Why Kneel for Communion

Sandro Magister writes: “Benedict XVI wants it that way, at the Masses he celebrates. But very few bishops and priests are imitating him. Yet this is one reason why churches were given ornate floors. A guide to the discovery of their significance”

58 comments

  1. This makes no sense. Again, it’s the GIRM that dictates how the liturgy is celebrated – not a book that Ratzinger wrote 10 years ago, not an imitation of a pontiff’s personal preference. Lest anyone forget GIRM 160 “The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. ” End of story. Also, I think the connection between floor decoration and kneeling is weak at best.

  2. The pavement, according to Wikipedia, dates to 1166, so it probably never saw mass lay reception before Vatican II. I’m reluctant to make it an argument for how contemporary Catholics can receive.

    Like Chase, I read all the work on ornate floor surfaces and wondered what this had to do with kneeling for reception. I grant it’s an argument for taking out the pews (and I wouldn’t complain!) but that Otranto floor would be best seen walking, not kneeling (let alone kneeling at the front). From what we know, late medieval participation would have been largely non-liturgical and included a lot of diverse movements through the space. It certainly was not guided by any official documents or papal wishes. The floor seems appropriate for medieval usage, but it has nothing to do with Benedict’s desire that those he communicates kneel.

    1. Agreed. While I have no objection to kneeling for communion, this kind of post-hoc rationalization is far-fetched for precisely the reason that the practice of widespread communion by the faithful at large (other than on Easter) is pretty much a development of the past century or so.

  3. It never ceases to amaze me how people attempt to use the most tenuous connections between events as a justification for their personal agenda. If you feel that kneeling for the reception of communion is better than standing, then just say that! The logic of this article is skewed. Using this logic, it would be better to remove all pews and kneelers from a church so the assembly can stand and see the floor better. Kneeling would only reduce the scope of your gaze. And if kneeling is used to get closer to the floor’s mosaic, then, by extension, laying on the floor would be even more powerful! Give me a break!!!

    1. Mr. Keil, the linked article encompasses devotional posture as a whole when he remarks, “Few today realize that these beautiful and expensive floors were also made for the knees of the faithful: a carpet of stones on which to prostrate oneself before the splendor of the divine epiphany.”

      In other words, the pavements are made for the faithful, who hallow them with their faith and show reverence to God. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else… That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear” (Isaiah xlv: 22-3).

  4. There must be something about this blog that brings out the most argumentative side of its readers. Why can’t the article be seen for the lovely reflection on church architecture that it is? And part of that reflection is a lament on the loss of kneeling for holy communion.

    Additionally, I find it somewhat ironic that the GIRM is cited by a commenter as the final authority on the question of kneeling, on a blog wherein many (“the many” ?) are in open revolt against the new translation of the Roman Missal 3rd Ed., and against such authoritative items as Liturgiam Authenticam. (I’ll meet you in the cafeteria!)

    1. I don’t think it is quite right to identify being critical — even harshly critical — with being “in open revolt.” My sense from reading the blog and the comments is that most are planning to implement the new translation and try to make the best of it. It is a small minority at best that is counseling disobedience.

  5. Paul – have you spent too much time at St. John’s, Camarillo. Ridiculous – hope that you spend more time on essentials for your priest candidates vs. this exercise in whatever.

    1. +JMJ+

      Interesting. Bill seems to think Paul Ford espouses the ideas mentioned in an article linked to in Paul’s post.

      Again, casual readers might assume as much, too. Just making an observation.

      1. Yes, you captured my point. Paul was forwarding, not endorsing, yet he is criticized as if he endorsed.

  6. Can we turn the question round? Why is it better to stand than to kneel?
    It seems to me that kneeling makes it clear that we are doing something more special than queuing for a railway ticket. Of course the sacrament is the same but our state of mind might not be.
    When celebrating Mass in the open standing may be better by reason of logistics. In a Church with rails the logistics may suit kneeling. Which is to be preferred as the model? I think the one that promotes reverence.
    Now forcing a change will not help. But the Pope seems to be suggesting an example but not imposing his choice.

  7. Karl – my comment was based on the “forwarding” by Magister – not exactly an objective expert.

    Standing has been the norm for centuries in most European cathedrals – they don’t have kneelers.

