WYD: Communicants to kneel at papal Masses

This is just in via e-mail:

Kneeling for Communion?      
Written by Justin Lynch  
Monday, 14 July 2008

9:30 am Happy & Ready: Cardinal Pell

Fresh from greeting the Pope upon his arrival, Cardinal Pell was asked this morning by a journalist about how those receiving communion directly from the Pope would do so, when the time came, at the Final Mass during WYD08.

Following on from recent sightings at Vatican events where ‘older postures’ – kneeling to take Holy communion on the tongue – have been adopted, his Eminence replied,

"I think those receiving holy communion will be kneeling."

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. TNCath says:

    “Older postures” for the youth of the world! Introducing kneeling (and, along with it, piety and reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament) to a new generation! I love it!

  2. Andrew says:

    Well I have to hand it to WDTPRS. This news reached this site quicker than my own, and I am the journalist who asked the question on behalf of Inside the Vatican magazine. Darn it!

    Regardless, I am so happy with this announcement of Cardinal Pell, and was very worried about the prospect that a back seat would be taken in regard to the Holy Father’s wishes, if previous World Youth Days are anything to go by.

    But my reckoning is that Msgr Guido Marini, the Pope’s liturgical master, has been very insistent on matters like the older postures for receiving communion, and I have learnt that he was not happy with some of the original plans for the final liturgy for WYD. We can only hope this courageous young priest with such authority, is having a enormous influence on the way papal liturgies in both Rome, and outside of it (now in Australia) will be conducted now leading to a recovery of the sacred in liturgical practice throughout the universal Church.


  3. Jim says:

    Of course they’ll be kneeling. I hope that the day will be soon in coming, when we are all (health permitting) kneeling to receive Holy Communion on the tongue. The indult for receiving Holy Communion in the hand was ill advised, especially considering the widespread disobedience of individual bishops and priests that led to it. The five things most needed in the ordinary form of Mass right now: Ad orientem worship, distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling, restoration of sacred music, re-introduction of Latin at least for the Canon, and incense. Bring it on.

  4. James M says:

    Fantatische! This will change the world.

  5. Chironomo says:

    Perhaps a great signal to send from the youth of the world would be for ALL of them to get in line to receive from the Pope!

  6. Tominellay says:

    I think that as soon as Catholic youth’s acceptance of the practice of kneeling for Holy Communion becomes widespread, that practice will once again become the norm for all of us. This is a very good way for the Pope to make it happen. The youth will be key.

  7. Jeff Pinyan says:

    I hope Jesus doesn’t return until this has spread throughout the whole Church.

  8. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Um, that sounds wrong when I read it again. What I meant was:

    I hope Jesus gives the whole Church a chance to experience this, before he returns.

    There. That’s better.

  9. Andrew: Well I have to hand it to WDTPRS. This news reached this site quicker than my own, and I am the journalist who asked the question on behalf of Inside the Vatican magazine.

    Glad to be of help! o{]:¬)

  10. Chironomo: for ALL of them to get in line to receive from the Pope!

    Or, on the other hand, for the organizers of these Masses to restrict distribution of Holy Communion so as to protect reverence and cut down the risk of profanation.

  11. John6:54 says:

    “Older Postures”? It makes it sound like old school yoga.

  12. Jenny Z says:

    How wonderful :) I’m in awe anytime I hear news like this. What a great Pope we have!

  13. john says:

    we just returned from the National Shrine in DC. Got to hear Archbishop Wuerl congratulate himself on how his stadium mass “helped the Pope realize ….”. To top it off my eldest daughter who was singing in a combined youth choir said a boy from Canada came back to his seat with the Eucharist and said he didn’t know what to do with It. She took It from him and consumed It immediately.

    CITH lends itself to these profanations. The priest is supremely ignorant of what people do after they take the Eucharist, execute a right or left face and walk away from him.

  14. David says:

    This is unclear. Is the rule going to be “to receive communion” kneeling, or “to recieve communion from the Pope” kneeling?

    If the latter, then it seems the message conveyed is that reverence must be displayed towards the pope. If everyone else is standing and taking the Host away in their hands from other priests, then there is certainly no message to display reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament.

    (Not that I’m against kneeling before the pope, but Our Lord should outweigh the pope, not vice-versa)

  15. Thomas Liang says:

    Andrew: Well I have to hand it to WDTPRS. This news reached this site quicker than my own, and I am the journalist who asked the question on behalf of Inside the Vatican magazine. Darn it!

    Yes, sometimes WDTPRS is faster than McDonald’s!

    Tom L

  16. Deusdonat says:

    Jenny Z – How wonderful :) I’m in awe anytime I hear news like this. What a great Pope we have!

    I can’t think of a better way to say that! : )

  17. Jim says:


    The bishops of the world are supposed to take their liturgical cues from the Holy Father. In that sense, receiving Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling is being emphasized strongly by him. The issue is not reverence towards the person of the Holy Father (though that is not a bad thing as he is the Vicar of Christ on earth) but reverence to Our Lord in Holy Communion. Remember, receiving on the tongue is still the universal norm of the entire Church, and CITH always was and remains an option by indult. An indult, BTW, which can be withdrawn at any time with a stroke of the pen….and hopefully, SOON.

  18. Hung Doan says:

    Gee, wish the kneeling for communion and the new pallium were smoothed out during the Papal Trip here in the US. We all know the US could use a quick kick in the keester concerning reverence at mass. Anyhow, lucky Australians!

  19. SC says:

    Dear Fr. Z,
    I wrote to you asking your advice on how to handle a very young priest at my parish who gave a homily chastising those who try to receive Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue as attention-seekers. No need to answer now! That priest is in Sydney now with youth from the parish. May the scales fall from his eyes. God is great!
    God bless you!

  20. Tim says:

    It comes as news to me when reading the comments that there was ever an indult issued permitting communion in the hand. Did I miss something while reading the comments as to a reference? Can anyone show me said indult and who issued it? Paragraph and section, date, time, place? It is not my intention to sound accusatory to those who mention said indult, I merely wish to have irrefutable proof that such an indult was issued, as my suspicion is that many may have incorrectly read into some statement or document an indult that was really not there, as is often the case in times of ambiguity. I realize that numerous hierarchy tacitly let it happen but that would not in itself constitute an indult. After a habit develops over the years and the faithful become accustomed to an irreverent habit they become incredulous when told explicitly that the correct posture is kneeling since it is one of reverence. Postures profoundly affect the human tendencies and over a prolonged period of time can easily affect the way people believe and think. Left unchallenged, they can lead to erroneous doctrines and even a denial of articles of faith. St. Paul actually resisted St. Peter to the face as scripture tells us, when St. Peter was maintaining practices in the synagogue that St. Paul recgognized as a danger to the faith of both Gentile and Jew. This is a clear cut case of postures and tendencies.

  21. Justin says:

    Hey that post came from our website ebenedict.org :-) We are young Catholic Pilgrims/media live blogging a lot of the events such as the Masses and the Stations. We are trying to get the Catholic message out about WYD. The Catholic Why be hind it all.

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