Suggestion from a bishop: kneel to receive communion

Has I tried to make very, very clear in my post: reasonable people can disagree on any of these things. No, our tongue is not consecrated, but our Lord told us to eat His body. So that argument does not hold. Certainly one of the main, traditional reasons a priest’s hands are consecrated is because they would be handling the Body and Blood of our Lord.

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Ah, but he told us to “take and eat”, not be fed. :upside_down_face: I mean no disrespect, I just find it odd that many people who prefer COTT leave the “take” out, which, to me is an implicit instruction to use my hands.

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But we are in fact explicitly forbidden to actually be “take” the host. We are supposed to receive it as a gift.


Not in my late mother’s parish! They knelt for Communion at an altar rail. They also knelt for the 12 Gospels for Passion Matins.

Now there’s no altar rail. Idk if everyone still kneels for the 12 Gospels although I highly doubt it because most of the parishioners are elderly.

If you look at the words of consecration in Slavonic, “Pri-mee-te” means “Receive” even though it’s translated as “Take” to accord with Scripture.


Wow! I mean, just, Wow! I’m just praying with all my heart that God in His mercy might allow me to receive Christ in the Eucharist as soon as He can. I haven’t received Him in my physical life since March 15 - that’s more than 60 days! And here you folks are complaining about proper reception! I mean, Please! Spare me your propriety! In truth, I could care less about whether I receive Him on my tongue or in my hand - I just want Him in my life again - body, soul and divinity! Dear God! This wrangling between Catholics about the “proper” way of reception is absolutely and deliberately divisive. Why do we do this? Shame on us! Why can’t we be as generous as the Church is in this matter? Hand, Tongue, Heart, Soul, Eternity. That’s all that matters. I understand that there are historical and ecclesial precedents that point to one manner of reception over another, but seriously! Have mercy! It’s Jesus Christ that matters, not how - HOW - we receive Him. Do you honestly think He cares? He just wants to love us. Why would we disparage any manner of reception as long as it’s honest, respectful and loving? How cruel can we be to one another? Stop this warring. It is disgraceful.


err, it is kneeling on Sunday that was banned.

Once upon a time, standing was the position of respect, and kneeling of repentance, both East and West. Kneeling in a western church on Sunday would also be verboten.

During the Middle Ages, people started kneeling to lords and kings in respect. As a consequence of this, people started kneeling to the King of Kings, who is surely entitled to whatever an earthly king is and then some, in respect.

In time, this garbled kneeling into a position of respect at some times, and of repentance at others.

When a westerner kneels in respect, he is doing the same thing that an easterner does whiles standing. When he kneels in repentance, he does the same thing an eastern does when kneeling.

The trouble is telling the two western behaviors apart at a glance, and also that so few understand that they are two different acts.


Yes, that was a very unfortunate mistype… I meant to say kneeling was banned. Otherwise the comment makes no sense in context - as I was defending standing and then mention that “kneeling came later”. Whoops!!

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As I said above, reasonable people can come to different conclusions. The Church, allows both means of reception. I find little reason to question other’s decision on the matter, I was only providing some if my own reasoning.

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I am posting these comments as something that should be considered in this discussion, sort of like Sic et Non where Peter Abelard offered quotes from the Fathers on both sides of a question.

First, the General Instruction on the Roman Missal Allows for the conference of Bishops to decide what postures be used during Mass. In the US version, it says:

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).

This is a heading from the linked article. Another way that could be added to this list comes from the USCCB, in their explanation of the norms for distributing Communion:

Holy Communion under the form of bread is offered to the communicant with the words “The Body of Christ.” The communicant may choose whether to receive the Body of Christ in the hand or on the tongue. When receiving in the hand, the communicant should be guided by the words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem: “When you approach, take care not to do so with your hand stretched out and your fingers open or apart, but rather place your left hand as a throne beneath your right, as befits one who is about to receive the King. Then receive him, taking care that nothing is lost.”

This is a little bit too simplistic of a history of kneeling during prayer. Yes, people kneeled to Kings, but they did so typically when they were asking for something. They actually may have copied this behavior towards Kings from common behavior when praying, not the other way around.

We should also remember that our Lord kneeled down when praying in the garden before his passion.

The Catholic encyclopedia gives a good overview.


I think those of us who advocate kneeling for communion aren’t saying that standing and CITH is not allowed, or even that it shouldn’t be allowed- we are saying that while both are allowed, one is better. I think perhaps this is what the bishop meant too, or he wouldn’t have suggested it.

It’s like, it’s not a sin not to pray the rosary daily, but praying it daily is just better for your spiritual life.

Just because something is allowed doesn’t make it the best choice. I think the bishop was suggesting ways to grow in spiritual life.


Well now you’ve done it. You’ve responded with kindness and common sense. Now :popcorn: for the inevitable, “But what about. . .”


I was SO EXCITED Sunday when Father distributed Holy Communion to us in the pews most of those around me (that I could see without looking around) stayed kneeling to receive. I did as well and I received on the tongue. It just felt so natural. I was so happy to be able to do this. When we go back to walking up in line to receive Our Lord I won’t be able to kneel because we don’t have a kneeler there and I sure can’t kneel in the aisle and get up without extreme help. But at least now I can. Thank You Lord.


That is lovely that you could kneel!
The question is, how hard would it be to install even a short communion rail for people who would prefer to use it? Or even have one kneeler (prie-Dieu) available for those who want to kneel for Communion?
I can’t understand why churches don’t install one. They act like it’s some ridiculous impossibility. “Well, we don’t have a Communion rail!” “We got rid of those in 1972!” Etc.

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It could be done but it would definitely take some more “math minded” people than me due to the space concerns in our Church. And it would have to be worked out how Father would distribute to those wishing to kneel and those wishing to stand without a major “traffic jam” right in front.

I will just be thankful for now that I am able to kneel to receive Our Lord.


Maybe using these pandemic measures will cause pastors will see the value in this beautiful practice of kneeling for communion, and they will facilitate it forever.

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