Bowing before receiving the Precious Blood

Hello All:

When receiving communion, I bow before receiving the Host and then also before receiving the Precious Blood, but I do not know if this “double bow” is correct.
Anyone one out there knows what is the correct way?
Thank you!

I do the same thing, because when they first introduced the bow before accepting communion, this is what my parish priest explained to do.

You are correct.

Is this a bow at the waist or a bow of the head only? Are both correct? And if I do this at Byzantine Divine Liturgy, would it be wrong since it doesn’t seem to be part of their custom? (they go to Communion with their arms crossed over their chest. At my Latin Rite church, this would mean that I am not receiving Communion, but just want the priest’s blessing.)

I just want to do everything right and not go along with the crowd. Going along with the crowd is what got me into holding hands at the Our Father for the last 20 years, not knowing any better.


I bow at the waist and try to do it slowly and with great reverence.

Unfortunately, I’ve bumped the person behind me who did not leave me enough space or maybe was not looking :blush:

I bow from the waist for both. Both are Christ, soul and divinity, so why not show reverence for both?

Yes, this is exactly what I do, but when researching this on the www, I have found only that we are to bow the head before we receive. My church teaches the waist bow (which I think is very reverent), but then they also hold hands at the Our Father, never bow during the Creed, don’t bow the head at the name of Jesus, bow or genuflect to the altar but don’t genuflect to the Tabernacle (which is off to the side). I ordered Jimmy Akin’s book about the do’s and don’t of Mass to hopefully clear this up for me.

It should be a bow of the head only, at least in the United States of America.

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the USA, which can be accessed from :
“160. … When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.”

The GIRM approved for Australia is not as specific, saying to bow, but not “bows his or her head”. It has:
“160. … In Australia standing is the most common posture for receiving Holy Communion. The customary manner of reception is recommended to be followed by all, so that Communion may truly be a sign of unity among those who share in the same table of the Lord. When approaching to receive Holy Communion, the faithful bow in reverence of the Mystery that they are to receive.”

The Australian GIRM can be downloaded as a PDF from by clicking on “Printable Version”.

I also bow. Unfortunately, the EMHC raised the chalice very high and almost hit me on the head with it as both the chalice and I came to the same point simultaneously. Luckily, nothing happened and the Sacred Speices was not spilt. I just told her not to lift up the chalice so high.

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