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INCLINATION – Bowing the head. A gesture usually accompanying the making the sign of the cross as an unspoken “Amen” to any prayer.

Bows, kneeling, the sign of the Cross, the lifting of our hands, the bowing of our heads, kissing icons — all these things are expressions of that state of mind of which the Apostle speaks when he says, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

Because we recognize our unworthiness in the sight of God, we humbly fall down before Him. We either bow to the waist or we make a prostration, in which we bow down, kneel and touch the head to the ground. It is not usually customary to remain on one’s knees during prayer in church; such a posture is more suitable for private prayer.