Sitting vs Kneeling vs Standing Until Everyone has Received Communion

Sitting vs Kneeling vs Standing Until Everyone has Received Communion

—Reposting as article changed its URL

If I had known the headache my request to try standing after communion for a few months was going to create, I probably would have decided to wait, maybe for ever.  This is an extra to help clarify.  (I hope)

Here is another priests take on the same question:

Maybe this will help.  Thanks Gigi for finding this!

12 thoughts on “Sitting vs Kneeling vs Standing Until Everyone has Received Communion”

  1. While standing after communion is not a practice I have seen in the US, I appreciate exposure to new ways of building community and adoration once “Commun-union” ends (see article). The clarification of your point in the attached article brought the GIRM guideline into better focus. Change takes time, but having a new filter through which to view our spiritual routines is necessary to grow in faith and community. I appreciate you taking the time at Mass, in the bulletin and in the blog, to explain your logic behind these changes you have made.

  2. If you are not open to change and are this resistant to “trying” out the mere suggestion, please go to another Church. We are on week two of this trial not on year one! Father Pat is very considerate and has not made this change permanent. Reading your replies are very disappointing, especially during this Lenten Season. It is not about us, it’s about the good of the Church and Community. We need to be adaptable, flexible, and patient as God expects to be. God Bless you this Lenten Season.

    1. Dear MV,
      Looks like your knickers are bound a little too tight. Seriously, if we don’t like it, we should find another Church? That’s a rather uncharitable attitude to take, when Father is allowing input, discussion, and varying opinions on this forum. While you may be disappointed in the replies, this is our Church as much as yours; how dare you try to run out anyone who disagrees with you?

      And BTW, it IS about us, as the Church’s entire purpose is to support each one of us on our journey to Heaven. Only when we individually grow in holiness, will the community and Church likewise grow holier. God does NOT expect us to be adaptable, flexible, nor patient when a change is being introduced into the Mass which is questionable in it’s validity and purpose.

  3. From the Aletia Article above: “To receive Communion is to establish a commun-union with Jesus Christ, and this involves a moment of intense fervor because it solidifies our personal relationship with him.
    It is difficult to build this relationship without dedicating the time that an interpersonal relationship requires. When we receive Communion, Christ unites us so intimately and profoundly to himself!”

    Indeed there is a disconnect going on, when the author of the article acknowledges that receiving Communion intimately and profoundly unites us and solidifies our personal relationship with Christ, but this article is used to justify standing during Communion, to unite myself with the community. Can’t have it both ways!
    When I have just received My Lord, that time is precious for me to commune directly with Him whom I have partaken. I even cover my face with my hands during this time of prayer, to block out any distractions surrounding me. I share this special moment surrounded by others doing likewise. That is our spirit of community, together worshiping Our Lord. To take that away and suggest I stand until all have received, is asking me to ignore the miracle that has taken place, a denial of the True Presence dwelling within me. I will not put off or postpone this intimate time with My Lord.

  4. Here’s another take on bringing reverence into the Mass.

    By Fr. Richard Heilman

    “For I have learnt for a fact that nothing so effectively obtains, retains and regains grace, as that we should always be found not high-minded before God, but filled with holy fear.” –St. Bernard of Clairveux

    Last evening, April 11, 2017, the Diocese of Madison joined with Bishop Morlino at the Chrism Mass. It was a glorious evening, with many of our priests in attendance.

    During Bishop Morlino’s homily, he alluded to a recent March 31 address by Cardinal Sarah, the “Vatican Liturgy Chief” (Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments). In his address, Cardinal Sarah was forthright in calling for a recognition of “the serious and profound crisis which, since the Council, has affected the liturgy by placing man and not God at the center of worship:

    “The serious crisis of faith, not only at the level of the Christian faithful but also and especially among many priests and bishops, has made us incapable of understanding the Eucharistic liturgy as a sacrifice, as identical to the act performed once and for all by Jesus Christ, making present the Sacrifice of the Cross in a non-bloody manner, throughout the Church, through different ages, places, peoples and nations,” he said.

