QUAERITUR: Can Father require all servers to stand to receive Communion?

From a reader:

My 10-year-old son, who daily receives Holy Communion on his tongue while kneeling (and in fact has never received standing) just completed altar server instruction. He was told that when he serves, he must receive standing!!! (for the sake of uniformity!) I realize that serving is a privilege and not a right, but does exercising this privilege allow for his right to receive kneeling to be restricted? He has been looking forward to serving for so long now and would have the opportunity to serve nearly daily. It’s tearing us apart to think that he would have to go from always kneeling to almost always standing.

Indeed.  Lay people do not have rights when it comes to serving at the altar.  They cannot simply demand to serve and then serve only on their own terms, in their own way and style.

This is tough question.  On the one hand, the right of the faithful to receive whilst kneeling is inviolate.  This is affirmed in Redemptionis Sacramentum.  On the other hand, the priest may choose whom it pleaseth him to choose as altar boys.  If Father wants to make posture for the reception of Holy Communion a litmus test, he can.  Service at the altar is not a right.  Lay people serve at the pleasure of the priest.

Frankly, I would like priests to require all the altar boys to kneel to receive, and of course to use the Communion paten properly.

And wouldn’t it be great use as a litmus test the state of grace?

You might try to win the priest over to another view of the matter, but as a parent you can through good instruction and good example and practice help your children receive only when in the state of grace.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to QUAERITUR: Can Father require all servers to stand to receive Communion?

  1. moon1234 says:

    Maybe you could request that Fr. offer the EF of Mass? This would remove the option to receive standing. Speak with your son and see if he is willing to learn the responses and requirements for the EF. I think he will very much enjoy it. I know my boys do.

    Turn your frustration into something positive!

  2. While I think its appalling that Priests are still refusing to.let people receive in the most reverent manner, I completely agree with you father.

    I sometimes serve for a Priest in my town thats a bit of liberal – of the “rainbowstole” species – and often I used to get disciplined for kneeling for Holy Communion, lifting up his chasuble at the elevation and ring the bells. These are all practices that I’m very used to, however, the virtue of obedience proves to be a very wise choice in this case, I have the utmost respect for Father, the alter christus, thus as long as the blessed sacrament or the Holy Mass is not in danger of abuse, I conform completely to the commands of the superior.

  3. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Because a parish priest unreasonably demands to abrogate the right of the faithful to receive Holy Communion in the most reverent manner while serving on the altar (after all, he could require all of the servers uniformly to kneel), wouldn’t this seem to be grounds to search for another parish, one in which the priests don’t unreasonably demand to abrogate these rights? And if no such parish is within convenient driving distance, wouldn’t it be better to “sit out” serving in ways that violate our rights? And tell Father why. You’re short good servers? Let us know when you will require all servers for the sake of uniformity to kneel instead of stand, and we will be ready to sign up to serve again.

  4. Phil_NL says:

    For all we know there’s more to it than ‘Father won’t let him kneel’. It is hardly far-fetched to assume that other servers have no inclination to kneel and may make a fuss (and Father has his hands full with other battles already), that the lector can’t kneel without aid (kneelers are rarely found in the sanctuary itself) and father doesn’t want him to try…. etc. etc.

    I think Father Z. has a much more gentle and diplomatic solution, and furthermore one that no-one can take offense at. It will take a bit longer, but if this is picked up, and the habit of every server to receive at every Mass is broken, than it will – after a year or two – not be an issue any longer that not everyone receives in the same manner. The expectation of uniformity will be gone.
    With an added bonus that some who shouldn’t receive to begin with, won’t – at least in some cases.

  5. Lisieux says:

    Obedience is better than sacrifice (especially when obedience entails another sort of sacrifice!).

  6. ray from mn says:

    By becoming a server and thus a more full participant in the Offering of the Mass, a ten or 12 year old server also begins to learn what it is like to become an adult. When said server grows up into the universal Holy Catholic Church, discovery will show that the pewsitter is not the arbiter of liturgical celebrations and humility will soon show that the priest is the boss, rightly or wrongly.

    The choices are to find a new parish, leave the Church, or submit in gracious humility.

  7. Tradster says:

    Liberals win when the rest of us give in. If he were my son I would strongly urge – but not force – him to forgo serving rather than compromise his lifelong values. After all, he will be receiving Holy Communion long after he is finished serving. Keep him kneeling and receiving on the tongue.

