Expert Answer Forum

standing during the Agnus Dei QUESTION from Kim January 20, 2000
In our former parish we stood during and after the Agnus Dei--I say we, meaning all those who wanted to conform to the community. Actually, there were always a few who knelt regardless. The priest of that parish stated that he was unaware of the rubrics and, even if he were, would continue to do as the community did, and was doing, when he arrived there. However, at the diocesan cathedral and several other parishes in the diocese, the custom is to kneel. The rector of the cathedral, when questioned recently, stated that kneeling was the appropriate posture.(?) My husband observed an interesting phenomenon when attending a recent statewide K of C convention. During Mass, the distinguished knights were bobbing like ducks in a shooting gallery during the Agnus Dei--kneel or stand, stand or kneel. I have never been able to understand how there can be so much confusion over rubrics and posture when all liturgical actions are explicitly defined in either the GIRM or other official documents. We now attend the Indult Tridentine Mass exclusively, so liturgical inconsistencies are, blessedly, absent. ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on Thursday, January 20, 2000
Dear Kim, Thanks for the follow-up comments. I’ve been thinking about it these the past days and realize that kneeling during the second elevation is not inappropriate. It does nothing more than show reverence to Christ in the Eucharist. I therefore have to agree with the rector of your cathedral. The effects of Original Sin cause the confusion. We humans sometimes just don’t think real clearly. Also, in the past there was never a shortage of priests who were willing to take liberties with the Tridentine Mass. Even now there are those who celebrate it their way. I was at a rebel Latin Mass (I abstained from receiving) in New England a few years ago and noted several abuses introduced by the priest. The interesting thing is this was a group who bemoans the liturgical abuses in the Church and calls themselves Traditionalists. I call them schismatic. God bless you, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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