I just began attending weekday mass. I am really enjoying it but have one BIG question! The chapel is a tiny room, smaller than a normal bedroom, and the priest walks around the room to distribute communion. Normally I stay kneeling in my pew while others receive, but that doesn’t work out when the priest is making rounds. To confuse me even more some people receive standing, others kneeling, and one lady sits and does not recieve and crosses her arms for a blessing. Anyways I didn’t really know how to handle the situation so I stood when those who were receiving communion did, crossed my arms for a blessing when the priest came to me and returned to the kneeling g position. I thought about asking the priest about propper procedure…but I didn’t know if it would be inappropriate to talk to him about it after mass. He doesn’t stay out to greet us as we leave…at least not immediately and I needed to get back to work so I didn’t stay to see if be was coming back. What do you think? Should I call over there? Keep doing what I am doing? Some other posture?
Are you asking how to receive communion or how to respectfully decline receiving if you don’t wish to receive?
If it’s the former, the norm, at least in the U.S., is to receive standing, either on the tongue or in the hand. Even so, people can receive while kneeling and should not be denied.
If the priest is making rounds, and you don’t wish to receive that day, you can remain kneeling and respectfully bow your head when he approaches. He should understand the signal, but if not, bowing your head with a tiny shake “no” should get the message across.
Hope that helps!
Sorry for the confusion, yes I am asking how to respectfully decline. Thank you for your suggestion…this is what I had hoped would be appropriate because I don’t necessarily believe in getting a blessing during mass and it seems awkward to me. But I was afraid that it might be more awkward to remain kneeling when the priest was right in front of me! I would love to hear others thoughts too!
I think that you did the correct thing. Crossing your arms over your chest is the recognized sign that you are not receiving.
You did the right thing, as others have said.
I would also add that it’s NOT inappropriate to ask the Priest! If there is any convenient time for you to bring it up, go ahead and do so. I’m sure he’ll appreciate your efforts to ‘do it right.’
But don’t sweat it, either way. As long as you give some clear signal that you do not wish to receive (like crossing your arms), everything should be fine God bless!
Plus, in such a small community, once you’ve spoken to the priest about this once, he’ll most likely remember you for the future and that will save all the hassle everyday.