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Author Topic: Kneeling during the Consecration... Western Tradition?  (Read 6394 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 26, 2009, 01:54:38 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Does anyone know 'when' Kneeling during the Consecration began as a Latin (i.e. Western) Piety? Do Western Rite Orthodox kneel during the Consecration?

Was Kneeling forbidden during Sundays in the Council of Nicea?
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2009, 02:37:19 PM »

Was Kneeling forbidden during Sundays in the Council of Nicea?

Yes. One should not kneel at all during the Liturgy on Sundays, although it does occur many places (Romania, for example) as a pious custom.
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 02:39:09 PM »

On Feast Days, I prostrate after the epiclesis until the Megalynarion is chanted, but I never kneel on Sundays.  I will also prostrate when the gifts are moved during the third stasis of the psalter during the Presanctified Liturgy.  But never on Sunday as to obey the canons set forth at Nicaea.  I believe that the kneeling on Sundays is distinctively a Western innovation.
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 02:40:30 PM »

Was Kneeling forbidden during Sundays in the Council of Nicea?

Yes. One should not kneel at all during the Liturgy on Sundays, although it does occur many places (Romania, for example) as a pious custom.

And this is drawn from the premise that kneeling is not proper for thanksgiving? What was the reasoning... it appears that this was already happening and that the Church wished to stop the practice?

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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2009, 02:42:44 PM »

On Feast Days, I prostrate after the epiclesis until the Megalynarion is chanted, but I never kneel on Sundays.  I will also prostrate when the gifts are moved during the third stasis of the psalter during the Presanctified Liturgy.  But never on Sunday as to obey the canons set forth at Nicaea.  I believe that the kneeling on Sundays is distinctively a Western innovation.

It seems like to was a Jewish practice that was present in the Western Church...

The prophet Daniel says: "And I knelt down on my knees three times a day to give thanks and praise to God" (Dn 6:11).

Interestingly, this passage is considered by Jews to be the basis for the three regular times of prayer at the synagogue. Moreover, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, as is generally recognized, is rooted in the Jewish Berakah (Gk: <eulogia>, Lt: <benedictio>). The Hebrew root of <Berakah> means to genuflect or kneel, and there were genuflections in the developed Jewish form of this prayer.

Why was the Council at Nicea putting this practice down?
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2009, 02:48:40 PM »

It began sometime in the Middle Ages, around the same time as the Elevation.

Of course, that doesn't mean it is somehow "suspect." If East and West did some archaeologizing and went back to the supposedly "purer" liturgy of the patristic period, it would not be a good thing. See the Novus Ordo? The

Here is a fascinating history of the practice of kneeling and genuflection in the Christian tradition:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06423a.htm
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2009, 03:17:22 PM »

Why was the Council at Nicea putting this practice down?

The Catholic Encyclopedia article I linked to says this:

In early times an attempt was made to insist yet more emphatically on the character of penitents as that most befitting ordinary Christians. A practice crept in of posing in church as penitents, that is, of kneeling, on all days alike. It was a principle akin to that which deemed it a great virtue to fast even on Sundays and feast days. In both cases the exaggeration was condemned and severely repressed. In the twentieth canon of the Council of Nicæa (A.D. 325) the fathers lay down (the canon, though passed over by Rufinus, is undoubtedly genuine): —

    Because there are some who kneel on the Lord's Day and in the days of Pentecost [the fifty days between Easter and Whit-Sunday]: that all things may be uniformly performed in every parish or diocese, it seems good to the Holy Synod that the prayers [tas euchas] be by all made to God, standing.

The canon thus forbids kneeling on Sundays; but (and this is carefully to be noted) does not enjoin kneeling on other days.


---------

For myself, I cannot imagine not kneeling at Mass. It has a penitential aspect, but it also has an aspect of humble supplication which seems very appropriate to me. As for penitence, there are penitential aspects to the Mass---Kyrie Eleison, for instance. And when praying Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, it is natural to me to be in a kneeling position.

