QUAERITUR: kneeling for Communion causing disruption

From a reader:

Last month I was denied Holy Communion for kneeling by the associate priest at my parish in ___. I couldn’t believe this happened to me but had heard that this has happened before.

I am new to having to defend the traditions of the Church so I decided to write a letter asking why this happened with support from the GIRM and Canon Law. I am new to having to defend the traditions of the Church to some of her priests.

I received a reply from the actual pastor saying that Canon Law does indeed say it isn’t permitted but that in the past he has asked those who kneel to stand with the regular excuses that it might disrupt and cause disorder.

I am wondering if you can offer me any other supporting documents that prohibit such actions and if there are loop-holes that allow this to happen?

First, take a look at this page for tips about how to write to ecclesiastical authority.

People have the right to kneel. They must not be impeded or denied Communion if they do. You can review Redemptionis Sacramentum on these points.

The other part of this is trickier.

You must decided, after a good examination of conscience, how much of this is about imposing your own will in the face of resistance.

I want to see everyone kneel if they can, of course, and receive directly on the tongue. But we are living in a transition time. Many elements of the silly season are still going strong. We must be patient.

I don’t buy that a person kneeling causes disruption. I think that the priest insisting that people stand causes more disruption. But, consider your motives well.

Review everything you have written and received. If you need to make another move, after having consulted the pastor and received back a letter, then you may have recourse either to the local bishop – probably the best next move – or the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome.

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57 Responses to QUAERITUR: kneeling for Communion causing disruption

  1. Cortney says:

    I attend Mass in a parish that offers both the EF and OF of the Mass. Normally I always attend the EF but on occasion must instead attend the OF. Last year I noticed at the OF that several people knelt to receive in the line, which did seem to cause a bit of disruption (not for the priest but for those next in line). Others removed themsleves from the line and knelt at the altar rail off to the side or, where there was no railing, off to the side on the steps. Before kneeling for Communion at the OF, I asked the pastor’s permission to do so, which he granted. This has now become common practice at our parish: at the OF, those who want to stand in line to receive Communion do so; those who prefer to kneel and receive on the tongue do not stand in line or kneel in line but kneel at the railing or off to the side. Once the priest has given Communion to all of those in the line, he then attends to those who are kneeling. This works quite well and doesn’t disrupt things at all. Once people started kneeling off to the side, no one knelt in line anymore but joined the off-to-the-side kneelers. This group, at the OF Masses, is growing and growing and growing.

  2. Frankly, I cannot understand how or why a pastor would insist on ignoring
    the serious instructions of Redemptionis Sacramentum. I also wonder how many
    priests have read it and how many bishops take the trouble to make sure their
    priests read instructions from Rome.

  3. PNP, OP says:

    An older priest I worked with once insisted on denying communion to those who knelt. I saw him more than once do so. Each time a short, animated debate started in the communion line over canon law! Since he objected to kneeling b/c it he thought it caused a disruption, I pointed out to him that his refusal of communion only added to the disruption. I asked him if it wouldn’t just be less disruptive to give the person communion. His response, “No. That means they win.” Oy.

    Fr. Philip, OP

  4. TJM says:

    Fr. Philip, a priest like you described should be suspended a divinis. Tom

  5. Altbanater says:

    I have seen where an occasional person receives Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue at the OF
    and never thought it caused a disruption in the distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful. I’d be
    curious to hear from those that have observed this and found it to be disrupting to describe exactly
    what they found to be disrupting about it and the degree of the disruption.

  6. MargaretMN says:

    One of my strongest memories of the Mass at the Student Parish I attended in London was how nearly everybody (students from all over the world) had a different way of receiving communion. The Irish knelt, the Americans received in the hand (nearly everybody else did on the tongue) The Japanese bowed, and others had other pre-reception gestures. The Jesuits, being Jesuits, just went with whatever everybody’s custom was.

