When we bow

When we bow

Most Holy Trinity – C

I learned to pray the liturgy of the hours from a priest at the Catholic campus ministry center where I worked as a college student. He taught us how to navigate the breviary with its many-colored ribbons and to bow every time we came to the doxology, “Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit…”

There are only a couple of moments when most Catholics are accustomed to the ritual gesture of bowing: during the Creed or at the end of Mass when the deacon instructs us to “bow down for the blessing.”

Though we, the church, are Christ’s ambassadors, we are not the One in whom our faith rests. Share on X

In daily life, however, we bow down many times: to tend to a crying infant, wash a sink full of dishes, or watch where we’re going on a rocky trail. At times we bow our head in shame or at the memory of beloved dead. Upon bowed heads, we place crowns and kisses. Bowing our heads helps us to notice the things we might miss along the way.

Little less than angels, we are swept into the love of Father, Son, and Spirit. Therefore, at the Trinity’s name, we bow as a sign of love and service. In their name and by their sign, we are crowned with glory—from head to gut and shoulder to shoulder—not for praise but to be good stewards of God’s handiwork.

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This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Joachim_Marian_Winkler from pixabay.

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