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Caitlin Kennell Kim
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Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
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Neela Kale
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Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
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Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
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Our readers asked:

Recently at a church I was visiting the priest had everyone sit down before the precious body was returned to the tabernacle and then closed. Is this okay?

Mike Hayes Answers:

The answer, simply put, is “yes,” but it is also not merely up to the priest to decide.  If by your question you mean that the priest sits before the eucharist is reserved by the deacon to the tabernacle than yes, that is OK.  There is no prescription that states that he cannot sit and the faithful also do not have to take their lead from him. They can remain kneeling even while he is sitting.
If you are saying that the priest simply left the Eucharist on the altar and didn’t return it to the tabernacle before mass finished, than that is actually against the rubrics.
However, it doesn’t sound like that is your question:
Cardinal Arinze who is the prefect for worship at the Holy See stated that people do not have to all stand, sit, or kneel in unison after communion.

Rather there is a good reason “to ensure within broad limits a certain uniformity of posture within the congregation for the various parts of the celebration of Holy Mass, and on the other, to not regulate posture rigidly in such a way that those who wish to kneel or sit would no longer be free.”

So if we have a bad knee we can sit.  If we want to pray a bit longer we can continue to kneel.  If everyone is standing it would be proper for you to stand also but if your disposition is more comfortable with kneeling or sitting than that’s OK too.

Mike Hayes is the Senior Editor for Googling God
 
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The Author : Mike Hayes
Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Mike Hayes

    Correct, as we stated above. The rubric does not call for uniformity in any way or at any particular time with regards to the posture. I myself often stay kneeling when the priest has returned to the presider’s chair.

  • Joyce Donahue

    I believe, if I am not mistaken, the rubric in the Sacramentary says that when the priest sits after communion, the people MAY sit. It does not say “must”.

  • Mike Hayes

    Guy–
    Thanks for your comment but if Cardinal Arinze isn’t a good enough source for you then I suggest you contact him and take the matter up with him.

  • Guy

    IS IT NO WONDER THAT SO MANY DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE REAL PRESENCE OF jESUS IN THE EUCHARIST, IF THIS IS THE ANSWER CATHOLICS GET FROM A SOURCE SUCH AS YOURS. A NOTED JEWISH RABBI ONCE SAID ” IF I BELIEVED WHAT YOU CATHOLICS SAY YOU BELIEVE I WOULD CRAWL INTO YOUR CHURCH ON MY HANDS AND KNEES”.

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