Kneeling to receive Jesus?


i just read an article by a cannon lawyer regarding the appropiateness of receiving the Blessed Sacrament on one’s knees. i am not sure exactly what the answer was though. the writer cited the girm in that the norm is standing, though one who kneels should not be denied Communion.“rather such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful proper catechisis for this norm”-thats the GIRM
so… does that mean dont? or its ok as long as one is not told otherwise by the pastor.

some months ago, i found myself very much desiring to receive Communion on my knees. at first i was worried about doing it, seeing as how no one else did, though i had heard that it was done and in fact, i think i recall an e letter of karl keatings addressing the subject saying it was alright, though i was not so much concerned one way or the other at that time. but now after working up the nerve, and feeling compeled to posture myself in such a…posture (for lack of a better word (:, i dont want to stop if i dont need to. but more so than that, i dont want to not be obedient. is it being disobedient though to do something thats just outside the norm in the U.S.?


Dear Spotty,

When I was young, (I’m now 62+) the norm was to kneel at a common communion rail and the priest came by along with an alter server. The priest placed a host on your tongue while the server held a paten under your chin to ensure that nothing of the sacred host fell onto the floor. This practice is still in use today in some places.

I think what is important is the spiritual state of mind that you take with you to the altar as you receive the bread and or wine. Call to mind the great sacrifice that the bread and wine represent, and that they, even though they look like, and taste like, bread and wine, are in fact the body and blood or our Lord. Receive this sacrament with the utmost humility, and reverence. Remember that you are in the presence of, and bringing into your body, your GOD; He who created you and sustains you, who forgives your wrongs when you come to him with a contrite heart, and He who offers you the incomparable gift of salvation.

Kneeling is not wrong, and don’t let anyone tell you it is, despite current customs. By kneeling, and also calling to mind what I have said above, you offer our Lord a more perfect state of humility.

So the choice is really yours. I myself stand, but take communion only on the tongue. I think there is a certain amount of cowardice involved on my part for not kneeling.

If you feel compelled to kneel out of respect for our Lord and not out of a need to “show off”, then it is HE who is calling you to do this. I can assure you, the devil would never push you to do something that would cause you to humble yourself before our Lord, and also to give honor and praise and glory to HIM.


In an adult religious study class, our priest said that the rubrics of of the mass state that one should kneel to receive communion unless there are special circumstances i.e. large crowd, no one to help distribute communion, the health of the priest etc. The priest said that he didn’t have the courage to try to install an alter rail. The uproar in the parish would be something that he would have difficulty dealing with. He said putting a pray do in would be something to consider.

If I were you, I would kneel if you have the courage to do it. I wish I could walk on my knees to receive the Lord, because that is the way that I feel when I receive communion. However, the spectacle of me walking on my knees would be so disruptive, that any purpose it would serve would be overshadowed.

May God Bless you for approaching Him with such reverence.




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