Kneeling to receive the Eucharist at a church without altar rails?


#1

Hello,

I am a recent convert (was confirmed/received into the Church this Easter. From the very start I wanted to receive the Eurcharist kneeling, but was afraid (I know its childish) of what others would think of me and of standing out since as far as I know no one else receives this way at my parish. There are no altar rails and my parish is very large. Currently I genuflect and then I receive on the tongue but standing. I made up my mind that I was going to kneel last week, and instead of genuflecting walked up closer to the priest and was going to kneel when he (probably thinking I had forgot to genuflect as I have received the Eucharist from him several times before) lifted it up and said "the body of Christ" and began to bring his hand downwards to place it on my tongue so I said amen and stuck my tongue out. My question for you all is 1) ought one to receive the Eucharist kneeling in a church without altar rails, in which receiving on the tongue is not really done? 2) if I ought or at least it is permissible, how do I indicate that I am going to kneel, especially as the priests are used to me genuflecting and then receiving standing and on the tongue? I don't want to make a mountain out of it, but its something that I really want to do to adore Christ in the Eucharist, acknowledging who I am receiving and as a prayer for humility.


#2

I receive Jesus kneeling in a parish with a partial altar rail that isn't used for the distribution Holy Communion, so for all intents and purposes it doesn't have an altar rail.

You need to immediately kneel. Don't hesitate, or the minister of Holy Communion won't know you intend to receive kneeling. You have to be quicker than them.

Good luck!


#3

[quote="JGMendes4049, post:2, topic:295920"]
I receive Jesus kneeling in a parish with a partial altar rail that isn't used for the distribution Holy Communion, so for all intents and purposes it doesn't have an altar rail.

You need to immediately kneel. Don't hesitate, or the minister of Holy Communion won't know you intend to receive kneeling. You have to be quicker than them.

Good luck!

[/quote]

Agree!


#4

Although the ordinary way to receive the Eucharist in the US is standing, the bishops have stated that no one who prefers to kneel is to be denied communion. Therefore, you have the right to receive either way. And you do have to be quick about it, and it would be an act of charity to anyone else near the altar if you can quickly stand up afterwards without assistance.


#5

Thank you all for the replies


#6

[quote="Opie90, post:1, topic:295920"]
I made up my mind that I was going to kneel last week, and instead of genuflecting walked up closer to the priest and was going to kneel when he (probably thinking I had forgot to genuflect as I have received the Eucharist from him several times before) lifted it up and said "the body of Christ" and began to bring his hand downwards to place it on my tongue so I said amen and stuck my tongue out. My question for you all is 1) ought one to receive the Eucharist kneeling in a church without altar rails, in which receiving on the tongue is not really done? 2) if I ought or at least it is permissible, how do I indicate that I am going to kneel, .

[/quote]

It's perfectly acceptable to kneel to receive communion, even when there is no communion rail or kneeler.

What I find most successful when I am attending the OF Mass is communicating through eye contact. I will briefly make eye contact with the person distributing, and once I made eye contact, I draw my eyes and head down a bit towards the floor, while slightly lifting my skirt for ease of kneeling. Most priests and bishops (even the Ukrainian Catholic bishop who concelebrates with the bishop) seem to pick up on this.


#7

[quote="Opie90, post:1, topic:295920"]
Hello,

I am a recent convert (was confirmed/received into the Church this Easter. From the very start I wanted to receive the Eurcharist kneeling, but was afraid (I know its childish) of what others would think of me and of standing out since as far as I know no one else receives this way at my parish. There are no altar rails and my parish is very large. Currently I genuflect and then I receive on the tongue but standing. I made up my mind that I was going to kneel last week, and instead of genuflecting walked up closer to the priest and was going to kneel when he (probably thinking I had forgot to genuflect as I have received the Eucharist from him several times before) lifted it up and said "the body of Christ" and began to bring his hand downwards to place it on my tongue so I said amen and stuck my tongue out. My question for you all is 1) ought one to receive the Eucharist kneeling in a church without altar rails, in which receiving on the tongue is not really done? 2) if I ought or at least it is permissible, how do I indicate that I am going to kneel, especially as the priests are used to me genuflecting and then receiving standing and on the tongue? I don't want to make a mountain out of it, but its something that I really want to do to adore Christ in the Eucharist, acknowledging who I am receiving and as a prayer for humility.

[/quote]

You are certainly within your rights to kneel if you wish. Whether you should or should not is between you and God.


#8

[quote="Opie90, post:1, topic:295920"]
Hello,

I am a recent convert (was confirmed/received into the Church this Easter. From the very start I wanted to receive the Eurcharist kneeling, but was afraid (I know its childish) of what others would think of me and of standing out since as far as I know no one else receives this way at my parish. There are no altar rails and my parish is very large. Currently I genuflect and then I receive on the tongue but standing. I made up my mind that I was going to kneel last week, and instead of genuflecting walked up closer to the priest and was going to kneel when he (probably thinking I had forgot to genuflect as I have received the Eucharist from him several times before) lifted it up and said "the body of Christ" and began to bring his hand downwards to place it on my tongue so I said amen and stuck my tongue out. My question for you all is 1) ought one to receive the Eucharist kneeling in a church without altar rails, in which receiving on the tongue is not really done? 2) if I ought or at least it is permissible, how do I indicate that I am going to kneel, especially as the priests are used to me genuflecting and then receiving standing and on the tongue? I don't want to make a mountain out of it, but its something that I really want to do to adore Christ in the Eucharist, acknowledging who I am receiving and as a prayer for humility.

