WDTPRS POLL: Genuflecting during the Creed on Christmas.

In the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, when the Creed is said or sung, all present bend the knee or kneel at the words “et incarnatus est“.  In the Ordinary Form this practice was reduced only to two days of the year, Christmas and Annunciation.

In my opinion, the practice of genuflecting or kneeling at this point in the Creed should be resumed for every Mass in the Ordinary Form.  Let the “gravitational pull” exert its force!  Let the mutual enrichment begin!

For Christmas, what happened where you went to Mass?

Chose your best answer and leave a comment.

For Christmas Mass, did the priest, servers, congregation knee/genuflect during the Creed at the words "and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate"?

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  1. ddoyle1220 says:

    At one Mass, Father decided to bow so he could still read the new translation from the sacramentary. At the other Mass, Msgr. took the easy way out and used the Apostles Creed… As I was getting ready to genuflect, it was already past, and Msgr. physically can’t genuflect.

  2. RCGuerilla says:

    The priest mentioned it was to be done, and everyone did. In addition, we got the Kyrie, Our Father in Latin, Angus Dei, and Eucharistic Prayer #1.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    I do genuflect every time I hear this in the Creed at whatever Mass, NO or TLM, even though lately, there has been only one other person doing it in the entire congregation. In Malta, people around me started doing it because I and one other person did. I think we can influence others this way, quietly. If one sits up front, it helps. I also kneel for the final blessing at Mass at the NO, which is an older habit in the TLM. Again, one can influence by example.

  4. CaliCatholicGuy says:

    Father did not mention it so very few (aside from me) did it correctly. Father did however use The Roman Canon which was great to hear in the new translation (although I could have done without the middle aged women liturgical dance incense bearers).

  5. buffaloknit says:

    The priest at the 9pm Mass at St. Pat’s in Kokomo, IN did a GREAT job explaining what we are doing and why re: kneeling during the creed. They also sang a variety of hymns in Latin including the Latin text of what I think was the appropriate communion antiphon (I don’t know what I’m talking about exactly here-but most places skip this in my experience or substitute a random hymn, etc) for Christmas Eve. An impressive and well done OF Mass all around! I can totally see kneeling during the creed catching on there throughout the year.

    Also, the other priest there, the new, very young one, is “super on the ball” according to my Ma. I think she means he says the black and does the red. Keep up the good work!

  6. Geoffrey says:

    I went to the 10pm “Midnight” Mass in the Ordinary Form, and I voted “No, only small number did”. That “small number” would be myself and someone with me, as far as I could see.

  7. Frank H says:

    At the 10m pm Vigil Mass, our pastor reminded us that this is the custom on Christmas, and it ooked to me like everyone did so.

  8. APX says:

    I’m in Canada, so the norm for the Creed is the Apostles Creed except on feast days. This means Christmas was the first time the Nicene Creed was recited (I noticed a significant boycott of reciting “consubstantial”). I wanted to genuflect, but we’re supposed to bow and do the same posture “As a sign of unity” (Now that I know no one really bows, I think I’ll just stick with the EF norm of genuflecting). I bowed, so I was not able to see too much of what other people were doing, but I know I was the only person in my family who made any motion of reverence. I’m going to make an educated assumption that our Bishop and deacon bowed as well.

  9. M. K. says:

    We had the genuflection, which Father explained well right before the Creed (which was sung). However, that wasn’t all: we also paused completely for at least twenty seconds, with the whole church kneeling in silence, before all rose and resumed singing the Creed. It was a profoundly moving moment, which I hope I’ll experience again in the future.

  10. Agostino says:

    Similar to ‘M. K.’, in our Parish Mgr. explained that at that moment we would all kneel, and we had a brief (15 to 20 seconds or so), but profound pause, before rising and continuing with the Creed.

  11. JohnE says:

    Father said “please genuflect” at that point in the creed.

