Genuflecting at Mass?


We were told by our pastor that in the updated GIRM [General Instruction of the Roman Missal 2002, 3rd edition], that we do not genuflect during the Mass any more. Why not?

--Germain in Jackson


When the tabernacle is in the sanctuary, one genuflects during the procession of Mass, into the sanctuary. Also, when one leaves the sanctuary, at the end of Mass, one may genuflect. For reasons of health or other good reason, and as a sign of unity, all the ministers may bow before going into or leaving the sanctuary . During the Mass, other genuflections are excluded, since the focus is on the active presence of Christ (in the altar) during the Eucharistic celebration. This is instead of focusing on the body of Christ remaining from a previous Mass.

If there is no tabernacle in the sanctuary, one bows at the entrance procession or at the end of Mass, during the recessional.

When one puts the hosts from the Mass into the tabernacle, one genuflects (if able) before the tabernacle door is closed.

Also, it is customary to bow to the altar while passing by it during the Mass, except during the Communion Rite.

In the document, Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass, 1973 ,the regulations for genuflection to one knee began, for Mass, and reverence of the Blessed Sacrament.


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