    You would need to review the research already done in terms of the “kneeling” posture in the Irish church and how it influenced english speaking lands in the 18th/19th century in terms of posture. You would also come to some appreciation over how “reverence” is defined, acted out liturgically, etc. A rather complex picture.

  8. Peter;

    I totally agree with your reasoning. The question(s) should always be such that we ask why we diverge from tradition, not what reason we have for maintaining traditions. SC said as much when it clearly stated:

    Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing

    So the question should always be whether there is a strong and undeniable reason why traditions (“forms already existing”) should be varied from, not what reasons we have for maintaining them. It is the change that needs to have supporting arguments.

    You’re right in asking: “What is the strong argument in favor of standing?”

  9. In England and Wales, too, the norm is to stand to receive. It will be interesting to see if anyone attempts to receiving standing and in the hand.

    It happened quite often to JPII, who also had a stated preference for Communion on the tongue, but he didn’t seem to mind very much when people either ignored that or hadn’t been told about it.

  10. The main body of the article is not by Magister, it’s by Monsignor Marco Agostini, who is described by Magister as “an official in the second section of the secretariat of state, assistant master of pontifical ceremonies and a scholar of liturgy and sacred art,” and was originally published in L’Osservatore Romano.

    It’s also not primarily about kneeling for communion, but about kneeling at Mass in general.

  11. Good: friendly comment.
    Yes in a packed cathedral I expect that only those at the front can use kneelers. Presumably in the past few went to Communion but now, as most do, there is a need for ministers away from the sancuary and probably without kneelers (unless side chapels could be used).
    My guess is that the desire for comunion under both kinds has contributed to this.

  12. JP (of JMJ fame) – you might also want to read the posted article. I clarified that I knew this was forwarded by Magister – did you? I also have commented on the focus of the article – kneeling in church not for communion. do your homework.

    1. +JMJ+

      Bill, I already read the article earlier this morning when it was posted on other blogs, before I saw it here.

      I was commenting on your comment, plain and simple. Let the editors decide to remove it if they see fit. My point was, it sounded to me like you addressed Paul as if he espoused or entertained the ideas in the article.

      The article’s title is “Why Kneel for Communion”, although the core of the article is about kneeling in general. But the connection is made, both by Magister and Agonisti, between kneeling in general and kneeling for Communion.

  13. +JMJ+

    I hope this isn’t too far off-topic, but I have two observations to make about kneeling vs. standing.

    1) What documents before 1967 permitted a change of posture (from kneeling to standing) when receiving Communion?

    I ask because the first document I know of which addresses this issue is Eucharisticum Mysterium, 34a: “In accordance with the custom of the Church, Communion may be received by the faithful either kneeling or standing. One or the other way is to be chosen, according to the decision of the episcopal conference…”

    What was the “custom of the Church” in 1967 whereby Catholics in the Roman Rite received standing (with the exception of celebrating clergy)? Yes, that was and is the custom in the Eastern Rites, but it wasn’t — to my knowledge — in the Roman Rite.

    2) It would seem that, as far as the Roman Rite is concerned, kneeling is a more reverent posture for receiving Communion than standing.

    This is evident from that version same 1967 instruction, 34b: “When the faithful communicate kneeling, no other sign of reverence toward the Blessed Sacrament is required, since kneeling is itself a sign of adoration. When they receive Communion standing, it is strongly recommended that, coming up in procession, they should make a sign of reverence before receiving the Blessed Sacrament.”

    1. Jeffrey,

      You’ve given us an accurate summary of the documents, which is interesting, and helpful as far as it goes. But as Aquinas noted, arguments from authority are the weakest. I’d be even more interested in the theology and spirituality of standing or kneeling. I wouldn’t want us to think that liturgy is only about what concessions the authorities give us because they’re feeling generous, apart from what is a good or less good way to celebrate the liturgy.

      awr

    2. +JMJ+

      Fr. Anthony (this might come as no surprise), I happen to like the analysis that Card. Ratzinger gives on kneeling in The Spirit of the Liturgy and, before him, Fr. Guardini in Sacred Signs. (I also like Guardini’s take on standing.)

