day 29 – every knee shall bend

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.

2 thoughts on “day 29 – every knee shall bend

  1. Great story – It’s interesting but as a non Catholic whenever I see Catholics genuflect I am envious (same with the sign of the cross). Somehow my protestant faith feels like it’s lacking in these outer symbols that are based on deep meaning and acknowledgment of a holy God.

  2. When our children were young we belonged to a church that was being built. As a result for several years we attended mass in a school cafeteria where since the Blessed Sacrament was not housed there was no need to genuflect. When oldest son was about 7 we took him the Cathedral in Philadelphia. As we entered I automatically genuflected, as I did I heard a little voice beside me ask anxiously, ” Mommy did you trip?” it dawned on me , here he was getting ready to make communion and he had no idea about the purpose and reason for this tiny basic moment of reverence.
    On this same trip we showed him a confessional . He had made his first confession sitting on the lap of the local priests ( that wouldn’t happen today!) He was fascinated by the light that went on and off to signal someone “in the box” and thought the confessional was the best hiding place ever…. something very deep there!!

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