Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Opinions on (not) kneeling on Sundays

After my post on Cannon 20th of Nicea I, which states that on Sundays and during the days of Pentacost prayers at church should be said standing as opposed to sitting or kneeling, I have some comments.

1 - In the Roman Catholic Western rite it can be argued that this is the case since we stand up for the Our Father, and other prayers. This is the case with the big exception of the Eucharistic Prayer. The posture of the people during the Eucharistic Prayer is different in various countries and regions; in the United States and England, for instance, the people normally stand until the "Holy, Holy", and then kneel until after the "Great Amen."[1] I guess that one could argue that the Eucharistic prayer is not a prayer that the congregation pray but only instead only the priest prays it, therefore saving the Nicaea cannon. I wonder if that is the common explanation for it between liturgists. Does someone know?

2 -  After communion some people kneel and pray. Is this going against the letter of Nicaea cannon? Before, when I don't use to kneel, I didn't mind. Now that I got used to kneel, I got more curious and wonder what other people think of it.

3 -  Finally, in the Eastern Rites, it is usually the case that the congregation stands all the time, and that there are indeed not seats in the church (or only for the elderly people). This is the case, for instance, of the Roman Catholic of Byzantine Rite that I attended sometimes in New York. And they were proud of it, of not having pews. Seats in the church are in fact a late invention. Reverting to no seats would be -I think- and interesting experience. Maybe in the next post I will write on it.

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