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Adoremus Bulletin on

Posture - Gesture - Dance


On this page is a list of articles from the Adoremus Bulletin on the topic of bodily actions at Mass -- such as kneeling, standing, genuflecting, making the sign of the cross and gestures of reverence -- but also including so-called "liturgical dance". In this list, the issue of Adoremus Bulletin in which these items appeared is in brackets; and the most recently-published articles are listed first.

**In response to reader requests,
“Gestures and Postures of the Congregation at Mass”, which originally appeared in the February 2010 Adoremus Bulletin, is now available in PDF format. (also tri-fold copy)

Permission is granted to reproduce this file for personal or parish use. For all other uses, please contact us.

**See also Church Documents page for official instructions and statements of the Holy See on these same topics.

Article Submission Guidelines

Understanding the Holy See's Circular Letter on the Ritual Expression of trhe Gift of Peace at Mass -- by the Secretariat of the US Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship, Vol. XX, No. 6, September 2014

Vatican Issues Circular Letter to Bishops on the Sign of Peace, Vol. XX, No. 5, August 2014

The Sign of the Cross - Prefigured in history, this sign of faith, hope and love is fulfilled in Christ -- by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI -- Excerpt from the Spirit of the Liturgy, Part IV, Chapter 2, "The Body and the Liturgy", Vol. XVII, No. 10, February 2012

The Day the Mass Changed, How it Happened and Why -- Part II -- by Susan Benofy [ March 2010 ]

Gestures of Worship -- Relearning our Ritual Language -- by Helen Hull Hitchcock [February 2010]

Gestures and Postures of the Congregation at Mass -- A list of Gestures and Postures to accompany the article “Gestures for Worship — Relearning Our Ritual Language”, in this issue. [February 2010]

In response to reader requests,
“Gestures and Postures of the Congregation at Mass”, which originally appeared in the February 2010 Adoremus Bulletin, is now available in PDF format, especially formatted for printing on standard 8.5 x 11 paper (2 sides).

Permission is granted to reproduce this file for personal or parish use. For all other uses, please contact us.

The Day the Mass Changed -- Part I-- by Susan Benofy [February 2010]

CDW Prefect on Kneeling for Holy Communion [April 2009]

Congregation for Divine Worship - On Giving Blessings During the Communion Rite -- (Protocol No. 930/08/L), dated November 22, 2008 -- [February 2009]

People Now Kneel to Receive Communion on the Tongue at Papal, Public Masses -- by Helen Hull Hitchcock [September 2008]

Where Have We Put Him?: And what if we acted as if we believe what we believe? -- by The Rev. W. Roy Floch [November 2005]

Knees to Love Christ, by Bishop Thomas Olmsted [May 2005]

Liturgical Norms and Liturgical Piety, by Cardinal Francis Arinze [May 2005]

Turning Towards the Lord, Orientation in Liturgical Prayer, by U.M. Lang [April 2005]

On "Liturgical Dance" - includes Congregation for Divine Worship 1975 essay "The Religious Dance" [February 2005]

News & Views -- International Eucharistic Congress: Seven Conclusions | ICEL Update | Liturgists Still Push for Standing, More "EMs" | USCCB to Vote on Additions to Marriage Ritual, New Spanish Texts [November 2004]

Los Angeles Mandates Standing -- News - Views [December 2003/January 2004]

About that Orans Posture -- What is it? What does the GIRM say? Can a bishop require it? -- Many AB Readers have been asking about the orans posture during the Our Father (orans means praying; here it refers to the gesture of praying with uplifted hands, as the priest does during various parts of the Mass). [November 2003]

Cardinal Responds to Questions on Liturgy -- Wide-ranging questions on Liturgy were answered by Cardinal Francis Arinze at a conference in July sponsored by the Apostolate for Family Consecration.[October 2003]

Communion by Intinction: A "New" Way of Receiving Communion in Both Kinds -- Intinction may be unfamiliar -- but would more Catholics receive the Precious Blood at Mass if this reverent method of administering it were used? Is it time to change our ways?, by Susan Benofy (Helen Hull Hitchcock contributed to this essay) [September 2003]

Diocesan Posture Directives Create a Stir -- Adoremus Responds -- Cleveland's daily paper, The Plain Dealer, reported changes in the Catholic Liturgy, August 25, 2003., by Helen Hull Hitchcock [September 2003]

Holy See: People May Kneel After They Receive Holy Communion: GIRM rules on posture of the faithful should not be"regulated so rigidly" [July-August 2003]