[/quote]

Our church doesn't have an altar rail and people kneel to receive the Eucharist every day. HTH.


#9

Be sure that the one behind you in line is aware of your intent to kneel; so they don't trip over you. It may be best to go to the end of the line. ;)


#10

[quote="anp1215, post:7, topic:295920"]
You are certainly within your rights to kneel if you wish. Whether you should or should not is between you and God.

[/quote]

And the person - perhaps elderly - directly behind you who does not expect to find splayed legs to possibly trip over in an area congested with lines of moving people.


#11

The people in our parish have been instructed that they may receive Communion standing or kneeling. We have a good number of people who receive kneeling, although most receive standing. We have large Masses that are well-attended.

Most of the people who receive kneeling are young or spry enough to pop down and right back up again; they require no assistance or "boosts". I am not able to kneel unassisted, due to bad knees. I would first suggest that if you require any assistance to kneel, that you seriously consider not kneeling for Holy Communion, for your own safety as well as for the convenience of the EMHC and the priest. No one wants to be responsible for causing any hurt to someone who has trouble with mobility.

But if you decide to kneel, here are a few suggestions.

Try to be one of the very last people in the line. I've often thought that this is probably a good attitude to have, because it is one of humility, allowing all the other people to go before you. Doing this, you won't be as likely to cause people behind you to trip, because there won't be anyone behind you.

Go for the line where the priest is serving. People tend to expect the more traditional communicants to be in this line, and the priest is totally comfortable distributing Communion to those who are kneeling.

Tell the priest in advance that you would like to receive kneeling. (Make an appt. to let him know, don't just grab him before the Mass--not a good time.)

CHECK with the priest to see if he already distributes Holy Communion to a group of people who are kneeling in their front-row pews. I've seen this done at several parishes, and I really like this method of serving those who prefer to kneel. It's generally older people who sit in the front row, and at Communion, they kneel on their kneeler, and the priest serves them first before beginning to serve those who are in the lines. If this is done in your parish, perhaps you can join those people.


#12

I would love to receive kneeling and on the tongue but at the parishes I go, there are no Communion rails which make things easier as I am a larger woman with bad knees. If there are kneelers or some type of rail set up, then yes I receive that way as that is the norm for that church. There are a few people at a local parish that receive kneeling at OF Daily Mass I sometimes go but go up near the end and ensure they receive from the priest. The priest does not have issue with it as I am sure those who do so asked ahead of time.


#13

Thank you, I will try this.


#14

thank you everyone for the replies. I shouldn't have issues getting up, I am only 22 and until last year went to dance classes almost every day.


#15

thank you for the suggestions.


#16

I've noticed that more and more people are choosing to kneel, so many parishes like mine are following Pope Benedict's lead and placing a prie-dieu (portable kneeling bench) or two in the aisle for people to kneel on.


#17

Personally I prefer to kneel, and actually in my parish I am the only person that kneels (even including altar servers) but it has never caused an issue. I already know that the best trick is to leave a little bit of space between yourself and the person in front that is taking the Eucharist so you have a lot of space to kneel. Our parish also doesn’t have altar rails so I simply kneel by bending both my knees and to get up it’s so simple, just put one foot normally and press on it until you are standing again. :slight_smile:
I used to go to a German mass with altar rails but because I am Portuguese I still think it is better to attend the Portuguese mass, even without all the perks.

God bless,
D.


#18

Knelt this morning at mass with no issues. I made sure not to hesitate (I think this was the main problem the last time) and took the advice of lifting my eyes and taking hold of my skirt as I knelt to make kneeling easier and my intent apparent. Thank you all for the advice!


#19

I've been kneeling for two years (no altar rail, no kneeler) and never had a problem. All this talk about people tripping is nonsense. Unless the person behind you is in your back pocket, there is absolutely no reason why they might trip. You do have to walk up expeditiously. Don't walk up as close to the priest as you might to receive standing, and then kneel on his feet. That would be a sight! :eek:

When I am second in line, I let the person in front of me get a bit ahead, so there is some space between us. When it's my turn, I walk briskly forward; this creates some space behind me. I walk up and kneel in one motion. You would no more trip over me than you would step on my heels if I were standing.

My recommendation is that you practice a few times at home. Get a friend or spouse to be the priest, or mark the position of his feet on the floor. Practice walking up and kneeling smoothly, with the same clothes (skirt? heels?) that you'll wear at Mass. Practice smoothly getting back up, too!

I was the only person at my parish who knelt two years ago. Now the numbers are growing.


#20

[quote="GwenL, post:19, topic:295920"]
I've been kneeling for two years (no altar rail, no kneeler) and never had a problem. All this talk about people tripping is nonsense. Unless the person behind you is in your back pocket, there is absolutely no reason why they might trip. You do have to walk up expeditiously. Don't walk up as close to the priest as you might to receive standing, and then kneel on his feet. That would be a sight! :eek:

When I am second in line, I let the person in front of me get a bit ahead, so there is some space between us. When it's my turn, I walk briskly forward; this creates some space behind me. I walk up and kneel in one motion. You would no more trip over me than you would step on my heels if I were standing.

My recommendation is that you practice a few times at home. Get a friend or spouse to be the priest, or mark the position of his feet on the floor. Practice walking up and kneeling smoothly, with the same clothes (skirt? heels?) that you'll wear at Mass. Practice smoothly getting back up, too!

I was the only person at my parish who knelt two years ago. Now the numbers are growing.

[/quote]

Thank you for the reply Gwen!


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