  8. phlogiston says:

    I can’t imagine continuing my membership in a parish where “uniformity” is a higher virtue than reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Odds are, this isn’t the only example of that either. Yes it is Fr. Heterodox’s call as to who serves on the altar and how. But it would be my call where my family attended mass.

  9. Imrahil says:

    Well, it all depends on our principles.

    If Communion in the hand is intrinsically bad, than the altar boy, even though serving is a priviledge, has a right to kneel down and Receive on the tongue. Though I would not expect him to serve much longer.

    If Communion in the hand is merely intrinsically less good (yes, there’s a difference), then an altar boy may be ordered to receive in the hand.

    I hold the latter and do not perceive how the former can be hold (nor how it can be hold that Communion in the hand would be intrinsically better).

  10. robtbrown says:

    And wouldn’t it be great use as a litmus test the state of grace

    And how would that be determined?

  11. Gail F says:

    While I’m certain this is distressing for the child, it should not be made more distressing for him by the parents. An altar boy/server is to obey the priest, just as a priest is to obey the bishop. While at the altar the boy should do as the priest says — unless it is intrinsically wrong. If the priest asked all the altar boys to kneel to receive, and one of them wanted to stand instead, would these parents support him or the priest?

  12. Cazienza says:

    I think I would agree with Tradster:

    If he were my son I would strongly urge – but not force – him to forgo serving rather than compromise his lifelong values.

    Attending Mass is more important than serving at Mass.

  13. APX says:

    serving on the altar
    “AT” the altar. This is really starting to annoy me. Serving on the altar means the server is literally on the the altar while serving. The altar is the thing that looks like a table. The priest and servers stand AT it, not ON it. They stand on the floor and steps of the sanctuary, but they do not stand on the altar. They might place things on it, but they do not place themselves on it.

    [Relax. “On the altar” is just an old way of speaking about being in the sanctuary, etc.]

  14. robtbrown says:

    Imrahil says:

    If Communion in the hand is merely intrinsically less good (yes, there’s a difference), then an altar boy may be ordered to receive in the hand.

    From the Cong of Divine Worship, 2009:

    http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/right-to-receive-holy-communion-on.html

    This Dicastery observes that its Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (25 March 2004) clearly stipulates that “each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue” (n. 92, nor is it licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful who are not impeded by law from receiving the Holy Eucharist (cf. n. 91).

    Why would you think that by serving at the altar someone renounces such a right?

  15. phlogiston says:

    Point taken APX. Point taken! (LOL)

  16. Phil_NL says:

    robtbrown

    Not how, but by whom – the person himself, of course – is the relevant question.

    A server may be ordered to receive in the hand, but may not be ordered to receive. If one makes a habit of regularly not receiving while serving – giving doubts about one’s state of grace as reason – it also breaks the expectation of uniformity (which is the real issue here in my opinion; unless father is an unreformed hippie, his objections are probably due to wanting to avoid a battle with someone else, and/or a false sense of the choreography of Mass which tells every server has to do the same).

    Basically, not receiving every time one serves leaves the priest with several options: 1. accepting that some serves do things differently, this paves the way for receiving kneeling later on, 2. finding servers who are always in the state of grace (ahum, no server will ever tie the shoelaces of his fellow server together so he may fall over, right…?) which probably indicates he doesn’t take it very seriously, and would be a sign that serving with this priest may not be such a good idea anyway.

    In all likelihood, it will just offer Father a way to graciously retreat from his position that there must be uniformity. Assuming it is not the kneeling in itself that father objects to, that would be enough.

  17. robtbrown says:

    Phil_NL says:
    robtbrown

    Not how, but by whom – the person himself, of course – is the relevant question.

    A server may be ordered to receive in the hand, but may not be ordered to receive.

    So you’re saying that the right of the server to receive on the tongue can be revoked by the celebrant. Why do you think that?

  18. momoften says:

    I am confused. Why didn’t they observe this before? I would think they would have observed
    other servers during daily Mass or Sunday Masses all standing for reception of Communion.
    I think it would be bad to refuse to let my son serve and sit in the pew especially after letting
    him train. You are making the priest appear wrong and taking away the priests’ credibility to your child-that is wrong, and dangerous. If you switched parishes where they allow it (kneeling) because you are strong in your convictions-leave. Has the parent talked to the Pastor? To me that would be the first step, then a decision, this situation is tricky for it involves a child and forming him to future issues of obedience and credibility to priests.

