Author Topic: Re: Kneeling on Sunday  (Read 5491 times)

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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« on: June 30, 2007, 01:01:54 AM »
We solved that kneeling problem...we just stand. Priest encourages that even if fellow parishoners look over in wonder).
I remembered reading about kneeling in church, but I don't remember where. I seemed to recall that kneeling, for whatever reason, is frowned upon by some and not by others. I respectfully ask- what's the deal? Our parish, OCA, had a kneeling service during Pentecost.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 01:27:08 AM »
I remembered reading about kneeling in church, but I don't remember where. I seemed to recall that kneeling, for whatever reason, is frowned upon by some and not by others. I respectfully ask- what's the deal? Our parish, OCA, had a kneeling service during Pentecost.

Canon 20 of the Council of Nicea has this to say:
Quote
Seeing that certain people kneel on Sunday and during the Pentecost (Paschaltide) season, so that there might be the same practice in all the communities, it has been decided by the holy council that prayers should be addressed to the Lord standing up.

This rule was reiterated in Canon 90 of Trullo:
Quote
We have received it canonically from our God-bearing Fathers not to bend the knee on Sundays when honoring the Resurrection of Christ, since this observation may not be clear to some of us, we are making it plain to the faithful, so that after the entrance of those in holy orders into the sacrificial altar on the evening of the Saturday in question, let none of them bend a knee until the evening of the following Sunday, when, after the entrance during the Lychnic, again bending knees, we thus begin offering our prayers to the Lord. For inasmuch as we hare received it that the night succeeding Saturday was the precursor of our Savior’s rising, we commence our hymns at this point spiritually, ending the festival by passing out of darkness into light, in order that we may hence celebrate en masse the Resurrection for a whole day and a whole night.

Not all the local churches follow this rule with the same strictness, and I'm aware that even priests violate this rule at one point in the Sunday Liturgy, but no kneeling on Sundays and during the fifty days between Pascha and Pentecost is the universal rule.

The kneeling service of Pentecost is a Vespers service that, according to strict practice impractical for most parishes, is to be performed on Sunday evening.  As such, this service technically belongs to the day (Monday) AFTER Pentecost, even if it is performed immediately after the Sunday Liturgy as in many parishes.  (Kneeling on any day but Sunday, and then outside of the Paschal season, is always permitted and often expected.)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2007, 01:28:50 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2007, 01:28:13 AM »
Yes, I know those Kneeling Prayers; ACROD does them as well.
I don't want to skew this thread off base here, but how much kneeling is done in your parish on a normal Sunday Divine Liturgy, Jibrail? (Then we'll get back on track for StGeorge)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2007, 01:30:22 AM by Αριστοκλής »
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2007, 02:06:46 AM »
Yes, I know those Kneeling Prayers; ACROD does them as well.
I don't want to skew this thread off base here, but how much kneeling is done in your parish on a normal Sunday Divine Liturgy, Jibrail? (Then we'll get back on track for StGeorge)
The only time I can remember kneeling is during Great Friday where the priest holds the Gospels over our heads while reading them, and on Pentecost Sunday immediately following the Eucharist.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2007, 02:09:36 AM »
(Kneeling on any day but Sunday, and then outside of the Paschal season, is always permitted and often expected.)
So, is kneeling expected during Vespers (outside of the Paschal season)? At what point would one kneel? The only time I recall seing anyone kneel, other than the examples I've already given, was during the Nativity Liturgy, and it was a man from Romania who, after the Eucharist and on his knees, sang a beautiful hymn (in Romanian).
« Last Edit: June 30, 2007, 02:14:09 AM by Jibrail Almuhajir »
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2007, 02:23:44 AM »
So, is kneeling expected during Vespers (outside of the Paschal season)?
With all the questions you're asking, Thomas may want to split this subthread off just to allow you to continue asking them without disrupting StGeorge's train of thought.  ;)

I'm not aware that kneeling is ever called for specifically during Vespers except during Great Lent (the same for Matins).  I am aware, though, that kneeling is common practice during Compline.

Quote
At what point would one kneel?
Most often during the epiclesis and the prayers before Communion of a weekday Liturgy.

