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Genuflection (or genuflexion), bending at least one knee to the ground, was from early times a gesture of deep respect for a superior. In 328 BC, Alexander the Great introduced into his court etiquette some form of genuflection already in use in Persia. In medieval Europe, one demonstrated respect for a king or noble by going down on one knee, often remaining there until told to rise. More recently the gesture is mostly restricted to Catholic religious practices. Genuflection to the Blessed Sacrament, the consecrated Eucharist, especially when arriving or leaving its presence, is a practice in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and the Lutheran Church. The elderly (esp those who find it difficult to kneel) are not obligated to genuflect.
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