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Bending of the knee as an act of reverence. Customary when passing before the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, entering the pew for divine worship, and during certain ceremonies to the Cross. A double genuflection of both knees simultaneously was commonly made before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a monstrance. The new directive since the Second Vatican Council specifies: "One knee is bent before the Blessed Sacrament, whether reserved in the tabernacle or exposed for public adoration" (Eucharistiae Sacramentum, 1973, number 84). Genuflections are also made to the Pope, to a cardinal, and to a bishop in his own diocese.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.