  19. Phil_NL says:

    Robtbrown

    His right to receive on the tongue may not be revoked, but his right to serve is nonexistent, see above.
    The boy has a right to receive kneeling on the tongue in the congregation. Once serving at the altar, the priest can order his any move. Simple as that. Serving is not a right, so additional conditions may be set. Don’t like the conditions? Then don’t serve.

    Sorry for hammering the point home, but I think that an overly legalistic way of approaching these matters is futile. Either the priest is of good will, and then talking of ‘rights’ all the time will only make his life harder, or he’s not, and then you will not be granted any right anyway, till the bishop decides to set the priest straight. I’ve yet to see any situation where the “we’re entitled to it – argument” solved an ecclesiastical conflict between a layman and a cleric.

  20. StWinefride says:

    Communion in the hand is not the Catholic way of receiving Holy Communion.

    From Michael Davies, Communion in the Hand and similar Frauds. (Excerpt from chapter: An Abuse Fostered by Disobedience and Deceit)

    http://www.fiuv.org/dossier_davies.html

    Communion in the hand was re-introduced into the Catholic Church as an act of rebellion soon after Vatican II. It began in Holland as an arbitrary act of defiance of legitimate authority. Mandatory liturgical norms were defied and Communion was distributed in some Catholic churches in what had been, since the Reformation, the characteristically Protestant manner. It was an abuse and should have been dealt with by the bishops immediately and effectively. Priests who refused to conform to the law of the Church should have been suspended. Such action was not taken, and the practice spread to Germany, Belgium, and France. In these countries the Bishops also betrayed their office and allowed the abuse to go unchecked. Thus a practice which had already been made unacceptable to Catholics because of its adoption by Protestants to symbolize their rejection of Catholic Eucharistic teaching, was made doubly unacceptable when it became a symbol of the rejection of ecclesiastical authority by Liberal clerics..

  21. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    “By becoming a server and thus a more full participant in the Offering of the Mass, a ten or 12 year old server also begins to learn what it is like to become an adult. When said server grows up into the universal Holy Catholic Church, discovery will show that the pewsitter is not the arbiter of liturgical celebrations and humility will soon show that the priest is the boss, rightly or wrongly.”

    Two sons, young adults, were asked by their father to assist him in planning a celebration to observe his wedding anniversary. Although their mother was a very garden-party and elegant clothes sort of lady, and by no means herself fan of gambling or casinos, Dad enjoyed nothing more than flashing lights and the sounds of coins. He informed his sons that he had decided to make the event a “Las Vegas Night” party to be held at a local pool hall; the food to be served would be barbecue sandwiches, pretzels, and beer. The elder son, knowing his mother would not be pleased, nevertheless went along with the father’s plans, saying, “it’s Dad’s party; I’m just a tool, a lame-brain, a coat-carrier, and a lunkhead (c.f. “pewsitter”). Who am I to say or do anything to oppose his plans?”

    But the younger boy said, “such a plan, if carried out, will hurt and dishonor Mom very much. I will appeal to Dad, respectfully, and with filial devotion try to convey to him as gently and reasonably as I can, that doesn’t he think Mom would much more appreciate a celebration more in keeping with her personality and tastes? And if he refuses to listen, I will not help to plan the party, and while I will reluctantly attend, I will do so only to support Mom in her humiliation: I will not enter into the festive spirit, nor participate in their games and diversions, but will remain quietly by her side at all times.”

    Which of these is the true son to their mother?

  22. Imrahil says:

    Dear @robtbrown,

    because of the general principle that a lawful superior may command whatever is not sinful; and a celebrant is certainly a lawful superior over the entirety of an altar boy’s serving. I did not particularly think of the document you cited (I did not know it, though I was somewhat aware that the right it mentions does in fact exist), but I’ll go for the dear @Phil’s explanation here.

    On an aside, dear @Phil, I’d be pretty convinced that tying the shoelaces of a fellow server together so he may fall over, if done by jest and neither hatred nor with the subjective view of disturbing the celebration, is venial… I see your point though.

  23. onosurf says:

    Only a NO priest or a priest that offers the TLM in “preference” to the NO could do such a thing–Theologically confused. A child would tell you that Christ should always be approached with highest respect and humility.

