In the Pentecostal Church and some other Christian movements, during blessings or prayers people often fall to the floor. This is critiqued by some people. But today I saw a Roman Catholic priest and exorcist praying or blessing someone, and that person was falling to the floor the same way as happens in the Pentecostal Church. (This was not an exorcism.)

I did not think things like this happened in the Roman Catholic Church—or maybe I did not understand what was going on.

My question:

Is falling to the floor during blessings or prayers supported in Roman Catholic doctrine (much like in the Pentecostal Church)?


Falling down could be a sign of possession, especially if it is a sort of fall that injures oneself.

In the New Testament, προσπίτνω is often translated as "to fall down," whether it be demons falling down before Christ (e.g., Mk 3:11) or a penitent sinner falling down in resignation to Christ (e.g., Mk 5:33). It could mean "to kneel," although "γόνυ ἐπουράνιος" (to bend the knee; cf. Phil. 2:10) means more properly "kneeling" or "genuflecting" (that latter word literally means "knee-bending").

St. Jerome translates προσπίτνω as procido, which carries the sense of prostration (lying face-down in adoration). This is used, for example, in the ordination rite for priests:

priestly ordination prostration

cf. also the nine ways of prayer of St. Dominic

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    And don't forget the prostration of the priests on Good Friday! Nov 11 '16 at 18:13

Here are some scriptures that may be of interest.

2 Chron 5:14

13: and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the LORD), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the LORD, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures for ever," the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, 14: so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.

John 18:6

6: When he said to them, "I am he," they drew back and fell to the ground.

Rev 1:17

17: When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last,

Ez 43:2-3 2: And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the east; and the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with his glory. 3: And the vision I saw was like the vision which I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and like the vision which I had seen by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.

I never really believed in all this until it happened to me at a catholic charismatic program. It was a very calm setting, no noisy prayers, no hysteria All I can say is I felt over powered with the Lord's presence and my knees buckled when someone prayed over me

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