When do we bow at mass?


#1

I want to know if I should be bowing when leaving the sanctuary in the middle of mass and walking in front of the church, crossing from one side to the other to exit?

When we (RCIA) candidates are dismissed just after the homily, we go downstairs to meet for breaking open the word. The only way to get out is to walk in front of the church and walk past the altar. When I come* in* for mass, I always bow at the waist in front of the altar and then genuflect before entering the pew, then bow again after mass when leaving (our parish is more conservative, I don’t know if this is all normal stuff)

But no one bows at the altar as we walk past when we’re dismissed. I feel super awkward walking in front of everyone 350 maybe more for that particular mass) but even more so if I’m not doing it right!


#2

Any reverence shown to the blessed Eucharist is just and rightly due. I applaud your bowing and suggest you continue to bow as you pass the tabernacle at any time. God bless.


#3

I believe the traditional rule is to genuflect any time you pass the tabernacle. You should also bow or genuflect any time you enter or leave the sanctuary.

I don’t see these things as being ultra traditionalist they are a physical act of prey that encourages you to remember that the Real Presence of Christ is in the tabernacle.


#4

Let their own inadvertent disrespect be theirs then, and you will be 1 of 350 who do the proper thing. The loss of the sense of sacred regarding the sanctuary and the altar in the post-conciliar Latin Church is such a shame - the altar being the sacrificial slab of our temple, in a sense the very cross itself, and the sanctuary being reflective of the circles of heaven and the residing place of God. If you’re nervous at all if you should bow, ask yourself “would I bow before the Cross and the court of heaven?”


#5

I believe you should bow or genuflect when passing the tabernacle. It’s what I was taught. Sadly, many just don’t do it- in my choir no one does. I’m not sure why. When I’m up in the choir loft I still genuflect when passing from one side to the next because I’m passing in front of the tabernacle. I feel that it’s still valid and pleasing to our Lord.

Look at it this way: when you die and go before God for judgment you don’t want to have any regrets. Will you regret all your acts of reverence? Nope. Every bow and genuflection counts. This is not to place any judgment on those in your class that aren’t as they may not know to do it- I don’t presume to judge their hearts.

Hope this helps. God bless you and keep you. Welcome home. :slight_smile:


#6

It is correct & proper respect to the presence of the Blessed Sacrament to do exactly wh

at you are doing. Continue to do so.


#7

During the Mass, you are not required to genuflect at the tabernacle (as far as I am aware). During the Mass, that genuflect becomes a bow. Any other times, yes, genuflect.

Any time I pass before the altar, no matter if I am 10 feet in front or 60 feet in front, I bow. I genuflect upon entering or exiting the pew if I have not genuflected to the tabernacle (though if I had just genuflected to the tabernacle because it was nearby my pew, I see no reason to genuflect again at the pew, personally)

So, yes, bow at the altar. And if you forget your mittens and you have to go back and get them, get ready to bow twice more!!;):slight_smile:


#8

Your RCIA leaders should be able to answer this question. Usually one genuflects toward the tabernacle before they enter the pew when they first arrive and when leaving the pew at the end of Mass or other liturgy. During the Mass, when a person must enter the sanctuary or cross in front of the tabernacle, the correct posture is to bow.


#9

Thank you all. I will bow when crossing in front of the tabernacle and altar on the way downstairs then too, even if I am the only one.

No one has told us (RCIA) to do or not do anything as far as bowing, genuflecting, etc. so I want to be sure I’m doing whatever is most reverent. (and you are right, our RCIA leaders should be able to answer this but the entire two hours is the leader trying to talk over the loudly screaming baby, so none of us can hear anything or ask many questions)

In the Perpetual Adoration Chapel, when I enter my pew, I genuflect, but on two knees and then if I need fo cross in front of the Blessed Sacrament, which is always exposed 24/7, I do the same. It actually warms my heart when others come in during “my” Adoration hours (meaning when I am the scheduled adorerer) and I see them prostrate :gopray:


#10

That would be incorrect during Mass.

The GIRM (General Instruction for the Roman Missal) sets out the instructions for Mass. In regard to bowing and genuflecting it says:

  1. A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.

During Mass, three genuflections are made by the Priest Celebrant: namely, after the elevation of the host, after the elevation of the chalice, and before Communion. Certain specific features to be observed in a concele-brated Mass are noted in their proper place (cf. nos. 210-251).

If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is situated in the sanctuary, the Priest, the Deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself.

Otherwise, all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession.

Ministers carrying the processional cross or candles bow their heads instead of genuflecting.

If you pass before the tabernacle you should genuflect (not bow) if you are able. However, in procession you do NOT do this. Since you are processing out with your group, simply walk out like the others. You are showing your reverence by being obedient to what the Church asks.

You’ll also notice that even the priest or deacon genuflects on entering and leaving but not during Mass.


#11

I would agree that since she is in procession that she should just walk out like the others. But as far as your comment about genuflecting, we are talking about during the Mass itself. So I would assume that anyone, priest, deacon, other ministers such as lector, cantor, persons taking up the gifts, or anyone that has some part during the liturgy would bow during the Mass. But I leave this up to a Liturgist for clarification.


#12

=Graceejou;11741464]I want to know if I should be bowing when leaving the sanctuary in the middle of mass and walking in front of the church, crossing from one side to the other to exit?

