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|Meeting Christ in the Liturgy|
Instruction of the Roman Missal
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QUERY 1: After communion should the faithful be seated or not? REPLY: After communion they may either kneel, stand, or sit. Accordingly the GIRM no. 21 gives this rule: "The people sit. . .if this seems useful during the period of silence after communion." Thus it is a matter of option, not obligation. The GIRM no. 121, should, therefore, be interpreted to match no. 21: Not 10 (1974) 407.
QUERY 2: In liturgical assemblies there is a great variety of gestures and postures during a celebration. For example, should the people: a. stand during the prayer over the gifts; b. kneel after the «Sanctus» and during the entire eucharistic prayer; c. sit after communion? REPLY: As usual the GIRM gives simple rules to solve these questions (GIRM no. 21): a. The people stand while the presidential prayers are being said, therefore, during the prayer over the gifts. b. Thy also stand throughout the eucharistic prayer, except the consecration. The practice is for the faithful to remain kneeling from the epiclesis before the consecration until the memorial acclamation after it. c. The people may sit during the silence after communion.
The points determined are in no way to be considered trivial, since their purpose is to ensure uniformity in posture in the assembly celebrating the eucharist as a manifestation of the community's unity in faith and worship. The people often give the impression immediately after the «Sanctus» and even more often after the consecration by their diverse postures that they are unmindful of being participants in the Church's liturgy, which is the supreme action of a community and not a time for individuals to isolate themselves in acts of private devotion: Not 14 (1978) 300 - 301, no. 1.
QUERY 3: In some places kneelers have been taken out of the churches. Thus, the people can only stand or sit and this detracts from the reverence and adoration due to the eucharist. REPLY: The appointments of a place of worship have some relationship to the customs of the particular locale. For example, in the East there are carpets; in the Roman basilicas, only since modern times, there are usually chairs without kneelers, so as to accommodate large crowds. There is nothing to prevent the faithful from kneeling on the floor to show their adoration, no matter how uncomfortable this may be. In cases where kneeling is not possible (see GIRM no. 21), a deep bow and a respectful bearing are signs of the reverence and adoration to be shown at the time of the consecration and communion: Not 14 (1978) 302 - 303, no. 4.
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