Kneeling Prior to receiving the host

Would like to know if it’s it ok to kneel prior to receiving the host? My son wants to kneel, instead of bowing, & then stand to receive Holy Communion. What is the Church’s position on this?

Thanks for your insight!!


YES!! A thousand times yes!

To receive Communion on the tongue and kneeling is actually the preferred and traditional method of receiving Communion. It has been supported a great deal by the Holy Father and the Vatican as of late. You don’t walk up to the Pope and stick out your hands! :slight_smile:

Your son is definitely on the right track. Make sure he stays on it!

Sancto Spiritu, in your haste you have misread the post and completely missed the point. The suggestion was to kneel, then stand to receive, I think youi’ll find.

I have seen people do it, and it seems common on the EWTN daily mass-not that it is the ulitmate authority-, but I would hope that Mass would be conducted in a orthodox manner.

Assuming that you are in the United States, the norm is to bow the head as a sign of reverence. From the GIRM:

  1. The priest then takes the paten or ciborium and goes to the communicants, who, as a rule, approach in a procession.

The faithful are not permitted to take the consecrated bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them from one to another. 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.

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.

You might want to talk with your son about humility. At Mass we don’t always do what we want, but what our bishops have directed us to do. While it’s sometimes difficult to obey, it’s good for us to do so.

Why kneel then get up? Why not just stay kneeling for Communion?

Kneeling is always far superior to standing in any time in any place, except when the Communicant can’t physically kneel.

You might want to talk with your son about humility

Yes she might. She might want to say “Son, be humble. Fall on your knees in awe of the gift to receive Christ.”

or do you want her to say:

“Son, be humble. Don’t act holier than anyone else because we don’t want others to feel not-holy-enough. We want them to stay complacent in their banality and poor catechesis.”

We have the choice to be humble to two different entities- Christ and others. I’d say that kneeling shows humility toward Christ, while at the same time providing a good example to others.

Kneeling is always far superior to standing in any time in any place, except when the Communicant can’t physically kneel.

Not in the Eastern tradition, so your statement is incorrect.

I would just be afraid of the person behind him tripping over him - that’s why I don’t genuflect before receiving.

It may be that at that parish there is no way to receive while kneeling - I don’t think the priest can necessarily adjust to someone on their knees without a … oh what’s the special word for the plate that goes under the person’s chin? patent? Actually I receive on the tongue without a patent so that isn’t my point.:whacky:
My point is there probably isn’t a communion rail.

:ehh: I assume you mean for Eucharist - because there are parts in the Mass where sitting or standing are the appropriate sign of respect and kneeling would be inappropriate. And standing to receive Eucharist is appropriate if not always preferred.


Who said I’m talking about the eastern tradition? The OP is likely talking about Roman Catholic Mass.


Kneeling is easy- you just get down onto the floor. When i attend the OF, I just kneel down on the floor without a step or railing. If you’re physically unable to do that, fine, but defending something because it’s the “norm” is useless because it doesn’t answer the fundamental question. Why is it the norm? Those who made it the norm considered it better than other methods. Why did they think that? What makes it better than the other methods?

The plate that goes under the chin is a paten.

If something is appropriate, it is necessarily preferred. Because “preferred” means that most people prefer it and therefore find it appropriate- or more than appropriate.

Those who made it the norm recognized the individual need of those in their care, not necessarily that those in charge considered it better than other methods. What I mean is - there are exceptions made for different countries and such (dispensations). It isn’t as if everyone in America started receiving while standing so it became the norm (picture someone standing at the Communion rail refusing to kneel when the priest expected him to kneel - do you honestly think that happened :bigyikes:). If there wasn’t a dispensation from the Church than we’d all be wrong. But there is a dispensation and not because those who granted it thought standing ‘better’.

No standing to receive is appropriate and preferred. Kneeling to receive is allowed and therefore appropriate but not done by the majority (in the U.S.) and so not preferred.

Ok, some nice generalities there, but tell me, who made those decisions? And can you please provide me with some document expressing why?

I’m less inclined to, frankly, give a **** about what the US Bishops say as opposed to the Vatican. The fact that the Vatican has been consistently touting Communion on the tongue and kneeling makes me wonder if there will soon be a sea change in how we do things.

Also, if the rest of the congregation jumped off of a cliff, would you? It would be the “preferred” thing to do, as everyone else was doing it.

