CITH and kneeling

I’ve had this question in my mind for a few weeks but been hesitant to post about it…but here goes. :slight_smile:

A young man at my (small) church started kneeling and receiving communion on the tongue a few months ago. He is always toward the end of the line and has not caused any “traffic flow” problems for anyone going up for communion.

Then a couple of weeks ago he knelt with his hands out in order to receive communion in the hand. I sit near the front and happened to see the priest give a bewildered look before giving the young man communion in the hand. (I know, my mind should have been elswhere and I should not have been looking. That, however, is not part of the question.)

Today, when the young man knelt with his palms up for communion in the hand the priest asked him to please stand up.

I am wondering if this is dealt with in any official documents?

I don’t want this to degenerate into a communion in the hand vs. communion on the tongue discussion. I don’t think that was actually the issue here. It would be more like: * is it permissible to receive communion in the hand while kneeling*.

While they may exist, I’ve not seen anything “official” that explicitly either permits or restricts it. I’m not a fan of CITH in the first place (never did it, never will), but considering that there is an indult for CITH, why not while kneeling?

I don’t know of any document that says Communion in the hand is only permissible to those who stand. You can receive on the tongue while kneeling or standing, so you should be permitted to receive in the hand (where that is allowed) kneeling or standing.

That being said, I find the juxtaposition of kneeling and receiving in the hand peculiar.

Standing and kneeling are separate from receiving COTT and CITH. There is nothing in any Church documents that direct one person to receive one way if he stood or knelt. A person may receive COTT standing or kneeling, and he may also receive CITH standing or kneeling. Although it is a bit unusual for someone to kneel and receive CITH but there’s nothing preventing a person from doing so.

Just to add, perhaps the priest is having a hard time bending down because the man is kneeling and receiving CITH, that is why he asked him to stand up. The hand would be lower than the mouth in this instance so its easier for the priest if he just stood up.

Possibly the priest was hinting fairly broadly that the communicant should make up his mind.

I’m :confused: by that whole idea of Communion in the Hand while Kneeling.

It would be especially difficult for the priest to bend that far if he is having some back trouble. Also, it is possible that the person receiving Communion had some illness that he did not want to risk spreading and since CITH is allowed, he made that choice.

I genuflect whether I receive CITH or COTT. I think thats a better alternative than kneeling when receiving CITH so the priest doesn’t have to reach all the way down.

[quote="Pinctor]Possibly the priest was hinting fairly broadly that the communicant should make up his mind.

Communicants have the right to receive kneeling, but, in the United States, are asked to receive standing by the bishops. GIRM 160 counsels that when someone is not following the bishops’ chosen norm, the situation should be addressed “pastorally.” Well, that’s a difficult word because it can mean almost anything to anyone. My feeling is that time and place form part of the pastoral approach, and that a priest should not upbraid a communicant in the time and place of the communion line, except as a last resort. Work the issue into a homily. Catch the person outside. Talk to them. What was being done here sounds more like coercion—words were used, but in a context that put immense pressure to comply on the communicant—and whatever “pastoral” does mean, that ain’t it.

At risk of being difficult, the rubric distinguishes between bows and genuflections, and calls for the former, not the latter, before communion.

I agree, but the GIRM for Canada where I am has not received recognitio by the Holy See, and therefore there are no prescriptions on what the “gesture of reverence” is for dioceses in Canada.

As the OP I just want to thank everyone for their insights in this discussion!

I can now see several ways to look at something that was a little puzzling to me.


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