What is the purpose of kneeling in Church?

I havn’t been to Church for long time (numerous reasons).
When I went before though,whenever the kneeling part came,my knees hurt alot and I find it distracting.
Im guessing the kneeling is to do with reverence and humility(?) but if it hurts a person with bad knees it can become a distraction and you cant even feel reverence because of the distracting pain.
I would worry though if I didn’t,that I would be socially judged by others because I’m relatively young and they might make wrong assumptions?

Also,i wondering,are there any private confessionals still or is it all in the open now?
Can a baptised person who doesn’t have First Communion do confession ,or no?

Also,i don’t understand Holy days of obligation,shouldn’t religion and belief be a choice and not an obligation?

  1. Kneeling is penitential and signifies worship. But if your objection is due to a health condition, staying seating is fine. Maybe just bow your head.
  2. There are certainly still private confessionals. In fact, you have a right under canon law to have your confession heard in private.
  3. Yes, a baptised Catholic of the age of reason (about 7) could go to confession.
  4. Every Sunday is a day of obligation. This stems from the 10 Commandments (“For in six days the LORD God made the Heavens and Earth and all that in them is but rested on the seventh. Wherefore the LORD blessed the seventh and hallowed it”). There are only a few other HDOs a year, such as Christmas. These are days particularly designated for worship. Some probably make more sense than others on the face of it.

Yes, kneeling is done to show reverence. If your knees are bad then you shouldn’t kneel. Don’t mind what other people will think. You could do the sit and kneel (sneel) or just sit more at the edge of the pew for the people behind you. This is what the people do at my church that can’t kneel, and no one thinks poorly of them even if they are young since it is understood that they have trouble kneeling.

Most confessionals are rooms that are private. Some churches might still have the boxes but no one hears you unless you confess really loud. You can go to Confession without having made your first Holy Communion.

You are certainly not required to kneel if you have knee troubles (or other health issues.) Simply sit during the kneeling parts.

Also,i wondering,are there any private confessionals still or is it all in the open now?

Yes, most parishes still have the option of confessing behind a curtain or screen so you need not reveal your face.

Can a baptised person who doesn’t have First Communion do confession ,or no?

Yes, but it usually is in preparation for First Communion.

Also,i don’t understand Holy days of obligation,shouldn’t religion and belief be a choice and not an obligation?

Do not think of it so much as an obligation, but a scheduled visit to spend time with your Heavenly Father. Earthly Fathers like regular visits from their children. In the same way God likes all of His children to visit Him on His special day (Sunday.)

I am 74 and can’t kneel in church, so I don’t without worrying about it at all. Nor do I think anyone else should worry about it if they have bad knees.
But otherwise, it is best to kneel. Saint Paul spoke about kneeling in prayer as he spoke of Jesus, saying “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2:9-11).
I understand why you say people shouldn’t be required to go to church. Still, one of the 10 commandments given by God is keep the sabbath day holy. This gives the obligation to give special reverence to God on Sunday, which Catholics have always seen as going to church on Sunday.

Those who are unable to kneel should be standing, not sitting, unless it is also painful to stand for the duration.

Wouldn’t that just make them stand out more? When 90% of people are kneeling during the consecration, you should stand? That’s going to take away from the Echarstic prayers. :shrug:

I don’t think this would be a good idea. It may be more respectful to stand instead of sit, but you will block people’s view and will draw a lot of attention. The only time that people stand instead of kneel at my church is when they receive Holy Communion. Otherwise, they sit or “sneel” for the other parts of the Mass.

At one point I thought of bringing knee pads or cushion. But you shouldn’t be aggravating your own medical condition. That would be wrong. I see occasionally people in wheelchairs who remain seated throughout. But I do sense your discomfort for appearance sake.

I would worry though if I didn’t,that I would be socially judged by others because I’m relatively young and they might make wrong assumptions?

If one is sensitive to such social interpretations, one could choose those back benches, like those in the corners. I think sometimes there are non-Catholics for whatever reason may be attending the mass with relatives or friends who may remain seated throughout the liturgy. Perhaps they didn’t like the idea of kneeling in front of the Host.

Also,i don’t understand Holy days of obligation,shouldn’t religion and belief be a choice and not an obligation?

The choice of religion is free. But the religion that you chose is not free to disregard itself as optional its beliefs, doctrines, dogma and practices. I think in fact almost all institutions have internal regulations that requires compliance by members.

It seems like most of the responses have focused on your questioin about kneeling, so I’d like to say something about this one.

If you have never received your First Communion, I would strongly encourage you to check with your parish so that you can prepare for this sacrament as well as Confirmation. The Catechism says:
1324 The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life.

Receiving Christ in the Eucharist and entering fully into the sacramental life of the Church is far more important than whether or not you’re able to kneel. I hope and pray you will explore this idea further.

You’ve hit on a pet peeve of my priest (and mine). I see the nomenclature used as severely flawed in this. Archaic? Yes. I see the days more as additional Holy Days of Opportunity. The additional Feast Days. I love them as I do daily Mass :slight_smile:

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