Why do we stand as priest enters?


Why do we stand as priest enters in? Isn’t because the priest is in the person of Christ and we stand for reverence.? We stand for the president, and judges.
Is there anything in the General Instructions that explains this?
Thank you.


:hmmm: Dawn, Good question!

The GIRM states under Movements & Posture #43 “The faithful should stand from the beginning of the opening song or when the priest enters until the end of the opening prayer or collect;”

It was also explained to me that standing during the opening hymn is expressing our attentiveness to God & our readiness to take action on the Words that will be shared with us during the Gospel.

I hope this helps answer your question.
May God bless you! :slight_smile:
Deacon Scott


Dear Deacon,

Thanks for the reply. I am accustomed to hearing the bell ring and rising as the priest enters in. Our parish, for approx. one year now, has been doing something out sinc with the posture. The Lector instructs us to rise, greet our neighbor. Then to open our hymn booklet to sing. The music starts and the priest enters in.
We are a small country parish, we all know one another, and most have greeted eachother in the parking lot. It has become very distracting and I dislike being told to stand prior to the priest entering in for since I was a small child this posture was always a sign of reverence being given to the priest acting in the person of Christ.
I also do not like the confusion and what it is teaching our small children for they are thinking it is the sign of peace. I feel that that there is a proper time and place to greet and chat with your neighbor and it should not be connected with the entrance.
I stand by the position that we rise as the priest enters, not to greet our neighbor!
What are your thoughts, do I have ground to stand on to stop this distraction?


We don’t stand because the priest is entering. We stand because Mass is starting and we know that Mass is starting becuse the Priest comes in. That’s when Mass oficially starts even if your Music minister thinks it starts when she says hello (like at my Church :smiley: ).

I don’t think the GIRM says anything about not being able to stand before Mass starts. So if you were to discuss this with your pastor, you may be more successful to do it on the grounds that it encourages inappropriate levels of noise in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament rather than on the basis of posture.



You mentioned that you have been doing this for about a year now. Do you have a new priest or liturgist? This may be their idea to try something new.

If there is a new person involved in the change, they may have come from a parish with a larger congregation. Our parish (1700+ families) does the same on occasion. It depends on who the cantor is. I don’t know if this is the idea of our new pastor or the cantor. But, with 1700+ families there is always someone you don’t know or someone who is new at mass.

If you would like to ask how it got started in your parish, by all means ask, just remember to use a friendly approach.

God’s blessings to you & your parish!
Deacon Scott


When I was an Episcopalian, we stood when the organist began the processional hymn, bowed deeply as the cross passed our row, and bowed slightly again as the Priest passed – in reverence for his Priesthood, not for his person.


Outside of mass, what happened to standing out of respect when a priest enters a room? Its very awkward at meetings when I’m the only one who stands when each priest enters.

I don’t suppose its in Canon law, but why not teach our children the rules:

  1. Stand when a priest enters a room
  2. When you see a religious in collar or habit in public you nod, take off your hat or glasses, and say "good afternoon/morning/evening Father/Sister/Brother.


Why do people stand when the judge enters the court room? Why do people stand when the President of the United States enters a room?

Because in our society, if we are being polite, we stand when someone important enters a room. We do this because we respect that person and respect the position that they hold.


Thank you all, so very much! It has really given me encouragement and support. I happened to notice that in paragraph 45 of the GIRM it talks about sacred silence being commendable even before the celebration starts.
"Even before the celebration itself, it is commendable that silence to be observed in the church, in the sacrisity, in the vesting room, and in adjacent areas, so that all may dispose themselves to carry out the sacred action in a devout and fitting manner."
Therefore I will use as suggested in prior post to use that the noise level is inappropriate before the blessed sacrament along with the posture being out of sinc.
I also appreciate the comments on standing and giving honor to the priest for the position he holds. The priest acts in the person of Christ just as it states in the GIRM #27 …"a priest presiding and acting in the person of Christ…"
Deacon,I do not know who suggested it, and had been wondering if I should enquire, I certainly don’t want to hurt anyones feelings by opposing. But knowing now what the GIRM states and that the results of this for a year are not getting better and is
-causing confusion to my children,
-getting them and myself sidetract from the beauty of the grand enterance of the priest, and altar servers carrying the crusifix,
-and sidetract from what is suppose to be going on before the blessed sacrament, I will present these points lovingly and with confidence at the meeting this Sunday.
Thanks again.
If others still have further comments I will continue to watch this post.


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.