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The discussion about pews brought to mind a question I've wondered about for a while. (It's not actually related to pews, which is why I'm starting a new thread for it.)

The First Council of Nicea said that there was to be no kneeling during the Easter Season. Does anyone know how and when this policy was changed?
The rampant modernism at the Second Council of Nicea did away with it!!!
http://www.srocco.org/Liturgies/NiceaStanding.dsp Wrote:Therefore, it has pleased the holy Council to decree that people should offer their prayers to the Lord, standing.  This is required so that in each diocese (en pase paroikia) everything will be done in harmony (omoiohs).

(Canon 20 of the Council of Nicea, 325 A.D., binding on the whole Church)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea Wrote:Standing was the normative posture for prayer at this time, as it still is among the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics

I'm interested in the answer to when + how +why this was changed too.
(08-08-2011, 11:43 PM)K3vinhood Wrote: [ -> ]
http://www.srocco.org/Liturgies/NiceaStanding.dsp Wrote:Therefore, it has pleased the holy Council to decree that people should offer their prayers to the Lord, standing.  This is required so that in each diocese (en pase paroikia) everything will be done in harmony (omoiohs).

(Canon 20 of the Council of Nicea, 325 A.D., binding on the whole Church)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea Wrote:Standing was the normative posture for prayer at this time, as it still is among the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics

I'm interested in the answer to when + how +why this was changed too.

That makes sense since my TLM priest is a Melkite.

(08-08-2011, 11:36 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: [ -> ]The rampant modernism at the Second Council of Nicea did away with it!!!

Love it.  ;D
(08-08-2011, 11:43 PM)K3vinhood Wrote: [ -> ]I'm interested in the answer to when + how +why this was changed too.

Also, whether the changed happened in stages or all at once.
Catholic Encyclopedia  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06423a.htm Wrote:Because there are some who kneel on the Lord's Day and in the days of Pentecost [the fifty days between Easter and Whit-Sunday]: that all things may be uniformly performed in every parish or diocese, it seems good to the Holy Synod that the prayers [tas euchas] be by all made to God, standing.

The canon thus forbids kneeling on Sundays; but (and this is carefully to be noted) does not enjoin kneeling on other days. The distinction indicated of days and seasons is very probably of Apostolic origin. Tertullian, long before Nicæa, had declared kneeling on the Lord's Day to be nefas (De Cor. Mil., c. iii). See also pseudo-Justin (Quæst. et Resp. ad Orthodox., Q. 115); Clement of Alexandria (Stromata VII); Peter of Alexandria (can. xv); with others. For post-Nicene times, see St. Hilary (Prolog. in Psalm.); St. Jerome (Dial. contra Lucif., c. iv); St. Epiphanius (Expos. Fidei, 22 and 24); St. Basil (On the Holy Spirit 27); St. Maximus (Hom. iii, De Pentec.); etc. Note, however, with Hefele (Councils, II, ii, sect. 42) that St. Paul is expressly stated to have prayed kneeling, during paschal time (Acts 20:36; 21:5). Moreover St. Augustine, more than fifty years after the Council of Nicæa, writes: "Ut autem stantes in illis diebus et omnibus dominicis oremus utrum ubique servetur nescio" (i.e. but I do not know whether there is still observed everywhere the custom of standing, whilst praying, on those days and on all Sundays). Ep. cxix ad Januar. By canon law (II Decretal., bk., IX, ch. ii) the prohibition to kneel is extended to all principal festivals, but it is limited to public prayer, "nisi aliquis ex devotione illud facere velit in secreto", i.e. (unless anyone, from devotion, should wish to do that in private). In any case, to have the right to stand during public prayer was looked upon as a sort of privilege — an "immunitas" (Tertullian, loc. cit.).

On the other hand, to be degraded into the class of the "genuflectentes", or "prostrati", who (Fourth Council of Carthage, can. lxxxii) were obliged to kneel during public services even on Sundays and in paschal time, was deemed a severe punishment. St. Basil calls kneeling the lesser penance (metanoia mikra) as opposed to prostration, the greater penance (metanoia megale). Standing, on the contrary, was the attitude of praise and thanksgiving. St. Augustine (loc. cit.) considers it to signify joy, and therefore to be the fitting posture for the weekly commemoration by Christians of the Lord's Resurrection, on the first day of the week (See also Cassian, Cobb., XXI). Hence, on all days alike, the faithful stood during the chant of psalms, hymns, and canticles, and more particularly during the solemn Eucharistic or Thanksgiving prayer (our Preface) preliminary to the Consecration in the Divine Mysteries. The diaconal invitation (Stomen kalos, k.t.l.; orthoi; Arab. Urthi; Armen. Orthi) is frequent at this point of the liturgy. Nor have we any grounds for believing, against the tradition of the Roman Church, that during the Canon of the Mass the faithful knelt on weekdays, and stood only on Sundays and in paschal time. It is far more likely that the kneeling was limited to Lent and other seasons of penance. What precisely were the prayers which the Fathers of Nicæa had in view when insisting on the distinction of days is not at once evident. In our time the decree is observed to the letter in regard to the Salve Regina or other antiphon to Our Lady with which the Divine Office is concluded, and also in the recitation of the Angelus. But both these devotions are of comparatively recent origin. The term prayer (euche) used at Nicæa, has in this connection always been taken in its strict signification as meaning supplication (Probst, Drei ersten Jahrhund., I, art. 2, ch. xlix).

The diaconal litany, general in the East, in which all conditions of men are prayed for, preparatory to the offering of the Holy Sacrifice, comes under this head. And in fact in the Clementine Liturgy (Brightman, 9; Funk, Didascalia, 489) there is a rubric enjoining that the deacon, before beginning the litany, invite all to kneel down, and terminate by bidding all to rise up again. It remains however unexplained why the exception for Sundays and paschal time is not expressly recalled. In the Western or Roman Rite, traces of a distinction of days still exist. For instance at the end of the Complin of Holy Saturday there is the rubric: "Et non flectuntur genua toto tempore Paschali", which is the Nicene rule to the letter. The decree has likewise (though lightly varied in wording) been incorporated into the canon law of the Church (Dist. iii, De consecrat., c. x). It may be added that, both in the East and in the West, certain extensions of the exemption from the penitential practice of kneeling appear to have been gradually insisted upon. "The 29th Arabic Canon of Nicæa extends the rule of not kneeling, but only bending forward, to all great festivals of Our Lord" (Bright, Canons of Nicæa, 86). Consult Mansi, xiv, 89, for a similar modification made by the Third Council of Tours, A.D. 813. See also the c. Quoniam (II Decretal., bk. 9, c. 2) cited above.

I found some info, but it didn't really clear it up.
Kneeling equals a penitential posture, and was not permitted on Sundays because it is a day of joy. The simple explanation is that kneeling prayer which was permitted at other times crept into Sundays and other feasts to become normative by custom. This makes sense since the Mass encompasses things which are both penitential and joyful. According to the former logic, we shouldn't have a Kyrie, or say the Confiteor either.

The Catholic Encyclopedia article has quite a bit of info:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06423a.htm