  24. Jim Dorchak says:

    Seems to me that if a priest is a “PRIEST” (to be looked up to) then he would require a higher level of reverence at all times, i.e. kneeling. If you cherish your sons soul and take serious your duties as his father and the head of your house hold…….. find another Church ASAP that has a priest who is more reverent. After all if this Priest is less reverent in the little things then he likely is in the big things too. Why chance it? Also no need to say anything to the Priest. Just leave.

  25. The issue appears to be standing, not reception on the tongue. I think it is reasonable to expect servers do as they are told in terms of standing, kneeling, sitting etc. Also, the priest is servant of the liturgy, not its master. He should do what the rubrics provide and that means where deacons, lectors, acolytes are available they should be used. As servers we all endured the grumpy priest who liked things his way.

  26. Catholic Granny says:

    Just a thought: if your priest desires “uniformity” than all of the servers kneeling to receive (as they now do in our parish) would be a beautiful example of uniformity for the entire parish. Not that the servers should go against the priest’s commands of course, but if other parents feel as you do, then maybe calmly and graciously speaking with your priest would help.

  27. The Masked Chicken says:

    Obedience is NOT the issue, here. There is an old ecclesiastical adage that it is proper to obey what it is proper to command. The priest does not have the absolute right to command communion in the hand or standing. In a religious community, under vows, a superior might impose one uniform way of saying the office out of many, but this approaches a case of necessity (since the community says the office, together). No such need for uniformity actually exists among altar servers, so Father’s appeal to uniformity is tenuous, at best, and he has no right under Law to impose it.

    That being said, there is a way out of this that can satisfy all. Instruct your son well on why receiving on the tongue, kneeling, is the superior way to receive communion, then, tell him that, since it is a lawful OPTION, he may comply with the priest as an act of CHARITY (not obedience) and that, as he receives communion, standing, to say a prayer for the well-being of the priest. Thus, the son is instructed well, the priest is not upset, the priest receives the benefit of prayer, and Christ’s injunction to, “pray for those who despitefully use you,” is obeyed.

    The only time this substitution of charity for obedience is not allowed is when the right of command actually exists (in which case obedience is charity) or when the possibility of scandal exists.

    The Chicken

  28. prs1 says:

    I am obviously sad to see this matter raised, but being purely practical, a suggestion might be that the boy should reluctantly agree to receive Holy Communion standing when serving with others (for the sake of uniformity), but whenever he serves on his own (and there is a hint of serving daily – so this is not a remote possibility) he should be free to exercise his preference and receive kneeling. Perhaps other servers will express a preference for receiving in this way also.

  29. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Fr.Z’s answer seems completely sound to me. Some of the comments above, well, less so.

  30. BLB Oregon says:

    –Obedience is better than sacrifice (especially when obedience entails another sort of sacrifice!).–

    Yes. It is good that the knees bend, but better that the will bends. That is what the bending of the knee signifies, after all. There might also be practical issues; when in your own clothing, you can kneel anywhere, but when you are wearing an alb, you need a suitable place, so you won’t damage or soil your alb.

    Are there other families with the same desire? If there are several servers who desire to receive kneeling, then perhaps several parents can approach Father (respectfully) about whether or not the situation can be addressed, whatever the issue is.

  31. Nathan says:

    Fr Z, wise and prudent advice.

    I was amused, though, by the fact that the priest in question wanted to have the altar boys stand for Holy Communion “for the sake of uniformity.” My three sons serve at the altar in both the EF and OF (and I train altar boys in the EF), and after seeing the difference in uniformity of altar serving between the two forms (do you know how difficult it is to train boys accustomed to the OF to genuflect together and ascend the altar from the long way simultaneously? Or descend from the praedella together after the ablutions?), getting the altar boys to do exactly the same for Holy Communion seems a bit too little, too late. Of what I’ve observed of serving the OF, there seems to be precious little of any coordinated, uniform actions.

    If the good father wants altar boy uniformity, perhaps I could modestly suggest that he start with getting them to do things throughout the Mass simultaneously, as appropriate?

    In Christ,

  32. ecs says:

    If I had a son who was told this by a priest, I would advise my son that he should either refrain from receiving Holy Communion at the altar while serving or refrain from serving at the altar altogether. Then I would look for a new parish immediately. I fled the insanity and the sacrilege of Novus Ordo world eight years ago and will never go back. Perhaps this is an occasion for father and son to begin making the extra effort to make it to the nearest TLM parish on a regular basis. Even if it is an hour away. This issue is a particularly sore spot for me. I don’t think I could in good conscience continue to attend a parish where the pastor would impose such an unCatholic rule.

