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US Bishops' committee instructs against kneeling for Communion

The US bishops' committee on the liturgy has said that Catholics should not ordinarily receive Communion while kneeling.

The Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy declared in its July newsletter that the Bishops have decided "that the normative posture for receiving Holy Communion should be standing".

They said kneeling is "not a licit posture for receiving Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States of America unless the bishop of a particular diocese has derogated from this norm in an individual and extraordinary circumstance".

In a position paper on its website, the Committee points out that the Eucharist "unites us in the most profound way possible with Christ who, now gloriously risen from the dead, is the cause of our salvation". The posture of kneeling, by contrast, distances the faithful from God: "The posture of kneeling signified penance in the early Church: the awareness of sin casts us to the ground!" It says early Christians were forbidden to kneel on Sundays and during the Easter Season "when the prevailing spirit of the liturgy was that of joy and thanksgiving".

US Catholic Bishops | Committee on the Liturgy | Postures and Gestures at Mass
How to Receive Communion: Tradition, Abuses, Symbolism, and Piety

Spirit Daily-CWN

26 Aug 2002