  7. kmerian says:

    I am a EMHC at my parish. And if someone knelt to recieve communion in my line, I would give it to them and go on. I agree that the commotion would be in making an issue of it.

    But, at the same time, I must wonder why the insistence on it? The important thing in communion is WHO you are receiving not HOW you receive him. Perhaps Fr. Z can explain it better. But wouldn’t insisting on receiving it in a certain position almost border on superstition under Canon Law, by attributing “the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.”

    Just my thought.

  8. Romulus says:

    Our parish (both OF and EF) has and uses its communion rail, but Holy Communion also is given at stations outside the rail, before each of the two side altars. There the practice had been to distribute to standing communicants, but recently we introduced prie-dieus into the configuration. This makes it easier for communicants to kneel, and sends the subliminal message that kneeling is the better choice. No one is refused for reasons of posture.

    In addition I have instituted a firm rule for our acolytes, that no one will serve in the sanctuary unless he (yes, HE) receives kneeling and on the tongue. That is a rule I CAN enforce. One member of the acolyte corps is excused from kneeling for reasons of age and infirmity; everyone else kneels. I hope this helps set the tone. I know it is good for us personally.

  9. james says:

    It disrupts unity to Vatican 2 and the “changes” since. Psycholigical unity
    is what gets “disrupted”. “Remnants” disrupt modern progression. I do not
    say this to sound anti-Vatican 2. Not my point, for there are wonderful
    Catholics involved in the New Mass (i.e. Fr. John Corapi, Archbishop Chaput,
    and so on) Certianly the New Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict is reverent.

    That said, when I have to go to the New Mass (I am Traditional FSSP) I kneel.
    And will continue to do so. Not out of defiance, nor as a thorn in the side
    of unity. But because it is the Eucharist. The Body of Christ. Of which I am
    certainly most unworthy.

    Indeed, this should have never changed. All should receive on the tongue. I
    believe Pope Paul VI even wished this…. Where I go, the laity seem to be
    the ones with the problem. Not the priest. Indeed, in Florida, we had one
    priest come to our family and say he wished everyone came to communion the
    way we did. New Mass. Somewhat modern. The homily was even about
    the wonderful blessings of receiving communion in the hand! I kid you
    not. (We were on holiday and it was our sole option)

    Many go to communion with less emotion than they exude whilst shopping
    at the mall, or golfing on the links. In general, I mean. Not a judgement.
    Simple observation. Young people dressed most imappropriately, particularly
    women… is this not more disruptive, particularly to the priest and altar
    boys, than a few of us kneeling to receive our Lord and Saviour? (Not to
    start a tangent thread here, but…..!)

  10. Nerina says:

    Kmerian,

    I think examining our personal motives is always a good idea. But I can also see that the way in which we receive the Eucharist is important to many, many people. I have recently begun receiving Communion on the tongue. And I must admit, I was uncomfortable because not many in my church do this. I asked our priest if he had any objection to it and I also verified that the EMHCs were trained in distributing in this manner. I was assured that receiving on the tongue was perfectly fine, but STILL I meet with resistance. Some EMHCs don’t appear comfortable at all. I’ve even had one try to put the host in my clasped hands.

    I decided to change my way of receiving our Lord in the Eucharist after much prayer and reading. I felt strongly that this was something I had to do to help me appreciate the gift. I think people who also want to kneel may be trying to appreciate the gift too and want to show this appreciation in their posture. Does this make sense?

  11. Herbert says:

    Here in my country in the Philippines, parishes are large and the line is long because almost everyone in town is Catholic and a large segment of the people are church going. Hence Sundays are always a busy time for the parish church. There are ten masses in our parish alone during Sundays. The first Mass starts at dawn 4:00 a.m. and the last Mass is at 7:00 p.m. There are long lines for communion. To kneel down would really create a disruption. Hence during Sundays, even if I want to kneel I simply make a genuflection and then extend my tongue. The priest does not protest or complain. But on Weekdays when the church goers are not that many I kneel down to receive communion. But I always fall in line last in order not to disrupt anyone who happens to be on my back. But the sad observation I see is that in my parish they no longer use the patten to protect the host from falling down. I’ve seen several times that some hosts would fell on the ground and the priest or the extraordinary minster of communion pick up the host casually just like any ordinary bread. Indeed very sad.

