standing before & after Communion

Several years ago the diocese where my in-laws live changed the rules about Mass, so that there is no kneeling after the Our Father. From that point on, everyone stands, even after receiving Communion.

I don’t fully know the reasons–something to do with how elderly and disabled congregants might feel left out if everyone is kneeling and they themselves can’t because of infirmities.

For years my in-laws didn’t like the rule change at all and continued to kneel at the usual times. They’ve adapted and stand with everyone else now.

I don’t particularly like it. Standing just doesn’t feel right.


As I recall, the General Instructions of the Roman Missal (GIRM) says that one’s posture after communion is a matter of one’s choice. There were a few bishops in the 90s who mandated (or tried to mandate) the practice of everybody standing after communion until all had received. Although I find that practice to be odd and potentially problematic in many ways, I’m not going to tell a bishop what he should or shouldn’t do in his diocese, since the local ordinary is the regulator of the liturgy in his own diocese. Rome is the one that lays down the rules and rubrics regarding the mass, though.

My regular parish is FSSP (Traditional Latin Mass - Extraordinary) but when I go to a parish where the Novus Ordo is used and there is often standing rather than kneeling, I kneel before and after communion anyway.

You may get weird looks, but that’s the Almighty Creator of the Universe right there, so I’m gonna kneel anyway.

The bishop of the diocese where my parents live has mandated this requirement (standing until all have received)…if, for whatever reason, you are unable to receive, it becomes very awkward for you as you stand in the pew while everyone else is trying to navigate around you. I really don’t like it - but as a previous poster said, the bishop has the right…

I don’t know better than a bishop, or even the most humble parish priest, but some rules from Rome can’t be got around even by bishops. I’d find out if this is one of those.

And on a personal note: I just do what I was taught no matter whereever I assist at Mass. Of course, no one ever told me any of variations I saw came down directly from the bishop. If you find out that you’re not obligated to do what everyone else does at Mass, and you feel brave enough to do what you think is best, then I’d say kneel.

Lots of threads on this.

Posture for the Angus Dei up until communion is according to the bishop’s direction.

Posture immediately after receiving communion (while others are still receiving) is bishop’s directive (with additional options to kneel or sit if the bishop proscribed standing).

My general rule is that if the Eucharist is outside of the tabernacle at any time, I’m kneeling (unless walking up to receive) and if the Host is inside, I stand/sit/kneel according to direction.

In our diocese we are supposed to stand after Communion, but a noticeable number kneel instead. I’ve noticed this in most every parish I’ve visited. I’d guess this indicates the pastors of these parishes simply aren’t reminding everyone of the policy for whatever reason.

The idea is unity in worship, but I can’t frown on those who prefer to kneel. Their spiritual needs trump my opinion, imho.


Actually; I believe it was the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops who brought the mandate in when the New Roman Missal came in effect last Advent 2011.

I admit I don’t like it either. It serves little purpose and takes away from the proper disposed posture of adoration of the Eucharist on ones knees. But that’s beside the point.

Just kneel anyway. I mean, what’s the bishop gonna do, come into mass personally, watch you until the consecration, and then demand that you stand up instead of kneeling?

Heh. :smiley:

And how would that reminder change things?

It would go something like this, “Our Bishop has asked that everyone stand after Communion. The Vatican says that each person can choose to sit kneel or stand after Communion. I have noticed that some of you are taking the Vatican at its word but the Bishop wants you to stand. So, please stop listening to the Vatican and stand.”:rolleyes:

Ha! :shrug:

Tough to do in a small town. It’s not the bishop you have to be concerned with. It’s the disapproval of your fellow parishoners. :rolleyes:

Disapproval for kneeling? I can see it now…

Parishoner comes up to you. “So… Bob… I noticed you’ve been kneeling at the consecration recently. That’s really weird dude. Yeah. Weird.”

You: “:eek:”

No - it can’t be universal because the Archdiocese of Vancouver does not have this mandate in place. In fact, in Vancouver the faithful kneel during the entire EP and again after the Agnus Dei - as per US practice. Each Canadian bishop is not bound by the conference - that’s in canon law.

I think your forgetting that each of our local Bishop’s deserves our respect and obedience despite our personal feelings. That’s the crux of the matter.

In my Archdiocese there’s no Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the French or English deanery except Holy Thursday. I’m bilingual and go to both English and French Masses including the Cathedral which is usually French…

Given the increasing lack of priests all religious orders that formerly had tempoary stations for almost half a century in our city have been called back to their home religious orders at major metropolitan centers.

There used to be 24 hour Adoration in numerous parishes. Its heartbreaking now.
I’m praying hard our newly installed Archbishop brings Adoration back. Its not something one should simply take for granted.

I truly understand what you are saying. In fact, I agree, we should show our respect to our bishop.

But are you saying that we should respect our bishop ABOVE Jesus in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar?

That we should desist from kneeling at the consecration, one of the greatest mysteries of our faith?

I honestly don’t think the bishop at all means irreverence, I just think he has been lenient because of the dispositions of the people (who become more lukewarm as time passes) and he wishes to accommodate them slightly.

The universal norm in the GIRM for the last 37 years has been kneeling only at the Consecration. As far as I can tell from the Latin text I’ve seen, nothing has changed in that regard.

That said, different Bishops’ Conferences asked for and received adaptations for their own countries. The US asked for kneeling during the entire Eucharistic Prayer and the Vatican said OK so that binds the entire country. The US also asked for and received the adaptation that everyone will kneel after the Agnus Dei unless their bishop has decided otherwise. If the bishop of the diocese decrees no kneeling at that time the faithful in a spirit of obedience are supposed to obey. Here is the relevant article from the US GIRM:

GIRM 43 (…) In the Dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by ill health, or for reasons of lack of space, of the large number of people present, or for another reasonable cause. However, 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 (Lamb of God) unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.[53]

Now, after Communion the universal GIRM only says that you may sit during the sacred silence after Communion. That has been interpreted by many as sitting only after everyone has received Communion and the period of silent reflection started (a period of silence that lasts about 30 seconds in many parishes) and they tried to impose standing on everyone until that time. In fact, Rome was asked the question “Does the fact that the universal GIRM says that we stand until the period of silence mean that those who were used to kneeling when they return from Communion may no longer do so?” Rome replied that while unity of posture was important, this particular item was not to be interpreted so rigidly as to forbid kneeling, or in fact, sitting, upon return from Communion if that’s what the person wanted. OTOH, it didn’t rewrite the wording of the GIRM that I’ve been able to see. The universal norm remains we stand after Communion. The US GIRM says this:

GIRM 43 (…) The faithful should sit, on the other hand, during the readings before the Gospel and the Responsorial Psalm and for the Homily and during the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory; and, if appropriate, they may sit or kneel during the period of sacred silence after Communion.

Canada follows the universal norm but added, in our GIRM, that in those parishes where kneeling for the entire Eucharistic Prayer and after the Agnus Dei had been the custom it was good to retain that.

I didn’t say that. Perhaps if you care to read; (“The Rights and powers of the bishop”)

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