Benediction: A Detail

Not at my parish – but nearby


A wonderful devotion, which we get to experience every Friday here in my parish, is Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. And we follow the usual format for it: we sing the Tantum Ergo, then priest or deacon sings the verse and Benediction prayer, then there is the blessing with the Holy Sacrament, Divine Praises, reposition, and singing of “Holy God We Praise Thy Name”. 

Did you know about the head bow during the Tantum Ergo?

Yes: when sung in Latin, it is a tradition in many places to bow the head while singing the second line — veneremur cernui.

Those words mean, “let us venerate [this great Sacrament] with head bowed“!

Perhaps I should say, “it was a tradition in many places”! I see few people do it anymore.

The common English version takes poetic license so as to render the text beautifully — thus it’s probably most fitting to bow the head for the first line: “Down in adoration falling”. 
Did you know about this pious detail?

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