The next time you gather for Family Prayer Time, try kneeling as you pray. Genuflect (kneel on one knee) before the Blessed Sacrament as you enter and leave church.
Talking Points: Why Kneel?
Why do Catholics kneel during certain parts of the liturgy? Kneeling is a posture of reverence and prayer, especially supplication. In ancient times, it was common for subjects to kneel before their rulers as an expression of humility and respect. And because of the way kneeling makes a person vulnerable, it is also an expression of trust. Kneeling during prayer is an expression of humility and respect and trust toward God, our ultimate “ruler.”
Although standing was the most common prayer posture among the ancient Israelites and for most Christians until the Middle Ages, there are also many early references to kneeling in prayer: “O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” (Psalm 95:6) The New Testament also makes many references to kneeling in prayer.
Finally, kneeling can help kids (and adults) focus on prayer; it is another Smells and Bells way of opening ourselves to the presence of God.
- Scripture verses about kneeling: 1 Kings 8:54; Matthew 2:11; 17:14; 20:20; Mark 1:40; 10:17; Luke 22:41; Acts 9:40; 20:36; 21:5; Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10
- Check out all the different ways Catholics pray with their bodies with this episode of That Catholic Show: