View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kneeling during the Consecration:Clear guidelines

From the GIRM - General Instruction on the Roman Missal

Chapter II #21. For the sake of uniformity in movement and posture, the people should follow the directions given during the celebration by the deacon, the priest, or another minister. Unless other provision is made, at every Mass the people should stand from the beginning of the entrance song or when the priest enters until the end of the opening prayer or collect; for the singing of the Alleluia before the gospel; while the gospel is proclaimed; during the profession of faith and the general intercessions; from the prayer over the gifts to the end of the Mass, except at the places indicated later in this paragraph. They should sit during the readings before the gospel and during the responsorial psalm, for the homily and the presentation of the gifts, and, if this seems helpful, during the period of silence after communion. They should kneel at the consecration unless prevented by the lack of space, the number of people present, or some other good reason. (emphasis mine)

But it is up to the conference of bishops to adapt the actions and postures described in the Order of the Roman Mass to the customs of the people. [50] But the conference must make sure that such adaptations correspond to the meaning and character of each part of the celebration.


APPENDIX 1: APPENDIX TO THE GENERAL INSTRUCTION FOR THE DIOCESES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

21. ACTIONS AND POSTURES

At its meeting in November, 1969, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops voted that in general, the directives of the Roman Missal concerning the posture of the congregation at Mass should be left unchanged, but that no. 21 of the General Instruction should be adapted so that the people kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic prayer, that is, before the Lord's Prayer. (emphasis mine)

Unusual circumstances do not exist at my parish. We have room. The church is not overcrowded on regular Sundays and daily Masses. There are kneelers for every pew (just not for the few chairs). So ... we should be kneeling, not standing during the Consecration.

3 Comments:

Blogger Lee Strong said...

part of a letter sent to my pastor. -

"... That aside, there is another, more clear issue: Standing during the Consecration.

From the GIRM - General Instruction on the Roman Missal

Chapter II #21. ... at every Mass the people .... should kneel at the consecration unless prevented by the lack of space, the number of people present, or some other good reason.

(emphasis added)

APPENDIX 1: APPENDIX TO THE GENERAL INSTRUCTION FOR THE DIOCESES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

21. ACTIONS AND POSTURES

At its meeting in November, 1969, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops voted that in general, the directives of the Roman Missal concerning the posture of the congregation at Mass should be left unchanged, but that no. 21 of the General Instruction should be adapted so that the people kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic prayer, that is, before the Lord's Prayer. (emphasis mine)

I'm not sure how we got into the habit of standing at St. Theodore's - it predates you. I suspect it may have begun back when the church was being renovated and Masses were held in the Gym. Those certainly would have been unusual circumstances ("some other good reason"), but they do not exist any longer at St. Theodore's at Sunday or weekday Masses (with the possible exceptions of Easter and Christmas). So, according to the GIRM - and the bishops of the U.S. - we should be kneeling. That's the practice at other Rochester churches I've attended in recent years.

You might remember when Archbishop Dolan was at the Cathedral. Because of the number of priests present, potentially blocking the view of the congregation, a special announcement was made that people should stand in order to see. It was clearly an exception under the special circumstances, and not the norm.

Given that the new Roman Missal will be going into effect this year, it might be a good time to restore the practice called for by the U.S. bishops and that is the norm in the diocese, and phase back in kneeling. It could be done gradually following the Christmas season.

- Lee

7:37 AM  
Blogger Dr. K said...

I'm curious if he'll give the "we are a resurrection people" response, if he responds at all.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Father Steve is an honorable man. I think he will respond in some way, even if he disagrees.

7:51 PM  

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