  12. Milehimama says:

    I spoke to my priest about it ahead of time, told him I planned to kneel for Communion, and asked if he preferred that I go last so as not to disrupt the line. That may be an option (don’t ask for permission, but rather try to find a way around that objection.)

    Go with a spirit of helpfulness and cooperation, a “how can we work this out” attitude. You might be surprised.

    (He told me of course I shouldn’t go last and it was no problem – even though I was the only kneeler in the parish!)

  13. Henry Edwards says:

    Kmerian: But, at the same time, I must wonder why the insistence on it?

    One might also wonder why Pope Benedict insists on it (among all who receive from him). For the answer they could read the section on kneeling in his book Spirit of the Liturgy.

  14. LCB says:

    Kmerian,

    It’s not about superstition.

    It’s about worshiping my Lord and God. If the Angels in the presence of God cover their faces, bodies, and feet with wings because of his utter holiness, the least I can do is kneel.

  15. How is it disruptive to kneel?
    It is disruptive ONLY if people are mindlessly approaching the altar for Holy Communion and not paying attention. If it is “disruptive” it only proves that the typical NO mode of receiving Communion is a few steps away from impiety!
    Clearly, I am getting fed up with “assembly line” Communion.
    The traditional way is so much more theologically powerful. People approach the rail and kneel in humble adoration. Then the priest bears Christ to them. Reverence and order are intrinsic to this mode.
    Why did the idiot liturgists of the 60’s think they could reinvent the wheel???

  16. Simon Platt says:

    Dear Kmerian,

    That’s extraordinarily harsh, and ill-judged. I’m afraid it reminds me of a stupid comment I heard from a woman who wished to see altar rails removed from a parish church here in England: “I kneel in my heart”. For some of us, when our hearts say “kneel”, our knees obey.

  17. Dino says:

    It is my preference to kneel in the presence of God.
    However, even in “the olden days” (Pre V2) exceptions were made. I was on crutches and our very “old country” Irish pastor noticed that juggling them at the altar railing was somewhat awkward.
    He met me after Mass and said that it would be perfectly okay to stand to receive Communion.

  18. RBrown says:

    An older priest I worked with once insisted on denying communion to those who knelt. I saw him more than once do so. Each time a short, animated debate started in the communion line over canon law! Since he objected to kneeling b/c it he thought it caused a disruption, I pointed out to him that his refusal of communion only added to the disruption. I asked him if it wouldn’t just be less disruptive to give the person communion. His response, “No. That means they win.” Oy.
    Fr. Philip, OP

    Comforting to know that an older Dominican would be so comfortable with such a lack of logic.

    IMHO, all the handshaking and hugging is much more disruptive than one person kneeling to receive Holy Communion.

  19. Simon Platt says:

    Dear Dino,

    Yes, of course! And some infirm people I know, staunch traditionalists, do not scruple to receive Our Lord leaning on their sticks or sitting in their wheelchairs. But of course that’s not the case here.

  20. Edward Martin says:

    About a year ago my wife decided she wished to begin kneeling for communion. As we headed to Sunday Mass I asked her to which parish she wished to go. As I came to the “fork in the road” she told me that she had asked the Holy Spirit to guide me and that I make the decision. Well I turned right instead of left. When we got to the parish we found out that it was a visiting priest, but my wife decided to ask him anyway about kneeling for communion. His response? “I have been trying to get people TO DO THAT forever at my parish!” Thank you Holy Spirit. Since that time, after confirming with the Bishop, the regular parish priest is fine with kneeling as long as we go to the end of the line so we don’t trip anyone up.

