Must we remain standing after Holy Communion?

I just finished reading an article from “Today’s Liturgy” magazine that is titled “Let Us Stand And Give Thanks”. The author, Sherri L. Vallee from Ontario Canada, claims that the latest edition of the Revised General Instructions of the Roman Missal, has a subtle change regarding the posture for receiving communion . "The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the diocease of the United States is standing." She goes on to explain that from the Almighty Amen through the last person receiving communion the congregation should remain standing and during and after reception of communion continue singing the communion chant. Somewhat cohesive explanation follows in that the dis-jointedness of people kneeling. sitting, and not singing adds to the confusion and disunity. A united and standing people, one who receives or chooses not to, are together praising and celebrating during this most important and critical sacrament of unity. Once the last person receives and the priest finishes purification a period of reflection for everyone sitting is in order…Thoughts and comments???

Dear j,

We are not required to remain standing after we receive Holy Communion according to Cardinal Arinze, the prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments:

“There is no rule from Rome that everybody must stand during Holy Communion. There is no such rule from Rome. So, after people have received Communion, they can stand, they can kneel, they can sit. But a bishop in his diocese or bishops in a country could say that they recommend standing or kneeling. They could. It is not a law from Rome. They could – but not impose it. Perhaps they could propose. But those who want to sit or kneel or stand should be left reasonable freedom.”

The argument that we must all remain standing in order to be united is bogus. Our unity comes from the Lord—not us! It is in being in Holy Communion with Him that we are in communion with one another. This is just one more example of contemporary liturgists putting the cart before the horse–or not even getting the cart near the horse!!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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