Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Kneeling for Holy Communion Protected?
Kneeling for Holy Communion Protected? QUESTION from Anna on June 15, 2002 On October 25, 2001, the Congregation for Divine Worship wrote the NCCB's Liturgy Committee with proposed adaptations to the new GIRM. Paragraph 9 of that letter urged the inclusion of a clause in GIRM no.160 protecting those whose sensibilities...lead them to kneel to receive Communion from imprudent actions by priests, deacons, and lay ministers... Presently, there appears to be no such clause. Are we free to kneel, and are our pastors bound to protect this right and privilege for us? If not, who can we contact to implore that this clause be added?
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on June 21, 2002 Dear Anna,
Yes, you have the choice of whether or not to kneel as you receive. The priest or minister is bound to protect this decision. The clause should not be needed, but unfortunately there are many imprudent priests who do not honor the choice to kneel. The final decision on whether or not the clause is added is up to the NCCB, and I suspect it will be added since it is encouraged by the Congregation for Divine Worship. I am not aware of any means by which the faithful may voice an opinion. This is probably a good thing since there is no way that everyone could have their way: the church is not a democracy. Rather, it is guided down the correct path by the Holy Spirit.
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