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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

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Why Do Catholics Kneel?

Question:

Why do Catholics kneel during their services? This seems unnecessary. Why not just sit still and listen to the preaching of God's word?

Answer:

If you attend a Catholic Mass you will see the first part of it consists of reading and preaching; we stand for the Gospel, but we sit for the other readings and for the preaching. But the Mass is more than just reading and preaching. The Mass is a sacrifice, and there are times–especially in the last part–when the faithful pray on their knees. Kneeling shows our humility before God.

Your question is a surprise because you probably should be asking yourself why you don’t kneel in your Protestant services. Scripture suggests you should. In Ephesians 3:14 Paul says, “I kneel before the Father,” and in Acts 9:40 Peter “knelt down and prayed.” The Catholic habit of kneeling is consistent with Scripture and is another manifestation of the continuity between the Church of the first century and the Catholic Church of today.

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