Q: if an assembly stands during the entire Eucharistic Prayer and bows during the two times that the presider does within the prayer, after the elevation of the Body of Christ, and Blood of Christ … are people to strike the breast as they did a while back, after “do this in memory of me”? I sometimes see people doing both, striking the breast and making a profound bow…isn’t bowing enough? Could you share any history on this?
A: There has never been a rubric for people striking their breast during the elevation, nor for them to lower their heads. The rubrics are quite scant when it comes to what the people are supposed to do. Devotions have evolved apart from the rubrics. If the people stand for the eucharistic prayer they are supposed to make a low bow while the priest genuflects at the elevations (GIRM 43).