Monday, April 24, 2006
The Kneelers Are In
They're kneeling pads, actually (no, they don't look like the one in the picture), and here's a little something about them which will be appearing in our church's May newsletter. They were really inexpensive and easy to make (the altar guild did it), and this was something that truly did arise out of the piety of the people. As in, they wanted it, and they saw it as important for their faith. That, as they say in valleyspeak, is a waay cool thing.
Here's the piece from our newsletter:
The kneeling pads are now available, as everyone has noticed. A few matters about them would be helpful to know.
First, it is a rather intriguing and pleasing thing to me that these kneeling pads did not arise out of my prompting or pushing of the idea. When people saw me or the servers kneeling, they simply began to express a desire to do so themselves. This desire has been discussed among many people here for many months, but only because they genuinely seemed to desire to restore the practice here. This whole matter arose wholly out a certain piety among the people to give honor to the incarnate Christ among us.
This in no way is said to denigrate the faith of others who did not express a desire for it, however. Sometimes people are wary of changes of any kind, no matter how desirable the changes might otherwise be.
In this case it is my hope that everyone will realize that this “new” practice is really not new at all, not even among Lutherans. Kneeling pads or, more commonly, benches, have been regular furniture in Lutheran churches for a very long time.
Here are a few hints and rubrics regarding kneeling which might prove helpful.
Those who cannot kneel but would desire to do so may easily simulate kneeling if they wish by sitting on the front edge of the pew with forearms on the pew ahead.
Kneeling is appropriate whenever the server or subdeacon is kneeling.
It is proper to kneel at the following times:
during the confession of sins
during the Lord’s Prayer
during the Words of Institution
during the Agnus Dei
(these three occur in immediate succession)
during the closing benediction
At Matins or Vespers
After the Canticle, during the Kyrie and following, and through the benediction