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Communion rails
Question from Betty on 3/4/2014:

I am 62-years-old and can not kneel on my own. I like to go to the Communion rail to receive Communion so I can kneel and receive on the tongue. I was yelled at after Mass by one of the priests and told that I need to humble myself and conform like everyone else. This embarrassed me so bad to the point I almost left my parish. My daughter went to the Communion rail last Sunday and was humiliated when another priest called her back from the Communion rail and made her stand. She said she is not going back to our parish. Why can't we kneel at the Communion rail?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 3/10/2014:

Betty--

The priests were wrong to humiliate you and your daughter in the manner you describe. They have absolutely no excuse for treating either of you in such a cruel manner.

That said, congregants should also respect how the Communion lines are set up in a church and should not expect ministers of Communion to trot over to the Communion rail every time an individual congregant decides he'd rather use the Communion rail. Communicants are free to kneel before the minister of Communion to receive if they can do so without hardship and get back up again quickly, without unduly delaying the Communion line. If communicants aren't able to kneel on their own, and if the Communion rail is not in use in the parish, then communicants should stand to receive.

By the way, you can still receive Communion on the tongue even if you do not kneel. Just clasp your hands in front of you (or behind you if the minister tries to force you to receive in the hand) and open your mouth to receive.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers


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