Quote
The only time I recall seing anyone kneel, other than the examples I've already given, was during the Nativity Liturgy, and it was a man from Romania who, after the Eucharist and on his knees, sang a beautiful hymn (in Romanian).
This is permitted when Christmas falls on any day other than Sunday.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2007, 02:41:42 AM »
With all the questions you're asking, Thomas may want to split this subthread off just to allow you to continue asking them without disrupting StGeorge's train of thought.  ;)
Sorry all, and esp to StGeorge- I didn't mean to hijack the thread :P
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2007, 02:59:22 AM »
Sorry all, and esp to StGeorge- I didn't mean to hijack the thread :P
Go ahead and ask your questions, Gabriel, but you might want to start a thread in the Liturgy section just for this purpose.  If you want to follow this path, I'll talk to Thomas and see what he can do to split this side discussion off and merge it into your new thread.  (June 30:  My thanks to Arimethea for doing this.)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2007, 11:52:07 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2007, 08:49:37 AM »
The only time I can remember kneeling is during Great Friday where the priest holds the Gospels over our heads while reading them, and on Pentecost Sunday immediately following the Eucharist.

Interesting.
We do kneel on weekday Divine Liturgies, just not on Sunday.
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Offline aserb

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2007, 09:09:19 AM »
Some ACROD parishes kneel on Sundays. I assume that this is a carryover from when they were united with Rome before they entered the Holy Orthodox Church.


Note: Minor edit to change a proscribed word.
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« Last Edit: June 30, 2007, 09:43:19 AM by Αριστοκλής »
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2007, 09:50:46 AM »
Some of the ACROD parishes do kneel on Sundays, but then most Greek parishes (in the US) do too.
The Latinizations on kneeling go further in ACROD with kneeling all through the distribution of the Holy Gifts in some parishes.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2007, 01:55:55 AM »

 Who or what is ACROD?
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2007, 03:02:42 AM »
Who or what is ACROD?
The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese

At least they don't call themselves the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church. (ACROC) ;)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2007, 03:05:59 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2007, 03:24:14 AM »
The American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese

At least they don't call themselves the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church. (ACROC) ;)
I've never heard of them before. Are they in communion with EO?
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2007, 05:16:43 AM »
I've never heard of them before. Are they in communion with EO?

Yes.

http://www.acrod.org
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Offline John of the North

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2007, 11:25:00 PM »
Ok, just throwing this out there.

Isn't the proscription/discouragement of kneeling on Sundays based on a similar reasoning to why there is no kneeling at all from Passcha to Pentecost....that as one Lutheran friend told me "Sunday is a mini-(Pascha) every week." Just a thought.

I know my brand new prayer book from the UOCC discourages kneeling on Great Feast days, Sundays, and days when one would be going to confession/communing.

That said, I dont kneel at all during the Liturgy, unlike all the other parishioners who still have their own knees haha (which given the average parishioner age of +75....not many). I pretty much follow what the cantor does. I did kneel during the Lenten vespers services however.
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2007, 12:50:57 AM »
Your reasoning above seems correct- every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection.
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Offline AMM

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2007, 10:05:42 AM »
At my ACROD parish, we kneel every Sunday except between Easter and Pentecost.  Kneeling takes place during the Anaphora, the Epiklesis, for the Lord's Prayer in the Prayer of the Litany, the Elevation and the pre communion prayers.  So there's a fair amount of kneeling.

My understanding is kneeling is fairly common to the groups that surround the Carpathians, both Slavic and non Slavic (i.e. the Romanians).

Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2007, 02:47:50 AM »
At my ACROD parish, we kneel every Sunday except between Easter and Pentecost.  Kneeling takes place during the Anaphora, the Epiklesis, for the Lord's Prayer in the Prayer of the Litany, the Elevation and the pre communion prayers.  So there's a fair amount of kneeling.

My understanding is kneeling is fairly common to the groups that surround the Carpathians, both Slavic and non Slavic (i.e. the Romanians).

Well, it's certainly the norm for Romanians. There are a lot of times when some or all of the congregation kneels in our Liturgy (and I mean on Sundays). In addition to the ones you mention above (I believe some or all of us kneel at all those times), you will see that Romanians generally kneel during the reading of the Gospel.

