Why do most churches hand out Communion to those standing up?


I remember as a kid, we would kneel at the altar rail and receive Communion there. Why did this practice have to change?

Thx in advance.


You can do a search of this forum and find a multitude of threads where the subject has been discussed.


You already asked about kneeling vs standing in a prior thread.

The norm for receiving communion in the US is standing because the GIRM (160) states the faithful receive standing or kneeling as established by the bishop’s conference. And the US bishop’s conference established the norm as standing and that norm was approved by the Holy See.


You can do an internet search and find websites that show the history of how this happened. There’s more to the history of this than just “the US bishop’s conference established the norm as standing and that norm was approved by the Holy See.” It was not the norm in the US but bishops started to do this in some places in Europe. There seems to have been some politics involved and one person in particular pushing for it to happen to make it the norm in the US.
That said, there are still parishes out there where people kneel at the rail and receive communion on the tongue. It depends on your area.


It’s my understanding that Vatican II encouraged the examination of ancient rites that were unknown to the Council of Trent. Largely from ancient liturgies like the Divine Liturgy of Maronites with which the 20th century church had reacquainted itself, the council found that postures other than kneeling were signs of reverence and love in the early church. As a result, the GRIM now reflects a broader view of Chrisitan Tradition.


Because it is difficult to hand out Communion to those lying down.:shrug:


A bit of technical correction the Norm, as approved by the Vatican is Standing except for those who wish to kneel.

The Freedom to kneel is PART of the Norm.


That’s why there were altar rails, friend. :thumbsup:



Will research the history behind the change.


Although I have received Communion while in a hospital bed:blush: So I correct myself:shrug:


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