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An easy guide to standing, sitting, and kneeling during Mass


Jeffrey Bruno

Philip Kosloski -

Perfect for those unfamiliar with the many postures of the Mass.

For non-Catholics, or even for Catholics who haven’t attended Mass in years, the various postures of the congregation can be confusing. It can seem like the everyone is standing, sitting or kneeling at random, leaving you with no clue as to what to do next.


Read more:
Why do Roman Catholics kneel at Mass?

In reality, these postures are all designed purposefully and have great symbolism. Once understood, the Mass makes much more sense and a visitor can easily join in without standing out from the crowd.

Below is a brief slideshow highlighting the main parts of the Mass and the postures of the congregation associated with them.

*Author’s note: For the purposes of this article, I am using the General Instruction of the Roman Missal for the United States. Postures can vary by region and are not always universally practiced.

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