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Genuflection is an act of reverence consisting of falling onto (usually) one knee. Today the term is used mostly in the Latin rite of the Catholic Church and in churches of the Anglican Communion. The faithful who pass before the presence of the Blessed Sacrament (generally reserved in the tabernacle) are expected to genuflect on the right knee as a sign of devotion. If the Eucharist is exposed in a monstrance or ciborium placed on an altar for a service of devotion, one may genuflect on both knees (called a "double genuflection"). Genuflection may occur at other times as well, for example when the Blessed Sacrament is being moved (e.g., from one tabernacle to another), or at certain points in the liturgy (e.g., at the words "and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man" in recitation of the Nicene Creed). Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... It has been suggested that French Wiktionary be merged into this article or section. ... Latin Rite, in the singular and accompanied, in English, by the definite article (the Latin Rite), designates the particular Church, within the Catholic Church, which developed in western Europe and northern Africa, when Latin was the language of education and culture, and so also of the liturgy. ... The name Catholic Church can mean a visible organization that refers to itself as Catholic, or the invisible Christian Church, viz. ... The Anglican Communion uses the compass rose as its symbol, signifying its worldwide reach and decentralized nature. ... The Blessed Sacrament is displayed in a procession at the 2005 Southeastern Eucharistic Congress. ... The Tabernacle at St. ... Categories: Stub | Roman Catholic Sacraments and Other Practices ... A Ciborium is a container, used in Roman Catholic, Anglican, and related Churches rituals to store Holy Communion. ... Icon depicting the Holy Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea holding the Nicene Creed. ...

Traditionally, the faithful passing in front of the tabernacle during the Mass would genuflect each time he or she passed; however, this practice is now uncommon. In the Roman Communion, recent instructions from the Vatican have indicated that it suffices to genuflect once at the beginning and once at the end of Mass. Sacristans and those in employ of the church need customarily only make one genuflection, albeit solemnly, when beginning their tasks as they would otherwise involve constant genuflection. A Medieval Low Mass by a bishop. ...

On Good Friday and Holy Saturday, Roman Catholic Churches do not contain the Blessed Sacrament. However, there is a custom whereby the faithful genuflect to the crucifix on these days, once it has been revealed in the Good Friday service. In churches of the Anglican Communion, it is customary on Good Friday to venerate a large cross or crucifix, and the devotional act may include a simple or double genuflection. Good Friday is the Friday before Easter or Pascha. ... Orthodox pilgrims bathing with the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Holy Saturday. ... A crucifix amidst the cornfields near Mureck in rural Styria, Austria A handheld crucifix A crucifix in front of the Holy Spirit Church in Košice, Slovakia A crucifix is a cross with a representation of Jesuss body, or corpus. ... Veneration is a religious symbolic act giving honor to someone by honoring an image of that person, particularly applied to saints. ...

In the Maronite Catholic Church, there is an evocative ceremony of genuflection for the feast of Pentecost. The congregation genuflects first on the left knee to God the Father, then on the right knee to God the Son, and finally on both knees to God the Holy Spirit. Maronites (Marunoye ܡܪܘܢܝܐܶ; in Syriac, Mâruniyya مارونية in Arabic) are members of an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope of Rome. ... Pentecost (symbolically related to the Jewish festival of Shavuot) is a feast on the Christian liturgical calendar that commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, and the followers (men and women) of Jesus, fifty days (seven weeks) after Easter, and ten days after Ascension Thursday. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Tetragrammaton. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... In various religions, most notably Trinitarian Christianity, the Holy Spirit (in Hebrew רוח הקודש Ruah haqodesh; also called the Holy Ghost) is the third consubstantial Person of the Holy Trinity. ...

