Why receiving the Eucharist kneeling is always permissible

In the 2003 edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (the governing document for how to celebrate the so-called “Ordinary Form” of the Roman Rite), there was a grudging admission that the faithful could receive kneeling:

The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. Communicants should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel. Rather, such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful with proper catechesis on the reasons for this norm.  (GIRM [2003], n. 160)

Due to a deluge of complaints that had reached the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from U.S. Catholics, the USCCB was required to change this paragraph in the 2011 edition, where it now reads:

The norm established for the Dioceses of the United States of America is that Holy Communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive Communion while kneeling. (GIRM [2011], n. 160)

That’s it – nothing else! So the idea that Catholics should be “catechized” about the norm of standing in order to make them conform to it has been dropped altogether. It is now simply left up to the individual Catholic whether he wishes to stand or kneel. (The same is true of whether to receive in the hand or on the tongue, about which there has never been the same level of controversy.)

Read the complete article by Peter Kwasniewski here.

The Basilica of Ss Peter and Paul in Chattanooga, Tennessee (diocese of Knoxville)

From New Liturgical Movement site:

We recently reported on a very nice restoration project at the Basilica of Ss Peter and Paul in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the diocese of Knoxville, in which three new altars were installed, along with a new reredos for the main sanctuary, and a good deal of carpeting removed from the church’s original hard pine flooring. A final stage of the project has now been completed, with installation of a new tabernacle in the main sanctuary, and the return of the altar rail around it. Fr J. David Carter, the pastor and rector of the basilica, wrote to his parishioners that the altar rail is being used as a way of encouraging people to kneel for the reception of Holy Communion, in the hopes that it will serve to foster belief in and greater reverence for the True Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament – feliciter!

Latin Novus Ordo Masses:

11:30 am Sun. – Sung Novus Ordo Mass in English & Latin with schola, incense, ad orientem
1:30 pm Sun. – Sung Novus Ordo Misa en Español & Latín with choir, incense, ad orientem seasonally

The Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul
214 E. 8th Street, Chattanooga Tennessee
423 266 1618

Il card. Hume sulla Comunione nella mano

Avrei voluto dividere con altri un’inquietudine concernente la fede del nostro popolo nella Presenza reale del Cristo nell’Eucaristia. La Comunione nella mano, lo spostamento del Santissimo Sacramento dall’altar maggiore, l’assenza di genuflessione hanno, secondo la mia esperienza, indebolito il rispetto e la devozione dovuta a un così grande sacramento. I gesti esterni esprimono una disposizione interiore e, allo stesso tempo, contribuiscono a favorire l’atteggiamento adeguato.

Card. Basil Hume, in La Documentation Catholique n. 2211 del 3/10/1999.

Communion in the hand, moving the Blessed Sacrament from the high altar, failure to genuflect, have in my experience weakened the respect and devotion due to so great a sacrament.

(Catholic Herald 3rd September 1999)

Non è pane, è Gesù. Il corretto modo di fare la comunione

di Padre Paul Cocard

Prefazione di mons. Athanasius Schneider

Ed. Fede & Cultura

La Comunione sulla lingua aiuta a mantenere la distinzione, ereditata dalla Parola di Dio e dalla Chiesa primitiva, tra il sacerdozio comune dei fedeli e il sacerdozio ministeriale. Quest’ultimo deputa il prete al compito dell’Eucaristia che ne ha dunque la custodia e la responsabilità. Durante la Messa, l’Eucaristia, la sua celebrazione e la sua distribuzione gli sono affidate. San Giovanni Paolo II aveva sottolineato che il prete ha le mani consacrate per toccare l’Eucaristia.

In questo campo, la Comunione nella mano traduce di fatto una diminuzione e anche un certo rigetto della Fede cattolica nella Presenza reale. È lontano dall’essere neutro: permette al laico di mettersi allo stesso posto del prete nel suo rapporto all’Eucaristia e di smarcarsi da un forte attestato di Fede nella presenza di Cristo sotto le apparenze del pane e del vino consacrato per non riconoscervi che un segno di comunione tra tutti i membri dell’assemblea o, per lo più, un segno di una presenza puramente spirituale del Cristo.

Twelve Things I Like About the Novus Ordo Mass

Fr. Dwight Longenecker

Like many, I’m critical of the abuses of the new Mass–the dreadful architecture, banal art, saccharine and heterodox music, poor preaching etc etc that too often has gone along with the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, but my point has always been that these are abuses and when you take the Ordinary Form of the Mass–simply what’s in the book–just the words and rubrics–there’s not much wrong with it. Can there be some improvements? Sure, but I’ve asked traditionalists if they can tell me what is so terribly wrong with it–just the words in the book–not all the other abuses and things they don’t like that are associated with Vatican II.

Nobody’s given me a good answer yet.

In keeping with my own view that one should always give the benefit of the doubt and try to find what’s right rather than always find what’s wrong I thought I’d put together this list of what’s GOOD about the Novus Ordo Mass.


It’s flexible. We’re supposed to honor Latin as the language of our church and it is easy enough to integrate a little or a lot of Latin into the Novus Ordo Mass. It is also flexible musically. You don’t have to use Haagan Daz, hootenany and soft rock music. Learn Gregorian chant and polyphony. It fits.