I have a lot of problems with my feet and ankles, and have had two surgeries in the last two years. My knees are also very bad.

This weekend, I tripped and fell flat. Not at church, but at another place where I didn’t see in advance a tripping hazard. I’m not very agile and often, I’ve had near misses when something unexpected happens, or when someone cuts in front of me or stops suddenly. This was the first time I’ve actually fallen when this happened.

It was terrifying for me and for my poor husband, who was next to me. I was so afraid that I had broken both of my kneecaps or my wrists. My husband was afraid that I had broken teeth or jaw.

I was trying not to cry, but for the rest of the evening, I had to keep taking those big gulping breaths that people do to keep from crying. It’s been two days now, and I still have tears near the surface. I should probably just have a big, gasping, sobbing cry and get it out of my system.

I still hurt, too. The fall was a big setback for me. I’ve been trying to exercise and keep my ankles, feet, and knees flexible and strong, but now it hurts to move. I just sit. And I’m using my crutch again.

So that means I’ll probably gain even more weight.

Folks, in the past, I have supported the idea of people kneeling for communion in a regular OF Mass without a rail if they feel convicted to do so.

I no longer feel that way after this weekend.

As far as I’m concerned, anyone who would deliberately place others like myself, who are very unstable on my feet, at risk for tripping and falling is not showing Christian charity and probably shouldn’t be receiving Communion at all.

I was so upset and scared and in pain and devastated. BTW, I’m only 52 years old, so I don’t look like the typical feeble old lady. You wouldn’t know to look at someone if they have some sort of balance problem that makes tripping a real risk.

Also, in case you’re wondering, I receive Holy Communion on the tongue now, not out of any special conviction that it’s the proper way to receive, but because I’m afraid I’ll lose my balance if I receive on the hand.

I think that the reasons the Bishops give for not encouraging people to kneel in a regular OF communion line, mainly because of the danger of creating a tripping hazard, are good and logical and we should follow them out of love and respect for those who are weaker.

If people insist on kneeling anyway out of deep spiritual conviction, then why can’t parishes establish a special line for those who prefer to kneel, or perhaps ask those who wish to kneel to wait until last, and then come forward to kneel and receive Holy Communion. That would eliminate the tripping hazard for people like me.

The Bible says that we should look out for the interests of others and always to esteem others as more important than ourselves. I think we should all remember that.

Oh come onnnnnnnnnnn!

That is such a lame reason not to kneel. If you are THAT afraid of someone tripping over your feet, do as I do- turn around and whisper to the person behind you to watch out because you’ll be kneeling.

Accidents do indeed happen in the Communion line. A partially sighted lady at our church fell over a very devout lady who suddenly plunged to her knees a couple of people before the head of the line.

It was several weeks before she was able to come back to Mass.

You feel you have the right to interrupt someone’s prayers, do you?

The key word there is “suddenly.” Inform them you’ll be kneeling and there will be no problem.

I don’t think you even read my post, and if you did, you didn’t understand what I was trying to say.

My post wasn’t about me kneeling.

It was about others kneeling in front of me, and upsetting my balance by doing something unexpected.

If someone in a line turns around suddenly and tells me, “I will be kneeling,” THAT act of turning around could be enough to cause me to be startled, lose my balance, and fall.

It would be better for the person to tell me this while we are sitting in the pew, and then to remind me right before we both stand up and process forward for Holy Communion.

Do you truly believe that caring for others and watching out for their safety and well-being is “lame?”

I think you’re missing the point of receiving the Lord in Holy Communion.

BTW, I can’t kneel. Unless the Lord chooses to perform a miracle and heal my feet, ankles, and knees, I will never kneel on this earth.

Wow, you must travel with your limbs safely wrapped in bubble wrap and a football helmet on. There’s no telling when someone would GASP talk to you.

I read your post and yes, I understand that you were talking about others. And yes, your argument against other people kneeling is completely and totally lame. If, when getting up out of the pew, you briefly turned to the person behind you and said “Just FYI, I’ll be kneeling for Communion, so keep your distance,” that would be plenty.

They wouldn’t turn around and yell BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA or anything and, unless you’re scared by someone whispering to you, you wouldn’t fall over.

I realize I’m being snarky, but in all honesty, I think you’re being extremely melodramatic about this: “Nobody should kneel because I fall over easily.”

Change could certainly happen. But in the meantime, we follow the instructions of the GIRM as quoted in post #5. We are not free to make our own rules.

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