04 Sep 2014 Vatican Comments (2)

Analyst: Vatican regards Islamic State as waging a 'war of religion'

Vatican City, Sep 4, 2014 / 04:08 pm .- According to prominent Vatican analyst Sandro Magister, the Holy See views the aggression of the Islamic State as a reli…

Read more

02 Jun 2016 Americas Europe Middle East News USA Vatican Comments (2)

A Catholic in Ohio Sentenced to twelve Services in Baptist Church by Judge

An American Catholic who got into a fight with a street preacher has been sentenced to attend services at a Baptist church for 12 Sundays. Judge William Mall…

Read more

13 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

If my friend's ex-husband refused to participate in the annulment process, does that mean she can't get one?

Full Question I am a sponsor for a candidate for confirmation with RCIA. My candidate has a former husband who is a Protestant and is refusing to go throug…

Read more

20 Nov 2015 Articles No comments

Governor forced to become bishop: the story of St Ambrose of Milan

St. Ambrose was Bishop of Milan, his hometown. He was born around A.D. 338 and died in 397. He was a very popular political figure, and since he was the Gove…

Read more

18 Apr 2016 Americas Europe News United Kingdom USA Vatican Comments (10)

Mark Wahlberg appreciates his Parish Priest for turning his Life and Career around

Mark Wahlberg a famous Hollywood award-winner actor and father of four kids has in an interview with Square Mile revealed that he would forever be grateful for …

Read more

01 Apr 2015 Q&A No comments

What's the correct understanding of "no salvation outside the Church"?

Full Question I am confused about a statement made by the ecumenical council of Florence in 1442. In its Decree for the Jacobites it stated "that no one, w…

Read more

04 Jul 2016 News USA Vatican Comments (2)

Prosecutors ask Vatican court to jail PR adviser for ‘inspiring’ leak of documents

Vatican prosecutors have requested that PR expert Francesca Chaouqui be given a tough jail sentence for “inspiring" the leaking of confidential documents. In…

Read more

09 Oct 2014 Articles Comments (379)

Mass Etiquette; Dos and Don'ts while at Mass

Fast: It doesn't even really feel like a fast anymore since its just an hour. The Church requires every communicant to begin preparing to receive Jesus by obse…

Read more

30 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Pope asks young people to perform works of mercy in build up to World Youth Day

World Youth Day 2016 will take place next July in Krakow, Poland Pope Francis has asked the world’s young Catholics to perform spiritual and corporal works o…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

What are the Church’s guidelines concerning genuflecting during Mass?

ISSUE: What are the Church’s guidelines concerning genuflecting during Mass? What other guidelines does the Church provide regarding reverence toward the Blessed Sacrament?

RESPONSE: Generally speaking, a priest makes three genuflections during Mass: after the elevation of the Eucharistic bread, after the elevation of the sacred chalice, and directly before Communion (General Instruction to the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 274). “If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is present in the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself." (ibid; Ceremonial of Bishops (CB), no. 71). However, during the entrance and exit processions, “neither a genuflection nor a deep bow is made" by those who carry articles, such as the cross, candlesticks, and the Book of the Gospels (CB, no. 70).

DISCUSSION: In general, reverence is an outward expression performed in the presence of something or someone holy or sacred. In the Mass, reverence can be expressed in a number of ways. One way, for example, is bowing, either at the head or at the waist. This is sometimes done towards the altar or when the names of Jesus or Mary are said during Mass (GIRM, no. 275; CB, no. 68). Then there is genuflection, made by bending one’s right knee to the ground. Genuflecting expresses adoration and is therefore reserved for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The only exception is venerating the holy cross from Good Friday services until the beginning of the Easter Vigil (CB, nos. 69-71).

Following the Church’s guidelines in this area can help us cultivate a proper reverence toward Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, better appreciate His death and resurrection which is re-presented sacramentally at every Mass,[1] and evangelize others about these same sublime matters.


1 comment

  1. Red Johnson Reply

    I’m curious about the various hand/arm gestures made during the Our Father. Some in the congregation hold their arms up imitating the celebrant while others hold their arms/hands clasped in a prayerful position.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories