Receive Communion standing or kneeling?

I read this from the Catholic Answers Special Report: Liturgical Abuses

“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.”

What does that mean exactly? What are the “reasons for this norm?”

I would imagine the reasons for the norm are that kneeling disrupts the flow of the communion line. If churches still had altar rails, kneeling wouldn’t be as much of a problem. Frankly I wish they’d bring back altar rails and make kneeling the norm again. There’s too little reverence for the Eucharist among Catholics these days.

[quote=Minerva]I would imagine the reasons for the norm are that kneeling disrupts the flow of the communion line. If churches still had altar rails, kneeling wouldn’t be as much of a problem. Frankly I wish they’d bring back altar rails and make kneeling the norm again. There’s too little reverence for the Eucharist among Catholics these days.
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Ditto!

I think the point is to go up in Communion… meaning that if there are some kneeling and some standing it take attention off of what really matters, the Eucharist.

The point is that the norm has changed for whatever reason. It is up to us to be obedient. And although we are told it is not to be considered disobedient to follow the old norms, it is encouraged to follow the new ones for reasons of unity of the congregation.

from Postures and Gestures at Mass

usccb.org/liturgy/girm/bul3.shtml

In addition to serving as a vehicle for the prayer of beings composed of body and spirit, the postures and gestures in which we engage at Mass have another very important function. The Church sees in these common postures and gestures both a symbol of the unity of those who have come together to worship and a means of fostering that unity. We are not free to change these postures to suit our own individual piety, for the Church makes it clear that our unity of posture and gesture is an expression of our participation in the one Body formed by the baptized with Christ, our head. When we stand, kneel, sit, bow and sign ourselves in common action, we given unambiguous witness that we are indeed the Body of Christ, united in heart, mind and spirit.

and also we have the words of St Teresa

[font=Verdana]“Those deceive themselves who believe that union with God consists in ecstasies or raptures, and in enjoyment of Him. For it consists in nothing except the surrender and subjection of our will.”

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SuZ

[quote=Cherub] What are the “reasons for this norm [standing for Communion]?”
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Well, you see, once upon a time, all Catholic Churches had beautiful communion rails and kneelers. At great expense, these were summarily ripped out. Now it’s us, the few remaining pious Catholics left, who are branded “disruptive” for attempting to kneel before our Lord when, clearly, there is nothing to kneel on or against.

Never mind that throughout the Old Testament virtually everyone who was in the presence of the Lord “fell face down as if dead.” We dare not even genuflect when receiving the Real Presence. Why? Well, because because. Besides, that’s what our bishops want.

Now do you understand the reasons for this norm? I can only hope not. Anyone who can understand the irrational understands less than those of us who remain dumbfounded. – Sincerely, Albert Cipriani the Traditional Catholic
[/font]http://www.geocities.com/albert_cipriani/index.html
[/font]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ReligiousPhilosophy/

[quote=Minerva] Frankly I wish they’d bring back altar rails and make kneeling the norm again. There’s too little reverence for the Eucharist among Catholics these days.
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Yes, I agree that there is too little reverance for the Eucharist. But I highly doubt that bringing back alter rails would impact that.

If someone is not taking the Eucharist seriously, do you really think that having them kneel is going to make one bit of difference?

I would think that it would just make a lot of those people feel “inconvenienced”, unfortunately.

Jesus knows what’s in our hearts… standing or kneeling.

Finella

[quote=albert cipriani]Well, you see, once upon a time, all Catholic Churches had beautiful communion rails and kneelers. At great expense, these were summarily ripped out. Now it’s us, the few remaining pious Catholics left, who are branded “disruptive” for attempting to kneel before our Lord when, clearly, there is nothing to kneel on or against.

Never mind that throughout the Old Testament virtually everyone who was in the presence of the Lord “fell face down as if dead.” We dare not even genuflect when receiving the Real Presence. Why? Well, because because. Besides, that’s what our bishops want.

Now do you understand the reasons for this norm? I can only hope not. Anyone who can understand the irrational understands less than those of us who remain dumbfounded. – Sincerely, Albert Cipriani %between%
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1.) Prideful or arrogant Catholic is more like it.

2.) You should follow the Church and not your interpretation of the OT.

