Understanding When to Kneel, Sit, and Stand at a
Traditional Latin Mass
A Short Essay on Mass Postures by Richard Friend
The author, a married father of three boys, lives in Southern California where he promotes the Traditional Latin Mass. He developed a love for the traditional liturgy through exposure to the Norbertines of St. Michael’s Abbey, culminating in a rediscovery of the timeless beauty of the Mass of his birth.
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Rather informative. However, I do not envision the changes happening quickly or at all in some places if for no other reason then complacency.
Thanks for sharing this article. The influence of the “red booklets” on the everyday practice of Latin Mass goers throughout the English speaking world is unfathomable, to say the least. It’ll take a herculean effort to promote anything to the contrary now.
One of my friends, a former FSSP seminarian and experienced MC, noted two possible errorsor oversights. Could you forward these to Richard for clarification?
1.) The tables at the end have the laity “sit” for the Collect, according to all given sources. That can’t possibly be right?
2.) My friend notes that for Masses with incense, if the choir rubrics are the model for emulation, the laity should follow the rubric of standing at the point in the Offertory which the celebrant is incensed, then remain standing until the Canon. This is out of respect for the celebrant, as well as to already be standing when the thurifer approaches them to be censed. (The tables at the end currently stipulate only that the laity should stand after “orate, fratres”.)
Thanks for pointing out the oversight Mr. Griffin! Another reader also pointed out an oversight in the posture after the elevation of the chalice, where I wrote “kneel” in both CM and CRRD columns instead of “stand” since this is actually what the authors wrote. So I asked my good friend Jay to replace the earlier post with the corrected version, and I thank him also for helping me reach out to the TLM community through his blog.
As for your second question, table 1 merely shows what the authors of the various books wrote, although even here O’Connell says it is more correct to stand rather than sit, but he explains this in a footnote while acknowledging that the general practice is to sit. I wholeheartedly agree that the people should remain standing after incensation in preparation for the Orate Fratres and the Secret that follows, and this is reflected in table 2.