If Angels, who are greater than we, kneel before the Blessed Sacrament,
should we lesser creatures not also?

Liturgical Time Bombs
in Vatican II: Excerpts
The Destruction of Catholic Faith 
Through Changes in Catholic Worship 
by Michael Davies

Published on the Web with Permission of the Author.

A Ban on Kneeling for Holy Communion

Not one of these differences would be apparent in a typical Catholic parish celebration in the United States today. As regards No. 6, standing for Communion, at the end of 2002 the Bishops' Conference of the United States decreed, apparently in deference to the principle of a permanently evolving liturgy, that the faithful must stand for the reception of Holy Communion. Decisions of an episcopal conference are not binding on individual bishops, but even relatively conservative bishops such as Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver bowed to the conference, which in its turn had kow-towed to its so-called liturgical experts, its periti, in imposing this diktat. The February 5, 2003 edition of the Denver Catholic Register carried an exhortation of almost heroic banality from the Archbishop:

      In the revised General Instruction on the Roman Missal, the Holy See indicated that uniformity of gesture should be respected at this time in a specific way. The specific gesture was to be determined by the appropriate conference of bishops, and this has been done in the United States. The bishops have determined that we should not kneel or genuflect. We receive Communion standing. Before receiving, we bow our head in adoration, and we say "Amen" and receive the body of Christ on the tongue or in the hand. This will be new for many of the faithful, because the formal act of reverence was not widely promoted in the past. This act helps us avoid nonchalance in receiving holy Communion. It allows us to acknowledge what we are about to do: take under the form of bread and wine the resurrected body and blood of Christ.

    If we have become distracted during the procession, the gesture helps us to recollect ourselves. While the act of reverence will be new for some, it may be "different" for others. In the past, we may have made a sign of the cross, a profound bow (one from the waist), genuflected or simply knelt as our act of adoration. The Church now asks us to submit our personal preference to her wisdom. Some of us will need time to remember to do this. Others may not want to change the gesture of reverence they've been using. In all cases, we need to defer to the Church.

I have rarely seen so many non sequiturs in so short a space. If standing helps us avoid nonchalance in receiving Holy Communion, does kneeling promote nonchalance? If standing allows us to acknowledge that we are about to take under the form of bread and wine the resurrected Body and Blood of Christ, does kneeling preclude such acknowledgment? [Emphasis in bold added by the Web Master.] If standing helps us to recollect ourselves, does kneeling preclude recollection? The Archbishop informs us that "the act of reverence will be new for some." What utter nonsense! Standing is not an act of reverence, and has never been an act of reverence. He would profit from reading an article by Father Regis Scanlon, O.F.M., in the August-September 1994 issue of Homiletic and Pastoral Review. The Franciscan theologian reminds us:
      There is a good reason why the Church reserves the genuflection for its official act of reverence toward the Blessed Sacrament. Not just any act can be used for an act of adoration. For example, one could never use standing as an act of adoration in our culture nor in the oriental culture. We stand when a bishop or the President of the United States comes into the room, but we do not adore either one of them. Similarly, today, many bow at the presence of great dignitaries and human authority, but they do not adore them. This is also the case in oriental cultures today . . . the act of bending the knee before Jesus Christ is not just a relative act, or an act that is based purely on culture. Rather, it transcends culture because it is an act that has scriptural, traditional, and cosmic significance. God the Father says through Isaiah: "To Me every knee shall bend" (Is. 45: 23). And St. Paul says, "for it is written: 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before Me' " (Rom. 14: 11). Again, St. Paul states: "at Jesus' name every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth" (Phil. 2: 10). And this "kneeling," or "bending of the knee," is the act of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament which has developed in the Tradition of the Church and which the faithful have adopted down through the ages. St. Francis of Assisi, for example, said in his twelfth century Letter to All Superiors of the Friars Minor: "When the priest is offering sacrifice at the altar or the Blessed Sacrament is being carried about, everyone should kneel down and give praise, glory and honour to our Lord and God, living and true."


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