Standing through communion


#1

Easter greetings to all of you! I am writing from Canada. Can anyone tell me if there are any guidelines, rubrics, etc, regarding standing throughout communion. Ever since this directive was given to us by our Archbishop, I have found that the level of talking during communion has gone up considerably. Our church seats 1200 so communion can take awhile.


#2

Do you have kneelers or were they removed?


#3

Those crazy “Cannucks”:smiley:


#4

From Adoremus:

Kneel in prayer when you return to your pew after Communion, until the priest sits down, or until he says “Let us pray”. (GIRM 160 American adaptation says that people may “stand, sit or kneel”.)

[size=3]adoremus.org/0210MassGesturesPostures.html

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#5

Are you in Alberta, by chance? This is how it is in the Diocese of Calgary. The Diocese of Saskatoon gives the congregation the option of standing, kneeling, or sitting through communion. I can’t in good conscience remain standing after receiving communion when I attend the OF Mass, so I just kneel. I justify it as being unable to stand (not physically, but morally). If standing is just as reverent as kneeling, then why do those who receive communion while standing have to make a sign of reverence before receiving, but those who receive kneeling aren’t required to? I know this question isn’t about receiving posture, but it’s the same principle.

You’ll be happy to know that Rome has addressed this issue, and has stated that postures throughout communion are not to be so rigid that they prevent the faithful from kneeling or sitting, etc.

The letters from Rome can be found here:
voxcantor.blogspot.ca/2012/02/apostolic-nuncio-to-canada-on-kneeling.html?m=1


#6

It is the “norm” in our diocese to stand throughout communion and then sit once the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the Tabernacle. I know this is against the GIRM, however this was something started by our Bishop now Bishop Emeritus years ago, and this custom has been continued by our current Bishop. In fact he solidified his stance on it at this years Holy Thursday Mass. The rationale is that since we are all in communion, we should all maintain the same posture throughout the Communion Rite. I see his logic, however I find it flawed. Never mind the fact it goes against the GIRM.
Our family has elected, albeit apprehensively, to kneel anyway, even if we are the only ones in the church doing it, ( we are not, though there are not many of us.) I find myself torn with disobeying my Bishop, and obeying the Church, or vice versa. We visited the Cathedral in Rapid City SD a few years back and experienced what i thought was a compromise to this problem. Everyone remained standing until Communion was over and the Blessed Sacrament was reposed, then the assembly kneeled in prayer for a time. I could live with this posture myself.


#7

[quote="jason56716, post:6, topic:322997"]
It is the "norm" in our diocese to stand throughout communion and then sit once the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the Tabernacle. I know this is against the GIRM, however this was something started by our Bishop now Bishop Emeritus years ago, and this custom has been continued by our current Bishop. In fact he solidified his stance on it at this years Holy Thursday Mass. The rationale is that since we are all in communion, we should all maintain the same posture throughout the Communion Rite. I see his logic, however I find it flawed. Never mind the fact it goes against the GIRM.

Our family has elected, albeit apprehensively, to kneel anyway, even if we are the only ones in the church doing it, ( we are not, though there are not many of us.) I find myself torn with disobeying my Bishop, and obeying the Church, or vice versa. We visited the Cathedral in Rapid City SD a few years back and experienced what i thought was a compromise to this problem. Everyone remained standing until Communion was over and the Blessed Sacrament was reposed, then the assembly kneeled in prayer for a time. I could live with this posture myself.

[/quote]

Can you substantiate that it goes against the GIRM to have a common posture during Communion?

The GIRM has "42. A common bodily posture, to be observed by all those taking part is a sign of unity of the members of the Christian community gathered together for the Sacred Liturgy, for it expresses the intentions and spiritual attitude of the participants and also fosters them."

The USA edition of the GIRM has:

"160. The Priest then takes the paten or ciborium and approaches the communicants, who usually come up in procession.
It is not permitted for the faithful to take the consecrated Bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them on from one to another among themselves. The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling (Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum, March 25, 2004, no. 91).
When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body 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." (From usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/general-instruction-of-the-roman-missal/girm-chapter-4.cfm ).

This USA GIRM has: "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."

The GIRM in Australia has: "43. The faithful should sit, on the other hand, .... ; and, if appropriate, during the period of sacred silence after Communion." (Roman Missal, 2010, Catholic Truth Society, page 37.)

This "period of sacred silence after Communion" does not sound like the time during Communion to me.


#8

[quote="jason56716, post:6, topic:322997"]
It is the "norm" in our diocese to stand throughout communion and then sit once the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the Tabernacle. I know this is against the GIRM, however this was something started by our Bishop now Bishop Emeritus years ago, and this custom has been continued by our current Bishop. In fact he solidified his stance on it at this years Holy Thursday Mass. The rationale is that since we are all in communion, we should all maintain the same posture throughout the Communion Rite. I see his logic, however I find it flawed. Never mind the fact it goes against the GIRM.

