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ASK THE LITURGIST (27) – Let us talk again of the seat

admin / May 31, 2019
  • Enrico Finotti

How can you sit at the seat worthily?

It is necessary to start from the principle that sitting at the seat is not simply a functional act of pause or rest, but a liturgical act of representation in the name of the Lord himself, who here and now presides over the holy assembly. From this conviction derives the serene commitment to assume the most noble attitudes, which together with the simplicity and fluency proper to the personality of each minister, give that seriousness and sacredness that must always characterize every liturgical action.

It is good to make some observations in this regard:

a. The position of the body must be erect, not slumped forward by bending on the knees or sides resting on the arms or supporting the chin.

b. The legs are not kept extended, intertwined, overlapping or apart, but joined and composed. You must also bring appropriate footwear that does not demean the property of liturgical clothing.

c. The arms are not kept folded, or dangling, or in other ways, but according to the liturgical indication the palms are placed above the knees: “When the bishop is seated, if he is dressed with the liturgical garments he places the palms above the knees , unless he keeps the pastoral” (CE 109).

The attitude of the minister who presides over the seat is also that which all the other ministers must assume when they are sitting (concelebrants, deacons, acolytes, etc.).

Anyone with common sense will understand that these indications cannot be dismissed as rubricism, but are simply rules of liturgical etiquette necessary to ensure the dignity and property of sacred actions. It must be reiterated that the authenticity of a posture does not lie in subjective spontaneity, but in convinced choices supported by a competent and motivated education.

(From Il mio e il vostro sacrificio. Il liturgista risponde, 2018©Chorabooks. Translated by Aurelio Porfiri. Used with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved)