What are the rules regarding standing BEFORE receiving Communion?

A few years ago, our Pastor announced that the new Bishop, in order to have uniformity within the Diocese, had instructed all parishes to change from kneeling shortly after the Sign of Peace to remain standing until we go up to receive Communion.

However, it appears that only a few of the parishes have adopted this new rule. Personally, I can’t stand it (pun intended). I so want to kneel, and a few people will usually do so, some out of habit, some just visiting and ignorant of the new rule, and some just because they think it is the more correct thing to do. Our Pastor tends to be rather liberal about things, so I don’t have a lot of confidence in what he says. Please advise what is the correct posture?


It is permissible and the discretion of the bishop to have people stand or kneel after the Agnus Dei. That is the rule in my archdiocese. However, people should be kneeling during the consecration.

I know that is true when one is in the Archdiocese of Portland, but do you know if Bishop Vasa decided on the same rules for Eastern Oregon?

It is suggestion only.

Neither the bishop nor the pastor can mandate posture.

We had the same situation…most stood. Over the last 2 years or less, things have changed. A more reverent NO by the pastor has quietly encouraged kneeling to the point where it is extremely rare to see someone standing.

I anticipate the new bishop changing the suggestion of the prior bishop for standing to a unified posture of kneeling.

And you can also sit without being disobedient.


I get the impression that Bishop Vasa is a strong shepherd, not swayed by relativism or modernism.


Bishop Vasa is bishop of the Diocese of Baker Oregon.

I often travel in Eastern Oregon (on photo weekends.) Every time I have attended Mass at any parish there, we knelt after the Agnus Dei.

Also, I will add that I have never encountered liturgical abuse in any parish in the diocese of Baker. Bishop Vasa seems to be a very faithful shepherd of the Church.

There is at least one parish in Portland where people typically kneel after the Agnus Dei. It is run by a religious order so I presume they have special permission from Archbishop Vlazny (of the Portland Archdiocese.) That parish has a reputation for being VERY faithful to Church teachings and while they (usually) say OF Mass, they tend toward the traditional expressions of Catholic faith and devotion.

From the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) approved for the USA, which can be accessed from romanrite.com/girm.html :
“43. … The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.
With a view to a uniformity in gestures and postures during one and the same celebration, the faithful should follow the directions which the deacon, lay minister, or priest gives according to whatever is indicated in the Missal.”
(With a footnote removed.)

To my knowledge, this is the only situation where an individual bishop decides the posture. It is not the same in the GIRMs for other countries. The more general rule, from the USA GIRM is:
“390. It is up to the Conferences of Bishops to decide on the adaptations indicated in this General Instruction and in the Order of Mass and, once their decisions have been accorded the recognitio of the Apostolic See, to introduce them into the Missal itself. These adaptations include
• The gestures and posture of the faithful (cf. no. 43 above); …”.

Well, I’ve never seen so much disunity and confusion. It sounds to me like the preference is for kneeling (what we’ve always done) unless the bishop makes a special exception? As soon as the Agnus Dei is over, quite a few people start to kneel, then remember they’re not supposed to, then look around at everyone to see what they’re doing, then some kneel anyway, and I find it so very disruptive. Wish they would quit trying to change everything all the time.

My other pet peeve is the lack of ringing the bells during the consecration. We have one parish in our Diocese that still does it, and oh what a beautiful sound!

After the Agnus Dei, the priest proclaims, “This is the Body of Christ” as he elevates the host. For me, the only acceptable response is to fall on my knees in adoration and humility.

That is only if you believe that Jesus is present and you do the proper response. In most areas most people would pay lip service to a vague belief, even Bishops.
That is indeed the appropriate response, yet these days it seems there is a widespread rejection of the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
But we should all support our Bishops decisons and pray for them. They have a difficult job, as there are few who are strongly faithful, most are struggling and all need our prayers and support.

Even if their decisions are questionable and they allow many to stray from the faith, support your Bishop and pray that they will live up to their vocations. I stand after the Agnus Dei as that is what my Bishop promotes, also we pour the Precious Blood, and don’t have the Priests purify the vessels, so even with all these things, I support my Bishop. He is a product of his generation and needs my prayers and support. There are many like him and unfortunately this is why the faith is so poorly expressed these days.

It is not just the Bishops and Priests fault, it is our fault for falling away from the faith and not raising large faithful Catholic familes with Priests and Religious filling our seminaries, convents, etc, with strong vocations.

In Christ

According to Bishop Vasa’s pastoral guidelines dated 12/3/2006, he states: “In the Diocese of Baker, it is most appropriate for the faithful to kneel after the Agnus Dei until the time arrives to receive Holy Communion, except in locations where kneeling is problematic.”

So it’s ultimately up to the local ordinary. I think people confuse this with the posture after communion – they can stand, kneel or sit based on their desires/needs. It’s solely up to them, not up to the local ordinary or the pastor…

Or personal pride if your local ordinary have directed that you stand during that point in the Mass. As humans it’s so very tough not to think we know better than our local direct descendants of the Apostles who act within the parameters set by the Church.

Has nothing to do with belief in the Real Presence. Has everything to do with placing our egos on hold when we feel we know better than the Church does.

That’s right – including standing when they licitly direct us to.

Not only does he “promote” it, the Church allows it.

Has there ever been a generation where bishops did not need to the support and prayers of the faithful they lead?

Yes, we all tend to forget that obedience and humility are virtues! I suppose standing and “offering up” my discomfort is the best course of action here! Still, curious why only some of the parishes in my Diocese comply. We’re in the Orlando Diocese, if anyone out there is familiar with it.

A) These changes take time. The parish may have a lot of older parishioners who don’t change the direction of their worship habits on a dime, and may even have permission to follow a different timeline, on that account.
B) Some pastors aren’t always inclined to do what their bishop has directed them to do, either.

I would assume A, or some other good reason, even though B is a possibility.

Thank you!

At our parish, we do not kneel during the consecration. They stand. Also, after communion has begun, the congregation sits and waits to walk up, sitting down once again after receiving. What are your thoughts on this and my desire to kneel during the consecration and after receiveng communion? I do not wish to go against any authority, but feel since our parish is not standing, my kneeling may be acceptable. I only wish to honor and adore Jesus truly present in the Eucharist.

Who was the $#$R^7^* who decided on that ??

I live in the Archdiocese of Portland, and I know that it certainly is wrong not to kneel immediately after the Agnus Dei, and fortunately, we now have a new Archbishop who, I have faith, will change this rule asking us not to kneel. I am currently in the process of writing a letter to him, asking with all due respect, that he remove this rule, if it is in accordance with his teaching. Hopefully, we can return to a time when reverence to God was the first of our priorities.

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