About John Lilburne



Monsignor Chris Prowse

On Sunday the principal celebrant at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne for the 11.00 am Mass was Monsignor Chris Prowse, the Vicar General.

I was disappointed that he did not follow the liturgical books by sitting for the Kyrie and Gloria.

At the end of the general intercessions he encouraged everyone to join him in saying the Hail Mary. I see no justification for this in the Roman Missal.

Another unusual situation occurred during the Lamb of God. Monsignor Prowse genuflected quite early during the singing of it. This was taken as a signal that everyone else should kneel. The instructions are to kneel after it, for when the priest says "This is the Lamb of God". I remainded standing while others knelt during the Agnus Dei.

According to the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal, n. 43:

Where it is the custom that the people remain kneeling from the end of the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer and before Communion when the priest says This is the Lamb of God, this is laudably retained.

(This is my unoffical translation, as explained at RomanRite.com/kneel).

I guess the situation highlights different approaches. For me the right thing to do is faithfully follow the liturgical books (Canon 846). For others in the congregation the right thing to do is what the priest directs. In this case I doubt he had any intention of directing them to kneel, but this is how his genuflection was interpreted. When some start kneeling, others believe the right thing to do is kneel when the others kneel.

By J.R. Lilburne, 5 November 2002. Updated 6 November 2002. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.