We Stand

Carmel Bulletin, 27 October 2013

Actions of the Assembly
Actions of the Assembly

We Catholics are often known for our tendency in liturgy to never adopt a single posture for too long.  We are, though, people who pray with our whole bodies, not just with words, and the postures we adopt at different times during the Mass are part of this.

Basilica of St Mary Major, Rome
Basilica of St Mary Major, Rome

For many centuries, our church buildings lacked any form of seating.  At most, there may have been some benches, or places around the perimeter of the space for those whose age or health prevented them from standing for the whole celebration.  It seems hard to believe now that standing for the whole celebration would be our regular practice.

Standing remains the posture that we adopt to pray.  We stand as the children of God.  While a sense of unworthiness may have been more common in later centuries, in earlier times there was a sound understanding and belief that God’s grace makes it possible for us to stand before the Lord and pray for our needs.

We also stand for the proclamation of the Gospel, reflecting the importance of this proclamation as the high point of the Liturgy of the Word, when Christ particularly speaks to us.  We are also stand as people ready to respond to what we have heard; the call of the Gospel.

The Mass: Sacrifice and Praise

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