When we (RCIA) candidates are dismissed just after the homily, we go downstairs to meet for breaking open the word. The only way to get out is to walk in front of the church and walk past the altar. When I come* in* for mass, I always bow at the waist in front of the altar and then genuflect before entering the pew, then bow again after mass when leaving (our parish is more conservative, I don’t know if this is all normal stuff)

But no one bows at the altar as we walk past when we’re dismissed. I feel super awkward walking in front of everyone 350 maybe more for that particular mass) but even more so if I’m not doing it right!

Dear friend,

Allow me please to explain. If this is the First exposure to the Extraordinary Form [Latin Mass] it is GREATLY different.

The Latin Mass is FOCUSED only on Godly Worship; beginning to end. It’s not about the laity, all though we alone benefit from it. There was no lack greeting there; its just the Focus is much different. And its possible that those who regularly attend the EF are not tuned into those around them? It’s not slighting anyone; just a different focus.:slight_smile:

I’m sorry you had a bad experience.:o The sense of community is certainly different. But both are Valid forms of divine worship.


#13

=Graceejou;11741464]I want to know if I should be bowing when leaving the sanctuary in the middle of mass and walking in front of the church, crossing from one side to the other to exit?

When we (RCIA) candidates are dismissed just after the homily, we go downstairs to meet for breaking open the word. The only way to get out is to walk in front of the church and walk past the altar. When I come* in* for mass, I always bow at the waist in front of the altar and then genuflect before entering the pew, then bow again after mass when leaving (our parish is more conservative, I don’t know if this is all normal stuff)

But no one bows at the altar as we walk past when we’re dismissed. I feel super awkward walking in front of everyone 350 maybe more for that particular mass) but even more so if I’m not doing it right!

FROM THE GRIM
GENERAL INSTRUCTION OF THE ROMAN MISSAL
"
Genuflections And Bows

  1. Three genuflections are made during Mass: after the showing of the eucharistic bread, after the showing of the chalice, and before communion.

If there is a tabernacle with the blessed sacrament in the sanctuary, a genuflection is made before and after Mass and whenever anyone passes in front of the blessed sacrament.

  1. There are two kinds of bow, a bow of the head and a bow of the body:

a. A bow of the head is made when the three divine Persons are named together and at the name of Jesus, Mary and the saint in whose honor Mass is celebrated.

b. A bow of the body, or profound bow, is made: toward the altar if there is no tabernacle with the blessed sacrament; during the prayers, “Almighty God, cleanse” and “Lord God, we ask you to receive”; within the profession of faith at the words, “by the power of the Holy Spirit”; in Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon) at the words, “Almighty God, we pray.”

The same kind of bow is made by the deacon when he asks the blessing before the gospel. In addition, the priest bends over slightly as he says the words of the Lord at the consecration." :thumbsup:


#14

Did you post on the wrong thread?


#15

#16

Maybe this sounds strange to some. Bowing or kneeling? When I enter or leave the sanctuary I kneel; mindful that I am in the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Away from the sanctuary, especially acting as usher, I bow when crossing the main aisle.

Imagine a vassal walking in front of the king sitting on his throne and making a cursory bow to him. Off with your head? :eek:LOL


#17

=Silver Thread;11746703]Maybe this sounds strange to some. Bowing or kneeling? When I enter or leave the sanctuary I kneel; mindful that I am in the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Away from the sanctuary, especially acting as usher, I bow when crossing the main aisle.

Imagine a vassal walking in front of the king sitting on his throne and making a cursory bow to him. Off with your head? :eek:LOL

Both the RUBICS see my last post call for a GENUFLECTION if one is physically able to do so:thumbsup:

God Bless you; after all it IS GOD!


#18

While I agree with what most have posted, I wanted to respond to the bold:

Being a choir director and a longtime Church employee in various capacities, I’ve always been told by Pastors that when one is “working” within the church, you need not be scrupulous about bowing and genuflecting every time you move about in the sanctuary. That God understands that you are working within His house, and you are working for Him. He knows you have things to do, and you must quietly go about doing them and to constantly be bowing and genuflecting becomes distracting and causes too much attention on yourself.
So that may be a reason why others do no do as you do. Not out of disrespect, but realizing that it’s for entering and exiting. I’m sure many think this is wrong, but that is what is advised around these parts.
Peace.


#19

When I was in RCIA the lady who led it said, “Years ago people used to genuflect, but we’ve gotten past that now.”

The other RCIA teachers politely told us that they all genuflected and it’s the preferred way of showing respect. I went to Mass after class with this woman and took special notice of who genuflected, bowed, etc. (rough estimate) about 150 genuflected 25 bowed, 1 did nothing (that was the RCIA leader.)

I bring this up for two reasons:

  1. in matters like these it’s always best to get an answer from several sources.

  2. (unrelated to this thread) The head of an RCIA program should really be screened.


#20

Two points:

(1) Thank you to those who’ve cited the GIRM: this question and your citations are very helpful;

(2) The following …

… is utterly frustrating, and when I started RCIA, I was very nervous about this sort of thing. Thank God that people join the Church and become solid, orthodox Catholics despite the sort of formation leaders they encounter along the way.


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.