Friday, September 08, 2006

Kneeling in Oakland

I was a little astonished upon celebrating mass at my local parish in my new neighborhood to discover that at daily mass we don't kneel at all, but stood through the entire eucharistic prayer. I thought it was just this one church and tried another but had the same experience. What's going on in Oakland? I tried a third church that seemed more traditional (I made this judgment based on the fact that they still have adoration on Fridays) and finally found a congregation that kneeled at the appropriate times. Later I tried to kneel on my own back at my local parish, but it was very awkward being the only one and I forgot when to get back up. I had to jump up hastily to join hands for the Our Father and realized I had kneeled too long. It is all very confusing. So I did a quick Google search to ascertain when exactly one should kneel and stand. I found out that kneeling during mass is in a more perilous position that I had imagined:
Despite the pressure and controversy, more than a few bishops have recently made clear their support for kneeling during these parts of the Mass within their own dioceses in various ways, including public directives.

In some cases, kneelers have been re-installed in churches. That a growing number of bishops are restoring Eucharistic Adoration in their dioceses is further indication of their positive response to a crisis of belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and their recognition of the need to encourage reverence.

The wealth of biblical references to kneeling in prayer and adoration, both in the Old and New Testaments, are undoubtedly well known to these bishops. They also know that kneeling during public worship is a profound a part of Catholic culture and has been for at least the past millennium.

These bishops, along with countless Catholic believers, may hope that the revised Sacramentary, now being reviewed by the Holy See, will clearly reaffirm the tradition of kneeling as an expression of reverence and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and restore unity to Catholic practice.

Also check out this defense of kneelingby the same people.

So complicated, I just want to kneel in peace before the Real Presence of God, but I am afraid the priests will see me as a dissenter and antagonistic. Anyone else have this problem? I'm finding a lot that troubles me in the liturgy here and it is making me homesick for my home archdiocese of New York.

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