Denial of Communion Part One
I’ve been holding off on posting this mainly because, well, to me, its not something that I should be boasting, or blogging about, but, after a bit of reflecting, I thought I could make a decent post about it, and maybe help others who are in a similar position.
On Palm Sunday, my wife and I were out in Wisconsin, within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee visiting a couple of friends of ours. The Mass was just fine, but when I went up to receive communion, kneeling, the priest said out loud in a very audible voice “no, you have to stand”. I knew he was wrong, but out of reverence for Christ, I received standing on the tongue.
I started to walk back to my pew, and he stopped me again, and began telling me that in “the Mass of Paul VI, we do not kneel…” I honestly do not know what he said, as I thought it was incredibly rude to do this during communion. Communion time is communion time, not teaching time, considering he could have talked to me after Mass.
Regardless, I know this is a common occurrence for some. I’ve never been denied before for kneeling. It’s kind of sad, really, because at that same time, I was being denied for showing reverence for Christ, meanwhile Pro-Abortion Vice President Joe Biden received from Cardinal Dolan.
I’ll be writing a letter to Father, explaining that, no, we are allowed to kneel for communion. I will also let you know if I hear back from him, and what actions I may, or may not be taking. If I get a no response or negative response, I’ll be contacting his bishop, and if I get a similar response from the bishop, I will be forwarding this to the Congregation of Divine Worship in the Vatican. Let’s hope it doesn’t go that far.
Here is the letter. Feel free to use it if you want to.
Dear Father (Last Name),
I would like to thank you very much for the Mass that you said on Palm Sunday. (fill in name of Church) is a very beautiful parish and the artwork was incredible and intricate.
I wanted to write to you in response to what occurred at Communion, however. When I came forward to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, I knelt as I always do. You requested that I stand in order to receive, and then explained why I should not kneel.
I have never before been told that I could not receive kneeling, so I looked into the issue more deeply.
Here is what I found:
From the GENERAL INSTRUCTION OF THE ROMAN MISSAL (emphasis is mine):
160. The priest then takes the paten or ciborium and goes to the
communicants, who, as a rule, approach in a procession.
The faithful are not permitted to take the consecrated bread or the sacred
chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them from one to another.
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.
When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her
head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the
Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be
received either on the tongue or in the hand, at the discretion of each
communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the
sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.
From REDEMPTORIS SACRAMENTUM (emphasis is mine):
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.
92. Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy
Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should
wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’
Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given
permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However,
special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the
communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away
carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of
profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to
Again, I would like to thank you for your service to the Church and especially the gift you have given of yourself as a priest of Christ.
I would enjoy hearing your thoughts.
This will be dropped in the mail tomorrow. I will let you all know what happens. If anything, pray for Father that his heart be opened.
UPDATE (June 9, 2013):
I have actually received a response from Father at this point. You can view my comments on that here.