Two knees genuflection?

I am not sure if this is the proper forum for this question, but here goes.

One of the books given to us RCIA Candidates was OUTLINES OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH, published by The Leaflet Missal Company, © 2000

After giving instructions on how to do the one knee genuflection, they add this sentence: “In genuflecting with both knees, bend the right knee first and then the left; thereupon make a medium bow of the body and rise.”

I’ve never seen anyone do the two-knee version. I do the one-knee version, although a bit slowly due to arthritis. Has anyone seen somebody do the two-knee version, or do it themselves? Is this something special for rare occasions or has it gone out of practice? Would it be considered grandstannding to do the two knee version when everyone else is doing the one-knee version?:confused:

As a child, we were taught to do the 2 knee genuflection in adoration, when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.

Its known as a double genuflection, and is only done
when Our Lord is exposed. You will also see this, if youve
ever attended a mass with the Blessed Sacrament exposed.

If the Church is not too crowded and I am early for mass I often do the double knee genuflection.

Regardless of whether the blessed sacrament is in or outside of the tabernacle, our Lord is still present and worthy of worship, though for practical reasons the one knee genuflection is more common.

God Bless!

In college I would often use two knees during my solitary visits to the chapel, but the general traditional distinction of cases is genuflect on:

the left knee for persons (bishops, sovereigns)
the right knee for Christ (if you’re a strict Thomist this would include crucifixes and other icons, since the honor shown the image goes to the prototype)
both knees for Christ exposed for adoration (which I believe would include in procession, though I’ve never participated in a Corpus Christi - or other such - procession)

Those of us who are older learned the 2 knee genuflection for when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. That requirement was changed to a 1 knee genuflection, although I can’t remember the exact date when that happened. I’m sure it can be found in the liturgical documents.

I still see the 2 knee fairly regularly among the more “mature” attendees at Adoration, and I doubt that anyone would find fault with it beyond letting someone know that it is no longer the “norm”.

1973 – From Eucharistiae Sacramentum

  1. Genuflection in the presence of the blessed sacrament, whether reserved in the tabernacle or exposed for public adoration, is on one knee.

Me too.


Hey, I’m only in my 30s and the nuns who taught at school drilled us in the double genuflection too, which I do whenever the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.

In Opus Dei chapels, when Host is exposed, they do both knees.

Both knees when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Pre V II norm.

Well sure, but they have assassin monks too.


I would say yes. It’s never good to “out-pious” the others.

Off topic - I saw your quote on fasting in OSV! Cool!


I have seen it once with a certain priest when the priest kneels during traditional benediction. But that was still only one priest.

I dont think it is commonly practiced anymore.

Also, it is perfectly acceptable to make a profound bow if arthritis or other knee problems prevent genuflection. I can genuflect on one knee by holding onto the end of the pew. But , if I were to get down on both knees, I would have to remain there.
They would have to call the fire dept. to get me back up. Talk about grandstanding!:smiley:

Ha ha ha!
I never expected dragons-and-demons types with patent inability to differentiate facts from fiction can also thrive in CAF. Well, that’s one argument we really need CAF!

We still kiss the hands of our bishops and our grand parents. And no one sees it as “out-respecting” anybody. Could be a cultural thing, maybe.

Showing extreme reverence to Holy Presence is nothing less. Unless one is of the new trend where even Holy Presence is questioned. In which case one’s Catholicism would be questionable.

People at the latin mass I used to go to would sometimes do a two knee genuflection. I never have. I think there’s a point where you’re just calling attention to yourself. Especially if you’re already wearing very loose, ankle length dresses and a veil, have knee length hair, 7 children under the age of 10, and you jangle when you walk because of all the medals safety-pinned to your clothess. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think that’s very true, which is why I reserve my most overt displays of devotion for worship in solitude. But consider this: what does it say about the state of the Church when she no longer supports a culture of reverence. It isn’t, after all, simply one sign that has fallen into disuse; most of them have been abandoned. So sometimes you should choose specific areas to put yourself out on a limb on in order to work for renewal.

I could hardly care less what anyone else thinks of me - if Christ is exposed, I will go down on both knees. If someone else thinks I’m grandstanding, then perhaps they can consider joining me on their knees so I’m not all alone. :slight_smile:


What I know is two knees for Most Holy Sacrament. Difficult to do in a communion queue before standing up, so in my case it’s most often dropping on one knee for a second discreetly after the person currently receiving (and I won’t be making a show by kneeling down when everyone’s standing and such is the bishop’s rule). One knee for other purposes, but genuflection is most often associated with the Most Holy Sacrament anyway (if not always adoration/exposure). No genuflection for bishops because I won’t kneel to bishops if they make me stand up for Our Lord in communion.

I understand the right knee first, left knee next thing if you’re teaching someone knew to the except of ever bending knee before anything or anyone, but come on, does Jesus care if you fall on your right one and join the left or fall on the left one and join the right? :o

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