It can be celebrated ad orientem, with altar rails, communion administered to the faithful kneeling and on the tongue, well-trained altar servers, good music, vestments, architecture and art. Yes, bland and banal is possible, but so is grand and glorious.


It’s simple. The plain words and actions of the Novus Ordo provide for a celebration with noble simplicity. Just saying the black and doing the red has a down to earth dignity–not overly ornate and fancy nor banal and vulgar.
Does this mean I am against traditionalists and disapprove of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass? No. It’s good to have both and each should inform the other. A person is most often right in what he affirms and wrong in what he denies. It is possible therefore to be critical of a thing without rejecting it entirely just as it is possible to see the good in a thing without endorsing it 100%.

Read full article here.

Chi impara a credere impara a inginocchiarsi

Chi impara a credere impara a inginocchiarsi, una fede o una liturgia che non conoscano più l’atto di inginocchiarsi, sono ammalate in un punto centrale. Per questo il divieto di inginocchiarsi appare come l’essenza stessa del diabolico. O Gesù, come non inginocchiarsi davanti alla tua umiltà, giunta fino alla morte di croce? E pensare che nella liturgia celeste descritta dall’Apocalisse, l’inginocchiarsi – proskynein – ricorre 24 volte. Per questo il piegare le ginocchia alla tua presenza, di te Dio vivente, è irrinunciabile.

Leggi la lettera completa di Mons. Nicola Bux sul sito di Aldo Maria Valli.

Dom Hugh Somerville Knapman OSB on the new Mass

Mass as envisaged by the new Missal

As argued in an earlier post, some of the changes introduced in practice are not even required by the modern Missal, such as facing the people during the Eucharistic Prayer. Nor is Communion in the Hand. The modern Missal assumes that the priest is facing East, and that Communion is on the tongue. There was of course permission given for the option to face the people, and a limited indult for Communion in the hand. Both have had dire consequences for the worthy celebration of the modern liturgy, and are foreign even to the new Mass. The failure here is in the pastors not in the Church herself.

This is not actually mandated by the new Mass

Some have a clear idea of the remedy for liturgical abuse and poor attendance at Mass. (…) The first step surely is to celebrate the liturgy according to the rubrics laid down by the Church, to do in fact as the Church intends to do.

Read the full post by Dom Hugh Somerville Knapman OSB here.

Intervista a don Federico Bortoli

Un sacerdote, don Federico Bortoli, compie lo studio più approfondito su come si è arrivati a concedere la distribuzione della comunione in mano che Paolo VI e la maggioranza dei vescovi bocciò. Anzitutto con un indulto che doveva essere rivolto solo a quelle diocesi dove si commettevano abusi. Ma poi la “moda” è dilagata. Resta il fatto che la ricezione della comunione in ginocchio e in bocca sia legge universale della Chiesa, la forma consuetudinaria attuale sia solo frutto di una concessione.

Intervista completa di Luisella Scrosati a don Federico Bortoli qui.

Bishop Strickland: Receive Communion on the Tongue while Kneeling

Bishop Strickland’s tweet on Saturday, December 15:

Ways to receive Our Lord as King of the Universe… read and reflect on the Sunday Scriptures, plan your whole weekend around receiving your King, wear your best garments, spend time in quiet, kneel to receive Him, receive Him on the tongue, offer silent time of thanks after mass.

(Reported by Brian Williams here)

What Vatican II said—and didn’t say—about the liturgy

December 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Today is the 55th anniversary of the promulgation of the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, which took place on December 4, 1963. It is a cause for amazement just how much nonsense people have attributed to it, how much harm they have justified by airy appeals to its supposed requirements.

The Council never said that Mass should cease to be in Latin and should only be in the vernacular. The Constitution reaffirmed that the fixed parts of the Mass would continue to be in Latin, the very language of the Roman Rite, but gave permission to vernacularize some parts, such as the readings and the general intercessions (§36; cf. §101). After stating that the people’s language may be used for some parts, the Council added: “Steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them” (§54). Latin remains, to this day, the official language of the Roman Catholic Church and of her liturgy. It is surprising, to say the least, that the aforementioned desiderata of Vatican II are only rarely achieved.

The Council never said that Gregorian chant should be set aside in favor of new songs. On the contrary, the Council acknowledged Gregorian chant as “specially suited to the Roman liturgy” and deserving “foremost place” (principem locum) in the celebration of Mass, along with the great musical compositions of our heritage (§114–§117). New songs could be added as long as they suited the liturgy—which most of the new songs after the Council didn’t and still don’t.

The Council breathed not a word about the priest “facing the people” over a table. The Council assumed that Mass would continue to be offered at an altar by a priest facing eastwards, so that priest and people were together aligned towards the East, symbol of the Christ who is to come—the universal custom of all liturgical rites, Eastern and Western, from the beginning. In fact, the rubrics of the Missal promulgated by Pope Paul VI presuppose that the priest is facing eastwards.

The Council never dictated that tabernacles be moved from the center of the church, that sanctuaries be “reordered,” or that altar rails be removed. It said nothing about receiving communion in the hand while standing. It assumed that communion under both species would continue to be of rare occurrence among the non-ordained (cf. §55); extraordinary ministers of holy communion are nowhere mentioned. Lastly, the Council did not downplay or discourage traditional practices of piety such as Eucharistic adoration and Marian devotions.

Read full article by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski here.