Stand, kneel or sit after Communion?

Not open for further replies.


OK, I’m confused. Just moved to a new parish. I understand that in the past it was the custom everywhere (in the Latin Rite) to kneel after recieving communion. I also understand that in the last few decades there was a lot of monkey-ing around with liturgical practices and that a lot of people stopped kneeling altogether for the entire Mass and ended up standing throughout the Communion rite.

In my old parish, our priest told us that the USCCB (did I get that right?) laid down the norm that (in the USA) we should stand after recieving Communion until all have recieved as a sign of unity. In my new parish however, which has some serious liturgical irregularities, people are still kneeling after Communion for the most part with a lone one or two people standing until all have received. What is the desired normative posture after receiving Communion for Catholics in the USA?

If it is standing, should I stand even though most everyone else is kneeling? I don’t want to seem disrepectful of their traditions.

Thank you for your time in answering this question.
Standing after receiving Holy Communion cannot be mandated. The Church has made it clear that after receiving Holy Communion, the faithful can kneel or sit while the period of sacred silence is observed.

5 June 2003

Prot. n. 855/03/L

Dubium: In many places, the faithful are accustomed to kneeling or sitting in personal prayer upon returning to their places after individually received Holy Communion during Mass. Is it the intention of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, to forbid this practice?

Responsum: Negative, et ad mentem. The mens is that that the prescription of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, no. 43, is intended, on one hand, to ensure within broad limits a certain uniformity of posture within the congregation for the various parts of the celebration of the Holy Mass, and on the other, to not regulate posture rigidly in such a way that those who wish to kneel or sit would no longer be free.

Francis Cardinal Arinze

Does everybody have to stand until the last person has received Holy Communion?
Cardinal Arinze responds:

“There is no rule from Rome that everybody must stand during Holy Communion. There is no such rule from Rome. So, after people have received Communion, they can stand, they can kneel, they can sit. But a bishop in his diocese or bishops in a country could say that they recommend standing or kneeling. They could. It is not a law from Rome. They could – but not impose it. Perhaps they could propose. But those who want to sit or kneel or stand should be left reasonable freedom.”

And the *General Instruction of the Roman Missal * says,

“They should, however, sit while the readings before the Gospel and the responsorial Psalm are proclaimed and for the homily and while the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory is taking place; and, as circumstances allow, they may sit or kneel while the period of sacred silence after Communion is observed.”

Thus, kneeling after receiving Communion is not an act of disobedience. You may kneel if you so desire.
Not open for further replies.