There’s a plethora of reasons why I strongly believe that kneeling and receiving on the tongue to receive Holy Communion is the best method of reception. It shows much greater reverence, it was the only way to receive before Vatican II, and the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, the 265th successor of Peter, The Vicar of Christ, has done it himself, and encouraged others to do the same.
Receiving kneeling and on the tongue is clearly a more reverent way to receive Our Lord. Kneeling is an unmistakable gesture of prayer and adoration, and receiving on the tongue makes it clear that we are receiving, not “taking” the Eucharist from the priest.
Kneeling and receiving on the tongue should be the only way to receive because that is what the saints have done for hundreds of years, and what, up until Vatican II, has been the way to receive. The church granted special permission, and reluctantly at that, to receive in the hand, and it can be withdrawn at any time. There’s a reason for not having an absolute permission, but a temporary one.
Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict has begun doing this at all of his Masses, and has encouraged the world to do the same. Shouldn’t there be kneelers going out all around the world at all parishes after the Holy Father has proposed an idea such as this to us?
Now, some may argue against this saying that standing is the norm in the United States, citing the United States edition of the GIRM, §160. When this adaptation was purposed to the American bishops to be voted on, the question was asked about the definition of “norm”. It was made clear that norm does not mean legally obligatory, but means the usual way of doing things, not barring other legitimate options, such as kneeling. In addition to that, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (CDWDS) in Rome granted this indult, but only on condition that those wanting to kneel may always be allowed to (source). The GIRM makes it clear in the second half of §160.
The norm established for the Dioceses of the united States of America is that holy communion is to be received standing, unless an individual member of the faithful wishes to receive communion while kneeling (congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, March 25, 2004, no. 91).
But here’s the key point, straight from the CDWDS:
Indeed, the faithful should not be imposed upon nor accused of disobedience and of acting illicitly when they kneel to receive Holy Communion.
Get that? It is never being disobedient to kneel. Ever. If you’re receiving communion in the latin rite, you may always kneel. Clear enough?
Another argument people sometimes bring up is that we need unity, implying that everyone must stand for there to be “unity”. First of all, kneeling is the preferred manner in receiving communion. If some decide to break from the norm (which they are free to do), those who stay with it should not be accused of breaking the unity! If anything, those deviating from the norm (ie, receiving standing) should be accused of disrupting unity.
When you receive in this manner, you are “unified” with the many, many more Catholics who lived before Vatican II. Kneeling is the way to achieve greater “unity” in the way we receive, if that is what all this supposed unity is about. It seems that all of these arguments fall flat on their face when you simply examine them a little closer. As for me, I will be in union with all the kneeling Catholics receiving communion from our Holy Father. I need to look no further than to his example.
Receiving holy communion in this manner is clearly the best way to receive holy communion. When you think about it, it all boils down to reverence. I would urge anyone who would like to see more respect and reverence in the Mass to begin receiving kneeling, and on the tongue, and encourage others to do so. It seems simply the most reverent way to receive Our Lord and Savior, the creator of the universe.