A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil. It is also made before the relics of the Passion of Christ.

The act of falling down, or prostration, was introduced in Rome when the Cæsars brought from the East the Oriental custom of worshipping the emperors in this manner as gods. “Caium Cæsarem adorari ut deum constituit cum reversus ex Syria non aliter adire ausus esset quam capite velato circumvertensque se, deinde procumbens” (Suet., Vit., ii). In 328 BC, Alexander the Great introduced into his court-etiquette some form of genuflection already in use in Persia. In the Byzantine Empire even senators were required to genuflect to the emperor. In medieval Europe, one demonstrated respect for a king or noble by going down on one knee, often remaining there until told to rise.

It is for this reason that this posture was introduced into the Roman Liturgy, in order that we may show due reverence to the King of kings and Lord of lords.


i got six of them right. i yelled “I GET THE DANISH!” two things. i don’t like danishes. i wasn’t there.

Genuine Genuflections

My Lord and my God.

Recently, I’ve grown accustomed to genuflecting before the altar and reciting this phrase as I make the sign of the cross.

Not a half-genuflection either. You know the ones you make so that you could hurry up and sit. I’ve learned to make a full genuflection, with my right knee touching the ground, allowing me to assume a position of reverence. When I do this, I don’t feel rushed to sit down. Instead, I can take my time to adore the Real Presence inside the tabernacle. 

So why should we go to greater lengths just to adore Jesus? Certainly a mere genuflection won’t make a difference. But it does. 

The greatest danger to faith is lukewarmness. Sometimes, we take our beliefs for granted and our actions lose meaning. Why do we genuflect anyways?

Any good Catholic who completed their sacrament preparation and catechism classes can provide a textbook response. We genuflect to acknowledge the Real Presence at the altar and to honor the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ embodied by the Blessed Sacrament. After reading a thread on Catholic Answers forum, I’ve discovered another reason.

To make a long story short, the thread’s writer expounds on how an old man he was taking care of, Andre, shook his head after the former gave the textbook response concerning genuflection. “You still haven’t got it,” the old man replied. So, the writer gave up and asked him what the real reason was. Andre then said this:

“They taught me that when I genuflect before the (Blessed Sacrament in the) tabernacle, I am making reparation to Jesus for the cruel mockery — for the genuflections of the Roman soldiers before Him as they crowned Him with thorns, beat Him, and spat upon Him.”

Wow, right? After I read that, genuflection was given a whole new meaning. A simple action like the bend of a knee can have such an impact. Our Catholic faith is a physical one. We’re not called to be spectators in life. We’re called to holiness through active expressions of our beliefs.

Let a regular movement like a genuflection become an extension of your prayer life. Strive to make up for how Jesus was mistreated during his Passion. Maybe then, we can fully appreciate his sacrifice.

"That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:  And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10-11)

Genuflection on the Right Knee

  • Before a tabernacle where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved (and when crossing it)
  • Before entering or after exiting your pew at church
  • Before relics of the Passion, ie. the True Cross, the Holy Lance, the Holy Nails
  • Before relics of the Precious Blood
  • Before the Crucifix on Good Friday
  • At the mention of the Incarnation at the Creed (“Et incarnatus est…”) and Last Gospel (“Et Verbum caro factum est”)
  • At the mention of the Incarnation during the Angelus on Saturday evening and on Sunday (“Et Verbum caro factum est”)
  • At the Gospel for the third Mass on Christmas (Prologue of St. John)
  • At the Gospel for the Feast of the Epiphany (“et procidentes adoraverunt eum”)
  • At the Epistle for Palm Sunday, the Invention of the Cross, and the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (“ut in nomine Iesu omne genu flectatur caelestium, terrestrium et infernorum”)

Double Genuflection (Kneeling on both knees)

  • To receive blessings both during Mass and outside of Mass
  • during Confession
  • at the Te Deum (“Te ergo quæsumus, tuis fámulis súbveni”)
  • During the first strophe of the hymns Veni Creator Spriritus and Ave Maris Stella
  • at the words “Veni, sancte Spiritus” in the Alleluia before the Sequence on Pentecost Sunday and the Octave of Pentecost and in the votive Mass of the Holy Ghost

When the condition Coram Sanctissimo exists with the blessed sacrament exposed, it is done :

  • Outside liturgical functions/ Ex actu functionis: when leaving or coming to the view of the altar, in the center of the altar, passing it “at the side,”or before ascending and after descending from the predella (actual altar steps) 
  • During functions (e.g. Mass, Adoration and Benediction) or In actu functionis: Crossing the altar, coming or leaving the center to go to an outside point, on the sanctuary floor (in plano) before ascending, and after descending from the predella.

