Genuflecting is another ‘spot the Catholic’ gesture. Bending the knee before an important person is an age old act of respect and homage. Such signs are becoming rare in our western culture. If we had to meet the Queen for tea tomorrow, we’d probably have to Google instructions on the right angle, depth, and timing of a curtsey or bow. It certainly wouldn’t come naturally.
I enjoy watching little kids learn how to genuflect before they enter the pew in church. Most make a quick little ducky bob. The occasional keener will make a slow, purposeful movement befitting the solemnity of the moment. One overly enthusiastic catechist in our parish used to stand guard at the end of the pew while her line of students found their seats. Each child was carefully scrutinized for a proper genuflection. Failure resulted in being towed back for a repeat performance. She would have made a fine drill sergeant.
My favourite genuflecting story involves our youngest. You know your child is a good Catholic when they genuflect before sitting down in the movie theatre! Thankfully her popcorn remained intact.