  14. In the Cleveland Catholic Diocese when the GIRM 2002 was being implemented, it was suggested that the faithful STAND durng the entire Communion Rite until all have received. Also, the GIRM lists the the steps to receiving Holy Communion as BAR(Bow, profoundly and reverently bow in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament when you approach the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communioin, all of our Communion Ministers have been instructed to wait until each communicant bows)Amen(say Amen when the Communion Minister says body of Christ or blood of Christ, and then Recieve. Can you tell I’ve had several neices make their first Holy Communion after GIRM 2002 was implemented?) Perhaps if the Church had intended on having the congregation kneel during the reception of Holy Communion, then that should have been kept in place when the liturgical reforms took place in 1969. Yes, I would agree that that is a gesture that should have been unchanged after Vatican II.

  15. Ah, but what to do in a diocese that has been standing for ALL of Communion – when the new GIRM was implemented – where the bishop (of 8 months) wants us to return to kneeling because it’s just a change that hasn’t been “accepted”. Lots of good work in the past, and continual education, now thrown under the bus.

    1. Sean: good point. Also consider the parish that implemented the new GIRM and how –one- angry parishioner got the ear of the new pastor via his lovely little “comment” box (he read them aloud after communion) and just said, “why don’t you just all do what you want?” Thus there are some standing, some kneeling and some sitting to this day. It’s a real sign of unity. He was really trying to be Fr. “Cool” and show his aggression to the documents and in general, liturgy.

  16. I feel like some of the commentators here are missing Monsignor Agostini’s point: not that we kneel because of ornate floors, but that because we kneel these floors are ornate. In other words, the traditional posture of Western prayer/supplication (kneeling) connected the pavement to a devotional and sacred experience. The sensual program of catechizing through visual art and signs transmits revelation, and did so particularly during the great age of cathedral building (when most individuals were illiterate).

    Monsignor Agostini underscores this thesis: “But the sense of church flooring has also been lost. Traditionally, the floors were very ornate precisely in order to act as a foundation and guide to the greatness and profundity of the mysteries celebrated. Few today realize that these beautiful and expensive floors were also made for the knees of the faithful: a carpet of stones on which to prostrate oneself before the splendor of the divine epiphany.” With such an understanding, these sumptuous, noble pavements can be seen as a sacramental that increases reverence, strengthens devotion, excites faith, and thereby remits venial sin. Flectamus genua.

  17. When I am approaching the front of the line for Holy Communion I hear the several ministers repeat, “The Body of Christ” or “The Blood of Christ.” And my ears echo the sound of “Amen” coming from all sides. People are streaming in several directions; all of them make up the Body of Christ freshly nourished with that Body of Christ. When it is my turn I may bow (or even genuflect) before the Host that I will receive. But to bow would seem to symbolize a “me and Jesus moment” and localize Christ in that Host for me. Instead of bowing I find it more meaningful for me to think of becoming more deeply united with the whole Christ all around me. Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ above me, Christ beneath me and Christ within me. I would need some pretty wierd gymnastics to bow to Christ.

  18. Dear Ed
    I am not sure I follow you. If the people are in a line then you will hear the talk only in front of you. If they are coming from all directions then it is not a line, more of a scrum.
    I think you are right to localize Christ in the host as described to you by the distributing minister. That does not mean that he is not present elsewhere but this host is the one for you alone.
    The point of discussion is that it is not so easy to make an external sign of reverence, such as genuflecting, in a line without standing out from the norm. Also there may be little time to compose yourself. When taking one’s place before the altar rails you may get 30 seconds or so before the priest returns to that spot to prepare yourself.
    I think the Pope would encourage but not try to enforce this as he does not wish to antagonise those who prefer to stand.

  19. I’m sorry I was so unclear. I have found that at communion time it is enriching for me to focus on Christ’s nourishing the whole assembly of which I am a part rather than on Christ in me only. It seems to me that a bow toward the Host that I am about to receive is a ritual way of narrowing the focus.

  20. Dear Ed S., Kimberly B. , Chase B., K.K. and awr,

    The lands where latin-rite Catholics still kneel for Holy Communion are largely former Soviet Union republics…e.g. Latvia, Estonia, Kazakhstan. I have visited Latvia but know only second hand of the others.

    If one were to think about what Catholics from these countries do not have in Common with the U. S. Catholics, the elephant in the room would be that one group has endured intense persecution for their Faith and the other has not.

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider, of Kazakhstan, is most certainly the reason we are even having this discussion. He is the man who convinced the pope to re-introduce the Communion kneeler into papal liturgies. For Bishop Schneider the act of kneeling conveys a message from your body into your soul. That message is dependence like that of a child who waits to be fed, and intense gratitude, like that of the one leper who bothered to come back to our Lord and fell on his knees before Him to thank Him! Does not the word eucharist mean gratitude?

    The Holy Father is commanding no one to kneel! He does invite us….and as Amercans reject wholesale his humble invitation to demonstrate gratitude, we are saying way too much about ourselves.

    raymond

  21. Mr. Lull,
    I think you’re making a few unfair leaps here. I wouldn’t assume that people who don’t kneel for Holy Communion aren’t as grateful, nor would I assume that people who kneel have greater gratitude. Surely the human heart is more complex than that. (Perhaps – just perhaps – some proponents of kneeling are judgmental of others and lacking in humility.) Regarding your last line, Americans are perhaps saying about themselves that they’re obedient to their Bishops (since our Bishops don’t permit kneeling) and that they’ve been well-formed by a couple generations of renewed liturgical practice.

    Humility and complete dependence upon God are very good things. Jesus spoke often of them. The problem is that kneeling for Communion suggests, rather, complete dependence upon a clergyman who feeds you like a child. There is nothing in the teachings of Jesus to even hint that Christians should have this childish attitude toward ordained authorities in their community.

    I think for this question we need a richer and broader understanding of receiving Communion: humility and adoration, yes, but not only! Also sharing in the entire Paschal Mystery, anticipating one’s resurrection on the Last Day, being divinized by God’s grace, being given one’s full human dignity, completing one’s action in the EP, sharing with the gathered community, anticipating the final Banquet, and so forth.

    awr

    1. A few things:

      “…Americans are perhaps saying about themselves that they’re obedient to their Bishops (since our Bishops don’t permit kneeling)… ”

      First, our bishops cannot require you to stand to receive communion. Furthermore, a priest cannot refuse communion to someone who chooses to kneel to receive it, nor can your bishop instruct such practices. This has been made quite clear by the Congregation for Divine Worship. http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/liturgy/kneeling.htm

      “The problem is that kneeling for Communion suggests, rather, complete dependence upon a clergyman who feeds you like a child.”

      As laity, we are completely dependent on the ordained. It is through their ordination that they alone have the ability to bring the Eucharistic Lord to us.

      1. Our Bishops do not permit kneeling, this is clear. The only approved posture in the U.S. is standing. However, it is also clear that those who don’t follow the Bishops’ guidelines are not to be refused Communion during the liturgy.

        I simply don’t share your ecclesiology regarding ordained and laity, nor do I find a basis for your position in any of the teachings of Jesus.

        Also, I would question your sacramental theology – that the ordained bring the Lord down to the laity. This suggests that the ordained have power over Jesus, which can’t be right. I think it’s better to think of sacraments as the work of Christ, and to think of everything the priestly community does (the lay priests and the ordained priest-leader) as a response. They are graced to offer this response because of their sharing in Christ’s priesthood, and this in different manners based on their priestly baptism and their priestly ordination.

        awr

      2. My thought on the sacramental theology is a simple one, since I am not versed in theology in the least. A priest can celebrate mass privately and consecrate the host. I cannot celebrate mass by myself and consecrate the host, so for me to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, I am completly dependent on a priest. I completely agree that the sacraments are a work of Christ, and that we are nourished by the sacraments when we participate in them.

      3. +JMJ+

        “They are graced to offer this response because of their sharing in Christ’s priesthood, and this in different manners based on their priestly baptism and their priestly ordination.”

        Yes, and ordained priests are given the grace to efficaciously do something that lay priests cannot.

      4. This line of neo-conservative clerical dependence strikes me as rather modernistic and deeply tainted by secular influence.

        Some Catholics speak of rights, privilege, and dependence on earthly authority. Jesus seemed to reject the quest for the first two. Repeatedly. He also taught his disciples to see their leadership as being a matter, first, of grave responsibility. If the clergy indeed are responsible, as some comments here have suggested, as sole conduits for Eucharistic grace, then why is Rome so full and rural areas, inner cities, and mission lands so relatively empty of grace?

        The reception of Communion should be informed not only by outward appearances, but by an interiority reflected in whatever position our legs find themselves. Kneeling is not a spiritual panacea. Unfortunately, it has become an ideological stance in some quarters.