    “There is often a sacrilegious tendency to reduce the Holy Mass to a simple convivial meal, the celebration of a profane feast, the community’s celebration of itself, or even worse, a terrible diversion from the anguish of a life that no longer has meaning or from the fear of meeting God face to face, because His glance unveils and obliges us to look truly and unflinchingly at the ugliness of our interior life. But the Holy Mass is not a diversion. It is the living sacrifice of Christ who died on the cross to free us from sin and death, for the purpose of revealing the love and the glory of God the Father,” he added.
    The notion that the Church is in crisis is not new. Pope Benedict XVI wrote, “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing today is, to a large extent, due to the disintegration of the liturgy.”

    In his Chrism Mass homily, Bishop Morlino highlighted the fact that the Catholic Church is very good at social issues at every level – Catholic organizations, dioceses, parishes and individuals – but, ours is a crisis of faith, revealed by less than 25% of Catholics attending Mass any longer (less than 5% in many parts of Europe). Where we are failing is in a lack of fervor in our faith, Bishop stated. This is most evident in how we, as priests, are offering the Mass, and how the faithful are praying the Mass.

    Bishop Morlino went on to speak about “actuosa participatio” as being more about “actual participation” than “active participation.” Bishop lamented that we seem to feel everyone needs to be busy “doing something” at the Mass, when it is more important that we are deeply contemplating what is being done at the Mass … that God is made Present – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. This should stir our soul and fill us with awe and wonder. But, are we too busy to take notice?

    Last Fall, as part of Bishop’s overall plan to add sacred beauty and reverence to all Masses in his diocese, Bishop Morlino encouraged all of his priests to strongly consider Cardinal Sarah’s call to offer the Mass ad orientem. Bishop Morlino then announced he would, from now on, be offering all of his Masses ad orientem.

    Now, during last evening’s Chrism Mass, Bishop Morlino concluded his homily by appealing to all of his priests in his diocese to strongly encourage their parishioners to begin receiving Communion on the tongue while kneeling, beginning this September.

    Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and forever!

      1. Your interpretation of those Church documents was proven to be one that as rejected by the church herself however, as can be seen in the CDW’s response to the dubium sent 14 years ago.

        1. There is the trouble with people that think priests go off with their own crazy ideas and are trapped in their own. That is before the new general instruction so doesn’t apply!

        2. I really isn’t my interpretation either, it is simple English. What I love too is people learn one thing and don’t realize that Church is alive, living and Growing. Yes Revelation was sealed, but our experience deepens and grows in we learn better ways to express our faith. If you purpose is to just poke at me and not have any desire to dialogue, find some other blog please.

  5. I was listening to a discussion on EWTN when this question arose. The theologian stated that the Vatican had already ruled on this in the past and that a parishioner may choose to stand or kneel after communion and that a priest is not to subject the parish to one way or another .

    1. 100% true and communion is over with the prayer after communion! Or at very least depending on how you read it after the last person receives communion…most go with prayer. Same as you are supposed to stand to receive communion, we can’t refuse you if you kneel.

  6. No doubt my comments here are untimely, but I feel a need to share them just the same.

    Having been present at the The Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in more than 20 US states and foreign countries, I can say with confidence that the way we do things in our San Antonio archdiocese is not always similar (and therefore not always catholic – small “c”) to the rest of the Roman Catholic world.

    That said…

    Mother Church teaches us that standing after receiving the Most Blessed Sacrament is the universal norm.

    Particularly and locally, here in the United States, The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, published in 2011 (taken directly from the USCCB website –, guides us:

    “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.”

    So the clear guidance from Mother Church (and from our local conference of bishops) is that once we rise from our kneeling position to make our way to receive the Most Blessed Sacrifice, we are to remain standing until after Communion:

    “…if appropriate, they may sit or kneel during the period of sacred silence after Communion.”

    The exception guidance to standing provided in 43 specifically calls out that we may, if appropriate, sit or kneel – AFTER Communion.

    St. Pius X is very blessed to have a pastor who not only appears to be striving to adhere to the teachings of the Church but who also appears to take the time to study the Mass and the several liturgies present in our Latin Rite. Also, that he has asked this (and not simply decreed that the parish will follow the GIRM without deviation) shows a spirit of patience, mercy and understanding.

    Just for me, personally, I’d say stand after Communion, and during the period of sacred silence, kneel and count our blessings.

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