What is the proper posture ...?

Today is First Friday and the Blessed Sacrament is Exposed on the altar. What is the proper posture of the congregation when the priest enters and leaves the sanctuary?

When the priest and altar servers process in, should the people stand or remain kneeling because the Blessed Sacrament is Exposed?

The priest reposed the Blessed Sacrament before leading the Stations of the Cross, then before the recessional, he placed the Blessed Sacrament in the montrance again on the altar.

Similar question- When the priest leaves, should the people stand during the recessional hymn or remain kneeling because the Blessed Sacrament is exposed?

I just re-read my question and I neglected to mention that the priest was processing in to lead the Stations of the Cross while the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. In this situation, do the people stand or kneel when the priest processes in?

I would imagine kneeling (Jesus >> priest).

Interesting question.


I was taught that we should stand whenever the celebrant enters and leaves the assembly. I believe this would apply even in cases when the Blessed Sacrament is on the altar. It could be that it is acceptable to stand or to remain kneeling. But it would be nice to know which is the proper posture to assume.

Follow whatever directions the priest gives. That is most appropriate.

The priest did not give a direction. Usually, we foolow what the altar servers or the priest do. I plan on asking our pastor (who happens to be our only in residence priest) which is the preferred posture in this case. But if there is a general instruction on what is proper, it would be nice to know. The only one that I found was in referrence to the posture of standing when the priest enters and leaves Mass. Can this be the same for when he enters and leaves other services, such as the Stations of the Cross? On First Fridays, the Blessed Sacrament could be reposed before the Stations began, but Jesus would still be exposed on the altar when they processed out.

Each posture we assume at Mass underlines and reinforces the meaning of the action in which we are taking part at that moment in our worship. Standing is a sign of respect and honor, so we stand as the celebrant who represents Christ enters and leaves the assembly…
USCCB- (Liturgy)- Postures and Gestures at Mass

There is only one example that I can recall when the priest has told us that we are invited to remain kneeling in prayer while the priest, deacon, and all of the altar servers very quietly process out. And this is at the close of the Holy Thursday Services.

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