WOW! I don't think anyone could have captured it more beautifully.
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Kneeling during the consecration at Mass is the most appropriate way to express the fact that in the Eucharist one meets Jesus, who was bowed down by the weight of human sin, said an article by a Vatican official.
"The Lord lowered himself to the point of death on the cross in order to encounter sinful man, freeing him from sin," said the brief article published in "Notitiae," the bulletin of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
"If the Eucharist represents the sacramental memorial of the death and resurrection of the Lord, it seems appropriate that those for whom the Lord bowed himself down would bow down before this supreme mystery of love," said the article by Msgr. Stephan Hunseler, a congregation official from Germany.
The late-July article said that Christ's self-emptying "reaches its climax when the lord Jesus Christ takes on himself, as the lamb of God, all the sins of the world."
When people kneel during the consecration, it said, they not only are assuming a position of humility, but are bowing down to meet Jesus where Jesus has bowed down to meet them.
"Kneeling during the consecration of the Eucharist, therefore, becomes one of the most eloquent moments of meeting Christ the lord," who became man, died for people's sins and rose again, the article said.
The 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which provides guidelines for the celebration of Mass, said the faithful "should kneel at the consecration, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration."
The instruction, however, went on to say that it is up to a nation's conference of bishops "to adapt the gestures and postures described in the Order of Mass to the culture and reasonable traditions of the people."
The U.S. bishops' adaptation of that section of the instruction reads: "In the dioceses of the United States of America, they (the faithful) should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the amen of the eucharistic prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the diocesan bishop determines otherwise."