Wish there were some threads and pictures. I’ve only seen EF priests go partially down, however. Even at the consecration. Maybe they can’t bend them all the way to the floor but it’s perfectly legal, as far as I can tell.
Sorry. But I just keep imagining one of the sisters from my grammar school berating a student for failing to genuflect with knee all the way to floor when entering or exiting a pew.
In my opinion most of the people who think a genuflection is preferable to a bow would not be satisfied with a part-way-down genuflection.
Perhaps they would be if they had physical impairments of their own.
Eucharisticum Mysterium, 25 May, 1967 ; Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery has the relevant passage to this discussion. Section 34 The Way of Receiving Comunion ; directs the faithful to follow the Pastors guidance on either kneeling or standing to receive communion. It says a sign of reverence should be made for the standing method. It doesn’t specifically say bowing, perhaps a bending of the head is also allowed.
My mom always told to bow.
In Canada, the preferred sign of reverence is to bow, but genuflection is acceptable, as is receiving while kneeling - the CCCB explicitly points out that no one should be denied Jesus while kneeling or receiving on the tongue.
Personally, I genuflect; It seems obvious - we genuflect to Jesus in the tabernacle, and last I checked, it’s the same Jesus that’s being offered to me in the Eucharist.
I was told the correct way to receive Communion is to knee down or bow your head.
Actually, the preferred sign of reverence is kneeling while receiving, but it is not the norm. The fact that no one should be denied Jesus while kneeling demonstrates this fact. This is because kneeling itself is a sign of reverence, while standing itself is not. But the preferred is not the norm, unfortunately.
Also, regarding the issue of when to bow (when someone is in front of your, or not) that has been brought up by others in this thread, obviously there has not been a unified, clear determination of this among the Bishops. Traffic flow has been cited as the reason for bowing while the person in front is receiving, so that you’re ready to receive when it is your turn. I do not consider this to be a valid reason to do this.
The priest has the right to deny a person communion if they do not show due respect. This is to protect Jesus in the Holy Eucharist from abuse. A person may not show due respect for one of several reasons. For example, they may be ignorant of the True Presence, or they believe in the True Presence, but have wicked intent, or they may be been instructed in the True Presence, but do not believe, etc. In any of these cases, the priest would rightly refuse to give communion.
So the question is this, if the norm of reception is standing, and standing in and of itself is not considered a reverential posture, then how may the priest determine due revernce has been given? With some outward sign of it, which the Church has indicated will at the very least consist of a bow of the head, but also include a full body bow, a bending of the knee, or a full genuflection.
But if this sign of reverence is being performed behind the current communicant, then how is the priest certain that due reverence has been given? The simple answer is that he can’t be. This leaves an open door to Eucharistic abuse. In a similar vein, the communicant must receive the Eucarist before the priest, so that the priest is certain that the Eucharist has been received. This may impede the flow of traffic if the person does this slowly, but it is necessary in order to avoid Eucharistic abuse. If the communicant does not receive in front of the priest, then the priest may not be certain that the communicant has actually received. For example, my mother actually witnessed a woman take the Host back to the pew, then give it to her child to play with. Likewise, some of you may recall the series of Youtube videos of a person video-taping his abuse of the Eucharist, which he had taken from the Sunday Mass, wherein he did many vile things, including feeding the Host to his dog, driving a nail through it, lighting it on fire, etc. He did this week after week.
Grave things like this won’t happen just because the priest doesn’t see a person bow before receiving, but other abuse may occur. If a person does not believe in the True Presence, for example, and receives, they they receive to their own judgment, as St. Paul tells us. It is a wicked thing, and we must do what we can to prevent something like this from happening, in reverence to Jesus in the Eucharist, as well as for the sake of the soul of this person.
I aver, that this should be the guiding principle of when to make your sign of reverence. Not whether communion is distributed quickly or not.