To stand or to sit
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 165
    I’m looking to see if there are any documents out there that can clarify whether the congregation should be sitting or standing after the proclamation of the Gospel by the priest or deacon when the bishop is present. At my cathedral, the deacon would read the Gospel, and at the conclusion of the “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ” from the congregation, the organist and cantor would intone the acclamation once more, presumably to keep the congregation in their standing position. While those present would once again chant the ‘Alleluia,’ the bishop would leave his chair, go to the altar, reverence the altar, and then make his way to the ambo while everyone was still standing. Once the bishop was heading towards the ambo, the MC would make a motion for all to sit.

    The last two weeks, the deacon (or priest) would conclude the Gospel reading, the congregation would say, “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ,” and then everyone would sit. A few congregants (myself included) would stay standing until the bishop made his way to the ambo.

    With this sudden change in practice, I’m confused. Is the congregation supposed to stay standing, or should they sit immediately after “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ”? Is there a document that explains what is supposed to occur?
  • I was under the impression that you stood until the Bishop was at the ambo. I don't know about documents regarding this, but I would check the Ceremonial of Bishops. I'm not sure where you find a copy though.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 824
    Answer here:
    https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/after-the-book-of-the-gospels-is-read-4798

    Even though this article says it is customary in some places to sing the Alleluia after the Gospel when the bishop is present, I think that's an instance of impermissibly adding something to the Mass that isn't in the rubrics. An announcement before Mass begins that people should remain standing at the conclusion of the Gospel ought to suffice instead of tricking them into remaining standing by singing the Alleluia again.
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • Episcopalians are taught to Stand to praise, Kneel to pray, Sit to be instructed. And there is no talking before the service begins.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,018
    1/ Last time I was at a pontifical Mass in a cathedral, the deacon carried the Gospel book to the archbishop so that he could kiss it and the order of service said 'remain standing until the archbishop has kissed the Gospel book'. IIRC there was some organ meandering to cover the action, and most of the congregation ignored the directive and sat.
    2/ Why does the bishop not preach from his chair?
  • Jackson,

    Episcopalians (and, presumably Ordinatarians) also sing in four-part harmony on a lark.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    My convert's expectation was that people would know what to do in their own Church that they have belonged to all their lives. The reality is nobody seems to have a clue and someone has to tell them. I find this odd. But whatever.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 824
    In fairness to the simple faithful, the bishop rarely visits any given parish; maybe once a year for Confirmation. So it's understandable why the liturgical protocols when a bishop presides might not be internalized as well as the weekly liturgical protocols. Many pastors have to brush up for the bishop's visit. That's why the bishop's MC/secretary is important on such visits.
    Thanked by 2Don9of11 RedPop4
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    That's true.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,569
    The role of MC can perhaps played by a priest who could or should not be trusted to pastor a parish but might as a compensation be allowed to tyrannize parishes being visited....occasionally.
    Thanked by 1RedPop4
  • https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/general-instruction-of-the-roman-missal The GIRM indicates the different movements quite clearly, however each diocese is able to make certain decisions on standing and sitting, kneeling etc (For example... in Italy they stand during the Agnus Dei, in America we kneel except in particular dioceses)
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,018
    monasteryliturgist - Not in the detailed way about which the original question arose. Like many things in GIRM it gives the principles for making judgements not precise rules.
  • @a_f_hawkins, thats why I was mentioning the Diocese particularities. It depends... I have lived in over 11 different dioceses and the Bishop is the one who makes those decisions, left to his own competent authority. The girm gives the guidelines on when universally as a Church we should stand, sit, kneel etc... but everywhere else it is up to the discretion of the Bishop. Normally on each diocesan web page it gives specific instructions for Liturgical Norms for a celebration with a bishop... but you know sometimes even though they exist people dont know about them which result in situations where half the congregation is doing one thing and the other half another. Thankfully these things are not the essence of the liturgy itself- and most Bishops know that the congregation is unaware of "the norm".