My child is still asleep, which is scary because it's nearly 9 am and he never ever sleeps this long. Maybe with last night's storm, he didn't sleep well.
While working at another church, I went to visit a Roman Catholic Church once just outside city limits. The church was lovely and I enjoyed looking at the priest's new robes. I remarked to the Sister that I noticed that there were no kneelers attached to the pews. She explained that because the congregation is older, the church opted not to have them installed. "Well, what do you instead of kneeling?" I asked. She told me that they use the profound bow. Bowing is used an extraordinary substitute for genuflecting and for kneeling.
I've learned much in the last few years, and since this debate about kneeling while taking communion, I decided to visit the topic. In churches where the Tabernacle is displayed in the sanctuary, you are supposed to genuflect if you are physically able. Physically able means that there are no health problems, crowding, etc. You can bow, for example, if you are attending a very crowded Christmas Mass and there is no room to genuflect. If it is displayed in another part of the church say a small side-chapel, it's perfectly fine to make a profound bow (meaning bow at the waist). This is to show reverence for the space and the altar. My church has the Tabernacle in a side-chapel so I bow.
You can also bow at the waist during the consecration if you are unable to kneel. If a church does not have an available kneeler (we have benches in the back), I often stand during the consecration and bow at the waist when the priest genuflects. I've done this because of crowding, and I've also done this during pregnancy since it's not very easy for me to get up and get down without help especially if I have a toddler in my arms. Most people don't realize that they have this as an option and usually sit, which is not appropriate. If you can kneel, you are also supposed to knod your head (or bow with your head) when the priest genuflects. I notice people do not usually do this anymore. But this is the liturgical appropriate reverent way.
While receiving, most people use the extraordinary form (meaning it's appropriate when kneeling to receive is out of the question). You do not have bend at the waist in this instance because it might knock into the EM or the person behind you. You instead bow your head. I do this most of the time because carrying a toddler makes it difficult to get up and down which holds up the line (not that it should matter, but enough grumbling over long lines tells me that it still does to people).
Now these, of course, are the ordinary ways to show reverence. I've seen many other displays, which are perfectly fine in conjunction with kneeling and bowing. For example, I've seen people place their hand over their heart. This, however, should not be a substitute for the ordinary form of reverence, just an addition.
I try to use myself as an example of proper reverence in hopes that people will ask, but nobody ever has. I hope that more churches will be able to put inserts in their bulletins explaining both the ordinary way and extraordinary way of reverence. I'd enjoy seeing a few more pregnant women in the pews standing and bowing.
Source: Zenit- Bowing While Kneeling