  21. Simon Platt says:

    We don’t know for sure that Fr. Philip’s argumentative colleague was a Dominican …

  22. o.h. says:

    A problem with different forms of reception in the different rites is that, while it’s easy enough for us adults to go back and forth, I’ve discovered it’s a real problem for younger children. My middle child, who just received her First Communion this year in the EF, is having real problems with receiving at the OF (as we must when on vacation, for instance). I remind her in advance to say amen and not to kneel, but she gets confused, and then the confusion affects how she receives at our regular TLM. She was refused the Eucharist last Sunday at the OF because she forgot to say “amen,” and was so flustered by trying to remember what to do that the Eucharistic Minister assumed she was under age and not receiving.

  23. Paul Haley says:

    Receiving communion on the tongue while kneeling was the discipline of the Roman Church before the Novus Ordo was implemented. But, it was not a hard and fast law since the elderly, the infirm and others who had difficulty kneeling, could always receive while standing or in a wheelchair. That is also the case in the traditional chapel devoted exclusively to the traditional Mass that I attend.

    I think common sense has to play a role here and disruption of order to be avoided. What if Jesus were to appear miraculously from the tabernacle in His Glorified Body? Would he refuse to warmly welcome anyone who approached Him because their bodily posture was in error – i.e., different from the norm? More likely, we would all prostrate ourselves on the floor before the overwhelming majesty of His Countenance. Sometimes common sense is the most uncommon sense of all.

  24. RBrown says:

    Why did the idiot liturgists of the 60’s think they could reinvent the wheel???
    Comment by Viator Catholicus

    They were motivated by a Community of Man ideology that masquerades as Ecumenism. And so they wanted to eliminate as much as possible any acknowledgment of the supernatural and anything distinctively Catholic.

  25. Magdalene says:

    I just read the little book by Bishop Athanasius Schneider called DOMINUS EST. It can be purchased from Newman House publishing. It is on Holy Communion and the needfulness of receiving both kneeeling and on the tongue.

    He highlights the Eucharistic devotion of three women who helped to keep the faith alive under the athiestic communist rule. Three Eucharistic women who would not dream of receiving in the hand.

    I recommend this book.

  26. Nicandro says:

    On disruption, why is it ok to come forward for a blessing at some masses. This is pretty distruptive and unnecesary.
    I saw the recent mass on the BBC for the installation of Archbishop Nicholson at Westminster in England and Wales. Communion looked like an assembly line. Nobody knelt. 9 out of 10 received the Eucharist in the hand. A great opportunity to make a statement about the Eucharist on all parts was missed. Instead every fifth or sixth person was going up for a pointless and indulgent “blessing”. Now that’s disruptive!

  27. mbd says:

    Anyone who watches the EWTN Mass televised from Birmingham will see each day several communicants from the two lines kneel for communion. It is clear that this does not disrupt or slow the lines to any noticeable degree. I doubt that those who claim it does produce disruption lack any empirical support for the claim. Perhaps it should be suggested to them that they watch reception of communion on EWTN, and see if their minds are open enough to change.

  28. Nicandro says:

    Sorry, Efficiency is no argument. I don’t think it should be about getting it all over and done with efficiently and quickly. Where else are people going on a Sunday… Shopping?

  29. Ron Garcia says:

    First of all Fr. Z, i have been reading your blog for a couple of months now! It totally rocks!

    To Kmerian,

    Is it possible that there are those who truly believe that they are face to face with the Lord of the universe? In that moment before they become one flesh with the created Charity, which is Christ himself, there is an awe that comes over the heart of the faithful believer that will not allow Him to act as if he is bigger than the “WHO”. Knowledge of the Christ and what the Church teaches are good things, however the disposition in the heart of a Catholic whose spiritual life is centered squarely on the Eucharist, leads them to an authentic love Christ in the Eucharist. It doesn’t make them better, but, if the love is authentic, it seems to me that it would be natural for our body posture to follow suit with our interior dispostion. As a former cop, it is natural for someone who lies to break eye contact, to fidget, to shift their bodies. Perhaps, we should not question the motives of the lover, we should just accept that it is love that compels them.