Our family has elected, albeit apprehensively, to kneel anyway, even if we are the only ones in the church doing it, ( we are not, though there are not many of us.) I find myself torn with disobeying my Bishop, and obeying the Church, or vice versa. We visited the Cathedral in Rapid City SD a few years back and experienced what i thought was a compromise to this problem. Everyone remained standing until Communion was over and the Blessed Sacrament was reposed, then the assembly kneeled in prayer for a time. I could live with this posture myself.

[/quote]

Which diocese are you in? Because in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, the norm is kneeling throughout communion. I believe it is also the norm in Saint Cloud, but I am not sure (but that would be the diocese I would suspect to lay down such a "norm").


#9

[quote="GRATEFULONEjim, post:3, topic:322997"]
Those crazy "Cannucks":D

[/quote]

Lol. Too funny. But seriously, I have been to at least one parrish with no kneelers but the floor was carpet. I simply kneeled on the floor and it was actually worked out fine. Sadly, only about 10 to 15 percent of the congregation kneeled.


#10

[quote="Vico, post:4, topic:322997"]
From Adoremus:

Kneel in prayer when you return to your pew after Communion, until the priest sits down, or until he says “Let us pray”. (GIRM 160 American adaptation says that people may “stand, sit or kneel”.)

[size=3]adoremus.org/0210MassGesturesPostures.html[/size]

[/quote]

I typically stay kneeling until the priest says "Let us pray" although some people look at me funny because I choose to stay kneeling for an extra 15 seconds...


#11

It is within the purview of a bishop in the US to have a diocesan norm where the faithful remain standing after the Agnus Dei, for the GIRM says, “The faithful kneel after Agnus Dei unless the diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.”

The GIRM also states:

42 …attention should be paid to what is determined by the General Instruction and the traditional practice of the Roman Rite and to what serves the common spiritual good of the people of God, rather than private inclination or arbitrary choice. A common posture, to be observed by all participants is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community, 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.

IOW, if your priest ignores the GIRM, that is one thing. If your bishop exercises his prerogative to depart from it in ways that the Church has decreed that he might elect to depart from it, he is not putting you into a bind. You do what he says.

Having said that, the liturgists I’ve heard weigh in on the subject seem to agree that the faithful are free to elect to kneel or sit when they return to their place, after receiving Holy Communion. The implication seems to be that when the Archbishop of Portland directed that “In the Archdiocese of Portland, the faithful stand after the Lamb of God” the directive implied that one remains standing between the end of the Agnus Dei and the time at which they receive Holy Communion, but doesn’t necessarily imply that one must remain standing after returning until everyone else has received. So you might try to see exactly what your bishop directed, rather than relying on what the “word in the pews” is concerning what he wrote. That might clear things up for you.


#12

I think this standing up, kneeling down is way to confusing. Why does it have to be up to the Bishop to decide one way or another? I knee during the consecration and after receiving the Eucharist. Just about everyone else is standing.
That is at my parish. At my sister’s church everyone is kneeling.
I think we all should get on our knee’s and give thanks.


#13

The diocesan bishop has the right to regulate the posture from after the Agnus Dei until the personal reception of Holy Communion.

After the person returns to their seat after receiving Holy Communion, they may stand, kneel or sit as they wish.

The US bishops had asked Rome for a clarification of GIRM in this regard, and Rome responded

Concerning the practice of kneeling after receiving Holy Communion, Cardinal Francis George, chairman of the Committee on the Liturgy, submitted a dubium [question] to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments [CDW] on May 26, 2003:

Dubium: In many places, the faithful are accustomed to kneeling or sitting in personal prayer upon returning to their places after having individually received Holy Communion during Mass. Is it the intention of the Missale Romanum, editio typical tertia, to forbid this practice?

Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the CDW, responded to the question on June 5, 2003 (Prot. N. 855/03/L):

Responsum: Negative, et ad mentem (No, for this reason). The mens [reason] is that the prescription of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, no. 43, is intended, on the one hand to ensure within broad limits a certain uniformity of posture within the congregation for the various parts of the celebration of Holy Mass, and on the other, not to regulate posture rigidly in such a way that those who wish to kneel or sit would no longer be free.

The dubium and response appear in the July 2003 edition of the BCL Newsletter, published by the US Bishops Committee on the Liturgy.

adoremus.org/Kneeling-after-Communion.html


#14

I also found this posting about a letter from the Papal Nuncio to the bishops of Canada noting how the Responum to the US bishops also applies in Canada.

voxcantor.blogspot.com/2012/02/apostolic-nuncio-to-canada-on-kneeling.html#


#15

I appreciate the practice of standing or kneeling during holy communion. To stand in the presence of Christ until the holy sacrament is moved from the altar and the priest sits down shows utmost respect to our Lord and His servant priest.


#16

I have never heard or seen this practice before. Does anyone know what the rationale is for it?


