Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has recommended that Catholics receive Communion on the tongue, while kneeling.
“It is to simply know that we are before God himself and that He came to us and that we are undeserving,” the cardinal said in an interview with CNA during a recent visit to Peru. His remarks came in response to a question on whether Catholics should receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue.
I love the idea of everyone being more reverent when receiving communion. I’ve thought about doing this myself but I’m afraid the person behind me might trip up on me or something. Maybe I can scheme to be the last person in the line to avoid that. hmmmm…
Cardinal LLovera said, *“In fact,” he added, “if one receives while standing, a genuflection or profound bow should be made, and this is not happening.”
I don’t know what is happening in other parishes, but most people in our parish do show a sign of reverence before receiving Communion while standing. But I wouldn’t mind bringing back the Communion rail and our pastor is considering it.
Does the GIRM suggest a profound bow or just a bow?
Not that people in many parishes do either or do them correctly.
I do so love watching the horde of lay emsHC bowing to the Sacrament when Father is communing the person two or three people ahead of them because they all lack the coordination and teaching to do it correctly.
As for those of you who choose to genuflect worrying about tripping the person behind you, just give them a quiet head’s up before you hit the floor, and they’ll be just fine.
When I genuflect, my technique so that the person behind me doesn’t trip by moving towards my back is that I stay one step away from the priest when I start to genuflect, move my left foot forwards and keep my right foot back, genuflect, then when I stand up I bring my right foot forward and now I’m right in front of the priest. I don’t give the person behind any space to move until I’m done, this way the tripping issue is negated.
I see the reverence in this statement, but I also think we need to keep it to an individual decision. At communion people do both which is beautiful to see. Plus some may not be able to do it because of mobility issues or they are not ready to take their faith to that extra step.
If there is no rail, the front row of pews can usually suffice just as well. Folks file in, kneel down, receive, file out, then the next group of folks behind them file in and kneel. Super easy, no excuses. Those who cannot kneel, stand to receive on the tongue.
Or line up a row of kneelers as has been done in this parish - see the photos in this story - you can see them in some of the wider shots of the altar:
The priest then takes the paten or ciborium and goes to the communicants, who, as a rule, approach in a procession.
The faithful are not permitted to take the consecrated bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them from one to another. 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.
***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.
While the good Cardinal shares his opinion on the matter, we better respect what the Church allows at this point and do not judge others if they choose to do what the Church allows. Until the universal discipline is changed to kneeling only, we shouldn’t be forcing kneeling on those who rightfully choose to stand.