Thursday, June 7, 2012

No kneelers? Say what?

I usually attend the 9:00 AM Mass at a small chapel about half an hour from my house but this past week the pastor switched the time to 8:00 instead. There's no way I can make it to Mass at this time because Michaela is not at school yet. There is a noon Mass at a different church about 15 minutes from my house but here's the problem:


I don't get it. How can a Catholic Church (and I am sure it's a Catholic Church) have no kneelers? I'm stumped and haven't dared ask why there are none so I just kneel on the hard floor standing out like a sore thumb. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the discomfort; I offer that up. What bothers me is the fact that Our Lord is present in the Eucharist (the Mass itself is fine) but because there are no kneelers, everyone stands. I don't even care about sticking out like a sore thumb, I care about what this says to the Lord. I mean, is our arrogance so profound today that we feel no need to kneel before the King of Kings?

As for me and my household, we will kneel before the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I can assure you, all our angels are prostrating themselves before the great I AM.


  1. I agree with you. I remember when everyone kneeled when receiving communion too. (actually, I think that was before I was receiving...I don't want to give the wrong impression that I'm older than I am)
    It's a slow fade when these things happen. Good for you for "standing out". You may start a trend there.

  2. Hi Mary,

    The no kneeler business started sometime in the 1980s I think. It seemed that "liturgists" decided that since we are supposed to stand before God, according to their doctrine, kneelers were not necessary. Thus when Father Richard Vosko and others of his ilk got to wreckovating Catholic Churches, kneelers disappeared.

    I read this article in the Wanderer in the 90s. When Cardinal George was first appointed to the Chicago diocese he visited the seminary there and saw that in the new chapel there were no kneelers. He told the rector and others who were with them that the seminarians had to kneel at the consecration. The rector said something like, "But there aren't any kneelers!" Cardinal George answered something like, "I didn't say you had to put kneelers in. I said that the seminarians have to kneel at the consecration." To this day I have no idea if the seminary has installed kneelers.

    Anyway, I'm with you on the kneeling business.

  3. WTG, Mary! I ran into this years a chapel on a college campus. Worse yet, the priest called the few in attendance up into the sanctuary for the canon of the Mass!!!

    I stayed in my pew in the beginning, but one day he looked right at me...the only one still in the pew and I gave in. No one knelt, even that close to the altar during the consecration. Like you, I fell to my knees on the floor. I think after that experience, I just stayed in the pew the rest of the summer.

    Mother Angelica used to offer a portable kneeler made of foam that you could carry around with you
    . I miss her.

    Maybe you'll be a good influence if you keep going.... : )

    ....every knee shall bend in heaven, on the earth and under the earth... AMEN!

  4. Mary...was it a Catholic Eastern-rite Church? They stand for most of the service which is a sign of reverence for them. I believe they bow as a sign of reverence as well.

  5. AMEN. I think if we REALLY grasped What was Happening, we would fall on our faces without a second thought. In my area, there have been several churches (yes, Catholic) who didn't put in .. or who took out... kneelers. SAD.

  6. You make a very good point here Mary. It is wrong not to kneel at Communion and during Consecration. That's why they ring the bells at Consecration.

    I'd advise you to go to the other church and borrow their kneelers. I know they may be a bit long - the length of the bench/pew itself; but you can always borrow one for an hour or so. If the kneeler, like in our church, is attached to the pew; then just borrow the pew. And when the Mass in your kneeler-less church is over, return the pew where you found it.

    Really, what would you do without my easy solutions?

    God bless.

  7. Kathleen,
    This is the only church I've ever seen that doesn't have kneelers. Are there ones near you that don't have any?

  8. Barb,
    Ha!Ha! Wreckovating! I like that! this one is definitely wreckovated - not only are there no kneelers but it's very plain and different from most churches I've been in. It must be an eighties church then. The Mass was said properly and the Crucifix was very beautiful so I guess that's what I should focus on. Wait until our new Bishop sees the church - I wonder if he'll ask them to put in kneelers.

    Thanks for the information, Barb. Good for Cardinal George! They SHOULD kneel!

  9. Patricia,
    That's bizarre! I never heard of such a thing! The Pope would faint if he saw anything like that. I haven't seen much Liturgical abuse around here, thankfully, but I'm aware it goes on.

    Love that Mother Angelica! God bless her :)

  10. Theresa,
    No it wasn't Eastern rite. I think Barb is right and it was due to wreckovating :)

  11. Nancy,
    So you've seen this before too? I liked your comment about falling on our faces if we really understood what was going on. I think if we could see our guardian angels they would be prostrate on the floor. Yes, it is sad.

  12. Victor,
    I just don't know what I would do without your logical answers. I even know a little girl who is a pro at unscrewing kneelers. (Yes, dear Fr. Kelly in was MY child.)

  13. Mary,

    I'd kneel alongside of you despite the lack of kneelers.

    We once attended Mass at an unfamiliar church without kneelers. The pews were squashed together so there really wasn't enough room for kneeling on the floor. But we did kneel anyway. Our heads were uncomfortably close to the people sitting in the pew in front but we didn't have a choice. We just couldn't sit. It wasn't right. We must have stood out like sore thumbs too. After Mass, a number of people came up and said lovely things about our children and welcomed us to their parish, so I guess there were some people in that church who were sympathetic to our beliefs and also wished their church had kneelers.

    God bless!

  14. Hi Sue,
    I'd be glad for the company, that's for sure:)

    Ah, so you've run across this problem too! Your experience sounds much more uncomfortable though. There was plenty of room to kneel at the church I went to. I'm grinning a bit at the thought of you all kneeling while everyone was sitting. Bet that sent a strong message!

  15. I think I am just in shock that there is in existence Catholic churches without kneelers. I am glad I haven't stumbled into any yet...yikes!

  16. Theresa,
    I guess a few others have come across this too. I've asked Our Lady to nudge them to put some in :)

  17. There are no kneeler churches all over. There is one in Northbrook, IL. One in Schaumburg, IL. One in Fishers, IN. I do not like anywhere where they stand instead of kneel during consecration. The Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic church I most often attend has tradition of not kneeling during the 50 days of Easter, but I am relieved as soon as Pentecost comes because it just feels so wrong to not kneel before so great a Savior and so great a Sacrifice. He is our Lord and Our God! Just as Peter and Thomas fell to their knees if we have faith we are compelled to do the same.