#17

The rationale for it is GIRM 43, the article that dictates posture for the various parts of Mass. It’s clear from 43 that the posture at Communion time is standing until everyone has received and the post-Communion silence is observed. Now, as stated above, a dubium was submitted to Rome which replied that although the posture at that time is standing, it does not forbid kneeling or sitting upon return from Communion by those who wish to do so.

I have yet to figure out why a dubium was submitted at this time. As far as posture is concerned, 2002/2011’s GIRM 43, which has kneeling only at the Consecration, says pretty much the same thing as 1975’s GIRM 21 (which also limited kneeling to only at the Consecration) except to add that in parishes where they usually kneel throughout the Eucharistic Prayer and after the Agnus Dei it is laudable for that practice to be retained.

In both the 1975 & 2002/2011 GIRMs, Bishops Conferences are given the option to adapt posture for their countries.

In the US, the USCCB’s adaptation to the 1975 GIRM made kneeling throughout the Eucharistic Prayer mandatory throughout the country until the late 1990s when they opted to leave it up to individual bishops. In Canada, no adaption of the 1975 GIRM was made for the entire country and various practices could be found: kneeling throughout the Eucharistic Prayer, kneeling at the Epiclesis until the Mystery of Faith, kneeling only for the words of Consecration, kneeling after the Agnus Dei, no kneeling after the Agnus Dei, no kneeling at all at any time, etc.

The USCCB’s adaption of the 2002/2011 GIRM has kneeling throughout the Eucharistic Prayer until after the AMEN for everyone and kneeling at the “Ecce Agnus Dei” until Communion for everyone UNLESS the diocesan bishop determines otherwise. The CCCB mandates kneeling from the Epiclesis to the Mystery of Faith and retains the “where it is the practice for the people to remain kneeling after the Sanctus(Holy, Holy,Holy)until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer and before Communion when the Priest says"Ecce Agnus Dei”(This is the Lamb of God), it is laudable for this practice to be retained."


#18

I would disagree with that assessment.

GIRM 43 allows the diocesan bishop to mandate a posture of standing after the Agnus Dei. And the it provides that the faithful may sit, kneel or stand at the period of silence after Communion

But the key here is that the GIRM does not note when exactly the period of silence starts. Is it the silence of the community (when the Communion hymn is over) or is it the silence of personal reflection when returning to the pew.

Adoremus provides a transcript of the bishops discussion on the matter back in 2001

Archbishop Chaput: And what Bishop Clark is suggesting is that nobody sit or kneel until everybody receives; and then they can. So they’re not really the same issue it seems.

Archbishop Lipscomb: Well, again, if that was the bishop’s intention I don’t think we would accept that as practice for the United States - until everybody goes to Communion then you either sit or kneel, that everybody remains standing until then. I just don’t think that follows the practice of most of our churches in the United States.

Archbishop Chaput: See, I agree with you, but I thought this was confusing so I was just asking for a clarification. So the period of silence can begin as soon as you receive, if you want to go back and sit down, or kneel.

Archbishop Lipscomb: You can sit down, or you can kneel - or you can stand. That’s included previously.

Archbishop Chaput: Okay, thank you…

adoremus.org/KneelingafterCommunion.html

That is why they, as a bishop’s conference’ needed to seek Rome’s guidance.

The CDWDS is the originator of the GIRM (not the bishops), and as is the legislator under Canon 16. So the bishops had to ask Rome what Rome’s intent was with GIRM 43. Then needed to find out when the period of silence starts, and the bishops were hesitant to make guesses, especially in an area where they did not have the authority under Canon Law


#19

I wasn’t asking why they had to ask Rome, rather why they had to ask Rome NOW when the same posture rule had been in effect since 1975.

Since the Communion chant is to continue at least until everyone has received, I really don’t see how we can say the “period of silence” starts after the first person’s received Communion. That simply doesn’t make sense.

Note that the CDWDS never said that the “period of silence” starts right after the first person’s Communion, it simply said that while the common posture is standing, it doesn’t forbid people from kneeling or sitting when they return from Communion if that’s their wish.


#20

Because their was a new GIRM.

Since the Communion chant is to continue at least until everyone has received, I really don’t see how we can say the “period of silence” starts after the first person’s received Communion. That simply doesn’t make sense.

Where does the GIRM state that the ‘silence’ is communal. If a person is silent in their pew after they receive Holy Communion, is that still not silence?

Note what +Chaput stated

Archbishop Chaput: See, I agree with you, but I thought this was confusing so I was just asking for a clarification. So the period of silence can begin as soon as you receive, if you want to go back and sit down, or kneel.

Are you honestly trying to claim that +Chaput could not read the GIRM

Note that the CDWDS never said that the “period of silence” starts right after the first person’s Communion, it simply said that while the common posture is standing, it doesn’t forbid people from kneeling or sitting when they return from Communion if that’s their wish.

No, but it did answer the root of the question, does the GIRM mandate a standing position after one returns


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