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Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: will kneeling be made optional?

by Catherine Frakas 09 Apr 2001

will kneeling be made optional? QUESTION from Dana Weissman June 28, 2001
I have read a few days ago that the US Bishops have voted to allow individual bishops to decide what postures will be used, even during the consecration. Of course, this means that we will all be standing at the consecration except in the few orthodox dioceses.
My questions are:
1) How likely is it that Rome will approve this?
2) Is it true that in Europe they stand for the consecration and if so why, since I was under the impression that GIRM 21 was Latin Rite Law.
To say I am sad and upset about this doesn't cover it. I want to kneel in God's presence and I expect other Catholics to do so also. I am so tired of this liturgical warfare and constant changing of everything. People wouldn't stand for it if the basketball game was changed every two minutes! But they don't seem to mind when the Mass is played around with. I have just had it! To discover that no one kneels in Europe is scary! I feel like giving up!
Thanks and God Bless.
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on July 5, 2001
Dear Mrs Weissman,
I'm afraid I have no idea how likely Rome is to approve this: but I wish to reassure you that Rome likes kneeling. Go to Here you will see an American bishop asking about the American practice of kneeling after the Agnus Dei... a practice not found in the missal. Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, responds that the missal does NOT intend to prohibit kneeling at this time, or any time.
Another statement from Rome (and I'm sorry, but I can't remember where) said that the official AMERICAN practice of kneeling for the ENTIRE canon (rather than just the consecration) is to be retained, with praise.
But, the question here is will INDIVIDUAL bishops be granted permission to determine postures, history gives us the answer -- Rome has maintained the universal law on kneeling and has always resisted changing it.
In Europe, they do not kneel as much as we do, but they do kneel. They kneel only for the consecration, (which is required by universal law), where as in the United States we kneel for the entire Canon, (which was approved by Rome upon request of the American bishops), both practices are according to current approved rules.
I suspect that what you have read has a liberal slant that is pushing an agenda, by means of distorting the truth. There are SOME parishes in Europe that do not follow the GIRM faithfully, and your article is probably referring only to these, in a lame attempt to show that NOBODY kneels in Europe.
If I may make a spiritual comment, PLEASE do not give up. that is EXACTLY what the devil is trying to get us to do. If you must, switch parishes, and if you can't find a holy, orthodox one, then it is better to attend an irreverent Mass than none at all. I am certain that being patient with liturgical innovators is pleasing to God, especially if there is nothing that can be done. God knows what is in your heart and how you want to worship Him. Use this to become more holy. Please don't give up.
Mr. Slavek
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