  33. SimonDodd says:

    I’m tentatively in the same place as Marion Ancilla Mariae. I’ve been told, more than once, that my parish is shorthanded for (in the broadest sense of the term) servers for the Mass that I attend. Naturally, I’d like to help out. But the custom of the parish is that the servers (along with the EMHCs, notwithstanding EM8.2.i) are given communion in the hand during the agnus Dei, which they then hold until the celebrant communicates. That is not going to be changed, and I just can’t get there. It’s not the kind of “exceptional circumstance” that I foresaw in footnote 81 of Domine non sum dignus. I’d like to help, but parish custom forecloses it.

  34. Deo volente says:

    Fr. Z,
    Part of your sage advice was to “use the paten properly” which receives a “Bravo!” as well. I have witnessed poorly-trained altar boys who seem to believe that the paten is an ornament held under the chin but don’t realize its full purpose. To buttress that fact, these boys turn the paten sideways either as they walk to follow Father or when returning towards the altar. The particles of the sacred species which they have collected are promptly falling to the ground. Thanks for adding that caveat to your advice!

    D.v.

  35. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    And, having read over the comments, I’ll wager that if some good but misguided padre at some parish somewhere insisted that after receiving Holy Communion, the servers, to demonstrate their joy, must uniformly perform three handsprings upon the steps of the altar, that we would get at least three or four nods of assent.

    “Yuh, yuh. They have to, if they want to serve. Only right. They have to obey the priest.”

    Sure they have to obey, if they want to serve. Doesn’t make what the priest commands right. It would be better for them not to serve, than to do what is objectively not right.

  36. Will D. says:

    At my parish, all the altar servers (boys and girls) receive on the tongue, but only one kneels. This doesn’t seem to cause problems for either our pastor or our visiting priests.

    I think I’d respectfully ask father to change his mind but leave to the child the decision to either accede to father’s wishes when serving or to refrain from serving.

  37. wmeyer says:

    As usual, Dr. Peters’ clarification is excellent.

    I think the confusion here seems to be that when serving, the lad retains the rights of the laity. It would seem fairly obvious to me that when granted the privilege of assisting in the sanctuary, one does not receive then as a simple member of the laity, but rather in one’s role assigned in the rite.

  38. Matt R says:

    This happened in my parish. I decided one day in April or May that receiving on the tongue kneeling was better by leaps and bounds. I already knew my pastor didn’t let altar servers kneel, so I waited until the pastor-who I still love dearly- was reassigned and asked his successor’s permission prior to the first Mass I served for him. Problem solved.

  39. Supertradmum says:

    When seminaries allow both kneeling of altar servers and receiving on the tongue, then we can expect more in the parishes.

  40. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Indeed. Lay people do not have rights when it comes to serving at the altar. They cannot simply demand to serve and then serve only on their own terms, in their own way and style.”

    “On the one hand, the right of the faithful to receive whilst kneeling is inviolate. This is affirmed in Redemptionis Sacramentum. On the other hand, the priest may choose whom it pleaseth him to choose as altar boys.”

    “It would seem fairly obvious to me that when granted the privilege of assisting in the sanctuary, one does not receive then as a simple member of the laity, but rather in one’s role assigned in the rite.”

    Okay, now I am confused.

    Does the, “role assigned in the rite,” take precedence over what is a clearly permissible act? Certainly, the priest is doing this under the auspices of uniformity. That is certainly a good thing, as long as the act he asks all to perform is, itself, permissible, but the question is, and what is confusing me, is what are the limits of a priest to restrict contrary actions that are also permissible, in themselves? Does uniformity trump positive permission of a higher authority than the priest? I could see if the bishop or the pope or the GIRM gave the priest the authority to choose one way of receiving communion or the other, alone, but that is not the case, is it, so where does the priest receive the authority to assert a uniform standard of his servers, especially when a higher authority specifically forbids him from doing so?

    I assume in the theology of the liturgy (of which I know very little – be kind on my foolishness) that uniformity of action is a goal in some cases. Obviously, you can’t have half the congregation singing in Korean and half in English, but one does not receive communion as a corporate act, but as a singular member of a congregation. The uniformity comes from the act of receiving the One Body, not the manner in which it is received. Reception of the Eucharist is a sign of unity, but, clearly, not the manner in which it is received, otherwise, there would be one, universal method of reception and that, clearly, is not the case.