  12. Daniel Latinus says:

    Evryone genuflected, but I attended an EF Mass…

  13. vox borealis says:

    No one did it. I am in Germany for the year…the Christmas morning mass (which we attended) was very poorly attended. Typically the parish sings one of those very loose paraphrases of the Creed approved for the German speaking dioceses. However, for Christmas they instead recited the Apostles rather than Nicene Creed. Suffice it to say, no one of the smattering of laity made any gesture at the “natus ex Maria Virgine.”

    If the you think a new translation was needed to replace the old ICEL English translation, you should go to a typical mass in Germany or Austria.

  14. rollingrj says:

    I did, but I think I may have been the only one (my head was bowed as well), despite it being mentioned in the worship aid at the start of the Creed.

  15. Lirioroja says:

    I voted “No, only a small number did” based on what happened at the church I sing at. I did not go to Midnight Mass because of family Christmas celebrations. I sang the noon Christmas Day Mass at this parish. The celebrating priest was the pastoral associate who is normally good about these things. However this time he only bowed and I think it’s so that he could read the Nicene Creed in the Sacramentary the altar server was holding up for him. The only ones who genuflected were me and the acolyte who I think is a seminarian for the diocese. I was not at my parish this weekend but I’ll make an educated guess based on past experience that it was 50/50 for the genuflection, with the priest and the servers leading the way.

  16. DLe says:

    Our priest, right before starting the Creed, asked that we all kneel during those words. When he knelt, it took a second or two for the congregation to get the idea and follow suit, but soon there was the lovely sound of hundreds of faithful kneeling/pulling down their kneelers/etc.

  17. Jordanes says:

    We went to a traditional Latin High Mass this year, so of course everyone genuflected at the Et Incarnatus Est, but in the past in our parish hardly anyone has genuflected (and sometimes even the priest would forget to do so), and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same happened this year.

    Eliminating this genuflection on all days except Christmas and the Annunciation is one of the many changes in the liturgy that cannot be justified and was unnecessary and pointless at best. Allowing the Apostles Creed in place of the Nicene Creed is another one.

  18. Jayna says:

    It was not mentioned and no one did it. I would have, but it was cramped in the pews and I didn’t want to cause a scene (wearing a veil draws enough attention as it is). At least people are bowing now, though. Until they had the missal in their hands telling them to do so, hardly anyone did even that.

  19. PomeroyonthePalouse says:

    The “small number” that I selected were my wife and I. We sit in the third row, so it could (but wasn’t, based on experience) have been higher. Our misallette (OCPoo) said bow, but nothing like previous years’ where it also mentioned genuflecting at Christmas or the Annunciation.

    On the other hand, we did have the same old settings with the same old words for the Gloria, the Holy Holy, Holy, and the Mystery of Faith. After all, how fast do you expect to have three – 70+ and a 65+ woman (that’s our “choir”) learn new words?

  20. JaneC says:

    The priest announced at the end of the homily that everyone who was able should kneel at that point in the Creed. It was also printed in the “worship aid” that we should kneel at that point on Christmas Day, and bow at other times. Everyone complied, even most of the choir members, which is quite a feat since there is not really room to kneel between the rows of the choir and the choir members normally do not kneel for anything (except me–still young and limber enough to work my feet around the legs of the folding chairs in order to kneel down).

  21. jvacek says:

    I attended Midnight Mass at St Cecilia’s Cathedral in Omaha. The instructions were given to genuflect in the program and above the Creed an instruction was given to prepare your kneeler. The Creed was sung ‘recto tono’ and at the end of the line ‘He came down from heaven’, the choir held the note for 5-10 seconds to give time to kneel. After a couple seconds of silence, they broke into a polyphonic setting for ‘et incarnatus est…’. It was absolutely amazing and brought tears to my eyes.

  22. jesusthroughmary says:

    At the Novus Ordo Midnight Mass, our pastor announced before beginning the Creed that, instead of the normal bow, we are to genuflect on Christmas Day at the appointed time; as far as I could tell, everybody followed his instruction. At the noon Mass on Christmas Day, we sang a polyphonic setting of “et incarnatus est…” in place of the corresponding section of Credo III.

  23. Tom Esteban says:

    At the Novus Ordo parish I am attending, we were asked to do it. As far as I could see about 10% of us did.