While it is a legitimate Western tradition, I fully accept the Eastern practice as well.

"...in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth." Philippians 2:10
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2009, 06:21:30 PM »

Do Western Rite Orthodox kneel during the Consecration?



We most certainly do.
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 06:23:45 PM »

Why was the Council at Nicea putting this practice down?


Because kneeling is supplication and remorse when we should be joyful at teh rising of our Lord on all Sundays throughout the year.  But I think, as I have posted recently in other threads, it was to promote good order within the individual churches and the Church as a whole.
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2009, 06:41:34 PM »

Why was the Council at Nicea putting this practice down?


Because kneeling is supplication and remorse when we should be joyful at teh rising of our Lord on all Sundays throughout the year.  But I think, as I have posted recently in other threads, it was to promote good order within the individual churches and the Church as a whole.

Here is a part of a larger discussion on the topic of Kneeling... What are your thoughts.

If we look at history, we can see that the Greeks and Romans rejected kneeling. In view of the squabbling, partisan deities described in mythology, this attitude was thoroughly justified. It was only too obvious that these gods were not God, even if you were dependent on their capricious power and had to make sure that, whenever possible, you enjoyed their favor. And so they said that kneeling was unworthy of a free man, unsuitable for the culture of Greece, something the barbarians went in for. Plutarch and Theophrastus regarded kneeling as an expression of superstition.

Aristotle called it a barbaric form of behavior (cf. Rhetoric 1361 a 36). Saint Augustine agreed with him in a certain respect: the false gods were only the masks of demons, who subjected men to the worship of money and to self-seeking, thus making them "servile" and superstitious. He said that the humility of Christ and His love, which went as far as the Cross, have freed us from these powers. We now kneel before that humility. The kneeling of Christians is not a form of inculturation into existing customs. It is quite the opposite, an expression of Christian culture, which transforms the existing culture through a new and deeper knowledge and experience of God.

Kneeling does not come from any culture -- it comes from the Bible and its knowledge of God. The central importance of kneeling in the Bible can be seen in a very concrete way. The word proskynein alone occurs fifty-nine times in the New Testament, twenty-four of which are in the Apocalypse, the book of the heavenly Liturgy, which is presented to the Church as the standard for her own Liturgy.

On closer inspection, we can discern three closely related forms of posture. First there is prostratio -- lying with one's face to the ground before the overwhelming power of God; secondly, especially in the New Testament, there is falling to one's knees before another; and thirdly, there is kneeling. Linguistically, the three forms of posture are not always clearly distinguished. They can be combined or merged with one another.

more here http://www.adoremus.org/1102TheologyKneel.html
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2009, 10:08:53 PM »

And this is drawn from the premise that kneeling is not proper for thanksgiving?

Sunday is the day of the Resurrection. We rise for Christ is risen.
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2009, 02:46:00 AM »

I would say it is a mistake for western rite orthodox to kneel during the consecration.
It is not archaelogizing to return to earlier tradition held in common with the east.
Vatican II liturgy came from protestant influence not true early church traditions.
The vatican II was a hodge podge of many sources modern and ancient it can not be compared to authentic late 1st millenium latin christianity.
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« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2009, 03:54:16 AM »

I'm just throwing this out there, just thinking off the top of my head, have no source to cite, so bear with me.

Is it possible kneeling became popular with the introduction of pews?

Perhaps people would lie down in prostration during the consecration but pews made this difficult so kneeling was introduced?

Also, is kneeling during the consecration during a weekday Divine Liturgy prohibited? Perhaps the laity didn't realize the rules change on Sunday?

Just throwing it out there. Don't shoot the messenger.  Grin
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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2009, 04:07:22 AM »

Quote
Is it possible kneeling became popular with the introduction of pews?