    2. +JMJ+

      “Americans are … obedient to their Bishops”

      On this particular issue, at least. But if priests feel that they can refuse obedience to their bishops when this new translation rolls around, shouldn’t the laity have the opportunity to refuse obedience on the posture issue?

      “kneeling for Communion suggests, rather, complete dependence upon a clergyman who feeds you like a child”

      I would kneel even if an EMHC was giving me Holy Communion. (Clarification: I rarely kneel to receive Holy Communion, but I’m saying I would not change my posture — just like I don’t change my mode of reception (on the tongue) — based on who is administering Communion.)

      “being given one’s full human dignity”

      I don’t consider kneeling before God to be a sign of a lack of full human dignity.

  22. For me this issue provokes a few thoughts. In regard to some of the above comments, I offer two comments:
    First, the gesture of kneeling for communion seems more private, whereby standing together says we are the Body; we come together to the altar of God. There is nothing private about liturgy!
    Secondly, we need to be careful about the language we use. Words such as “receive” communion imply we are getting something. We are in effect doing something. We need to consistently use verbs like “celebrate,” or “sharing in a meal.”

    1. I share a meal every evening with my family at the dining room table. RECEIVING communion on Sundays and holy days is significantly different than that. I receive the living God when I partake in communion. For me, this is more than just a meal. If I see a church that has a “meal schedule” on their outdoor sign, and they are not referring to a soup kitchen, I will run the other way!

      1. Different, yes. But there is a connection if, like Jesus, we understand the profound gesture of sharing a meal. Remember, it was Jesus’ meal sharing with the marginalized that got him in trouble. To share a meal with others, for Jews, meant you were sharing life with them.

        Sharing meals with our loved one at home (a lost art in many cases) is brought to a higher level when Christ becomes the food.
        We can stretch this a bit more and say liturgy actually begins long before we enter the church building….

    2. I disagree with you when you say kneeling seems more private. The current way of receiving (one-by-one standing) seems much more private and individualistic to me. I actually never knew until I was an adult that my dad always received communion on the tongue rather than in his hands because I’d never seen him receive before (he was always either directly in front of me in line, or behind).

      The first time I received communion at an altar rail, it was completely unexpected (I didn’t know the church still used its rail). I was amazed at how communal it was to kneel shoulder-to-shoulder with my fellow Catholics at that moment in Mass.

      Also, celebrating something isn’t the same as receiving. We celebrate Mass, but we also receive communion. It’s not mutually exclusive.

      1. Jack, your response resonates with me! I look forward to those times when I go to a church that still has, and actually uses, an altar rail, because it does seem to demonstrate a heightened sense of community to me. All approaching the altar, all kneeling in a row – a gesture quite distinct from anything experienced in day to day life. Indeed, quite unlike lining up single file to purchase movie tickets or buy fast food hamburgers.

      2. John – I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that there is a sense of community in using the altar rail that isn’t present when standing in line. The current norm for receiving communion (standing in line) can be said to emphasize a lot of things, but I really don’t see how community is one of them.

        Unfortunately, the priest at the church where I first received at the rail passed away in recent years and was replaced by one who ditched using the altar rail (despite complaints from parishioners). I think a compromise was reached where the priest would stand next to the rail and allow people to kneel one-by-one if they wanted to, but the communal nature of being side-by-side is still lost.

  23. Donna
    I think that you are right that Mass is a celebration but it is primarily a sacrifice. This is made clear by Paul VI in his encyclical on the Holy Eucharist.
    Remember that one kneels before Christ, not the priest just as a soldier salutes the commission rather than the young officer.
    Whilst we are encouraged to particpate in the liturgy that does not mean that we have taken over the role of the priest. Rather we associate ourselves with him in his action.
    The trick is to be neither too defferential nor too matey.

  24. Peter,
    My comment was intended to say that communion is not only about me before Christ, it is about me before others. In other words, communion is a proclamation of who we are as the Body of Christ. The action of sharing in this sacred meal nourishes us to be that Body in the world.

    This is richly profound and perhaps difficult to put into a few short comments.

