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Thursday, August 27, 2009

On Kneeling in The United States

It has been on my heart recently to kneel for Holy Communion. I have received this way a few times and I must say it provides a focus on the Eucharist that can sometimes be lost when standing. When I kneel my eyes are immediately turned toward the Eucharist. When I stand I sometimes find myself looking at the EME or the Priest or deacon. Unless they raise the Precious Body up to eye level.
Well, it's really been on my mind so I've been praying a lot on it. What does God want me to do. He answered me today.

In conducting some other research online I discovered this on the USCCB website:

"The new edition of the General Instruction asks the Conference of Bishops in each country to determine the posture to be used for the reception of Communion and the act of reverence to be made by each person as he or she receives Communion. The Conference of Bishops of the United States has determined that in this country Communion will be received standing and that a bow will be the act of reverence made by those receiving. These norms may require some adjustment on the part of those who have been used to other practices, however the significance of unity in posture and gesture as a symbol of our unity as members of the one body of Christ should be the governing factor in our own actions."

So I have a frame of reference. The Lord knows what is in my heart. Now I know what He wishes for me and, most importantly, how to teach my children.

The rest of The Reception of Holy Communion at Mass from the Committee on Divine Worship.


Maurisa said...

Food for thought--Pope Benedict has just recently instructed that those who receive communion from his hands must kneel. Also, the Vatican has instructed all Bishops that extraordinary practices of reverence are NOT to be discouraged. In other words, those that choose to kneel for communion must be allowed to do so. I feel there is movement from the Holy See toward more reverence toward the Holy Eucharist.

You may be interested in this story a friend sent to me:


And also this letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship, may give you more to consider:


I, myself, do not kneel for Holy Communion, but I do believe it is the more correct and reverent posture. We used to genuflect before receiving, but discarded that practice when the USCCB instructed the faithful to bow before reception. Often I am drawn to re-take up my previous act of reverence. Maybe I will do just that.

This is a great post and gives one much to consider. Thanks for making me think about it in more depth!

Sarah - Kala said...

So, does that mean you will stand and bow?

I still genuflect 'cos it is a big habit now. No one has bothered me about it and I really don't think anyone cares to tell the truth. I think many just line up 'cos that's what you do.

I hope I"m wrong.


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