  24. Random Friar says:

    I imagine this happened in more than one place: while we did tell the people to expect this, it was still somewhat chaotic. The “pew cards” with the people’s responses has the rubric in red at that point… and more than a handful read the rubric out loud as well, throwing everything off for a few seconds.

  25. andrewnhan says:

    We did, however the priest had it done after the words in a silent moment before the creed continued on. I guess this was to stop confusion.

  26. Marie Teresa says:

    The OCP missalette no longer has this instruction.

    Out of a few hundred attending the midnight Mass in the OF, sadly I was the only one who knelt.

  27. MominTexas says:

    Everyone but me, I think, as Fr. announced it prior. I was nursing a baby.

  28. jesusthroughmary says:

    It is sad how thoroughly the Catholic sensibility has been scrubbed from the souls of the faithful that people not only don’t instinctively kneel at the mention of the Incarnation of their God, but are literally physically unable to speak and genuflect at the same time.

  29. Robert_H says:

    Nearly everyone did at our EF. What caused more confusion was the mid-day Mass’s Gospel is the Last Gospel, so Father didn’t repeat it after the Blessing & Dismissal. Going straight to the processional hymn caused a few whispered comments.

    This would be a good poll to have OF and EF versions of each answer.

    Why exactly did the Spirit of Vatican II require the genuflections to be dropped?

  30. Much like Marie Teresa, I was the only one (that I could tell) that did. This includes the priest, deacon, acolyte and servers, all of whom have made it a habit of bowing toward the tabernacle as they pass in front of it.

    Taking apart tradition…brick by brick.

  31. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Yes, and we were given enough time to get the kneeler down, get down there and we stayed down for enough time to make it worthwhile for those of us who creak and ratchet up and down. This was at 7am Christmas day.

  32. jesusthroughmary says:

    This was at 7am Christmas day.

    Was it the Mass at Dawn?

  33. tgrove says:

    A small number, in this case is approximately equal to one. No one else I saw/heard genuflected in a gloriously full church. It was also, according to Father, the only midnight mass in town actually at midnight.

  34. NoTambourines says:

    It was a confusing moment here in my hometown parish. The church was full (yay!), the sound system isn’t great, and I was past the halfway point to the back of the church. The output from Father’s wireless mic wasn’t making it very far.

    He said something about kneeling, and so I pulled the kneeler down and into position, but then we recited the Apostles’ Creed. No one around me made a move for the kneeler, and I think many were taken by surprise at not reciting the more familiar (even in the corrected translation) Nicene Creed.

  35. cantrix says:

    I attended Mass both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Both of the priests mentioned (well prior to the Creed) that a genuflection was called for and left plenty of time during the Creed for it to take place. I am so proud of our parish priests. They work very hard to make the liturgy both correct and beautiful. (The associate who had the Christmas Day Mass even chanted many of his parts. It was his first time! We made sure to tell him what a great job he did.)

  36. I went to a midnight (11pm) Mass, where the priest announced before the (Nicene) Creed that we would be pausing and genuflecting at those particular words in the Creed. It was also printed in the Christmas Mass worship booklet found in the pews. So… we all did it.

    While the posture was explained as a gesture of awe and reverence and humility and thanksgiving (on our part), I would also have appreciated mention of it as representing the “condescension” or humility of God Himself in taking on a body of flesh. (Of course, this is kept in tension with the notion that God deigned human nature worthy of His self.)

    O admirable commercium!

  37. poohbear says:

    The priest mentioned it right before the Creed, but sadly,very few followed his instructions.

  38. jbosco88 says:

    At the Dawn Mass NO I attended, it wasn’t mentioned, and noone even bowed. There must have been many twice-a-year-catholics there because the old ICEL responses were still yelled out.

    I was the only one who knelt, and the only receiving communion kneeling, on the tongue. It was most embarrassing.

  39. Jim says:

    At St Patrick’s Cathedral, Charlotte, NC, our bishop asked us to genuflect and we all obeyed :-). We also had the instructions printed in our hand missals.

