Common bodily posture taken by a mass congregation is a sign of the “unity of the members of the Christian community”, according to Fr Danny Murphy from the National Centre of Liturgy in Maynooth. The secretary of the National Centre of Liturgy was answering questions from The Irish Catholic about the widespread divergence in parishes in relation to when people stand, sit and kneel at mass.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal recommends that congregations stand from ‘The Lord be with you’ of the Preface until the ‘Holy, Holy’, and also to stand at the final blessing.
However many parishes have ignored this. Bishop Brendan Kelly, a member of the Council for Liturgy of the Irish Episcopal Conference told The Irish Catholic there was a recommended practice. Some people wanted to be told what to do and have things “fixed from the top” whereas others did not like that.
“We are in an era where priests are inclined to be pragmatic. Absolute conformism has broken down in the last years.”
Personally, he liked to follow the “liturgically appropriate practise as set out at the beginning of the missal”.
Fr Murphy said it belonged to each diocese, at the leadership of its bishop, to address unity in posture in the celebration of the liturgy.