GUEST COLUMN
Ev'ry Knee Shall Lock

September 2003By Lucy E. Carroll

Lucy E. Carroll is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and is the organist/music director at the Carmelite monastery in Philadelphia.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has said that "The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing." While no one who kneels is supposed to be denied Communion, and while the Holy See says it's "completely appropriate" to kneel, the bishops say that those who kneel should be given "proper catechesis" by the priest on why they should stand. In other words, those who kneel should be browbeaten and made to feel disobedient. (Also, while the norm for the U.S. Church is to kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer, certain bishops allow or encourage standing.)

For those parishes that have already de-sacralized the Eucharist through bland architecture, tacky art, improper vestments, p.c.-altered texts, bubble-gum style music, and hymn texts bordering on the heretical, this further erosion of respect for the Blessed Sacrament will simply be taken in stride.

However, there are those few parishes where traditional hymns are still sung. Lest these hymns be construed as promoting disobedience to the USCCB's norm of standing to receive Communion, the following alterations will no doubt soon be made (many hymns have already been "inclusivized," so get ready):

ORIGINAL: ...Cherubim and Seraphim, falling down before thee

CORRECTED: ...Cherubim and Seraphim, standing up before thee

("Holy, Holy, Holy." Text: Reginald Heber 1783-1826)

ORIGINAL: At the name of Jesus Ev'ry knee shall bow

CORRECTED: At the name of Jesus Ev'ry knee shall lock


You have two options:

  1. Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
  2. Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.

If you're already a subscriber log-in here.



Back to September 2003 Issue

Read our posting policy Add a comment
Be the first to comment on this story!


©