    Pax,

    Ron

  30. Maureen says:

    The obvious way to avoid “disruption” is for the ushers to keep people from treading on each others’ heels. If there’s a good six or seven feet between the head of the line and the person receiving, there’s no problem, whatever position people take. Gives the standing people a lot more room to bow heads, also.

    Sheesh. People make these kinds of problems for themselves — not because they’re hard to figure out solutions, but because they don’t want solutions.

  31. Kimberly says:

    When it comes to recieving Our Lord, common sense tells me that I should always show as much love and respect as I can, body and mind. At times, even kneeling doesnt’ seem like enough. I just can’t figure out WHY anyone would want to stand in front of Our Lord. It’s God for heavens sake. I sometimes wonder what people will do on judgement day when they are facing God. I’ll tell you for sure, I AIN’t gonna be standing!

  32. james says:

    \”IMHO, all the handshaking and hugging is much more disruptive than one person kneeling to receive Holy Communion.\”

    Amen! not to mention the drums… Electric keyboards…
    and so on…. The Mass is being turned into a Petecostal
    worship service.

    Where has reverence gone? The way of vocations… Church
    attendance… and so on. A return to tradition may be a
    return to both reverence and vocational interest…. Our
    children deserve better. They deserve reverence. Humility.

    (I\’ll add that I never go to \”Eucharistic Ministers\” when
    I have to go to the New Mass)

    o.h. – Why not tell your daughter to receive Communion
    kneeling. Why change to appease the modernists? Maybe
    they should change? Just a thought.

    Magdalene – Thanks for the book title. (This is a wonderful,
    important website, by the way)

  33. Michael J says:

    It occurs to me that the current (indulgenced?) practice of standing in a communion line also makes it more difficult to refuse communion without causing a disruption.

    I do not know if this was intentional, but in the “old days”, when everybody knelt at the Communion Rail, the Priest could easily pass by those whome he knew were unworthy with a good possibility that nobody else would notice.

    Now, however this cannot happen. Too bad.

  34. o.h. says:

    james,

    Believe me, I’ve thought hard about it. Basically, my fear of making my child stand out in what many would perceive as “making a statement,” plus my introspective self-doubts about whether I would be using my child for an agenda of my own, holds me back. Not saying those are great or clear reasons.

    Besides, I’m not sure how much just kneeling would help: the whole situation is so different between the OF and EF … standing in a line, answering “amen” or not, kneeling on the floor versus at an altar rail, receiving from an EEM rather than from Father, the EEM holding up the Host and saying “The Body of Christ” versus Father’s more ceremonial words and gestures … it’s just too much for a smallish child who is just learning the ropes to process. Frankly my solution has been to keep to the EF as much as possible.

  35. james says:

    “Basically, my fear of making my child stand out in what many would perceive as “making a statement,” plus my introspective self-doubts about whether I would be using my child for an agenda of my own, holds me back. Not saying those are great or clear reasons.”

    There can be tremendous Grace in the example of a smallchild, especially where reverence is concerned. Thatsaid, I hear what you are saying. Your solution is the best there is. I chose the same. God bless. JMJ/iHs

  36. Amy says:

    I’ve recently run into an issue at my Diocese where those receiving on the tongue were REFUSED Holy communion in the guise of “swine flu precautions”. I live by Dallas TX and a letter went out from the Bishops office saying everyone was to receive Our Lord by hand ONLY until further notice. My husband, my children and I only receive by tongue-my children don’t even know how to receive by hand. I watched a lady with a sleeping infant refused the Host all together because she was unable to use her hand. I, myself, was refused as well while holding a squirming two year old.

