4 thoughts on “Vatican Prefect on Sacraments calls for communion while kneeling and on tongue

  1. I absolutely love receiving kneeling on the tongue, it only makes sense. However it was decried to me in this way by a monsignor: The lay people Re to participate in the Holy Mass in a prescribed fashion at certain times, like sitting/standing/kneeling at appropriate points in the liturgy… This also applies to receiving communion. SOME rites do call for receiving on the tongue, like the Tridintine or “Latin” mass. In this case everyone does it at the communion rail. As far as the United States goes, our bishops have deemed it appropriate for the congregation in the normal daily or Sunday mass to process up to the front of the church and receive standing.

    I used to ignore that prescription and kneel anyway, even though I was the odd man in the church. I didn’t care, they should be doing it too!! Then I was informed of the bishops’ decree about everyone doing the same thing. It cannot be ignored that we as lay people should obey the prescriptions of the bishops, and respect their God given authority in the apostolic order… I very much disagree with their decision to have people stand, we SHOULD kneel in my opinion, but hey, that’s not my call. It is my duty as a layperson to do what I’m told by the Church. If I’m in Latin mass, I kneel. If I’m at regular mass, I stand. That’s it, and I no longer have the anxiety I used to have about maybe not being as respectful as we could be. The pressure is on the bishops for being wrong, no longer on me.

    Other countries’ bishops have prescribed that THEY kneel to receive, but in the US we have it this way. I offer the turmoil in my heart over “not kneeling” as a gift to the Lord, and He knows that I love Him. I have reached a compromise in that when I process up the aisle, I kneel before receiving (with every movement having as much calculated reverence as I can give it) and then receive standing. I always receive on the tongue because particles ARE lost when we use our hands. Decent compromise in my book, everyone’s happy.

  2. Jamison,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I admire your respect for the authority of the bishops. That’s awesome. However, the Monsignor that spoke to you left out an important fact. Every Catholic has the right to receive communion kneeling and/or on the tongue. This is an firm decree from the Vatican that no bishop or conference has the authority to reverse. So while it may be customary in some countries to receive standing, any particular individual can still receive kneeling and not feel that he/she is being a rebel. It’s entirely up to the individual’s choice.

    Another important fact to remember: if we choose to receive standing, we MUST still genuflect or make a profound inclination before receiving. We rightly genuflect as we enter or exit the church, out of reverence for the Eucharistic Lord. Even more so are we obliged to do so as we are about to receive Almighty God into our body and soul in communion. This is built into the act of receiving while kneeling, but those who receive standing almost never do this.

    Take care.

  3. Hi Jamison,
    If you go to the Vatican website and look up on the Instruction called “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” you will read, on paragraphs number 90 ans 91:

    [90.] “The faithful should receive Communion kneeling or standing, as the Conference of Bishops will have determined”, with its acts having received the recognitio of the Apostolic See. “However, if they receive Communion standing, it is recommended that they give due reverence before the reception of the Sacrament, as set forth in the same norms”.176

    [91.] In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them”.177 Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.

    So, according to the last setence of the previous paragraph, in the end it is completely up to the communicant to receive communion in his or her preferred manner. I always do it kneeling and on the tongue, no matter what the priest or the bishop says.

  4. Hi again Jamison,

    I forgot to mention in the previous comment that on the subsequent paragraphs of the same document it is also mentioned the question of receiving communion on the tongue:

    [92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice,178 if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to thefaithful.179

    [93.] The Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful should be retained, so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling.180

    What is sad is that the use of the Communion-plate has been completely eliminated when it should always be used.

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