Follow-Up on Kneeling to Receive Holy Communion

Peace and blessings.

A couple weeks ago, I posted a question on the “proper catechesis” for the norm of standing (as found in the GIRM 160). Today, Fr. Zuhlsdorf posted this on his blog: What Does GIRM 160 for the US Really Say?

When the new English translation of the Roman Missal is released, it will sport a new translation of the GIRM, the General Institution/Instruction of the Roman Missal.

There are, of course, adaptations for the USA and other Anglophone regions.

As it happens, the Congregation for Divine Worship has … tweaked some items. I am sure this was to harmonize the language of the GIRM with the language of the rest of the Roman Missal. However, tweaks may have been tweaked for other reasons.

For example, take a look at GIRM 160 for the USA. The Latin is found on the USCCB website.

… Fideles communicant genuflexi vel stantes, prout Conferentia Episcoporum statuerit. Cum autem stantes communicant, commendatur ut debitam reverentiam, ab iisdem normis statuendam, ante susceptionem Sacramenti faciant.

… 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.

… The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum, March 25, 2004, no. 91).

A welcome change is the removal of the “proper catechesis” line altogether, stating that if one chooses to kneel, they are welcome to do so without any further issue.

The Church is returning to its roots, praise be Jesus Christ!

Pax et bonum.

Good. No more “kneeling means disobedience” bleating from the hermeneutics of rupture crowd.

I’ve actually heard one Catholic mock another because he chose to kneel. It was a sad, sad day.

All this concern about when to stand, when to kneel, when to sit, when to hop on one foot just gives me a headache. I’ll leave it in the hands of my Bishop and just do what the congregation does thank you. It’s so much easier then worrying about proper timing. :confused::shrug:

I have no issues with people kneeling to receive. I see it on the Daily Mass on ETWN that a few besides the priests etc do so, and most in line receive on the tongue too.

We stand at our parish church EXCEPT for one old lady who, after receiving the host while standing, insists on kneeling to consume it. She is creating a traffic hazard, and one day someone is going to trip over her. This sort of selfish piety should I think be discouraged.

i think personally when i receive my first communion I’m going to kneel, just cause your in the presence of God i don’t think i couldn’t not knew but i also don’t think its wrong if you stand either

Traffic hazard? People can’t step back and give her a moment? Are you all running over each other? Sorry, but the selfish one isn’t the lady kneeling if you ask me.

As long as everyone, visitors included, know that after she receives she is going to drop to her knees, it will be fine… Otherwise people might trip over someone that suddenly drops to their knees. It is simply a matter of practicality. When someone stops suddenly, where ever they are, there could be a problem.

I’ve never seen a communion line that mindlessly moves forward so I guess I’m having a hard time envisioning how this could be an issue.

Just two weeks ago, I almost ended up on my butt. The person in front of me had been moving through the line, just as I was.

Then right before he would have moved forward, he put he leg back and genuflected. I was just standing there, but had to back up otherwise he would have knocked me off of my feet.

I have also seen many other people have the same problem.

It is like driving your car without brake lights, people have no idea when you are slowing down to a stop.

?? It must be a cultural thing. Where I am people leave a good space between each other. Tail gating isn’t okay on the road and it shouldn’t be okay in communion line. :shrug:

Sorry, I don’t mean to sound overly aggressive, I’m just having such a hard time envisioning what you’re describing based on my (albeit limited) experiences in communion lines.

I am so glad that they are doing this. I am so glad that kneeling is now becoming acceptable, it takes forever for the U.S. to catch up with the rest of the Universal Church at times.

God bless.

You should always expect someone to kneel or genuflect, even if they probably won’t. It happens more often here in Steubenville than back home, and it is never a nuisance to anyone else.

I’ve been refused Communion because I was kneeling in the past. There is no reason for the standing norm, other than the lack of altar rails or kneelers. Kneeling is our tradition and is among the greatest acts of adoration when receiving communion. Brake lights or not, this is reverence.

:thumbsup: I don’t kneel but I would not look down on someone who chose to.

Is it OK to wear knee pads? I’d like to kneel–but I’m 52 and even when I take a knee to genuflect it is difficult on a hard floor.


I don’t see why it would not be okay. I have seen some people who bring small cushions to Mass and put those on the floor and kneel or genuflect on them, no one really said anything about it.

God bless.

Can anyone point me to something more official on this? I can’t find anything about the changes to GIRM 160 anywhere other than Fr. Z and Jimmy Akin. I shared their blogs with people from my parish but they need something from the USCCB or Rome on the matter.


OK, now let them try to wriggle out of it – :wink:
"160. The Priest then takes the paten or ciborium and approaches the communicants, who usually come up in procession.
It is not permitted for the faithful to take the consecrated Bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them on from one to another among themselves. The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum, March 25, 2004, no. 91).

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."

Whoo-hoo! Thank you!!

Odd, this pages seems to be somewhat hidden which must be why I couldn’t find it. Wonder why.


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