after the Lamb of God
The 2002 General Instruction on the Roman Missal provides in paragraph
43 for the
various postures of the people during the Mass. This universal liturgical law states that
"the people should stand ... from the prayer over the gifts to the end of the Mass,
except at the places indicated later in this paragraph." The indicated places are the
Consecration, "when they kneel," and during the period of reflection after
Communion, when they may "kneel, stand or sit" (Congregation for Divine Worship,
Notitiae 10, p.407).
This same paragraph allows each national bishops' conference "to adapt the actions
and postures ... to the customs of the people." The American bishops
have done this, codifying the Tridentine practice, which has existed
as an American custom under the 1970 Missal, of kneeling down after
the Agnus Dei. In the American adaptation of the General
Instruction to the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal (2002), it
43 ... The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the
Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.
Thus, the norm for the United States continues the practice of
kneeling down after the Agnus Dei, unless a bishop establishes, for
his entire diocese, the practice of remaining standing. There is no
faculty for individual parishes to do this, establishing a patchwork
of practices within a single diocese.
For those who wish to kneel, where the norm is standing, the
right to do so has been secured by the Holy See. Please see
Kneeling in the Mass.
Answered by Colin B. Donovan, STL