Holy See Affirms Customary Kneeling During Communion Rite [July 2003]

Congregation for Divine Worship Responds on Holy Water, Kneeling -- Responses from the Congregation for Divine Worship on Holy Water, Kneeling. [April 2003]

"Unless the diocesan bishop determines otherwise" -- Are there any limits to a bishop's authority to change liturgical rules? -- People are confused. Are all dioceses in a given country supposed to follow the same rules for the celebration of Mass?, by Helen Hull Hitchcock [March 2003]

Bishop Tafoya's rules: Legitimate variations? Agree to Disagree? -- Among the several bishops who are mandating significant departures from the regulations adopted by the US bishops is Pueblo Bishop Arthur Tafoya. [March 2003]

Adaptations -- IGMR, Excerpts [March 2003]

Questions and Answers on Changes in the Mass, Gestures and Posture I [March 2003]

Clarification of IGMR-US: May I kneel as soon as I receive Communion? [February 24, 2002]

Vatican on Communion in the hand -- Response by Congregation for Divine Worship on Communion -- Notitiae (April 1999) [February 2003]

Official Responses on Kneeling in Notitiae Nov-Dec 2002 -- Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments [July 1, 2002]

The Theology of Kneeling -- Excerpt from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's book, The Spirit of the Liturgy.

The conflict over reverence -- No-kneeling orders cause consternation, grief Catholics feel "manipulated, and torn between their desire to be obedient to their priest or bishop and their desire to show reverence for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament"., by Helen Hull Hitchcock [October 2002]

Revised Adaptations to the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (IGMR) (in effect April 2002) [October 2002]

"American Adaptations" Approved -- Adds Another Layer to Liturgy Changes
by Helen Hull Hitchcock [June 2002]

Radical Relocation of Transcendence -- Changes in the Communion Rite 1977 - 2002, by Susan Benofy [May 2002]

US "Norms for Communion Under Both Kinds" -- effective April 7 [May 2002]

Holy See amends IGMR kneeling after the Agnus Dei "laudably retained" [May 2002]

"Why don't they want us to kneel at Mass?" -- Discussion and Scripture citations on kneeling., by Helen Hull Hitchcock [April 2002]

A Pastoral Letter on Reverence for the Eucharist, The Most Rev. John R. Keating, Bishop of Arlington -- December 4, 1988 - 25th anniversary of Vatican II Constitution on the Liturgy [AB 2002]

Silence and the Sacred -- Can we recover a sense of awe, of mystery at Mass? Regaining intimacy-with-Our-Lord, a minute of silence, by Father Ralph Wright, OSB [Dec-Jan 2002]

Bishops Propose Liturgy Adaptations for US; Issue Statement on Real Presence -- by Helen Hitchcock and Susan Benofy [July-August 2001]

Postures of the People at Mass -- Holy See documents and proposed "American Adaptations" compared, [July-August 2001]

To kneel or not to kneel -- [May 2001]

Vatican Letter on the Posture of the People During Mass -- Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments [December 2000 - January 2001]

Vatican Letter on the Position of the Priest During the Eucharistic Liturgy -- Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments [December 2000 - January 2001]

Dress, Demeanor, Discipline Show How We Value Holy Mass, by Bishop Robert Vasa [November 2000]

New Liturgy Rules Precede Missal, by Helen Hull Hitchcock [September/October 2000]

The Altar and the Direction of Liturgical Prayer, Chapter III from Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's book, The Spirit of the Liturgy [May 2000]

Who's dancing in church, and why? -- Dancers performed before the Pope during his visit to St. Louis in January 1999. Does that mean that "liturgical dance" is O.K.? by David Aaron Murray [March 2000]

Dance -- but not in the Liturgy, says Jesuit dancer, by David Aaron Murray [March 2000]

Bishop's Decree Raises Questions, by Helen Hull Hitchcock [November 1999]

[Re]Turn to the East? A young priest asks if it is time to consider a change in practice, by Father Thomas Kocik [November 1999]

Every Knee Should Bow -- But When? -- Uncertainty Surrounds the Postures of the People During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, by Helen Hull Hitchcock [June 1999]

Sacred Signs and Active Participation at Mass -- "Active participation" and the meaning of bodily gestures, by the Rev. Cassian Folsom, OSB [May/June 1998]

Where Do We Stand? Standing or Kneeling:Which is the Innovation?, by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky [February 1996]


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