The document that requires kneeling during mass. : LUSENET : Catholic Pages Forum : One Thread

My Question is: What document instructs us to kneel during Mass? I already know why we kneel ie with respect and adoration ect.

-- Anonymous, May 01, 1998


In addition to what John has said, there is an excellent web resource for liturgical questions and issues:

Your priest is likely to get very angry, and if you persist with kneeling, you may be the subject of some persecution (ie, you're a troublemaker, disobedient!, self-righteous, whatever). But, there's no exception that says, if everyone else is disobeying the Church and the priest says it's OK, then it's alright for me to disobey too....

As an aside, does your priest allow people to receive Communion on the tongue kneeling (as is their right)?

God bless, Paul McLachlan Webmaster The Catholic Pages

-- Anonymous, May 04, 1998

Whoops. I've just realized the link in my earlier post didn't come out properly.

The link is to the Catholic Liturgical Library and the address is

God bless, Paul McLachlan Webmaster The Catholic Pages

-- Anonymous, May 04, 1998


The document that you are looking for is called the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) I have taken the liberty of copying the parts for you.

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.

Appendix for the United states:


At its meeting in November, 1969, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops voted that in general, the directives of the concerning the posture of the congregation at Mass should be left unchanged, but that no. 21 of the 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.

You can find the GIRM online at:

Your brother in Christ John Gibson

-- Anonymous, May 01, 1998

In regards to kneeling at Mass. Our local parish decided that standing was better and has been asking parishners to stand at consecration. At first I was most upset and knelt but then asked my confessor if I should stand or kneel. He told me to stand because the others were standing. But he said it like an option (at least that was my interpretation of his answer). I wonder though. If standing is for a sign of respect, I think that it is wrong to use in this century. Most Americans I know are very bold and arrogant people. We do not distinguish standing as a sign of respect as it once was used way back in history when some great dignitary entered the room. Instead, I think most Americans need to get down on their knees and kneel...for it is something we rarely do in my opinion and greatly shows the solenmness of the Consecration at Mass. What is your opinion?

-- Anonymous, May 04, 1998

Not an Option


First and formost, your parish does not have the authority to decide what rubics it will use in the mass.

I quote from the documents of Vatican II

Therefore, the sacred Council establishes the following general norms:

A. General Norms 22. (1) Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See, and, as laws may determine, on the bishop. (2) In virtue of power conceded by law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of bishops' conferences, legitimately established, with competence in given territories.

(3) Therefore no other person, not even a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.

Dogmatic Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Vatican II.

Sadly many Parishes in the US believe they have the option to change different things in the liturgy, they do not. What we get is churches that are called Catholic (universal) in name, but in practice are not.

There is also extensive documentation on this in various places. I will email you a few documents that I have on the subject.

Your Brother in Christ

John Gibson

-- Anonymous, May 07, 1998

Response to the document that requires kneeling during mass

I read the quoted article and still do not see where saids we have to kneel. It saids we should but ends with we do not have to for good reason. I attend a parish influenced by the Charismatic movement. I feel its a great Church but we do not kneel during mass partly due to the way the Chairs are setup(we do not have pews). I do not see the arrogance in it. Like in ancient times I see it has showing respect to are Lord who is physically present on the alter. This to me is another hammer used by traditionalist against other parties in the Church. Kneeling comes out middle ages while standing comes from the earliest times of the Church to show respect during Mass. Many Churches in Eurpope do not have kneelers. If I understand correctly it was the Church in america which got special permission for kneeling during Mass. Anyway for me this is a non issue. My favorite saint St. Francis would have been less concerned about the Liturgy and more concerned about the poor, thoughs outside the Church etc. Knowing Jesus having a personal relationship with him is more important than the Rubrics. They are not Dogma they are discipline which can Change and does with time and place.

-- Anonymous, June 04, 1998


Your argument about traditionalists does not hold water, I am not a traditionalist, I am an convert to the Catholic faith who realizes that Christ built this church on the rock of Peter. The same Peter and his successors that have the power to bind and loose on heaven and Earth given to them by Christ himself.

I am equally at home in the Latin Mass of the 1962 Missal, The Missal of 1972 in the Venacular, Gospel praise and prayer meetings, ect.

You need to read the next paragraph in the GIRM (BTW, which has the same force as cannon law)

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.[29] But the conference must make sure that such adaptations correspond to the meaning and character of each part of the celebration.

The conference of Bishops adapt the actions and before they are adopted, they must be approved by the Holy See.

No one, not even a Priest, may change or alter the Mass. If the NCCB for your area proposes to the Holy See that for Charismatic Masses the faithful should stand and the Holy See approves it then go for it.

However I believe that you should see it as an issue. Lets make an example of a parish in your area that decides that instead of the Priest the ExtraOrdinary Ministers of the Eucharist would gather around the Altar and pronouce the words of consecration. Then they decide that instead of wheat that they were going to use Oat bran for the Eucharist. And instead of wine they would use Coke or Orange Juice.

They then decide that instead of the approved lectionary they are going to use the "The New World Translation" (the modified King James version used by the Jehovah Witnesses)

And then they decide that they don't like the current creed so they decide that they would rather make one up themselves.

And then the Lord's Prayer really isn't up to date... so they decide to make it the our Mother.

The list can go on and on. But I hope you can see what I am talking about by taking this to the absurd. This is the reason why the regulation of the liturgy is under the constant protection of the Holy Father and those bishops who are in union with him. Because if it weren't, I believe that we would see anarchy where there should be Unity.

You may not agree with me, but I hope that I have given you cause to think. The Church was built by Christ, he appointed the apostles who then appointed the Bishops. She has been around for over 2000 years (due to a calender error we are about 7 years off happy 2005 folks!) and she will be around when you and I are, hopefully, singing praise to our Lord in the Heavenly Liturgy. Most Governments are young compared to to her and she has seen the birth and death of Empires. She is not a human organization, but a divine one, because if she were of human origin we would destroyed it a long time ago.

Your Brother in Christ

John Gibson

-- Anonymous, June 05, 1998

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