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Cardinal Canizares calls for Communion on tongue, kneeling

July 28, 2011

The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship has strongly endorsed the practice of receiving Communion on the tongue, while kneeling.

Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera told the Catholic News Agency that the traditional posture is a "sign of adoration that needs to be recovered." When Catholics receive Communion while standing, they should show their reverence with a bow, the Spanish cardinal said; but in practice few people do that. He said: "I think the entire Church needs to receive Communion while kneeling."


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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Jul. 29, 2011 7:29 PM ET USA

    A bigger concern than whether we receive the Host on the tongue is, why a thousand communicants process forward and yet the confessional is a foreign concept to most.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Jul. 29, 2011 8:18 AM ET USA

    Absolutely right! This would be a welcome set of disciplinary norms: 1) Communion received on the tongue and kneeling whether at an altar rail or several strategically located kneelers; 2) abolish female altar servers; and 3) bring back patens.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jul. 29, 2011 8:08 AM ET USA

    God bless Cardinal Llovera! This would be a beautiful spiritual change. When I was a child there was something so special about everyone kneeling to receive the Blessed Sacrament.

  • Posted by: Nuage - Jul. 29, 2011 12:10 AM ET USA

    One of the main reasons our family was attracted to the Traditional Latin Mass was because in this liturgy everyone receives Our Lord while kneeling at the Communion rail and on the tongue. Our children are being raised to believe in the Real Presence and this reinforces that belief. Recently, I was in another parish for Mass;it was a beautiful church. I asked a regular parishioner where the Tabernacle was. He had no idea - and I think he didn't even understand what I was talking about.

  • Posted by: JimKcda - Jul. 28, 2011 7:32 PM ET USA

    Yes! Bring back Holy Communion on the toungue and also our altar-rails. Besides all the theological and traditional reasons for altar-rails, they provide a support for us older folks to get up and down. While kneeling at the altar-rail will require all people to come to the front of the Church for reception, it will also speed-up the distribution of the Eucharist. When I was an altar boy, the priest was able to go from person to person much quicker than now.

  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Jul. 28, 2011 5:38 PM ET USA

    The difficulty is "making" people receive on the tongue is not the same as "motivating" people to recognize the good and gracious God about to enter their soul and body. Recognition of our littleness and God's awesome infiniteness leads to humilty and the need to kneel in the poresence of our Creator and Savior. We need to teach and live the faith - this is the only way.