Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Domine Non Sum Dignus

June 17th, 2017, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The Year of the Eucharist in the Diocese of Rochester begins on Sunday, June 18th, the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi. One element of “change” which will be seen by attendees at the Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form) Mass in English, from now on, will be the congregation’s kneeling right after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), and just preceding the “Lord, I am not worthy…”), aka the “Domine non sum dignus.” But is this really a “change?” Yes and no. It is a “change” back to former practice in the DoR and a change to the current widespread practice in the Catholic Church; but it¬†actually is a RESTORATION of a practice that reflects the humility with which we should approach the sacred Body and Blood.

When I researched this issue a few years ago, I remember that there were only five dioceses in the country which did NOT kneel after the¬†Lamb of God. And Rochester was one of those five. I was delighted to find at least one place in the DoR during all those years in which the practice was not absent at this holy moment — the Carmelite Monastery!

ScreenShot600It is annoying and distressing to read in bulletins or to hear that “Bishop Matano is asking us to now kneel after the Lamb of God.” Rather, he is restoring a former practice, not willy-nilly instituting his own personal wishes. What an especially wonderful time to restore — at the beginning of the Year of the Eucharist! It is a blessing for this diocese and its people to ELIMINATE a sad practice of not bending our knees to the Lord at such a solemn moment.


But do listen carefully to the words from the pulpit, ScreenShot601and in reading of bulletins.

It is not a capricious change.

It is a restoration of a sign of honor and glory to God.

How is it being implemented in your parish? Drop us a comment!



8 Responses to “Domine Non Sum Dignus”

  1. christian says:

    What will happen in Catholic churches in the Diocese of Rochester that only have chairs for seating? What will happen in Catholic churches in the Diocese of Rochester which have had their pews with kneelers removed due to church leadership wanting to update the church to a modern worship style?

    Additionally, in having no kneeler or sturdy kneeler, available with chairs for seating in are these churches, the chairs are often placed in close proximity to the row in front of them, leaving little or no space for a parishioner to kneel on the floor in front of them if they so incline.

  2. JLo says:

    I’m delighted, Diane. Holy Cross does not kneel, and I’ve always hated standing out as one of the few who always does. Fr. Groeschel used to teach that we should do what is right, but not to make ourselves stand out. So I was conflicted, but I kneel. I also worried a bit that I was actually disobeying, because it’s my understanding that the USCCB actually made standing during that time the norm. Am I incorrect in that? In any case, I kneel, and now I won’t be the odd one anymore (as soon as this kicks in at Holy Cross). As to christian’s concern, I can’t imagine not being on my knees during the Consecration… do those churches without kneelers not kneel even then?!! Those logistics can be remedied, and should be; but if one does’t have good knees, bring your own kneeling pad with you to Mass! +JMJ

  3. militia says:

    I love pews. And I hate the chairs. Everybody is not the same size. Winter coats, purses, a prayer book, and pretty soon there is no place to put “stuff.” It’s ok I guess if the church is half filled and you can sit next to an empty chair. But then try to balance everything and scrunch down in the space allowed to kneel. It is almost as if it were a plot to keep us from kneeling.

  4. raymondfrice says:

    At St Mary’s in Canandaigua, in the main church, we all kneel at the canon etc. However in the Halloran Chapel, which has chairs, you do what you are able to do as far as kneeling or standing. I can always kneel and stand in a pew but always worry about navigating with a chair.
    My real issues is why the NCCB cannot be consistent in their directives. One year it is tear down and the next year it is build up. As one older pastor is said to have said when the altar rail was taken down and he was asked what to do with it, replied ” put it in storage. It it will be back in 50 years.”

  5. gaudium says:

    Our parish simply announced the policy and everyone complied. After Mass there were many positive comments. The homily quoted the Bishop’s pastoral letter saying that if the blessed in heaven prostrate them selves and cover their faces, how much more should we, a community of sinners, humble ourselves before the mystery.

  6. gaudium says:

    Yesterday, on the second Sunday, folks seemed a bit unsure as to whether they should kneel but did so when the deacon made a hand gesture.

  7. Diane Harris says:

    Apparently in one of the churches I attend sometimes, on Corpus Christi the people were asked to kneel at the Domine non sum dignus,in honor of Corpus Christi, and haven’t done so ever since.

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