Expert Answer Forum

Kneeling or standing after the Agnus Dei QUESTION from Mary Ann Fanning January 15, 2000
Have the rubrics been changed relative to standing or kneeling after the Agnus Dei? My new Sunday Mass book for the year 2000 says kneel, but my pastor says the missal is wrong. Thank you for your answer. ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on January 16, 2000
Dear Mary Ann, Thank you for this very interesting question. It never occurred to me that standing during this time was not in conformity with the rubrics. In many parishes in the United States (in fact, all of the ones I've visited.) it is customary to kneel during the second elevation of the Host, when the priest says This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper, and the people respond Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed. The rubrics do not specify kneeling at this point yet the custom seems to have survived the liturgical reform of the past 30 years. I've never been to a Mass (to my memory) where the people remained standing after the Agnus Dei but it is definitely not a liturgical abuse for a priest to ask the congregation to remain standing during this time, in accordance with the rubrics and the worldwide practice. Old customs evidently die hard here in Pennsylvania. I would be very interested in hearing from others to learn what the practice is in their parish/area. I wonder if this is a local thing or if it's widespread in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere? Readers, please let us know. In Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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