Mobility impairment and worship


Do you or any of your readers have suggestions for how someone who is mobility impaired can demonstrate respect when it is conventional to stand or to kneel? I’m asking on behalf of a young-ish Catholic friend whose arthritis makes it hard to…

evred-harvaldar said:

Catholic rising and kneeling is usually not indicated by a call to do so by the priest - it’s just cues in the mass itself.

I actually recently had a similar problem for temporary reasons; standing through a whole mass is pretty much impossible for me now, much less kneeling. I think a full bow or a bow of the head is generally a way to show prayerful thought, even when already kneeling. Or maybe additionally folding your hands, closing your eyes (though this is probably less appropriate during the consecration). If everyone else is kneeling, I often see the seated lean forward and rest their arms on the pew ahead like those kneeling do. Basically gestures thar communicate bodily that you’re also in prayer.

That said, in my experience, not moving with the rest of the assembly can be a little self conscious making. But in all the parishes I’m familiar with (which is a lot of parishes) it’s very normal to have people not participating in the kneeling and the like. I’m not sure if your friend is worried about perception at all, but if so it isn’t the sort of thing others tend to notice much or judge for.