Liturgical Change – The Standing Posture

Dear Parishioners,


This pastor letter is to remind us that the entire diocese is to unite in a liturgical posture of standing

  • After the Lamb of God,
  • For the singing of the entire communion song, and
  • During the complete distribution of Holy Communion to all.

Therefore, only when the last person receives communion all may sit or kneel, not before, especially not after one individually receives Holy Communion. Please remain standing.

For years we were taught to “be with Jesus” after the reception of Holy Communion, to kneel down and make a personal conversation with Jesus. That teaching was done in a time period where communal “participation” in the liturgy was minimal and personal piety and devotion were proper.

Today, active participation is integral in the liturgy, whether it be SINGING, STANDING, RESPONDING, KNEELING, or SITTING. This new standing posture will be a change for us.

Certainly we have parishioners coming to Mass that are disabled and cannot remain standing for a long period of time! This is a perfectly reasonable exception to this new norm.

Please see the insert below that explain this new standing posture.

Many blessings,
Father Jim

During Mass, we assume different postures – standing, kneeling, and sitting.  These postures are not merely ceremonial.  They have profound meaning when done with understanding.


From the earliest days of the church, this posture has been understood as the stance of those who have risen with Christ and seek the things which are above.  By baptism we have all been given a fuller share in the life of God and the posture of standing is an acknowledgement of this wonderful gift.  Standing is a sign of respect and honor, so we stand as the celebrant who represents Christ, enters and leaves the assembly.  We stand when we address God in the various prayers of the Mass; we assume our full stature before God, not in pride, but in humble gratitude for the marvelous things God has done in creating and redeeming each on of us.  We stand for the proclamation of the Gospel which recalls the words and deeds of the Lord.  The bishops of the United States have chosen standing as the normative posture to be observed for the reception of communion.  (GIRM 160)


In the early Church, kneeling signified penance.  So thoroughly was kneeling identified with penance that the early Christians were forbidden to kneel on Sundays and during the Easter season, when the prevailing spirit of the Liturgy was one of joy and thanksgiving.  In the Middle Ages, kneeling came to signify homage, and more recently this posture has come to signify adoration, especially before the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  It is for this reason that the bishops of this country have chosen the posture of kneeling during the entire Eucharistic Prayer.


Sitting is the posture of listening and meditation, so the assembly sits for the pre-Gospel readings and the homily and may also sit for the period of mediation following Communion.  All should strive to assume a seated posture during the Mass that is attentive rather than merely at rest.


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