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Times we must bow and or genuflect during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Types of bow are Head bow Shoulder bow Deep Bow, types of genuflection are single genuflection and double genuflection



A bow signifies reverence and honor shown to the persons themselves or to the signs that represent them. The Head bow is made with the Head bend bent forward without the movement of the Shoulder.

A head bow is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated.

Yes, every time Jesus name is mentioned, at any point during the Mass we are supposed to bow our heads. This also means, that when we sign ourselves with the sign of the Cross (since all three Divine Persons are named together) both at the beginning of Mass and at the end of Mass, During a solemn blessing at the end of Mass we are supposed to bow our heads.

After the consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ, the priest genuflect before the Body of Christ to adore we must join the priest by bowing our heads. Same as the Blood of Christ.

Before receiving the Holy Eucharist at Communion: "When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord”.

In praying the “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit” we are supposed to bow


The Deep bow - a bow of the body, that is, a profound bow, with the Waist inclined. This is especially made to the Altar… in the Creed at the words et incarnatus est (…and became man) all make a profound bow.

The only exception to this rule is on two specific feast days, when we do not bow at the waist but genuflect are Christmas and the Annunciation. As Christians, the very central doctrine of our faith is the Incarnation. Therefore, we reverence it at every Mass in which the Creed is prayed with the bow of the body.

Let us not forget the Shoulder bow, where a bow of the Head is made and the Shoulder moves forward with the Head too. This is actually used to replace the Head bow.


The genuflection, seen as a sign of adoration, is reserved for the Eucharist as well as for the Crucufix between it's solemn veneration on Good Friday and Easter Vigil. 

Before we leave/take our seat, we should genuflect to the tabernacle. It is appropriate to genuflect whenever passing in front of the tabernacle to honor the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

For genuflection, there is single genuflection and double genuflection. The single genuflection is made, kneeling on the right Knee alone, take note, the right Knee and not the left Knee. But for double genuflection, we kneel on both Knees. The double genuflection is normally used when during the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

“that in the name of Jesus, every Knee should bow, of things in Heaven and things on Earth and things under the Earth.” (Philippians 2:10)

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