Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Catholic World News News Feature

Communion kneeling, on the tongue: new Vatican norm? June 26, 2008

The new director of the Vatican liturgical office has strongly encouraged kneeling to receive Communion, indicating that Pope Benedict XVI prefers the practice.

In an interview with L'Osservatore Romano, Msgr. Guido Marini said that kneeling and receiving the Eucharist on the tongue are practices that express and reinforce reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. He added that it is "urgent to highlight and recover" that sense of reverence.

Since Msgr. Marini assumed his current task as director of papal liturgies, Vatican-watchers have noticed that Pope Benedict has distributed the Eucharist to worshippers who kneel and receive Communion on the tongue. Asked whether these practices would become the norm for papal liturgies, the Vatican's top liturgist said that he thought they would. The Holy Father strongly supports that initiative, he indicated.

Msgr. Marini reminded L'Osservatore Romano that reception of Communion on the tongue remains the norm for the universal Church. Allowing the faithful to receive the Eucharist in their hands is a concession, or indult, "allowed by the Holy See to those bishops' conferences who requested it," he said.