From a reader:
I have something that has really been bothering me that maybe you could help me with if you find the time.I am not trying to “tattle” or nit pick anything, but I am very uncomfortable with this and not sure if I did the right thing(I am a fairly recent convert). I attended Christmas Eve Mass with my family at the church they usually go to and we had to sit in the front pew as there were quite a few people attending. We knelt during communion, but were told by the EMHC [Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion] to “get up off the floor and sit down because we were in the way“.
Granted there were a lot of people there, but we were very careful to be extremely close to the pew on the floor so as not to be in the way (lest you think we were in the middle of the aisle). We didn’t want to make a scene so we did sit, but once everyone was done walking through the aisle we knelt again because Jesus was not in the tabernacle yet.
The EMHC sighed at us and shook her head. Then after church she told us if she told us to sit we did not have to kneel again after communion. I tried to explain why we had knelt again but she shook her head and walked away.
I am not worried about what the EMCH thinks about it, but if I was disrespectful to the Lord by sitting. What is the right thing to do in that situation?
You were within your right to kneel. A quick reading of Redemptionis Sacramentum 90 and following confirms this.
Also, it is necessary to be sensitive to your surroundings. Don’t get in the way if people need to walk where you are. So, be careful of that.
Still, that EMHC was wayyyyy out of line. That is not her role. Her role, which may or may not be truly needed (cf. Ecclesia de mysterio) is to distribute Communion according to the Church’s directives. Beyond that she can keep her mouth shut and nose out of other people’s prayers.
For the time being, don’t make a scene.
On the other hand, this is not the sort of thing that ought simply to be ignored.
I would write a note to the pastor of the parish, sending a copy to the bishop.
It seems to me that the pastor, if he is sensitive to the gravity of an EMHC doing this, will desire to deal with it quietly. That is fine. If you get some note back saying that he agrees with the EMHC, send the note to the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome for their “opportune knowledge”.