Do I need to give a reason why I want to receive Communion kneeling?

I’ve recently read that Catholics are now allowed to receive Communion kneeling, if they prefer to do so. I’d like to start doing this, and I feel that it’s appropriate to inform my pastor beforehand so that there are no surprises in the Communion line. Based on prior experiences with him, I don’t think he’s going to…support this decision. Do I need to be able to provide a “defense” of this practice, or is merely wanting to receive this way enough? Any advice on how to handle this situation would be most welcome!

No reason is necessary. The faithful have the right to receive communion while kneeling, no explanation required.


In the 2003 GIRM, it stated that no one should be refused Communion if they kneel, but that afterward they should be properly catechized. In the current edition, the exhortation to catechesis is removed and the exception to the norm of standing is left to the discretion of the faithful: “unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling.” The Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, no. 91, is then cited.

Redemptionis Sacramentum:

[91.] In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them”. Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.

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