for me because of the deteriorating bone disease in my knee that prevented me from kneeling as much as I wanted too. I would see people older than myself kneeling on the hard floor appearing to get down and up easier than I could at the time. But it was something to offer up.

Sometimes I think it is the way the pastor puts it out. People readily complied when our pastor made known that kneeling wouldn’t be the option but of course people were welcome to sit if they could not kneel. But I believe that if our pastor would have worded it in the way that your pastor did, (You don’t have to kneel because of the lack of space or whatever) most of the regular Sunday attendees would have more readily remained standing or sitting.

Go ahead and kneel if you want too. That is the preferred way not the option for those who find it more difficult.

No, no, no – a LAY-maniple. They sorta look like the real thing but they can be explained away if someone questions it. For mutiple offenders shirts are to have lace…

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