Q. 1 Should I stand or kneel during the Consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ?
A. 1 Unless specific instruction has been given by the Bishop of your diocese to stand, the proper thing to do is to kneel during the Consecration. Allow me to explain.
First of all, it should be understood that the fullness of the revelation that has been given to us through Jesus Christ is progressive. Inspired by the Holy Spirit who guides the Church, some traditions change in time for the greater glory of God.
From the early days of the Church until the 13 th century, the Christians stood during the eucharistic prayer. At that time, kneeling replaced standing because of the debate about the real presence of Jesus in the eucharistic bread. Kneeling was believed to be more appropriate as a form of adoration in recognition of the Divine Presence of Christ. Inspired by the Holy Spirit to kneel during the eucharistic prayer, the Catholic Church embraced this posture in reverence for the presence of Christ.
The question then becomes, "Does the Holy Spirit contradict Himself?" If the Holy Spirit progressively guided the faithful of the Church to kneel during the eucharistic prayer, leading them to believe that this was the proper manner of worship and adoration, then should this not be continued?
Secondly, let us look at it from another point of view. If someone appears before a Court of Law, it is appropriate to bow one's head before the presiding judge. The same respect is shown towards the head of states and the Pope. Now, if we are to show respect towards the judges and the heads of state by bowing our heads, should we not show greater respect towards Christ who is God and our creator? Since the changes have gradually been implemented, not only do many of the Catholics no longer kneel, but they no longer bow their heads during the Consecration. As such, they are showing greater respect towards the judge and the heads of states than they are showing towards God.
Finally, the Holy Bible teaches us that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth." [Ps. 95:6; Is. 45:23; Rom. 14:11; Phil. 2:10] It is important to notice here who will be kneeling. It is everyone, in heaven, on earth and under the earth. In other words, the angels of Heaven, all human beings born on earth, and the fallen angels. At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend. Now, if every knee should bend at the mention on the name of Jesus, should they not bend at the moment of the physical arrival of Jesus in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. If all the heads bow when the judge or the head of state enters the room, should greater respect not be shown by kneeling as the Lord Jesus becomes physically present in the Church during the Consecration?
In conclusion, it appears that few know in what direction they are going with this subject. Most of the faithful are standing, doing so because they believe it to be right based on their observation of the others. Many, while their hearts tell them to kneel, are not doing so because they fear offending those who are standing. The final Judge on this matter shall be Jesus. When we appear before Him, He shall ask us what kind of reverence we showed Him when He physically entered the Church during the Consecration. Did we show more respect for judges and heads of states than we have done for Christ Himself? Did we listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit who progressively taught the Church and Who spoke in our hearts every time that we attended the celebration of the Holy Mass?
Church documents teach that you are required to kneel during the Consecration, from after the end of the Sanctus until the Great Amen, even if there arenít any kneelers (GIRM 21; Appendix to the Sacramentary 21).