  25. Greetings Donna
    You are right, it is hard to compress. I was looking up the quote:
    27. It is a good idea to recall at the very outset what may be termed the heart and core of the doctrine, namely that, by means of the Mystery of the Eucharist, the Sacrifice of the Cross which was once carried out on Calvary is re-enacted in wonderful fashion and is constantly recalled, and its salvific power is applied to the forgiving of the sins we commit each day.” (12)

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_03091965_mysterium_en.html

    I think that the concept of sacrifice is not outdated. Look at the numbers who do sponsored events such as running a marathon or doing a parchute jump.
    In Mass we are repeating the sacrifice of Christ. We celebrate that through this sacrifice we may gain redemption.
    The danger of emphasising aspects other than the sacrificial one is that there is a risk of the sacrifice being obscured.
    It is good to compare notes like this: we are both enriched.
    Cheers
    Peter

    1. I seem to recall another Pray Tell discussion about mass as sacrifice. I am not denying that.

      However, the original post was referring to kneeling for communion; it seems that many comments went off track.

      One final word, Eucharist is a celebration of Paschal Mystery. And this is the mystery we live.

    1. Just remember, the real Triumph is eschatological. That is, to privilege the Good Friday vs the Holy Thursday resonance of the Eucharistic Liturgy is to miss that it is even more a foretaste of the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb in the fullness of the new creation.

  26. Would strongly suggest that an understanding of eucharist is both/and – sacrifice and meal. In fact, the context is a meal. We had a separate blog on this. Much of what I see in the comments above align with a person’s ecclesiology and for some the starting point is either/or or an emphasis on sacrifice that diminishes the richness of our sacramental theology and worship.

    We are a pilgrim people who celebrate sacramental eucharist as word/sacrament on our journey. We gather to break open both the word and the body/blood to remember our past, strengthen us today, and provide hope for the future. That is the paschal mystery. To stray to either extreme – individual worshippers or just a gathering of people; sacrifice vs. meal – detracts from the richness of our tradition.

  27. Standing is just as much a sign of reverence and respect as kneeling. We rise when the judge enters and court is in session, when the President enters the room. When someone new enters the room, if we are seated we rise to greet that person as a sign of respect.

    We stand for the Gospel. In the parish where the Eucharist Prayer is sung, we stand as an indication of solemnity and importance just like the Gospel reading.

    In the Orthodox Church, standing is associated with the Resurrection, and is mandatory during all Sundays and the Paschal Season. Kneeling is associated with penitential seasons. “Kneeling Vespers” at the end of Pentecost Sunday (the beginning of Monday liturgically) is a sign that it is OK to kneel.

    On Saturday evening (liturgically Sunday) my local Orthodox Church stands during the whole hour service of the Vigil (a combination of Vespers and Matins). That is far more a spiritual discipline than slouching down into a comfortable kneeling posture on padded kneelers at Sunday Mass. We are singing during most of the Vigil, it would be very boring to just stand for a hour listening. This liturgy is good in part because it is work, including standing.

    Kneeling seems a self centered reverence, it draws attention to myself, and therefore more appropriate to penitential occasions. Standing seems a very other centered reverence, it points to the judge, the President, a guest, the Gospel, the Eucharistic Offering, the Resurrection, the Paschal Season.

  28. …..Surely the human heart is more complex than that. (… perhaps – some proponents of kneeling are judgmental of others ..lacking in humility.) …
    Dear Father,

    I’ll grant your point about judging individuals. Some people in my church munch gum as they approach the Holy Eucharist….For all we know this might be their way of saying ‘thank-you Jesus’!

    But I mentioned kneeling’s prevalence among many of the peoples who have endured persecution for the Faith and its paucity amongst American Catholics,-who have not,- because the contrast in lex orandi is so striking. One group’s collective experience caused them not want to abandon kneeling and the other’s did. Are you really saying American Catholics, as a whole are as grateful as , say, Lithuanian Catholics who have suffered much? I disagree. Call me a pharisee! [again 🙂 ]

    …. they’ve been well-formed by a couple generations of renewed liturgical practice…..

    Us “well-formed”?? !!Do you really live in America? I’m starting to envision you in a monastery high up in the Alps somewhere! Say hello to Heidi’s Opa! 🙂

    …kneeling for Communion suggests, rather, complete dependence upon a clergyman who feeds you like a child…

    This is a terrible misunderstanding of why anyone would kneel before you for Communion. Ask us, why we do it! Dominus Est!
    “childish attitude toward ordained authorities” indeed!
    Honestly! Your caricature of us is worthy of Jack Chick, not of a fellow Catholic!

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