Q: A good example from a recent conversation has to do with the growing practice of having people receive communion as “we did in the old days” with everyone kneeling, a group at a time at the communion rail. Can you point to the history of the (now) standard practice processing to the altar and receiving from the minister while standing? I have to say I think there is beauty to both ways, but it seems like this is something that ought to be uniform and not be used to signify membership in one ideological camp or another.
A: I’ve addressed the background to our postures and gestures at Mass in my bulletin inserts, “How Prayer Looks,” https://fdlc.org/product/how-prayer-looks-posture-and-gesture-in-the-liturgy/ . Standing is a sign of faith in the resurrection. Leaders in the early church forbade kneeling on Sundays and during Easter Time. The norm for the posture at communion in the United States (standing) was determined by the USCCB and is noted in GIRM 160.