    Now, I can see for practical reasons that the priest might want all servers to receive according to his directions, and, as I say, that can be done as an act of charity, but I don’t see how receiving standing makes a uniformity as far as a liturgical action is concerned, since the Church, itself, does not demand uniformity in this liturgical action. I know that isn’t clear. In other words, any uniformity demanded of a liturgical action demands, also, a uniformity of the physical actions attached to the liturgical action, but one cannot make an argument for a requirement of a uniformity of physical action where there is no requirement of uniformity in the liturgical action. That is the fallacy of the accident.

    Further, RS does not make a distinction between the laity and the altar server when it maintains the right of, “the faithful,” to receive kneeling, so I cannot see how the priest has an authority that supersedes RS.

    Of course, the priest definitely has the right to choose who will serve at the altar and he doesn’t have to give a reason for his choice, but once chosen and especially during Mass itself, I can’t see where the priest has rights regarding posture. The server may only get away with knelling once, but I don’t see where he is guilty of actual disobedience, since, I can’t see where the priest has the authority to forbid something the Church permits, except for a reason of necessity or custom (which, obviously, is not the case, here).

    So, I am confused. Could someone clarify.

    The Chicken

  41. Gail F says:

    Sheesh. I am glad I’m not a priest after reading these replies. I do not see this as a big deal, and if the worst thing that ever happens to this kid liturgy-wise is that he has to stand while receiving when he serves at the altar — a legitimate option that happens to be (whether you like it or not) the current NORM in the United States and one the priest has told him to do — then I think he’ll be a pretty lucky young man.

  42. robtbrown says:

    Phil_NL says:

    Robtbrown

    His right to receive on the tongue may not be revoked, but his right to serve is nonexistent, see above.

    Agree, but it doesn’t follow that a priest can set a requirement that in fact contradicts the liturgical law of the Church.


    The boy has a right to receive kneeling on the tongue in the congregation. Once serving at the altar, the priest can order his any move. Simple as that.

    Overly simple. The rights of the celebrant are subject to the liturgical law of the Church.


    Serving is not a right, so additional conditions may be set. Don’t like the conditions?
    Then don’t serve.

    I agree that serving is not a right, but I wonder what would happen if it were reported to the bishop that a condition for serving at the altar is receiving Communion in the hand.

  43. Lucia Maria says:

    This is all really interesting in regards to a priest being able to effectively order certain actions of altar servers that are licit during the Mass. Does that also mean that if a priest wants the servers to do something that is an abuse, then they should do it as well?

    To explain, I’ll my example, as I have two altar serving sons. When the first started serving four years ago now, I said to the lady who organises the servers and the sister who sets up everything for the Mass that my condition was that he not be required to be given the host early with all the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, some of whom hold up the host as if they are concelebrating with Father. I noticed some priests would hand out the hosts early, and some wouldn’t, and so I didn’t want my son to be involved with that sort of thing. I was assured that he wouldn’t have to participate if a priest did that and that the priests there didn’t do it anyway.

    Soon after he started serving, the main priest of parish left and a new priest came in who always hands out the hosts to the EOMHC’s and expects the altar servers to participate as well. He has even told my son and since then, my other son, that they should participate in this. They both don’t because they know it’s a liturgical abuse.

    So, given this conversation, my question is, does the priest have the right to request this of my sons?

  44. Cazienza says:

    APX said:

    “AT” the altar. This is really starting to annoy me. Serving on the altar means the server is literally on the the altar while serving. The altar is the thing that looks like a table. The priest and servers stand AT it, not ON it. They stand on the floor and steps of the sanctuary, but they do not stand on the altar. They might place things on it, but they do not place themselves on it.

    Tosh. Prepositions are nasty little squirrel runts when it comes to semantics, in English as in any language, and they enjoy defying such logic. In Dutch I say that I am in the train (or bus, or plane), but in English I say I’m on the train (or bus, or plane). The latter in no way means I’m actually sitting on (the roof of) a bus going at 30 mph, a train at 100 mph, or an aeroplane at 0.8 Mach.

  45. Nan says:

    @Gail F, you have failed to read the fine print. While standing is the norm, it isn’t absolute; the USCCB states that nobody shall be refused communion for kneeling. Refusing is a grave violation of rights. Therefore, Catholics in the US may receive in the hand or on the tongue, while standing or kneeling.

  46. Get like minded boys that wish to kneel serving on the same team…uniformity problem solved. As it does not seem the pastor is opposed to kneeling per se.