Benediction: A Detail

Not at my parish ā€“ 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 ā€” 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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3 Responses to Benediction: A Detail

  1. Judy Silhan says:

    No, I did not know about this beautiful tradition. I have learned more about different traditions of our Catholic church in the six months I have been here than in 10 years of my two former parishes in CA. I sincerely appreciate and look forward to these blogs and your articles in our bulletin each week.
    Yours in Christ,
    Judy Silhan

  2. Sue Spafford says:

    Hello Father Jerabek, Thank you for another informative, important post! I did NOT know that and I’m a 53 year old cradle Catholic. Eeeeek!

  3. Terri Bianca says:

    I have to admit, I didn’t remember that but I like the idea of everyone doing it. We have lost so much, when it comes to respect, for the body and blood of our Lord, since Vatican II. I have to close my eyes to what I see when people go to communion anymore. Mothers and Fathers need to emphasize the importance of what their children are receiving and some of them could use a refresher course, too!

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