Replied by SPGC
on Friday, September 07 2012, 01:48 PM
It is certainly not necessary for any candidate to kneel if there is any chance that he might be offended by that action, particularly as there are scriptural readings. Some candidates may think that kneeling is an inappropriate posture in which to hear such readings. Likewise to search in the vault, it is acceptable that he crouches down, or leans forward to do so, while the explanation for his actions is given.
Being lowered into the vault does not require a candidate to kneel, but for those who do not object it is a more convenient position from which the other actions can be performed.
It is now accepted that it is unnecessary for a Principal elect to kneel during the installation readings, though he should do so (or be covered, if appropriate) when the Installing Principal subsequently says “Comps., let us pray”. It is reasonable to accept by analogy that the same can apply during the exaltation readings.
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