Members of the Eastern Catholic Churches generally make a profound bow in the same situations where a Latin rite Catholic would genuflect. In the Roman Catholic and Anglican Communions, a profound bow is an acceptable substitute if one is physically unable to genuflect. Due to Latinisation, however, many still kneel or genuflect in private prayer. It is considered extremely rude to enter a Greek Catholic church and genuflect rather than making a metasis[1] (deep bow paired with crossing oneself) and one should be cautious to follow Greek tradition when in a Greek church. The term Eastern Rites may refer to the liturgical rites used by many ancient Christian Churches of Eastern Europe and the Middle East that, while being part of the Roman Catholic Church, are distinct from the Latin Rite or Western Church. ... Different kinds of bows used in an Eastern Orthodox service: Different types of bows The different kinds of bows one could meet at an Eastern Orthodox service are shown on a picture on the right. ...

The term genuflection comes from the Latin, meaning bending the knee. Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...

Orthodox Christianity

In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, there are three types of reverences which would generally correspond to the western idea of genuflection: Eastern Orthodoxy (also called Greek Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy) is a Christian tradition which represents the majority of Eastern Christianity. ...

  • Bow--this is a simple inclination of the head and shoulders, without bending the knees, after which the worshipper stands upright again. It may be either accompanied by the Sign of the Cross or not, depending upon the situation.[2]
  • Metanoia (mentany; поясной поклон, poyasnoy poklon)--similar to the bow, only more profound; sometimes referred to as a "bow to the waist." The metanoia always involves making the Sign of the Cross (whether the cross is made before or after the bow depends upon the tradition of the church),[3] bending at the waist (but not bending the knees), so that the worshipper's head reaches the level of his waist, and touching the floor with the fingertips of the right hand. He then immediately stands upright again. The metanoia is an abbreviated form of the full prostration.
  • Prostration (земной поклон, zemnoy poklon)--This involves making the Sign of the Cross, bowing down on one's hands and knees and touching the forehead to the floor. One then stands upright.

The reverence is not considered to be complete until one stands upright again. This is commonly explained as being because Christ not only descended into hell, but rose up again from the dead. The Sign of the Cross is performed mainly within Latin and Eastern Rite Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism. ... Different kinds of bows used in an Eastern Orthodox service: Different types of bows The different kinds of bows one could meet at an Eastern Orthodox service are shown on a picture on the right. ...

On Sundays, during the Paschal Season (see Pentecostarion), and on Great Feasts of the Lord, the full prostration is not made in church. On these days, one makes a metania at those places where one would normally make a prostration. In the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, the cycle of the moveable feast is built around Pascha, or Easter. ... The feast of the Resurrection of Jesus, called Easter or Pascha, is the greatest of the feasts of the Eastern Orthodox Church. ...

The times for making each of these reverences are fixed by tradition (though they may differ from one ethnic tradition to another), and help to unify the congregation in their active participation in the service.


  1. ^ There is a reverence used by both Orthodox & Eastern Catholics called a "metania," "metany," or "metanoia." The term "metasis" appears to be an error.
  2. ^ When bowing before a living person (receiving the blessing of a bishop, priest, etc.) one does not cross oneself, but when bowing before a holy object (being blessed with the Cross or Chalice, an Icon, Relic, etc.) one should make the Sign of the Cross.
  3. ^ Russians make the cross first, explaining that we should not bend the Cross; Greeks make it after, explaining that we should take up the Cross.

The traditional form of the Western Christian cross, known as the Latin cross. ... Chalice For other uses, see Chalice A chalice (from Latin calix, cup) is a goblet intended to hold drink. ... Christ the Redeemer (1410s, by Andrei Rublev) An icon (from Greek , eikon, image) is an image, picture, or representation; it is a sign or likeness that stands for an object by signifying or representing it, or by analogy, as in semiotics; in computers an icon is a symbol on the... A relic is an object, especially a piece of the body or a personal item of someone of religious significance, carefully preserved with an air of veneration as a tangible memorial, Relics are an important aspect of Buddhism, some denominations of Christianity, Hinduism, shamanism, and many other personal belief systems. ...

See also

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