  37. I guess I'm disruptive says:

    I was a chaperone at a youth group retreat and I knelt to receive Communion during the Mass. I was yanked out of the church on my way back to my pew before I could even give Thanksgiving, and was told that “we don’t do that here” and that I either stand or lose my job.

    Basically, I was fired for kneeling to receive Communion.

  38. Anne Scanlon says:

    Many years ago I felt Our Lord was asking me to kneel to receive Him in Communion. Due to my own pride, it took me some time before I finally knelt…and I am ashamed to admit even then I was concerned about what people would think.
    Since then I have been refused, told to stand, asked to go to elsewhere,ignored and criticized…all by the clergy.
    However, no one has ever tripped over me and the only comments heard by me from the laity were positive ( am sure there were many negative as well…but never told to me).
    it would seem Our Holy Father is trying to tell us all something by his recent practice of using kneelers and giving Commnion on the tongue.
    I would ask…Can one be too reverent ?? I think not.

  39. Anne Scanlon says:

    p.s. sorry I meant to also say…..there were beautiful positive comments from clergy as well

  40. james says:

    O.H. – I meant my solution was to join an FSSP apostolate.
    Not that my children would stand whilst receiving Communion.
    They never will.

    As said above, I wish you the best. I can tell your heart
    is good and you love your child.

  41. pjsandstrom says:

    A question out of curiosity. If the celebrating clergy in both the East and the West of the Church receive standing, and in the East the laity habitually receives standing — why all this fuss about kneeling by the laity in the West?

  42. Maureen says:

    Re: why the fuss about kneeling?

    You’re dissing the special vocation of the laity, and the signs thereof, and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit given thereto. Go directly back to Vatican II. Do not pass Go, do not collect 200 dollars. :)

    Seriously, we laity are allowed to worship God with our body in all the traditional ways there are, and we don’t have to be all clergy-copycats when we do it.

    Furthermore, at various times and places, it’s been judged more appropriate for the clergy celebrating Mass (ie, standing in His presence around the Throne and serving Him) to imitate the angels “who stand in Your presence and serve You” than it is for laity.

    I believe it’s also been pointed out that when Jewish laypeople stand during a service, they traditionally go to great lengths to make sure their standing posture is properly imitative of the angels — ie, they keep their legs locked together at all times. Thus, standing for them is indeed a ritual posture like kneeling properly, not just standing the same way as normal.

  43. Sacertodale says:

    There are a couple of people who like to receive kneeling at the convent where I go to Mass. It seems a bit much to me, but they are certainly reverent (and quick about it). That they or anyone else might find themselves refused the Eucharist by some clericalist priest with a control fetish is an outrage. “Disruptive?” Not by half, and certainly not so disruptive as the argument before the Host, as described by others above. Even in these days of the “50 minute Sunday special,” is it so important that communion be done with quickly? Preposterous!

  44. Flo says:

    To “I guess I’m Disruptive” et al,

    So sad that you have had to hide your piety; but what a powerful prayful position in which you find yourself! I hope that you will use it to the benefit of those who hurt you.

    Kneeling out of love of God is NEVER wrong.

    Blessed are the persecuted.

  45. PAX,
    to avoid any problems form the laity /’disruption’etc.., (though the Abbey where i attend has absolutely no problem with it),
    i try to be last! or as close as possible, to last, in line…
    but though one does then tend to stand out(no pun intended :P), but ive also noticed of late 2 other people starting to kneel(out of 400) to receive too..so.

  46. michigancatholic says:

    Well, there’s always the Catholic church down the road. If I were the letter writer, I’d sure be out of that parish in record time. I’d take my wallet with me, too.

  47. michigancatholic says:

    pjsandstrom,

    Kneeling vs standing has taken on a symbolic meaning over and above its meaning as a posture of worship. There have been many extremely blatant & obnoxious attempts to derail worship during the mass in favor of a lot of asinine & totally ridiculous things and this is just one more of them, PJ. That’s the problem.

