Expert Answer Forum

To bow at the altar? QUESTION from Tammy Wessel March 5, 1999
I am a lector at my parish. I was recently told that when we carry the lectionary in the procession before and after mass, that we are not to bow at the altar with the priest and servers. That since we are holding the lectionary above our head, we are not to lower it by bowing at the altar. Is this what the church teaches? If that is true, would a head bow at least be allowed or maybe a bow without lowering the lectionary? Thank you very much for your time. ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on March 21, 1999
Dear Tammy, The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) is the document, with the force of law, which governs worship for the entire Church throughout the world. It is found at the beginning of every copy of the Sacramentary, also known as The Roman Missal. It's the book used by the priest at every Mass. In regards to the entrance at Mass we find the following instruction. On reaching the altar the priest and ministers make the proper reverence, that is, a low bow or, if there is a tabernacle containing the blessed sacrament, a genuflection. Evidently it doesn't exclude the Lector from bowing. Yours in Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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