Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kneeling suggests a childish attitude toward ordained authorities!

Praytell blog recently discussed our favorite topic: Kneeling for Communion!

Pray tell is run by Father Anthony Ruff OSB and is affiliated with Liturgical Press. On their home page, Father 'says' he actually likes kneeling..... would that it were true! Father shows a different side in the following exchange with someone called 'raymond lull'. (raymond apparently has been reading this blog!) Lull is red and Father Ruff's words will be green.


The lands where latin-rite Catholics still kneel for Holy Communion are largely former Soviet Union republics…e.g. Latvia, Estonia, Kazakhstan. I have visited Latvia but know only second hand of the others.

If one were to think about what Catholics from these countries do not have in Common with the U. S. Catholics, the elephant in the room would be that one group has endured intense persecution for their Faith and the other has not.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, of Kazakhstan, is most certainly the reason we are even having this discussion. He is the man who convinced the pope to re-introduce the Communion kneeler into papal liturgies. For Bishop Schneider the act of kneeling conveys a message from your body into your soul. That message is dependence like that of a child who waits to be fed, and intense gratitude, like that of the one leper who bothered to come back to our Lord and fell on his knees before Him to thank Him! Does not the word eucharist mean gratitude?

The Holy Father is commanding no one to kneel! He does invite us….and as Amercans reject wholesale his humble invitation to demonstrate gratitude, we are saying way too much about ourselves.

Fr. Ruff>>

I think you’re making a few unfair leaps here. I wouldn’t assume that people who don’t kneel for Holy Communion aren’t as grateful, nor would I assume that people who kneel have greater gratitude. Surely the human heart is more complex than that. (Perhaps – just perhaps – some proponents of kneeling are judgmental of others and lacking in humility.) Regarding your last line, Americans are perhaps saying about themselves that they’re obedient to their Bishops (since our Bishops don’t permit kneeling) and that they’ve been well-formed by a couple generations of renewed liturgical practice.

Humility and complete dependence upon God are very good things. Jesus spoke often of them. The problem is that kneeling for Communion suggests, rather, complete dependence upon a clergyman who feeds you like a child. There is nothing in the teachings of Jesus to even hint that Christians should have this childish attitude toward ordained authorities in their community.

I think for this question we need a richer and broader understanding of receiving Communion: humility and adoration, yes, but not only! Also sharing in the entire Paschal Mystery, anticipating one’s resurrection on the Last Day, being divinized by God’s grace, being given one’s full human dignity, completing one’s action in the EP, sharing with the gathered community, anticipating the final Banquet, and so forth.

(Father's original comments did not have bold print)

Comments anyone?



  1. That last paragraph pretty much says it all. Where is this in our Western tradition? Nowhere except in the minds of post-Vatican II litniks.

  2. More depravity from Collegeville.

  3. Apparently Mr. Lull forgets that the priest at Mass acts as another Christ "Persona Cristi" tie in to that the fact that he is wrong about being child like in our faith (Matthew 19:14) and (Matthew 18:3) the man is either extremely ignorant or a fraud.

  4. "Since our bishops don't permit kneeling...."

    From the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 3rd edition, March 2002.

    The following norm is the universal norm found in the Roman Missal. . . .

    160 . . .The faithful may communicate either standing or kneeling, as established by the Conference of Bishops. However, when they communicate standing, it is recommended that they make an appropriate gesture of reverence, to be laid down in the same norms, before receiving the Sacrament.

    Actually it doesn't surprise me that someone from St. John's wouldn't follow this.

    "Humility and complete dependence upon God are very good things. Jesus spoke often of them. The problem is that kneeling for Communion suggests, rather, complete dependence upon a clergyman who feeds you like a child."

    Incredible; How arrogant!

    "Non serviam", said Lucifer!

  5. He is completely missing the point!! Those who kneel for communion are not kneeling for the priest, they are kneeling for CHRIST!!! Its like when you wave at someone from across the room and the person behind them waves back.... no, I wasn't waving at YOU! I was waving at the guy in front of you!

    Its the same idea here. The priest may think you are kneeling before him, but in fact you are kneeling before the LORD himself! The priest just happens to be behind God. We kneel before the KING!