Standing vs Kneeling after Receiving Communion
I was assigned to my current parish July 1st last year. Before I even arrived the previous pastor handed me their pastoral priorities. The Archdiocese had all parishes do that, and St. Pius X took that very seriously. The main points were 3 pages long and with all the clarifications was much longer. What does this have to do with Standing vs Kneeling after Receiving Communion? Let me tell you….
Two if the items presented to me were to increase reverence during Mass and music. At a conference two presenters talked about remaining standing after receiving communion and the great impact it had on the assembly. I talked to many people and we decided to give it a try. After mass, there was a very positive response and I think a total of 4 people against. I liked the prayerful sense I felt during communion this weekend.
The whole time I have said that we are trying this for a few months to see if it fits this community. I was surprised that this morning there were a few emails and letters of people wanting to leave the parish if we keep doing this. Then I find on Facebook that a parishioner quoting a priest saying that what we are doing isn’t Catholic. I just don’t get how easy it is for people to manufacture truth online. Part of me longs for simpler days, but then I lose this forum and I realize it is just part of life today!
That said, here are the directions from the GIRM (General Instruction on the Roman Missal or the instruction book for our liturgies), if you click here, it will take to to link I got this from on the USCCB website.
From the GIRM:
43. The faithful should stand from the beginning of the Entrance Chant, or while the Priest approaches the altar, until the end of the Collect; for the Alleluia Chant before the Gospel; while the Gospel itself is proclaimed; during the Profession of Faith and the Universal Prayer; and from the invitation, Orate, fratres (Pray, brethren), before the Prayer over the Offerings until the end of Mass, except at the places indicated here below.
The faithful should sit, on the other hand, during the readings before the Gospel and the Responsorial Psalm and for the Homily and during the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory; and, if appropriate, they may sit or kneel during the period of sacred silence after Communion.
In the Dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by ill health, or for reasons of lack of space, of the large number of people present, or for another reasonable cause. However, those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the Priest genuflects after the Consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.
For the sake of uniformity in gestures and bodily postures during one and the same celebration, the faithful should follow the instructions which the Deacon, a lay minister, or the Priest gives, according to what is laid down in the Missal.
Note: Communion isn’t over till the prayer after communion where we now are all all seated together and I guess if people wanted to kneel they could.
The time after we receive communion isn’t really private prayer time. It is communal. We are to be signing and praying together. I hope we can give this enough time to see if this works for us.
What does your Church do?