Clearly this video shows the two postures by which communicants receive Holy Communion at a papal liturgy, both are valid, the norm is kneeling, the exception now made a liturgical norm in many countries, including the USA, is to stand. But clearly a communicant may stand in this country which is the norm, but is allowed the "exception" to kneel by the Church. Let's observe the Holy Father's preferred method which is the universal norm free of any other type of permission from him. Please note too that a priest prevents another priest or perhaps a brother or seminarian from receiving in the hand. I presume that is not allowed any longer at a papal liturgy?
Today we celebrate the Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord, also known as Corpus Christi. The basis of this Solemnity is to emphasize the "real presence" of Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament, not only as we receive Him in Holy Communion, but His abiding presence in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar reserved in every Catholic tabernacle throughout the world.
There is a two-fold purpose for the reservation of our Lord's Risen Presence in the tabernacle. The first is so the Church can bring Holy Communion to the sick, dying and housebound. In fact when Holy Communion is brought to one on the verge of death, in other words, their Last Holy Communion, it is called Viaticum, or Food for the final leg of their pilgrimage to their personal judgment and their soul's entry into heaven to await the resurrection of the body at the Final Judgment.
But, equally important is the presence of our glorified and risen Lord in the tabernacle for our personal and communal adoration and praise. We are fortunate to have our Adoration Chapel available 24 hours a day for personal prayer, adoration and contemplation before our Lord. Please sign up to be an adorer so that we can have at least one person there 24 hours a day. You will be amazed how making a Holy Hour before our Lord in Solemn Exposition once a week will bring you peace, increase your faith, and help you to be a better Catholic and thus a better person.
I'd like to remind everyone of the reverence due our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament:
1. When passing directly in front of the tabernacle, one genuflects by touching the right knee to the floor and rising.
2. When the Blessed Sacrament is in Solemn Exposition in the Monstrance, one goes down on both knees, bows one's head and rises. (For both #1&2, one's physical abilities must always be taken into account of course!)
3. We must fast for one hour prior to receiving Holy Communion at Mass. I would recommend one hour before Mass begins. This means from food and drink other than water. Water and medicine can be taken at any time prior to Holy Communion. Chewing gum breaks the one hour fast. Once again, I remind everyone that gum should never, ever be chewed in the Church and obviously never during Mass. If you rub your hand under your pew, you will be shocked at what your hand will find! This is unacceptable of course. No food or drink apart from water should be brought into the Church.
4. We should maintain silence in the Church before and after Mass. Of course quiet greetings and quiet talk after Mass are fine, but away from the tabernacle. But this talk should be seen as an accommodation to the fact that we have no other inside place to do this after Mass. But please be conscious of others who want one place in the world free of chatter to promote awareness of God's quiet presence--the Catholic Church and sanctuary are for prayer and meditation.
5. Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation are obligatory. But obligation must grow into a desire to worship God not just because it is an external obligation placed upon us by the Canon Law and the 3rd Commandment, but because of an internal desire to know and love Jesus Christ through our worship of Him at Mass.
6. When receiving Holy Communion, be in a state of grace, repenting of any sin and asking God for forgiveness. Normally the prayers of the Mass can accomplish this for venial sins. However, for mortal sins, sacramental confession and absolution by a priest are necessary. One should never receive Holy Communion when one is conscious of grave or mortal sin that has not been forgiven through the Sacrament of Penance.
7. Receive Holy Communion reverently, both internally and externally. Many of you may know that our Holy Father Pope Benedict will only distribute Holy Communion to those kneeling and they must receive on the tongue, not the hand. Many people today feel that receiving Holy Communion standing and in the hand, while well intentioned and as a sign of "being raised up with the Lord through His resurrection", has led many in the Church to lose reverence for the awesome privilege it is to receive our Lord in Holy Communion. If you receive in the hand, please do so deliberately and never, ever walk off with the host. Make a throne with your hand and place the host in your mouth before departing the minister. As well, bow before receiving and make the sign of the Cross afterwards.
8. Some people prefer kneeling for Holy Communion and Church law does not prevent this. Kneelers will now be available for those who wish to kneel. But the norm in the USA remains standing. The choice to stand (the norm) or to kneel (the exception) is yours.
9. Only Roman Catholics in full communion with the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) and their local bishop may receive Holy Communion. Catholics are not free to receive Holy Communion in the Episcopal Church or in Protestant Churches. Receiving Holy Communion consecrated by a priest validly ordained (Holy Orders) is a sign that Jesus has made you fully a member of the Church which includes first and foremost Jesus Christ who is the Head of the Church and then the pope and bishops in union with him and the faith and morals of the Church which characterize the beliefs of Catholics.
Let us renew our faith, devotion and adoration of our Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Risen and Glorified Lord. God bless you.
Fr. Allan J. McDonald