Once, when I was a kid, we were at some sort of Mass that was not in a church building (probably some polka Mass at some festival or something) so of course there were no kneelers. When it came time to kneel and nobody did my Aunt Milly said something like, “By God, I don’t care if nobody else is kneeling! I am going to kneel before my God!” And she did so.
There is some confusion in our diocese from parish to parish when it comes to kneeling. There is universal law. There are exemptions for the United States of America. There were changes, which an ordinary has a right to do, that changed what we did in the Diocese of Cleveland. There were the pastors that were not interested in going along with the (previous) bishop and those who were not. Then there was a decree sent out by (now) St. John Paul II that, at a certain part of the Mass, we could make up our own mind concerning our posture.
Some people like this. Some people HATE this. (I will be offering a class on gestures at Forest Lodges on the 15th of September at 7:00PM to explore these mysterious things.) In today’s paragraph (96) it further refines what it means not to have certain personages “standing out” at the Mass - the mystery is pushed deeper. We are, in fact, to become One Body in the listening of the readings, participating in the prayers and singing, and in the participation at the Lord’s table.
Then it says, “This unity is beautifully apparent from the gestures and bodily postures observed together by the faithful.” If it is a sign of our unity, it is at least understandable why people get upset when someone decides to be a lone wolf and stand when others kneel or sit when others are standing.
There is SOME room for individual expression here, but not a lot - that is not what the Mass is about. If you are going to buck a tradition, make sure your choice is legitimately available. If you are too feeble to kneel or stand, of course people are going to understand. If the setting makes kneeling impossible (such as squished lack of space), then of course you don’t have to kneel. But one’s choice should never be to make a point to everybody else. Hold a sign in the parking lot after Mass if there is a theological injustice you think is going on (and be ready to be confronted) but not at the Mass. This is a place to become one body.