3.) Interesting how you can label the Church as “irrational.”

You are a perfect example of someone who follows their own whims/desires/ideas instead of the Church.

[quote=Crusader]1.) Prideful or arrogant Catholic is more like it.

2.) You should follow the Church and not your interpretation of the OT.

3.) Interesting how you can label the Church as “irrational.”

You are a perfect example of someone who follows their own whims/desires/ideas instead of the Church.
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Amen

[quote=albert cipriani]Well, you see, once upon a time, all Catholic Churches had beautiful communion rails and kneelers. At great expense, these were summarily ripped out. Now it’s us, the few remaining pious Catholics left, who are branded “disruptive” for attempting to kneel before our Lord when, clearly, there is nothing to kneel on or against.
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Not quite. Only Latin Rite Catholic Churches had altar rails. Eastern Catholic Churches, in keeping with the teaching of the First Council of Nicea pray and receive communion standing.

Canon 20: Since there are some who kneel on Sunday and during the season of Pentecost, this holy synod decrees that, so that the same observances may be maintained in every diocese, one should offer one’s prayers to the Lord standing.

[quote=albert cipriani]Never mind that throughout the Old Testament virtually everyone who was in the presence of the Lord “fell face down as if dead.” We dare not even genuflect when receiving the Real Presence. Why? Well, because because. Besides, that’s what our bishops want.
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Did they? Didn’t Jesus give us a model of prayer in the Publican who stood in the back and cried “Lord, have mercy!”?

[quote=albert cipriani]Now do you understand the reasons for this norm? I can only hope not. Anyone who can understand the irrational understands less than those of us who remain dumbfounded. – Sincerely, Albert Cipriani the Traditional Catholic
http://www.geocities.com/albert_cipriani/index.html
[groups.yahoo.com/group/ReligiousPhilosophy/](“http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ReligiousPhilosophy/”)
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I understand that the Early Church prhibited kneeling on Sunday because kneeling was a sign of penitence, not adoration. Standing was the posture of adoration.

Deacon Ed

And at the first communion, most of the recepients were probably reclining or sitting as was the custom at the time.

I would prefer to always receive kneeling as it is the form of Latria I am accustomed to. But I know when attending an Normative Mass, I must be obedient and receive standing and bow my head as a form of reverence - when I attend the TLM, I can still receive kneeling as that is the norm there and to stand would be equally disobedient at that Mass.

Kneeling, genuflecting, standing, bowing of the head and full bow are all forms of respect.

I have been in many old (very old) missions where there were neither pews or kneelers and standing was the norm historically and currently in those missions.

It is true that once there were altar rails and the norm was to kneel to receive. This was as much body mechanics as anything. One the rails were one means of separating the laity from the altar - a good thing - all communion was served on the tongue - given the variations in size of people and priests, and the height of the altar servers, it was much more efficient to have the people kneeling at a level where the host could be placed on the tongue while the altar boy placed the paten under the chin.

Notice now how awkward it is sometimes for a short priest to serve communion on the tongue to someone who is a foot taller than him while standing. One has to reach up and the other bend down.

Since the indult to receive on the hand in the U.S. has become here, the norm (i.e. more receive in the hand than on the tongue in most parishes), logistics probably had a role in the determination that in the U.S. the norm is to stand. Easier to place the host in the hand of a standing person than that of one who is kneeling.

Anyway one can be reverent in any position - ask anyone confined to a wheelchair.

[quote=Mysty101]The point is that the norm has changed for whatever reason. It is up to us to be obedient. And although we are told it is not to be considered disobedient to follow the old norms, it is encouraged to follow the new ones for reasons of unity of the congregation.

from Postures and Gestures at Mass

usccb.org/liturgy/girm/bul3.shtml

and also we have the words of St Teresa

SuZ
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The 3 letters from the CDW in Rome have made this matter clear. THose who kneel for communion are not to be denied nor are they to be considered dis obidient. If anything, it is the liturgists and clergy in the US who are being dis obidient to Rome when they force conregations that still use the altar rail to stand for communion, not respecting the rights of the laity. I cant understand how a handful of conregants who kneel for communion withoput a rail at the head of a line can create logistics problems, but when a conregation kneels at the altar rail, or even if a handful of conregants still use the rail, the dangers of them creating a hazard of having others tripping over them is eliminated.