    Ostensibly I might agree with you — except that posture doesn’t mean so much until you are tortured with it and then it takes on a meaning of its own. This explains the reaction you see here.

  48. mfg says:

    Magdalene: Thank you for mentioning the book by Bishop A. Schneider, Dominus Est, which I will acquire soonest. I was very impressed with his presentation on EWTN regarding reception of communion on the tongue while kneeling. What a holy man, and what a compelling life story. He was asked by the priest who was interviewing him (who shall remain nameless): paraphrasing: …but what about the fact that I’m now a man and I can feed myself… I was shocked at the effrontery and lack of comprehension. Rosaries, people.

  49. I always kneel (except when my knees are acting up like crazy). There doesn’t seem to be any problem whatsoever. Depending on the parish, I ask to use the rail if they have one. (Easier on my knees)…The only disruption is for those in line (but then again, we should just use the rail anyway)

  50. PNP, OP says:

    RBrown, this same priest wielded the bishops’ request that we stand for communion as a blunt weapon. However, he readily and eagerly ignored any liturgical law he didn’t like. Despite iron-clad rules against “group absolution,” he would do it every time he heard confessions if there were people still in line when time ran out. He willy-nilly changed the words of the sacramentary. Interrupted the Mass with informal observations about whatever struck his fancy. And so on. When I pointed out his inconsistent use of “the bishops have asked us…,” he basically gave me the Pastoral Considerations Trump All speech. Except, of course, the pastoral consideration due those who like to kneel.

    Fr. Philip, OP

    P.S. I didn’t say that he was a Dominican. :-)

  51. kmerian says:

    First off, let me say I never meant to insult anyone or come off as “harsh” or “judgmental”.

    I am orthodox as they come, and I long for communion rails and the pre-Vatican II church (built in 1912) that I grew up in. While I love my church now, it is a modern structure that lacks the beauty of the old churches.

    That being said, if someone wishes to receive the Blessed Sacrament kneeling, they should do it. So long as it is done in a sense of personal piety and reverence. But, if someone wishes to stand and receive on the tongue or in the hand, we should make no assumptions about their piety. That was my point. As an EMHC, you can tell who is receiving in piety and you can suspect who is “going through the motions” No one in my parish (that I have seen, anyway) kneels to receive communion.

  52. RBrown says:

    P.S. I didn’t say that he was a Dominican. :-)
    Fr. Philip, OP

    Was he?

    A friend at the Angelicum just forwarded to me a copy of the MG’s letter on the use of the SOP. IMHO, the letter reflects the fact the he is a lawyer utriusque: He interprets SP equivocally in order to accommodate his own opinion, then applies that opinion univocally.

    I wonder whether the MG is as insistent about promoting the study of St Thomas as he is about limiting use of the SOP.

  53. Jim of Bowie says:

    Kmerian,

    Saturday, I went to the FSSP pilgrimage mass at the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Because there is no altar rail they use the first pew for the peoples communion. There was a young man in an automated wheelchair, apparently with muscular dystrophy or some debilitating disease, who came up, and with extreme difficulty, got him into the pew and knelt for communion. I’m sure the priest would have given him communion sitting. That’s an example of why people kneel for communion. Had you seen that, I don’t think you would have written what you wrote.

  54. Hey Kmerian (And Maureen),

    Man o man! You all stepped on my tripwire! Father has probably wondered why I haven’t opened my big mouth on this thread. As Hermit without a permit can attest, at our blog we talk about this subject, — kneeling — 24/7- and never tire of it. It’s my version of ‘say the black’, ‘kneel til your knees are black (and blue)’ until you get it . Bishop Schneider’s big point is that it is a beautiful witness — yes it should draw attention, especially in parishes who distribute the Lord like Mardi Gras queens throwing out tootsie rolls– calling us all to wake the heck up!

    If we can’t get the FIRST THING right, i.e. that the Eucharist is the Center of our Faith, then what’s the use of concentrating on the periphery?