An interesting theory. Perhaps these pictures shed some light on the topic, I support the 1st not the 2nd.



http://i42.tinypic.com/og07k0.jpg (higher resolution)

Mosaic of a Mass in Basilica di San Marco, Venice circa 1150-1200 AD



circa 1450 AD somewhere much further north, probably France
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2009, 10:01:19 AM »

Your other questions seem to have been addressed fairly thoroughly in this thread...

Do Western Rite Orthodox kneel during the Consecration?

Heck, "Eastern Rite" Orthodox kneel during the consecration on non-Sundays; I've even seen people kneel for most of the service on non-Sundays.  The position of penitential prayer is well-established (more so than sitting) and is well-utilized in many cultures within Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2009, 01:10:32 PM »

We kneel in the west because kneeling is viewed as a posture of penance and suplication but also adoration all of which we should have when we aproach the Lord.
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« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2009, 02:45:02 PM »

On Feast Days, I prostrate after the epiclesis until the Megalynarion is chanted, but I never kneel on Sundays.  I will also prostrate when the gifts are moved during the third stasis of the psalter during the Presanctified Liturgy.  But never on Sunday as to obey the canons set forth at Nicaea.  I believe that the kneeling on Sundays is distinctively a Western innovation.

It seems like to was a Jewish practice that was present in the Western Church...

The prophet Daniel says: "And I knelt down on my knees three times a day to give thanks and praise to God" (Dn 6:11).

Interestingly, this passage is considered by Jews to be the basis for the three regular times of prayer at the synagogue. Moreover, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, as is generally recognized, is rooted in the Jewish Berakah (Gk: <eulogia>, Lt: <benedictio>). The Hebrew root of <Berakah> means to genuflect or kneel, and there were genuflections in the developed Jewish form of this prayer.

Why was the Council at Nicea putting this practice down?


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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2009, 09:23:06 PM »

I have read a book by one of the professors of liturgics at Holy Cross School of Theology, in Brookline, (GOAA), wrote that the custom of kneeling on Sunday during the Consecration of the Gifts, began in Greece, mid-19th century, but it was during the archepiscopal tenure of Archbishop Michael, of Thrice Blessed Memory, (GOAA Archbishop of America, 1949 to 1958, [+/-]), that this practice began in the New World.
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« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2009, 12:13:47 AM »

Most of the time now I attend an OCA church, where everyone stands during the consecration.  However, today I went to an ACROD church, and recognized that most everyone knelt during the consecration.  I noticed this on a previous visit, and it bothered me, since I considered kneeling against the canons.  However, this time I didn't think so much of the liturgical appropriateness, and it struck me as a humbling of oneself before God.

The kneeling during consecration highlights this part of the Divine Liturgy.  In the West, the people kneel during the Canon proper, considered the apex of the Mass--all the prayers previous are seen leading up to the consecration and offering up of the Body and Blood.  The kneeling therefore may say something about this part of the Divine Liturgy in relation to the prayers preceding and following.         

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« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2009, 12:51:51 AM »

On Feast Days, I prostrate after the epiclesis until the Megalynarion is chanted, but I never kneel on Sundays.  I will also prostrate when the gifts are moved during the third stasis of the psalter during the Presanctified Liturgy.  But never on Sunday as to obey the canons set forth at Nicaea.  I believe that the kneeling on Sundays is distinctively a Western innovation.

It seems like to was a Jewish practice that was present in the Western Church...

The prophet Daniel says: "And I knelt down on my knees three times a day to give thanks and praise to God" (Dn 6:11).

Interestingly, this passage is considered by Jews to be the basis for the three regular times of prayer at the synagogue. Moreover, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, as is generally recognized, is rooted in the Jewish Berakah (Gk: <eulogia>, Lt: <benedictio>). The Hebrew root of <Berakah> means to genuflect or kneel, and there were genuflections in the developed Jewish form of this prayer.

Why was the Council at Nicea putting this practice down?


The canon mentions the intention of uniformity.  Some people knelt (i.e. the penitential group) while the others stood. 

     
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