Is it OK to remain kneeling after Communion and before the final blessing?

All -

Please help.

Is it OK to remain kneeling after Communion and before the final blessing?

Here are the details.

In general, here is what I see happening.

  1. A given person receives Communion, the person returns to the pew and kneels in prayer.

  2. After Communion is distributed to everyone, the altar is cleared, and the Priest will sit for a brief while in prayer

  3. In general, most people move from a kneeling position to a seated position as soon as the Priest sits down-- however, I like to keep kneeling and THAT is the question is it OK to keep kneeling at this point until the Priest rises and everyone rises to do the final blessing?

What do you think?

Please advise.

(References from GIRM and/or Magestarium appreciated, to help a poor researcher.)

Thank you.

Yours in Christ,

  • Mark Kamoski

I’m usually kneeling in prayer until the final blessing at which point I rise along with every one else.

Between your own reception of Communion and the point where the GIRM says to stand for the final blessing, you are free to kneel or sit as you please. The first GIRM instruction for posture comes at the invitation to the final blessing (stand).

The most common practice, in my experience (for those that kneel at all after Communion), is to sit when the tabernacle is closed or to sit when the priest sits. But your practice is ok too.

mkamouski:If you like you can remain kneeling.The priest sitting down isnt a sign that we are to sit down.After all there is no place for the preist to kneel.He’s just giving the last communicants time to kneel and pray.

From Ceremonial of Bishops:
“166 When the bishop returns to the chair after the communion, he puts on the skullcap and, if need be, washes his hands. All are seated and a period of prayerful silence may follow, or a song of praise or a psalm may be sung.”
(Ceremonial of Bishops, Liturgical Press, 1989, ISBN 0-8146-1818-9, page 60.)

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the USA, which can be accessed from :
“112. … At a Mass celebrated by the Bishop or at which he presides without celebrating the Eucharist, the norms found in the Caeremoniale Episcoporum should be observed.”

The “Caeremoniale Episcoporum” is the Latin name for this liturgical book, Ceremonial of Bishops.

From the GIRM:
“42. … A common posture, to be observed by all participants, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered for the Sacred Liturgy: it both expresses and fosters the intention and spiritual attitude of the participants.
43. The faithful should stand from the beginning of the Entrance chant, or while the priest approaches the altar, until the end of the Collect; for the Alleluia chant before the Gospel; while the Gospel itself is proclaimed; during the Profession of Faith and the Prayer of the Faithful; from the invitation, Orate, fraters (Pray, brethren), before the prayer over the offerings until the end of Mass, except at the places indicated below.
They should, however, sit while the readings before the Gospel and the responsorial Psalm are proclaimed and for the homily and while the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory is taking place; and, as circumstances allow, they may sit or kneel while the period of sacred silence after Communion is observed.”

If I could i would kneel, but my arthritis makes it difficult to pray and kneel. i hope my sitting doesn’t offend the kneelers.


GIRM 43 is, like all instructions, to be viewed within the intent of the legistlator.

Cardinal George, acting as the President of the USSCB, issued this dubium on behalf of the US Bishops.

Cardinal Arinze responded.

Dubium: In many places, the faithful are accustomed to kneeling or sitting in personal prayer upon returning to their places after having individually received Holy Communion during Mass. Is it the intention of the Missale Romanum, editio typical tertia, to forbid this practice?

Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the CDW, responded to the question on June 5, 2003 (Prot. N. 855/03/L):

Responsum: Negative, et ad mentem (No, for this reason). The mens [reason] is that the prescription of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, no. 43, is intended, on the one hand to ensure within broad limits a certain uniformity of posture within the congregation for the various parts of the celebration of Holy Mass, and on the other, not to regulate posture rigidly in such a way that those who wish to kneel or sit would no longer be free.
The dubium and response appear in the July 2003 edition of the BCL Newsletter, published by the US Bishops Committee on the Liturgy.

Thus is it not the intention of the Church that GIRM 43 be taken as regulating the posture of the faithful to an extent that those who wish cannot kneel or sit at that time.

Seems like Arinze is placing some significance in maintaining uniformity. I kind of think you can go two far one way or the other. On one hand, there are those who disobey the proper rubrics and don’t kneel at all or for not long enough, but then there’s also a risk of kneeling when everyone else is standing and thus causing disunity in that way also. I think people should stand and kneel when appropriate and not use one’s posture for posturing, so to speak. Not saying that’s what OP was doing.

Corki is spot on this this one. In my current parish, everyone sits after the priest does. When I was growing up (in the 80s), we remained kneeling until the priest stood up.

I’ve often wondered about this. Thanks for bring up the question!

I usually remain kneeling after Communion all the way to the final blessing. I make exceptions when there are loooooong announcements done before the final blessing so my knees aren’t hurting when I have to be playing the recessional and the postlude (the floor in the organ loft is hard!).

I usually sit when the priest sits. This is kind of a “use your own judgement” area, as it is not dictated by Canon law.

I am glad to see that people are concerned about remaining kneeling! I think far too often, people rush to complete prayer after receiving Holy Communion. I don’t mean those that can’t remain kneeling for physical reasons; I mean those that receive, pray for a couple seconds, then start chatting until the final blessing. That just makes me sad. :frowning:

God Bless.

In my parish, the priest kneels after purifying the sacred vessels, the vast majority of people are also kneeling and everyone remains kneeling until the priest rises and says, “Let us pray.” If I am a visitor at another church, I remain kneeling until it’s time for the prayer after communion. It’s never really been an issue. :thumbsup:

BTW, when the bishops were discussing the GIRM, minutes were recorded.

Here is an excerpt concerning the practice of kneeling after communion. It should give insights into what the bishop’s intent was, even before the dubium

When I’m in the pew, I always remain kneeling after Communion until the final blessing. No matter what’s going on around me, I try to concentrate only on this moment when Our Lord is just received by me.
It’s different when I sing in choir and we have to sing after receiving Communion. Usually, we’re given enough time. If not, I take the time.:smiley:

You cannot kneel until the Final Blessing. Because there are still prayers after Communion that you have to stand up for. Then sit for announcements, then stand again for Final Blessing.

You are welcome to continue kneeling.

I kneel until the tabernacle is closed and the EM have returned to their seats. Then I sit for maybe 30seconds and the priest stands to deliver the final blessing and dismissal.

In my parish - Announcements are done after mass intentions and just before the collections are taken up.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit