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By Anthony Esolen, The Catholic Thing, Aug. 17, 2019 

Anthony Esolen

I will answer my question shortly.

First let me describe the instructions for kneeling at Mass, in the diocese of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where we live during the summer.  These may be summed up thus.  Outside of a portion of the first half of the Eucharistic prayer – from the calling down of the Holy Spirit to the elevation of the chalice – there is to be no kneeling at Mass.

Tonight, as usual, I was ready to fall to my knees at the end of the Sanctus, when I saw the whole congregation standing still, so it looked as if my legs had buckled under me for a moment while I jerked myself upright again, waiting for the instructed time.

Then everybody duly knelt.  But as they’re not in the habit of kneeling before Mass. That meant that the Eucharistic prayer was punctuated by dozens of clop-clops, as the kneelers hit the floor.  Every church up here seems to use the shortest of the prayers, so we spend about ninety seconds on our knees, and then we all stand for the acclamation, with another chorus of clop-clops, as the kneelers are raised, never to be set down again.

That is, we don’t kneel after the Agnus Dei.  And the bishop has told us that we aren’t to kneel once we return from Communion.  Everyone is supposed to remain standing in place until every single communicant has received, as a sign of solidarity or something.

Since that takes a long time, and since most of the people in the pews are old, it means that after the last person has returned to his place, everyone sits down. There is thus no sense of prayer right after your reception of the Eucharist. ….

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