[quote=Mysty101]Amen
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I follow the Catholic church interperation, not Crusdaders. As I said, Rome has spoken in 3 different letters about kneeling for communion. Here is the link from this web site.

catholic.com/library/liturgy/kneeling_1.asp

So Mysty, who will you follow, Rome, or Crusader? Note these letters are not just interperations, these letters come from the Council of Divine Worship headed by Cardinal Arinze.

[quote=JNB]The 3 letters from the CDW in Rome have made this matter clear. THose who kneel for communion are not to be denied nor are they to be considered dis obidient. If anything, it is the liturgists and clergy in the US who are being dis obidient to Rome when they force conregations that still use the altar rail to stand for communion, not respecting the rights of the laity. I cant understand how a handful of conregants who kneel for communion withoput a rail at the head of a line can create logistics problems, but when a conregation kneels at the altar rail, or even if a handful of conregants still use the rail, the dangers of them creating a hazard of having others tripping over them is eliminated.
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"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."

Sadly you follow your own whims and desires and not what the Church directs. You are providing a perfect picture of someone who feels they can follow themselves and not the Church because their own way is “better” – despite what the Church actually directs.

[quote=albert cipriani]Well, you see, once upon a time, all Catholic Churches had beautiful communion rails and kneelers. At great expense, these were summarily ripped out. Now it’s us, the few remaining pious Catholics left, who are branded “disruptive” for attempting to kneel before our Lord when, clearly, there is nothing to kneel on or against.

Never mind that throughout the Old Testament virtually everyone who was in the presence of the Lord “fell face down as if dead.” We dare not even genuflect when receiving the Real Presence. Why? Well, because because. Besides, that’s what our bishops want.
[/quote]

I understand your dismay, as I am also upset that the option has all been taken away from us in the form of removing communion rails. However, that does not give any of us to judge the piety of a person who stands or kneels to receive the Eucharist. For all we know, the person kneeling may be kneeling just to draw attention to him or herself as a “pious” person (much like the Pharisees who would pray on street corners and moan and groan about fasting), while the person standing may be doing so only in obedience to their bishop. One cannot judge another person’s heart by their appearance.

our posture at the Eucharist does impact belief. In our society we stand for everything, even the most mundane, secular activities. But we only kneel for the sacred, for God. Someone who doesn’t have a strong belief in the Real Presence might be reminded and moved by the fact he or she has to kneel to receive it. They won’t help but notice that this is no ordinary event, this is sacred.

Crusader, I decide to follow Rome, not you. The 3 letters from the CDW have made their position clear on the matter of kneeling for communion. What they say has weight, what you say Crusader has no weight what so ever. I really think you should consider your conduct on these boards Crusader, since you seem to get into these arguements quite often.

[quote=JNB]Crusader, I decide to follow Rome, not you. The 3 letters from the CDW have made their position clear on the matter of kneeling for communion. What they say has weight, what you say Crusader has no weight what so ever. I really think you should consider your conduct on these boards Crusader, since you seem to get into these arguements quite often.
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Are you in Rome? Rome has given authority to the USCCB, and has approved the modifications. You must accept this. Like it or not the bishops have the authority in their diocese in many instances. This may be a cultural thing also—Most Catholics are lifted up by the changes. Yes, you do have the option, if you can find a valid Mass celebrated in the way you prefer, but don’t criticize those who are following the norms in their diocese.

SuZ

[quote=deogratias]And at the first communion, most of the recepients were probably reclining or sitting as was the custom at the time.
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And for the first 300 years, Masses were celebrated underground next to dead bodies. Does that mean we should do the same?

I have been in many old (very old) missions where there were neither pews or kneelers and standing was the norm historically and currently in those missions.

And in those very old missions the door were roughly only 4 or 5 feet high cuz everyone was short. Likewise, they were short on lumber for pews and kneelers. Does that mean we, too, should pretend to be short? Isn’t this the false antiquinarianism condemned by the Popes prior to Vatican II? – Sincerely Albert Cipriani the Traditional Catholic

[quote=albert cipriani]And for the first 300 years, Masses were celebrated underground next to dead bodies.

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Sounds like some churches today.:slight_smile:

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