The chapel was dimly lit as female believers started walking in, each pausing to kneel on one knee before moving into the pew. One of them, a pregnant woman in her late twenties carefully bent down with her right hand holding onto the bench and her eyes looking straight ahead to the tabernacle.

Genuflection, an act of devotion by touching one knee to the ground is symbolized in the Catholic Church as a mark of respect in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. These days, however, it is uncommon to find most practitioners genuflecting in churches. At most, churchgoers cross themselves upon entry into their place of worship.

In Opus Dei’s New York headquarters at 139 East 34 Street, all the believers who came for a spiritual retreat in the center genuflect.

“Every time I enter the church, I see the Blessed Sacrament as the person I look up to,” said Isabel Munarriz, 29, an attorney based in the city.

“It’s not a piece of bread, it’s a person who is there,” she added.


a season, a reason, and some – for no reason at all.

We all know that I have to write. Writing helps me rid myself of all negative feelings and really move on so I can focus on the important things in life [like making money, gaining more knowledge, redecorating my home, and catering to my man]. 

That being said:

*Steps onto soap box*

I am a firm believer that different people are in your life for a season, a reason, and sometimes no reason at all. When I say no reason at all I’m implying that you may have once had shared interests, beliefs, characteristics or other commonalities may have linked you. But as time passed, people matured, and life starts taking place, the reasons you may have once become friends may not even exist anymore.  I also believe that certain situations occur to show you the difference between the aforementioned three types of people [again the people you know for a season, a reason, or no reason at all].

St. Patty’s day wknd was full of so much emotion [the good and the bad kind] and I feel as though I forced to reflect on certain relationships [friendships, associates, and frenemies included]. I got into a very ugly argument with a friends boyfriend [ugly doesn’t even describe this]. This is kind of funny too because this has never happened before.  I would never put my REAL [read: good, best, better, closest] friends into a situation where they would have to choose between their “man” and Me*. I mean seriously, I would choose my man every time. As stated in other posts, “You Bitter, Unhappy, Bitch I have a potential husband”.

While I was experiencing the situation [and even the next day after] I was trying to be cool not let it bother me. But when my spirit is disturbed I’m not going to let it go. I have never been a person to hold a grudge because I usually say everything I have to say right at the moment but for some reason so much was left unsaid. Maybe because everyone else was able to remove themselves from the two catalysts except me. At the end of the night people left the hotel room and drove hours to get away from these two catalysts. But I couldn’t I was struck there with no way out; forced to try to have an understanding outlook in the face of bullshit and idiocy. I also think for the sake of the “friendship”, I knew then that if I said everything I really thought that there would no longer be a friendship.

Several things about the wknd [actually our entire interaction since I met my boyfriend and we started doing double date stuff - including casual talks about relationships with each other] should have tipped me off. Hindsight is always 20/20 man. Shame on me for not recognizing the clues [who’s clues!? Blue’s clues!!!]. Let me elaborate:

Clue #1: Irulan and I were having a normal conversation about how we feel our boyfriends would do anything for us. No matter the cost or initial outlay. In the midst of us acknowledging what good men we have, SHE interrupted and was like “Can ya’ll stop talking about what your boyfriends would do for you because mine doesn’t do that, so I don’t want to hear it…”

2 things should be noted here.

  1.  Ma’am you have mentally and verbally acknowledged the fact that you are with someone who does NOT treat you how you want to be treated. You settled and now you want me to NOT talk about my man loving me like he does because yours doesn’t show you the same appreciation!? Girl PLEASE take a seat. In fact, take my seat, his seat, and her seat. Why are you with someone who doesn’t treat you how you want to be treated??
  2. You’re a hater because you don’t want to hear about other happy relationships. People who are in happy loving relationships don’t compare their relationship to anyone else’s. Different people, different situations, different upbringings, different everything! [Foreshadowing for Clue#4]. When my home girl was talking about her husband I felt so happy and excited. Not mad! Ugh!