  40. wmeyer says:

    When the kneeling did not happen, our pastor interjected instructions, then proceeded.

    I will take this as a hopeful change.

  41. Tim says:

    Sadly at Midnight Mass (OF) the Apostles’ Creed was said with no genuflecting of course. At the Mass of the Day (EF) everyone genuflected as we do every time the Nicene Creed is sung.

  42. HyacinthClare says:

    My vote’s not exactly fair… I go to EF exclusively. So EVERYBODY did!

  43. RichardT says:

    I voted “only small number did”, but actually I think I was the only one.

    But then I suspect I’m the only one who bows at that point the rest of the year (hard to tell with one’s head down, but no flicker of movement from the rest of the church).

  44. tealady24 says:

    We usually go to the EF mass and genuflecting and showing pious-ness comes naturally.
    Yesterday we attended a NO mass in a beautiful large fairly new church in Ocean County NJ, filled to almost overflowing; one of many masses. The written instructions were right there for all to read.
    NO ONE genuflected nor did anyone receive Holy Eucharist on the tongue; so rather than stick out like one who is looking for attention. . . .

  45. Mitchell NY says:

    Everyone I could see did kneel at the EF Midnight Mass I attended.

  46. Truthfully, I don’t know! But most years, everyone does at Mass with me–because I always remind folks and try to prompt it by how I prompt the servers to genuflect with me.

    This year, however, all of our eyes were glued to the booklet, reading the new translation of the Symbol of Faith. I didn’t look up to see what folks did; and my sense was a lot of folks didn’t genuflect, because they, too, were focusing on the book. I think everyone tried his best, but trying to get the new words right was–for a lot of folks–as much as they could do. Understandable.

    (I reminded folks right before I stood up for the Creed, by both recalling the booklet to their attention, and reminding them of the genuflection.)

  47. ejcmartin says:

    The priest requested that people genuflect but from what I could seenot many did. The church was packed to the rafters with a lot of people who probably had not been there since last Easter so perhaps a good number of them had no idea what Father meant when he said genuflect.

  48. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    To the best of my knowledge, there was only one who didn’t genuflect at our Mass: me, because I was using my feet to pump the bellows on the organ.

    Merry Christmas, and Happy St. Stephen’s Day, Father,


  49. jbas says:

    A. Why are some churches pausing for silence during the Creed, which is not in the rubrics?
    B. Why are some churches not bowing during the Apostles Creed, which is called for by the rubrics?
    It’s as if we just simply cannot do what the rubrics say to do and only what they say to do.

  50. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Yes, it was the Mass at dawn. It was very quiet, our normal 7am Mass with no music but with more people. I appreciated it.

  51. JohnMa says:

    OF Midnight Mass: Father said before the creed: Remember to use the cards in the pew for the creed and genuflect when I do so.

    EF Mass of Christmas Day: All did so both during the creed and during the chanting of the gospel by the deacon.

  52. heway says:

    Well, a blessed, holy, happy, healthy Christmas to one and all! We attended our first children’s Mass despite having had 3 children of our own. Singing in choir called for all of us attending midnight and a morning Mass. The church outside Houston was jam-packed. My son and his wife stood. I held my grandson and did not kneel – barely room to sit or stand. The music by children was beautiful. They played mostly violins and piano. There were worship aids but not enough. It was pouring rain and everyone was wet! Wish we had been in Omaha from the description. Our home parish had trouble keeping up with the organist on the new music (according to the pastor). This will be my last children’s Mass in a large urban area – want my country church with about 40 or 50 worshipers.

  53. Eddie the Band Director says:

    Our Priest at St. Michael’s in Indianapolis mentioned it before the creed. Everyone in front of me did. I did not look behind me.

    It is not surprising to me when the Priest says something about the Mass that everyone does it. During this new translation, All of my Catholic Friends seem to have the attitude. “Just tell us and we will”

    I saw something really cool at St. Malachy’s a neighboring church on the NW Side of Indpls. The Cantor came forward with the changes on a “cheat sheet” when something new should be said. “And with your spirit” is starting to become a habit now.

    Hey everybody, Happy New Year and Blessed Christmas Season.

