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Genuflecting or Kneeling For the Eucharist

1. Allowed
2. Safely Performed
3. Why Do It



The Catholic Church Allows Kneeling and Genuflecting

The Catholic Church allows the faithful to genuflect or to kneel before receiving the Eucharist.

Here is a photograph of a letter I received from His Eminence Bishop Wenski of Orlando Florida.

Click to enlarge

The Congregation for Divine Worship states:

“...while this Congregation gave the recognitio to the norm desired by the Bishops' Conference of your country that people stand for Holy Communion, this was done on the condition that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds. Indeed, the faithful should not be imposed upon nor accused of disobedience and of acting illicitly when they kneel to receive Holy Communion.”   Read complete article and again here.



Genuflecting and Kneeling Safely

There are basically three ways to genuflect or to go down to a kneeling position.  The first two are somewhat potentially hazardous, but the third method is completely safe.  I plan to have some free video demonstrating these three methods in the near future.

1. Walk all the way forward and then place both feet together.  Then place one’s right knee next to one’s left foot while pushing one’s right foot backward.  This method is unsafe because ones legs are being pushed back into the space already vacated behind oneself.  The person behind could be walking into that space and could possible trip.

2.  While walking forward take a large step with the left foot and in a continuous motion lower one’s right knee to the ground. This method is also slightly unsafe because at eye level one appears to be vacating the space behind.   A person behind could walk into ones legs.

3. The safe method.

To Genuflect:
Walk forward slowly and then stop while the person just ahead receives Holy Communion.  Leave ample room between oneself and the person ahead. While pausing place your left foot a half step forward.  Lower ones back so that it rests just above ones trailing (right) foot as you place your right knee to the ground to genuflect.  Do this while the person ahead receives Holy Communion and then stand to receive Holy Communion as the person ahead exists the Communion line.

To Kneel:
After the person ahead leaves the Communion line place one’s left foot slightly forward and slightly to the side.  Leaving your right foot stationary, lower your body straight down with your back descending on top of your right foot.  Lean your body forward to come to a rest onto your right knee.   As you place your left knee to the ground you can place your left foot backward to line up with your right foot.  Use caution when standing.  Avoid leaning backward and striking the person behind you. When arising, step forward to the side of the Priest, with one foot, then the other.


Why I Prefer to Genuflect and Kneel

God deserves our deepest and most sincere reverence.  Even Jesus knelt in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  “And he … knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.’ ” (Luke 22:41-42).

Because the One before whom we kneel before is so great, it makes kneeling an honor.  A greater appreciation of God always leads to a greater appreciation of ourselves.


Many Catholics claim that they do not get anything out of Mass.  Some polls report that only about one third of Catholics believe in Transubstantiation.  Maybe the Holy Spirit will help them to see that the acts of genuflecting and kneeling before the Eucharist point to His True Presence.  And maybe, the Holy Spirit will help fallen away Catholics who are now Protestant when they visit a Catholic Mass to realize that they gave up the Eucharist for mere bread and grape juice.

Philippians 2:10-11  “ … that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Ephesians 3:14-15   “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named ”

Romans 14:11  “ … for it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ ”

Also Acts 7:60, 9:40, 20:36, 21:5


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