Are worshippers too proud to kneel?

by
22 February 2019

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Why do we no longer kneel to say our prayers in church? Are we too proud?

 

Your answers: The question reminds me of the playground rhyme heard in Scotland (but perhaps not so often in these more ecumenical — or religiously indifferent — times):
 

Piskie, Piskie, bow and ben’,
On yer knees and up again.
 

To this the retort is:
 

Presbie, Presbie, too proud to bend,
Sit ye doon on man’s chief end.
 

But I suspect the answer is not that we are too proud, but too creaky.

Peter M. Potter

Dunblane

 

At a service when churchwardens are sworn in, you may see only one or two in a large congregation of regular churchgoers kneel. The cause is evidently not infirmity, but habit (unless, possibly, there are no hassocks or kneelers), encouraged by those leaders of worship who do not kneel, and who invite others to “sit to pray”. When the Book of Common Prayer was widely superseded by other forms of service, long-established customs concerning posture were disrupted. Liturgists’ views on the subject are readily available; windows into ordinary worshippers’ souls are not. Editor

 

Your question: Is there a modern equivalent of the Anglo-Catholic Haggerston Catechism?

A. M.

 

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