    Eddie in INDY.

  54. Athanasius says:

    Let the “gravitational pull” exert its force! Let the mutual enrichment begin!

    How about, let the enrichment of the OF begin but leave the EF “enrichment” at the door, unless of course, one is going to roll back every Bugnini change and bring back the 1944 Missal!

  55. jlduskey says:

    I usually go to EF Masses, but at 4pm on 12/24 I went to a nearby OF parish. I could see that the priest and people were really trying to follow the rules. We had a few who said “And also with your spirit” as they caught their error.
    At the Incarnatus Est, I genuflected, following the rule. (At the OF, I sometimes genuflect without thinking about it, because I usually go to the EF.) I believe I was the only one present who genuflected. Then, suddenly, the priest stopped the recitation of the Creed, just as they were starting to say “He was crucified…..” The priest then knelt down in silence for about a minute, and the congregation also knelt down, too. Then all stood up and then they finished the Creed.

  56. EF Mass at St Therese…all knelt at the incarnatus set :)

  57. rhhenry says:

    I was ready to genuflect, doubted my memory, panicked, looked at the card in the pews with the new translation, saw no indication, ran out of time to grab the missalette to confirm, bowed, and felt strangely disoriented for a few moments — guess my body and my mind were on vastly different tracks . . .

  58. teaguytom says:

    There are quite a few liturgical genuflections or kneelings evident in the older forms.One change was the kneeling at the dismissal. In the EF, father chants “Ite Missa Est” and after the people say “Deo Gratias” we all kneel for Father to bless us. In the OF, it is in reverse order and we don’t kneel. Father blesses us while we are standing and then says ” the mass has ended” Another forgotten genuflection is evident in the Last Gospel. When father reads “and the WORD became flesh” in latin, all genuflect. In the OF, the reformers just all out banished the last gospel.The kneeling for blessings was also evident outside of mass during the Urbi et Orbi when the Pontiff gave his apostolic blessing. The crowds would kneel just before the pontiff gave the actual blessing. These forgotten bendings of the knee helped show that something sacred was happening or acknowledge something Holy. Just standing most of the year or all the time doesn’t help convey sacredness.

  59. HighMass says:

    I have never understood why the genuflection has been done away with either, only twice a year.
    for those who never lived before the N.O. it is not understood, but to those of us who grew up with the Latin Mass, E.F. it is only natural.

    Thank God for the new Translation it is beautiful.

  60. It’s one of my favorite moments of the entire liturgical year – and yes, we all knelt at the invitation of the wonderful new rector at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee on Christmas Day.

  61. jo seno says:

    No one else genuflected. Only a few bowed. My siblings, my fiancé, and I were the only once that genuflected. We genuflect very Sunday (EF or OF).

  62. St. Louis IX says:

    I attended the TLM, so of course Everyone lets gravity(and the Gravity of the moment) take over.

    Saint Louis IX pray for us.

  63. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Our pastor chose to recite the Apostles’ Creed, as other contributors reported. As there were no instructions specific to Christmas for the Apostles’ Creed in the OCP Heritage Missal, I wasn’t sure what the protocol was.

    I am curious about those who report near universal genuflection at E.F. masses. My understanding is that there is no “official” directives for posture for the laity in the 1962 missal. Am I mistaken?

    In other words, those at the E.F. genuflect though not directed to but at O.F. masses, genuflection is rare even though the laity is directed to.

  64. Dan says:

    At St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio Bishop Lennon brought the rubric calling for a genuflection to the people’s attention prior to reciting the creed- the Cathedral was packed (only standing room left) and it was good to see the entire church fall and then rise again at the “et incarnatus est.” I attend mass in both forms, so it felt good to incorporate an element of our tradition at this particular, solemn moment. His Excellency also used Eucharistic Prayer 1, which was the first time I had heard the Roman Canon used since the advent of the new translation. It was very beautiful, as was the entire Mass. I love the OF when done right!

