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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What is the proper way to receive Holy Communion? Should one stand or kneel?

A. 1. On March 25, 2004, the Congregation for Divine Worship released the Instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum" regarding the Discipline of the Sacrament. The following two paragraph address the matter of kneeling or standing when receiving Holy Communion.

[90.] “The faithful should receive Communion kneeling or standing, as the Conference of Bishops will have determined”, with its acts having received the recognitio of the Apostolic See. “However, if they receive Communion standing, it is recommended that they give due reverence before the reception of the Sacrament, as set forth in the same norms”.

[91.] In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them”. Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.

In other words, the priest cannot dictate how the faithful receive Holy Communion. Nor can he deny anyone communion because the believe chooses to stand or kneel when received the Lord Jesus in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

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