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Is Standing During the Eucharistic Prayer the Norm Around the World?


Someone told me that the general Catholic practice all over the world is to stand during the Eucharistic prayer. Is this true, and isn’t it disrespectful to stand?


Yes, it is the standard practice, worldwide, to stand for most of the Eucharistic prayer. That is the general rule, and a country needs a dispensation for additional kneeling. The general, worldwide rule is also for people to kneel during the consecration itself, then resume standing for the rest of Mass, not to stand during the consecration.

The bishops of America sought and obtained permission to require kneeling not just at the consecration but through to the Great Amen, and that is the rule here. Liturgical practices that apply to other parts of the world do not subvert the liturgical law that the Vatican and the American bishops have hammered out for this country.

There is nothing intrinsically disrespectful about standing. Whether a posture is respectful or disrespectful is largely determined by culture and by the attitude of the person assuming it (e.g., a person who mockingly gets down on his knees in exaggerated outward subservience would be disrespectful of the Eucharist, as would a person who arrogantly stands in order to project the message that he is not subservient to Jesus in the Eucharist).

Outward postures are meant to help us assume inward attitudes that we have been trained to associate with those postures. In our country, where people have been so obsessed with individualism that they have forgotten what reverence for royalty is like, extra kneeling at Mass is appropriate to teach them the reverence Christ the King deserves.

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