As I wrote about last week, I went through a process of conversion on my thinking and believing in the Holy Eucharist and after becoming Catholic, in how I received Jesus in Holy Communion. And, honestly, I am still learning! My article from two weeks ago when I shared that document from the Vatican on how the Holy Father chooses to give Holy Communion only to those kneeling and on the tongue was really me sharing something I had never read before. I shared it because I was so recently moved by the idea of the Holy Father encouraging receiving kneeling and on the tongue as an act of respect and love for Our Lord and God.
In fact, after reading that, I was looking to see if somehow I personally could do so in the Holy Mass, but the MIssal clearly states the priest should receive himself standing (though only after a genuflection of adoration during or just after the “Lamb of God”). As a side, while looking into that, I also just found out that only the priest(s) are to self-communicate, so that any lay Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion can only receive from someone else - even if there is Precious Blood left in the chalice they have been administering. So they must offer it to someone else saying “the Blood of Christ” or give it back to the priest. We will start doing that from now on, since that is what the Church calls for. The instruction on this says it is important, since it clearly communicates that we receive Jesus from God, we do not take Him (see Phil 2:6 - not something to be “snatched”).
Therefore, based on my own evolving understanding and desire that we follow this movement of the Spirit revealing these instructions to our parish family, in the next few weeks, I am going to try to figure out how we can have a kneeler in the front of the church, but to the side of where I am giving Holy Communion. My goal is to make it so that it is not in the way if someone comes up as usual to receive, but that anyone who chooses can easily come and kneel so I can give them Holy Communion while he or she kneels. I do want to be clear on this: the United States bishops received and indult (permission) from the Vatican years ago to allow people to receive in the hand while standing, so I do not want to force anyone to do this. However, I do want to give people the opportunity, if they would like to receive in the way the Pope is modeling for us out of devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist. I think there will be great spiritual benefits for that person and for our parishes.
In the Hope of Our Risen Lord,