Q+A: Why we do we genuflect when we enter and leave our pews?

A: The tradition of genuflecting when we enter and leave the pews of the church is a sign of reverence and respect to the Body of Christ reserved in the Tabernacle. Our genuflection ought to be directed to the Tabernacle because the presence of Christ is the focus of this action. This is normally done only when we first enter our pews after we have entered the church and when we are leaving the church at the end of Mass.

In the Roman Empire, people used to genuflect to Caesar, the Roman Emperor, because he claimed to be the son of God and to be divine. The early Christians rejecting the divinity of Caesar adapted this practice in use towards Jesus Christ, the true Son of God. Our genuflection towards the Eucharist is an affirmation of our belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, his kingship, and his divinity.

Fr. Andrew


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