  65. COLRE says:

    Fr didn’t mention it beforehand so sadly I was the only person to genuflect. I don’t usually genuflect in the OF, but I do bow as the rubrics envisage. We did have the newly translated Roman Canon which sounded fabulous. Somehow it made more of an impact on me than all those many times I have followed it in my hand missal at the EF.

  66. Luvadoxi says:

    I forgot!

  67. emily13 says:

    The pastor made an announcement before professing the Creed, but it seemed that, at least the people around me, had already forgotten by the time we got there.

  68. I did.

    Unfortunately, it was not in our “worship aid” so very few did.

  69. Parish Mass in O.F. Father said the Apostles Creed without announcing that fact to the congregation. People were confused. He did not pause or remind us to kneel. I knew at the start of Mass that we were supposed to but I got distracted when he changed creeds. In his defense, he is getting forgetful and has been struggling all Advent to remember to look at the book and say the new words.

  70. The Sicilian Woman says:

    Our fantastic, reverent priest made a point of telling everyone before (OF) Mass started that we were to kneel at that part and he’d give us a sign to do so. I didn’t look around when the time came, but there was the thunder of kneelers hitting the floor and bodies shifting downward, so I think most everyone who could kneel, did so. Father also pointed out the cards with the new translation responses effective at the start of Advent; most seemed to follow along. He also told us that we were to sing, “And with your spirit,” at some parts. Again, most followed instruction. It was a fully attended Mass, with many people whom I did not recognize in attendance. Thankfully, with a few exceptions, the attendees dressed nicely.

  71. yatzer says:

    The priest didn’t mention it and I didn’t have any written material (card or missalette) to remind me, so I forgot and bowed as usual.

  72. twsumrall says:

    I attend the Cathedral parish, and our bishop at the 11am Sunday mass invited us all to kneel and reflect for a brief moment before and after the incarnatus est. A great surprise, since our bishop is heavily to the left of the episcopal spectrum.

  73. GirlCanChant says:

    I sang at the parish of a priest friend of mine for Christmas Eve, and he reminded everyone of the tradition of genuflecting on Christmas and Annunciation. As far as I could tell, everyone did it. Thee next day, however, I was at my church, and I think I was the only one who did.

  74. Gwen says:

    At the midnight Mass, our Bishop knelt and so did most everybody who could see him. Midnight Mass is pretty much “amateur hour,” and it’s packed to SRO (and not much of that), so I was surprised that as many people knelt as did.

    At the Christmas Day 9:30 a.m. Mass, our PV told us before the creed that we would kneel. He did and so did everybody. They all got up when the part was recited, but he didn’t rise. So everybody knelt back down as he stayed on his knees for a minute of silent reflection.

  75. JimP says:

    I checked “very few”. As far as I know, it may have been only my wife and I. The ‘worship aid’ in the pew pocket and glued into the back cover of the hymnal don’t mention it. I would guess that about 10% of the congregation don’t bow the rest of the year, nor do the priests, so I wasn’t surprised.

  76. Seraphic Spouse says:

    In Edinburgh, genuflection at the FSSP EF Midnight Mass, of course. At my local parish church’s OF Christmas Day Mass, no. The pew card said to bow my head, so I bowed my head. And kept forgetting to say “And with your spirit”, as did a lot of the congregation. The parish church was packed.

  77. pinoytraddie says:

    We knelt,but It was the Apostle’s Creed in the lame-duck translation.

  78. Hugh Farey says:

    We were getting ready to sing Credo III, but father decided to say the creed instead, partly, I think, to support the new version, and partly because he wasn’t sure whether the choir would stop for a genuflection. Then he asked us all to kneel at the words of ‘transsubstantiation.’ Of course the word hadn’t left his lips before he realised his mistake, but he must have had one of those sudden blocks when the word you want just won’t come, and he finally came out with genuflecting at the words of ‘consubstantiation!’ But we all knew what he he wanted to say and genuflected at the right place anyway.

  79. Navarricano says:

    At Christmas Eve Mass in the parish I attend when I’m in Madrid, we didn’t on Christmas Eve (though the celebration of the Mass was very well-organized), but at Mass in the same parish on Christmas Day we did, so I voted yes.

