Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Kneeling during the Nicene Creed
Kneeling during the Nicene Creed QUESTION from A. Basto December 25, 2001 Yesterday, I watched a recorded tape of the Midnight Mass at the Vatican Basilica, presided over by His Holiness the Pope. I noticed that the Supreme Pontiff, knelt during the part of the Nicene Creed that makes reference to the Mystery of the Incarnation. When the Holy Father knelt, all the people in the Basilica followed suit. Of course, if the Pope knelt, this means that the correct thing to do is to kneel during that part of the creed. But since I have never seen anybody kneeling during the creed before, I went to search on my books at home. I found a Bible that has the Ordinary of Mass as an appendix, after the maps of the Middle East. And, in the part of the creed, there is a rubric according to which people should make a profound bow during the words of the creed that make reference to the incarnation of the Lord. So, I ask: According to the law, the correct thing is to bow or to kneel? And why is it that all around the world people stand instead of bowing or kneeling?
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on December 30, 2001 Dear Mr. Basto,
During this part of the creed:
by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
All are to make a profound bow. At Christmas, all are to genuflect at these words. It ends up looking like kneeling, because you keep your knee down up to ..and became man.
A word of caution.. I would be careful before I say that because the pope does it, it is correct liturgical law. Liturgical accidents happen and false conclusions are easily jumped too. The law is promulgated and then followed, not the other way around.
Thank you for your question,
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