May I kneel for Communion?

I have come to the conclusion in my spiritual life that I personally need to kneel when I receive our Lord at Communion. However, when visiting a church on a trip, the priest leaned over to me after giving me Communion and told me to “meet him in the sacristy,” where he later chastised me for kneeling. Am I not allowed to receive our Lord kneeling?

Here is the norm from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2002). Please note the emphasized passage:

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 vody 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
(GIRM 160; emphasis added).

From your account, it appears that the priest entirely followed the GIRM’s instructions: he did not refuse you Communion because you were kneeling, he requested to meet you privately outside Mass, and he counseled you on the proper procedure for receiving Communion in the future. One hopes that his manner of counsel was gentle, but his actions were indeed correct. In dioceses of the United States, the normative posture for Communion is to stand.

Recommended reading:

The Struggle for Uniformity in the Liturgy by Kenneth D. Whitehead

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