  80. Thomas in MD says:

    I knew we should but was concentrating so on reading the new translation of the creed (that part is one where I keep reverting to the old) that I didn’t remember until too late. No one, not even the priest, a kindly but rather careless older visiting priest, knelt. This is a parish where normally an announcement is made about kneeling on Christmas and a longish pause in the creed is made for all to do so. Oh well.

  81. Jim Ryon says:

    As he does every year, my OF pastor has the altar boy ring the bells when it is time to kneel and again when it is time to rise. All I could see knelt.

  82. To jbas: A. Why are some churches pausing for silence during the Creed, which is not in the rubrics?

    Probably because a spoken Creed leaves little time for genuflecting. By the time you’re down, the words are just about finished, so it’s time to get up. A sung Creed introduces a musical pause by slowing down or even repeating the words, which is difficult to do with a merely spoken text.

    The rubrics do not say how quickly one must move from one phrase or sentence of the Creed to the next.

  83. br.david says:

    Perhaps, Father, you can explain the rationale for the sudden and, arguably, drastic change from genuflecting always during that point in the Creed, to a simple bow….

  84. Phil_NL says:

    My own parish does this, and it is done almost universially by the regulars (Christmas masses are much busier than otherwise; the people who attend rarely may or may not genuflect). At my parent’s parish, it wasn’t done at all. In the Netherlands, the latter is pretty much the standard.

    In fact, there was hardly the opportunity to do so, as the pews and kneelers are formed in such a way it takes literally almost 10 seconds to kneel and the same amount of time to get up. By then the choir would have been well past the ‘Et incarnatus est’. It makes no sense to kneel for ‘Pontio Pilato’… One needs some time for this, and time needs to be given. That seems to be item number one on the to-do list.

  85. Darren says:

    At midnight mass, our priest – since many were there who are only there two days a year – mentioned that the creed can be found on the cards in the pews or on page 9 in the missaelette, and added that we traditionally genuflect during the appropriate part. Wel, I genuflected and one guy in front of me did, but everyone else around me remained standing and not even bowing as we are to do other days of the year. Ah well…

    I could tell that the people behind me were C&E-ers, as I heard one asking the other, “why did they change the responses?”

  86. hylander1986 says:

    At our EF Mass for Christmas morning, most if not all genuflected without hesitation, as most parishioners are used to it and visitors generally followed suit. At our Midnight Mass (at Midnight!), in the OF, Fr. reminded everybody to genuflect at the words of the Incarnation, and they did (including Fr). Am I incorrect in assuming that this is still part of the rubrics of the OF, but most choose to bow in place of genuflecting. On my part, unless I have my legs amputated or extreme arthritis of the knees, I will never replace genuflection with a bow. Why do less when you can do more?

  87. letchitsa1 says:

    Most of our parish genuflected. There were a few folks who for health reasons did not, but most of the folks who were physically unable to kneel did manage a bow.

  88. Patti Day says:

    Father didn’t mention genuflecting, although he did refer us to the pew cards for the reading of The Creed. We were the only ones to bow as far as I know. I forgot about genuflecting until later in the prayer when it was too late. I feel that if we two were to being genuflecting, those around us would think we were being overly pious Pharisees. I already feel that way when bowing during the Creed, even though it instruct that that is to be done right there on the card.

  89. Darren says:

    Patti: One of our priests used to remind us to bow during the creed, among other acts we should be doing during mass. Then, he stopped saying that among other things like “Catholics not conscious if grave sin may receive Communion, others may join us spiritually through prayer”.

    I think I am one of just a few who bow, but then I don’t typically look around. I wonder what people think when I don’t clap when everyone claps for things… …but they can think what they may.

  90. marajoy says:

    At one Mass, where the priest mentioned/reminded everyone to genuflect, then almost everyone did. But at the other Masses, where no mention was made of it, then just about no one did.

  91. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Everyone knelt because before the Creed, the priest explained that we were to kneel.

