Kneeling after Communion

Our Bishop has stated that in our diocese standing after receiving Communion is the norm, but it varies from parish to parish. In my parish everyone kneels. In other parishes no one kneels, and in one parish there are no kneelers. I prefer to kneel after receiving Communion so that is what I do.

So this is the reply that I received from my inquiry on the matter from the Diocese of Honolulu. It appears that while the Vatican has one answer (that standing, kneeling, and sitting are equally acceptable), the USCCB has modified the Vatican approach. It does seem to be that the Office of Divine Worship of the Vatican trumps the USCCB. So here it is:

Aloha Kevin,

Merry Christmas! His Excellency Bishop Larry asked me to provide you with an answer to your question below. As you read in the article for the Office of Divine Worship from the USCCB, the response is correct. All three practices (kneeling, seating, standing) are proper after communion. The main thing is that the desire posture should provide an opportunity for the communicant to offer a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord - in silent and privately - to reflect in such an important moment in which we are becoming ONE with HIM through the miracle of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

However, it is also important to note that in United States the USCCB “have directed that (as much as possible) the appropriate posture of the faithful during the distribution of Holy Communion is to stand. They have based this on the text of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 43”” – the main reason behind this decision is to show respect to the solemn occasion and also to practice a common posture among the entire congregation (as Cardinal Arinze mentioned in his response). This should apply to ALL (including those not receiving the sacrament). Unfortunately what we have seen is that people that stay in the pews use this time to socialize or catch up with their friends and family members.

As Church we are not rigid in terms of the posture prescribed (we also understand that some people due to physical limitations can’t stand for long period of times or kneel) as we do worry more about the respect and reverence of the moment.

For me, I think it is more respectful to God to kneel to receive Communion.

Oh and on a humorous note, at Mass this past Sunday, I suddenly noticed all of these people kneeling after Communion. After Mass, I discovered these people were all visitors from Washington State, New Jersey, and Indiana.

I’m glad someone finally pointed this out. Where it is hot, I’ve seen people pass out from standing too long.

I’m kind of confused; I’ve seen and heard from several Latins that their bishops located here and there ask for people to stand after communion and, in some cases, they remove the kneelers. Isn’t standing (as opposed to kneeling) in the Latin Church antiquarian? This comes from a Syriac who much rather prefers to stand while they pray but I just find that odd in the Latin Church.

If we are to continue with the prescribed postures of the Mass, Then one should be standing or knelling until the Blessed Sacrament is within the Tabernacle. Unless you are unable to do so everyone is either standing of kneeling from the point where we respond May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church, on. Because throughout the Liturgy of the Eucharist and Communion Rite Standing and Kneeling are the prescribed postures. the communion rite does not end to the tabernacle doors are closed.

Not quite true, as has been posted earlier in the thread, the CDWDS clarified that the allowed postures from the personal reception of Holy Communion until the standing for the final blessing may be standing, kneeling or sitting, as the individual member of the faithful so chooses

Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the CDW, responded to the question on June 5, 2003 (Prot. N. 855/03/L): “Responsum: Negative, et ad mensum [No, for this reason]. The mens [reasoning] 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, to not regulate posture rigidly in such a way that those who wish to kneel or sit would no longer be free.”

Under Canon 16, this is an authentic interpretation and therefore has the force of Law.

Can. 16 §1. The legislator authentically interprets laws as does the one to whom the same legislator has entrusted the power of authentically interpreting.

§2. An authentic interpretation put forth in the form of law has the same force as the law itself and must be promulgated. If it only declares the words of the law which are certain in themselves, it is retroactive; if it restricts or extends the law, or if it explains a doubtful law, it is not retroactive

The Communion Rite does not end until the Prayer After Communion is said.

The word from Rome is that the Bishops can certainly ask, but they can’t require, individuals to stand after Communion. The posture is left to the individual to decide as long as it’s respectful. The presence (or absence) of kneelers doesn’t matter since kneeling during the Consecration is required whether there are kneelers or not.

So Hawaii casualness continues…we were told that tomorrow, January 1st is not a holy day obligation in the Diocese of Honolulu. It appears to be so everywhere else…

I never said that you had to remain standing or knelling, I said that if we follow what we have been doing through out the rest of these two parts of the Mass. We will remain standing or knelling.

As for me as long as I am physically able to do so when I am in the physical presents of Christ ( in the sacrament) I will be knelling or standing out of respect and love for him. Until the doors of the Tabernacle are closed then I am in him physical presents.

You are correct.

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