Several simple questions about mass

-After receiving communion and returning to the pew to kneel, should you continue singing the communion hymn?

-When is it appropriate to stop kneeling after communion? In some parishes, most people go right from kneeling to standing. In others, most people will switch from kneeling to sitting when the tabernacle is closed.

-Is it just me, or do very few people sing? Is this widespread, and if so, has it always been like this?

-Do the laity sing in tridentine style masses?

Please, everyone, no “opinions” in answer to these questions. Let’s just tell the OP what is allowed and leave it at that. No debating what one ought/should/can do. Thank you all.

1.) In my experience, most people take time to thank the Lord for the reception of His precious Body and Blood in silent prayer. However, to my knowledge, you are free to continue singing if you wish.

2.) I believe the norm is to continue kneeling until the Host has been returned to the Tabernacle. Some will sit when the priest sits, some will remain kneeling until the priest stands for the post communion prayer.

3.) This might be an opinionated question, but I’ll answer that in our parish, most people do sing. However, I have experienced parishes where alot of parishoners “leave it up to the choir” to do the singing (when a choir is present anyways).

4.) Don’t know about #4 - never attended one. I don’t believe the TLM is offered in my Diocese.

  1. The music is meditative during reception of the Eucharist. Sing prior to receiving Holy Communion … before leaving the pew.

  2. Sit when the Presiding Priest sits, after Holy Communion. Sometimes more music is sung at this time, as a piece separate from congregational singing.

  3. Our Parish has been known for our singing.

For mass in the Ordinary Form
From the General Instruciton of the Roman Missal

"(portion of 43) They should, however, sit while the readings before the Gospel and the responsorial Psalm are proclaimed and for the homily and while the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory is taking place; and, as circumstances allow, they may sit or kneel while the period of sacred silence after Communion is observed.

In the dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.53"

The Eucharistic Prayer ends with the priest saying “Through Him, with Him, and in Him, etc…then. Amen”

So, you may kneel, or sit, or in certain cases, stand after communion. According to the GIRM, the general posture (common posture) is standing except in the above-mentioned places, so it seems that since, kneeling is only required up till the Amen after the Eucharistic Prayer, one could return to the pew after communion and remain standing, if the Diocesan Bishop has determined that the parish should remain standing at the Agnus Dei. However, the instruction also allows for sitting or kneeling in prayer after communion regardless.

As for the EF, the laity do sing at times, depending on what is going on. At High Mass, there is an entrance hymn, usually sung by all. The choir chants (Gregorian) certain parts of the mass while the priest is saying them such as the Introit (opening prayer) Gloria, Kyrie, Gradual (or tract, which is between the Epistle and Gospel readings) and the Credo, and the communion prayer. The priest chants all portions of the mass that call for a raised voice (such as the the first blessing, the Gospel, the first words of the Gloria and Credo, the Domine non sum dignus …(“Lord I am not worthy…”), etc . The choir usually does Gregorian Chant during communion. Then there is a recessional hymn at the end that is sung by all. In general at a high mass, everything that is meant to be audible to the entire congregation is either sung or chanted, except the vernacular readings from the Epistles and Gospel, the Homily and the Last Gospel (which is the beginning of the Gospel of John, said at the end of mass).

In contrast, at low mass there is usually no singing at all, although sometimes the priest will start a hymn at the end of mass when he is at the foot of the sanctuary, and then all will join in.

Thanks all around!

-Is it just me, or do very few people sing? Is this widespread, and if so, has it always been like this? People at my parish generally sing, if they are familiar with the song.

-Do the laity sing in tridentine style masses? I’ve never been.

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the USA, which can be accessed from

“86. While the priest is receiving the Sacrament, the Communion chant is begun. Its purpose is to express the communicants’ union in spirit by means of the unity of their voices, to show joy of heart, and to highlight more clearly the “communitarian” nature of the procession to receive Communion. The singing is continued for as long as the Sacrament is being administered to the faithful.74 If, however, there is to be a hymn after Communion, the Communion chant should be ended in a timely manner.”

“87. … If there is no singing, however, the Communion antiphon found in the Missal may be recited either by the faithful, or by some of them, or by a lector. Otherwise the priest himself says it after he has received Communion and before he distributes Communion to the faithful.”

“42. … A common posture, to be observed by all participants, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered for the Sacred Liturgy: it both expresses and fosters the intention and spiritual attitude of the participants.”

-Is it just me, or do very few people sing? Is this widespread, and if so, has it always been like this?

There’s an interesting book by Thomas Day that deals with this very issue: WHY CATHOLICS CAN’T SING.

You can sing the Communion hymn, but I prefer to spend some time in private prayer first.

In my parish, almost everyone kneels after returning to their pew until the tabernacle has been closed, at which point we sit. Rome has made it clear that your posture after receiving Communion is basically up to you: you can kneel, sit, or even stand.

Perhaps if the music were better, more people would sing it.

Depends on the Mass and what things are sung. The laity generally don’t sing the “Propers” (the Introit, Offertory, and Communion antiphons), but they are encouraged to and often do sing the “Ordinary” (the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, and Agnus Dei). Some places supplement (not replace) the Propers of the Mass with hymns (either in Latin or the vernacular) which the congregation sings with the choir.

Yes of course you should continue to fully participate in the Communion Rite; i.e. if a Communion hymn is being sung you should participate.

That is completely a local/personal custom. You are free to adopt whatever posture is customary and appropriate in your opinion.

Widely variable.

I have no idea what you mean by tridentine style [sic] masses so I can’t offer a response. I’m a cradle Catholic well aware of the liturgical reforms of Vatican II and the exceptions granted for those who choose to celebrate in accord with the 1962 Missal. Which Mass are you referring to?

I think the OP means Extraordinary Form mass (what you said - 1962 missal, pre-Vatican II)

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