    If only this was brought to the attention of all congregations at Christmas! I wish all congregations were reminded to bow too, at all other Masses. The same people who are so eager to hold hands at the Our Father, which is not supposed to be done, totally ignore bowing at the incarnation, which IS proper. It would be so easy and effective for priests to guide the congregation in proper posture and motion for any part of the Mass.

  92. etm says:

    Our Priest had the whole congregation sit, but at least the creed was said. Most Sundays he skips it but since the the new translation he has been saying it every Sunday

  93. I knelt. No one else did. Why? They were too busy reading the Creed from the laminated cards!

  94. pogacnikr says:

    Servers and priest did, others were sadly just invited to bow by pastor. Otherwise the liturgy was superb. Really.

  95. mpolo says:

    In community 100%. In the parish, I mentioned this before we started the creed, but most people just looked at me like I was from another planet when I kneeled. Those few who followed me in kneeling generally remained kneeling for the rest of the Creed.

  96. sirlouis says:

    Everyone who was physically able to do so genuflected at the “et incarnatus est,” as we always do in my parish, at every Mass in which the Nicene Creed is recited. But, then, we are Anglican Use and never left off doing that.

  97. Emilio says:

    I am on vacation for the HOLY-days visiting my parents in León, Nicaragua, a diocese that is almost 500 years old. I cannot say that we genuflected during the Creed, because, well, there WAS no Creed used. It was “replaced” with an ad-libbed version of the Renewal of Baptismal Promises, but lacking any sort of sprinkling with holy water. Aside from my own frustrations, I felt horrible for the people this otherwise beautiful Nicaraguan parish, who are not getting liturgical celebrations celebrated as Mother Church asks that they be.

  98. Steven says:

    At my parish I was the only one. At the Midnight Mass I attended in the EF at another parish, however, everyone did (Father’s sermon centered around it)

  99. Centristian says:


    No genuflection, not even by the celebrant…at the cathedral, no less. Embarrassing. Just embarrassing. Typical of our liturgically lacklustre diocese, though. I could also complain of the cheap, see-through white vestments that resembled bedsheets, that beer-can-on-a-leash they used as a thurible, the lack of ceremonial precision, and the…altar woman…who carried the processional cross.

    I was even more embarrassed by all the “lack of” at our cathedral when I watched the Mass of Christmas Day at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on EWTN later that morning. Holy Maloney. Those splendid gold vestments…that magnificent thurible (swung with finesse)…that military precision that marked the ceremonies. And everyone genuflected at the “et incarnatus”, beginning with Cardinal Wuerl.

    Nothing like that at my cathedral. Why? Why?? Why??? *sigh* So frustrating.

  100. Nicole says:

    Believe it or not…I was the only person whom I observed to have genuflected at the pertinent part of the Credo at the parish I was visiting this Christmas!

  101. jaykay says:

    Ahh, it was kind of confusing chez nous. At the Christmas Eve Mass the Auxiliary bishop celebrated and made no mention of the genuflection and didn’t himself (also, the church was packed: “there’s a brilliant teaching moment gone west”, thinks I) but at the main Christmas morning mass the Cardinal was celebrating and made a brief genuflection himself… but did not announce it and I would say only those at the front actually noticed (I could see clearly from the choir loft). So that was two great “teaching moments” gone. Pity.

  102. Rev. Mr. Stephen says:

    Many posting are using genuflection and kneeling interchangeably in this context. I think it’s important to note that the rubric on this has actually changed in the Third Edition of the Roman Missal. The N.O. directive for the last 45+ years has been to GENUFLECT during these lines on the Annunciation and Christmas. The Third Edition now directs that we KNEEL. (Bowing, of course, in all other Masses throughout the year.)

    In any event, when I pointed this out to my pastor a few days prior to Christmas, he dismissed it as insignificant, with his usual “The-people-don’t-like-to-be-inconvenienced” attitude, saying “by the time they go down, its’ time to come back up again.” I gently tried to point out that maybe that’s why it’s been changed to kneeling, so that the reverential nature of those particular words and the moment would not be lost on anyone present, but to avail. He listens to no one and he’s right about everything.

    As for Christmas Mass, he neither knelt, genuflected or even bowed.

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