Clue #2: Everyone in the group is in or around their mid-20’s [A great age to be!]. This is the age when most millionaires, philanthropists, and master innovators decide which direction in life they want to “try” to take first. So, we are all riding down to savannah discussing our hopes, dreams, and life aspirations. We all know that this year my main goal is to get my business [my resume service] up and running. Since I have decided to get into this [about 5 weeks] I have already made a considerable amount of money [Why? Because I am great at it]. I’m learning that a passion of mine is helping people. With the economy being the way it is what better way to make extra money and do good in the world than help someone else reach their goals. Amidst this light hearted discussion about the progress I’m making with my resume service SHE decides to chime in and let everyone know that I did her resume and she still doesn’t work in the field of her choice. -____-

2 more things to note:

  1.  That was 2 years ago. Yes, I did your resume, but Me* doing your resume WON’T guarantee you a job in your field. What I can guarantee is that I tried my hardest and used all resources and skills available to me to make your resume [which was lacking] look better and more professional. Being a hard worker, intelligent, and putting in the work when you should have by earning internships and giving yourself a competitive advantage is what gets you a job. You have a degree with no real world experience – THAT is why you do not work in your field of choice. NOT because I revised your resume, for FREE at that.
  2.  What kind of friend are you that you are not supportive of me? Never would I ever discourage others from investing in a friends business. I truly think this was jealousy. Ideas are free, have one and work towards something in your life.

Clue #3: After trying to remove the tension after an awkward dinner, a crying session at the table AND outside, I went to talk to her boyfriend. I didn’t even come at him angry or out loud. I wasn’t trying to “be in their business” [as I was later told by her]. Shame on me for trying to be a good friend.  I just wanted everyone to have a good time. An argument ensued. SHE later tells me that I was trying to take up for her and speak on her behalf; BUT I wasn’t, I was trying to tell dude that we are on vacation and lets have a good time and then also, YES, quit being a douche to your girlfriend because she is bringing down the moral because of her attitude she is having because of YOU! Before I ever got those words out my mouth her boyfriend cuts me off and proceeds to act a fool […awful]. The other details aren’t necessary [besides if I told you, you wouldn’t believe it]. Just know later that night her boyfriend said “sorry” to me.

Ahh more hindsight:

  1. Saying sorry doesn’t mean shit or do shit. It doesn’t take back the disrespect, the embarrassment, the sad feeling that a friendship has been ruined because of someone who takes and takes from his“ girlfriend”. “Saying Sorry” doesn’t mean shit to me but make you a Sorry Ass Nigga. And honestly, he was that long before this argument ever occurred.
  2. Ornery is one of the worst characteristics to have. Right up there with being a liar, a cheater, arrogant, and disloyal. If you’re ornery you will never succeed in life because you can’t take constructive criticism without blowing up and yelling you won’t get far in life. You can’t listen if you’re talking. The whole altercation could have been avoided if her bf wasn’t so ornery.

CLUE #4: After the fact, I was told, “Every relationship is different. No one’s relationship is perfect, not even yours [Dakota]”. Verbatim.

Last two things I swear:

  1.  Pardon me, but have I ever proclaimed my relationship to be the mightiest of relationships? Not Never Have I Ever. Don’t put words in my mouth. The fact that you feel the need to find the flaws in my relationship [especially when yours are so plentiful] says a lot about your “relationship”.
  2. Never would I ever compare my relationship to yours. We are not even on the same level when it comes to that. Yes, every relationship is different and has different stressors, but I PROMISE you lack of respect between ME & HE is not one of them.

Looking back, there was no need for her to choose her between her “man” and Me*… She has been doing that all along. When she settled for being mistreated, her decision was clear.  I’m pretty sure my decision is also obvious. Some people are in your life for a season, a reason, and some – for no reason at all. Certain situations occur to bring true feelings and characteristics to light. I am not displacing blame, I’m not trying to make anyone look bad. I’m simply stating my thoughts on the situation.

And with that, I’ll never address that wknd, situation, or parties involved again.

*genuflections & walks out*