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Offline Aristibule

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2007, 01:34:56 PM »
IIRC, the translation of 'kneeling' in the English for those canons is inappropriate? I've been told several times the 'bending of the knee' refers to prostrations, not kneeling which wasn't under discussion at the time. Could our Greek literates comment?
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2007, 07:24:18 PM »
IIRC, the translation of 'kneeling' in the English for those canons is inappropriate? I've been told several times the 'bending of the knee' refers to prostrations, not kneeling which wasn't under discussion at the time. Could our Greek literates comment?
I must not be very literate; I've no idea. It seems kneeling itself only became widespread in Greek parishes in the US with the pews innovation. I remember both kneeling and prostrations done in my childhood parish until the parish bought those stupid kneeling pad-thingies. Older folks prostrated while younger knelt. Both at the wrong times.

I had read that in Russia before Peter's the "Great's" Jesuits got involved, there was no word in Russian for 'kneeling'- they called it 'standing on the knees'. Is this true?
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Offline Aristibule

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2007, 11:51:23 PM »
No idea - do we have a Russian expert?

I do know that 'standing on the knees' was quite normal in England for all of recorded history, as well as standing for prayer. There is some indication a form of prostration was done (the same I think someone already mentioned elsewhere - where a cross was traced on the ground, and then kissed.) But I don't know that was general practice everywhere. Only genuflection changed just in the past few centuries to be kneeling on one knee rather than bowing at the waist while making the sign of the cross.

I do know that some of these claims of 'standing on the knees' being something expected by Barbarian lords for peasants is just a type of 'urban legend'. Scotland had kneeling (standing on the knees) for centuries, and feudalism never caught on there (hard, when everyone is closely related to some Chief, Lord or Prince.)
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Offline Simayan

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2007, 12:09:25 PM »
We kneel at our GOA parish every Sunday, right after the priest says, "We offer to you these gifts from your own gifts in all and for all...", then stand at the "Especially our most blessed, pure, and ever Virgin Mary."
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2007, 02:14:37 AM »
Many Churches in America are returning to this practice of standing and not kneeling.  Most GOA priests acknowledge this is how it should be done and do not correct those who wish to do so.  I was in a GOA parish were some started doing this now only a few elderly  parishioners continue the kneeling practice but there was no real teaching from the pulpit occurred, it seems to have been individual as people asked about it to the priest he simoply affirmed it was correct within the canons and an older tradition than the kneeling practice.

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Offline Sophie

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2007, 06:46:27 AM »
I agree with Simayan. We usually do that in Greece, as well as in Greek Orthodox Churches in England-the ones I have been to at least- and in Spain. I do see people kneel at other times as well, I thought it was a question of personal prayer thing. I have a whole lot to learn still. ;D
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Offline Simayan

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2007, 09:58:45 AM »
Not to hijack this thread, but I have a question:

Do we only do a full prostration (like Muslims) during the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified gifts?
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2007, 10:05:48 AM »
^

No, there are many times throughout the year (although never on a Sunday) when full prostrations are made. Especially prevalent are the prostrations during the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete. For several years I've tried to count the number, but I lose track every time. It feels like hundreds.
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Offline arimethea

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2007, 01:54:37 PM »
Do we only do a full prostration (like Muslims) during the Liturgy of Pre-Sanctified gifts?

Where do you think the Muslims learned it?
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Offline Simayan

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2007, 05:18:24 PM »
Thanks Ytterbium.

It always irks me when fundamentalist Christians think prostration is some evil thing invented by radical Muslims.

Frankly, I've always loved the prostrations in church (even if we only do them a few times a year). It adds a level of humility compared to kneeling (and, to me, because I was not raised Orthodox) an amazing feeling of antiquity.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 05:18:53 PM by Simayan »
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2007, 05:40:33 PM »
Where do you think the Muslims learned it?
Where also do you think the Muslims got the idea for Ramadan?  Could it be our own season of Great Lent?


I just remembered that there are a couple of Sundays, the only ones all year, when the OCA rubrics call for prostrations:
    1. The Third Sunday of Lent (Veneration of the Holy Cross)
    2. The Sunday of or immediately following the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14.
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Re: Re: Kneeling on Sunday
« Reply #30 on: July 08, 2007, 04:45:33 AM »
...It seems kneeling itself only became widespread in Greek parishes in the US with the pews innovation. I remember both kneeling and prostrations done in my childhood parish until the parish bought those stupid kneeling pad-thingies...


Yessss in my new calendar GOC, we kneel every Sunday...I forget when, I believe it's when the wine turns into the blood. And we kneel on padded knee-lifts. I really don't think it's odd since I grew up with it.