Thursday, July 02, 2009

Kneeling for Communion

There is a new poll in the sidebar on kneeling for Holy Communion, which I am going to leave up for awhile. Just as it is our right as Catholics to receive Holy Communion on the tounge, we are not to be kept from receiving Holy Communion just because we prefer to kneel out of reverence for the Body and Blood of Our Lord. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal has a universal norm (#160) for standing or kneeling, but the US bishops obtained from the Holy See a provision for standing as the normal posture for Holy Communion. Still, the GIRM states that Communion should not be denied to the faithful who prefer to kneel. (By the way, Canada does not follow the GIRM at all. They have tied it up in numerous revisions to the Holy See that should take about a century to unravel)

160. The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. Communicants should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel. Rather, such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful with proper catechesis on the reasons for this norm.

So my question to you is - if you attend a Mass where kneeling is the norm, and you find yourself at a Mass where the norm is standing - what do you do? Do you kneel anyway, or do you genuflect or perform some other sign of reverence, then receive Holy Communion standing like everyone else?


Shirley said...

Standing is the norm for the church I usually attend, although most of the parishoners genuflect, bow, or make the sign of the Cross. I kneel, as do a very few others. Our priest says it doesn't matter to him if we stand or kneel.When I go to other churches where standing is the norm, I usually genuflect and make the sign of the cross. I feel that if I stand out too much, people will be looking at me instead of concentrating on the Sacred Body and Blood they are about to receive.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Kneel always, unless my knees are giving me a hard time.

Catholic Mom of 10 said...

We ALL kneel at the Oratory..

paramedicgirl said...

Shirley, that is exactly what I do! I often find myself at a Novus Ordo Mass, because of my job. When I work on Sunday, I attend whatever Mass I can get to, and that usually means going to a 7 PM Mass somewhere close to the station I worked at that day. I don't want to draw attention to myself (I feel that being the only one there with a head covering on has already made me conspicious) so if I go for Communion I will genuflect and then receive standing like everyone else.

Like Shirley, I don't want to distract others from what they should be thinking about. Even though I think we should always kneel for Holy Communion, I would rather be invisible than become an occasion of sin for others who may see things differently.

Marilena said...

i kneel for Holy Communion. i don't go to any other church, so i don't have to wonder what the norm is. but if it was the norm to stand, i'd ask the priest before Mass started if I could kneel for Holy Communion. if he said no, I wouldn't. like my sister's here, i would not want to draw undue attention to myself.

Brian said...

It all depends on the Parish. Some parishes, although few, still have a railing - where you kneel - the altar server (boy) accompanies the priest - puts the plate under your chin - and you receive Holy Communion on the tongue. Other parishes have more modern practices - many Catholics receive in the hand. This practice is OK in the USA - but know that the reason it has been allowed is because of so much abuse, Bishops did not want ot fight it - so the Vatican gave the bishops an OK. Kneeling before receiving can be a problem because the person behind you may not expect it, and may trip on you. So - it is best to do the practice of the Parish - providing it is sanctioned by the Church. I would say it is best to receive Jesus on the tongue. I am an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist - and I have witnessed many abuses i.e. trying to receive Jesus in the hand with gloves, receiving the host and trying to put Jesus in the pocket. Yes - it sounds crazy, but it does happen,

God bless...

Mark said...

I picked the last choice, but with this exception; I can kneel if there is a communion rail. it is no so much that I can't kneel because of my physical disability (I can fall to the ground rather well), but that I can't get back up. With a rail, I can. I'm grateful for the occasional parish I visit that has one; most notably Holy Rosary in Portland Oregon.

Kneeling Catholic said...

hello All!

thanks for participating in this discussion!

k. c.

Anonymous said...

I don't think kneeling during communion would distract anybody from what they should be thinking about. They should be thinking "WOW I am about receive the God of All creation!!!"

KNeeling is completely consistent with what we should be focusing on when we receive Holy Communion.

If people feel uncomfortable or distracted because somebody is kneeling before God... maybe they should question why they are standing. Is it because everybody else is doing it???

Mary Help of Christians Pray for us to be more humble in the presence of your son!

It should be noted that although standing is the norm in the United States the Vatican allowed this PROVIDED that those who wished to receive kneeling were left full freedom and were not to be treated as disobedient etc. You go can to

for several videos on the topic.

God bless you and God love you

Gabriel.... 26 and Kneeling since 2007.

Micki said...

I am late in reading your posts but was interested in this topic.
We will be in Canada in September/October and I'm all Catholics receive on the tongue and kneeling?

I have a holy card blog and I love the old cards where they received our Lord kneeling at the rail with their hands under the white cloth on the rail...I think it is called a dominical cloth.

Great blog. Thanks

Mitchell said...

A note on the comment about Canada. The new GIRM has not yet been implemented - that is true but the reason is not the one stated. The English one is ready but we await the French because we are a bilingual country. The French is being held up by the bishops of France. Just a clarification to the original comment.

paramedicgirl said...

Mitch, it is more than just the French Bishops holding up the GIRM (which should have been impemented about ten years ago). It is also the disputes between the modernist and the traditional bishops. This information came to me via the priest at my former parish. He had all the documentation on it and was going to share it with me, but decided not to when he found out I had a blog and he was afraid I would most likely publish the info, so he failed to share it with me.