On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland Bishop Toal writes,
NOTIFICATION ON POSTURES DURING THE CELEBRATION OF MASS IN SCOTLAND.
With the introduction of the new English translation of the Roman Missal approaching the Bishops of Scotland wish to introduce the following changes in posture at Mass in all the Dioceses of Scotland.
1) The Faithful are to rise as the celebrant says “Pray, brethren (brothers and sisters), that my sacrifice and yours……”. They are to remain standing until the end of the “Holy, Holy……”. They are to kneel through the rest of the Eucharistic Prayer as is the established custom in Scotland; following the same custom they are to kneel for the period before communion after the singing or saying of the “Lamb of God”.
2) When the Post-Communion Prayer is introduced by the words “Let us pray” the faithful are to rise and remain standing until the end of Mass.
3) On Sundays, and on other occasions, when announcements are made after the Post-Communion-Prayer, the faithful are to sit for the announcements and then stand again for the blessing and dismissal. Special Collections, or Second Collections, are to be taken up at this time – between the Post-Communion Prayer and the Blessing. Collections should not be taken up during the Sacred Silence after Communion.
These changes in posture are to be mandatory from 1st Sunday of Advent 2011.
+ Joseph Toal
President of the Scottish National Liturgy Commission.
The changes made are to ensure uniformity of practise across Scotland, thus avoiding the variations which have become evident in recent years, between and within our Dioceses. They follow The General Instruction on the Roman Missal, while retaining part of the established custom in Scotland in regard to kneeling during Mass.
No. 42 of the General Instruction expresses and encourages a uniformity in posture during Mass as a sign of our unity in the Body of Christ:
“a common posture, to be observed by all participants, is a sign of unity of the members of the Christian community gathered for the sacred Liturgy: it both expresses and fosters the intention and spiritual attitude of the participants.”
We will begin and end Mass standing, and we will also stand for the three presidential prayers – the Collect, the Prayer over the Offerings, and the Post-Communion Prayer. We will continue to kneel through the Eucharistic Prayer after singing or reciting the “Holy, Holy….”, and for the moments of reflection and humble petition before the Lord’s Body and Blood as we prepare for Communion. It should be noted that if we cannot kneel at these times the proper posture is to stand rather than to sit.