How good to kneel again
Something deeply moving happened in our church last Sunday. We have been "camping out" in our parish gymnasium while some major renovations have been underway to our church, one of which is extending the size of our balcony and making it much more acoustically friendly. Wow, is it ever. Our string ensemble was fantastic last Sunday, even more so now that we can actually hear them well!
Well, part of the move to the gym meant that we could no longer kneel to receive the Sacrament, and receive it by table, but instead had to use a sort of standing/shuffling movement to receive it. Now, before anyone says, "It doesn’t matter what posture is used to receive the Sacrament." Yes, I know. It "doesn’t matter" in the sense that no particular posture makes the Sacrament "work better for you."
But I do feel sorry for people who don’t kneel as they receive their Lord’s body and blood. What a wonderful way to receive Him. On your knees, in the position of penitence and humility and need. Kneeling to receive the gifts we need the most, to receive the Priceless Treasure beyond all measure.
Last Sunday was the first time in a long number of months that we have been back in our church building and able to kneel to receive the Sacrament. But, alas, amidst all the things necessary for worshiping in the sanctuary again somebody forgot to put the kneeling cushions back down. So, Pastor announced that if anyone didn’t feel like kneeling without cushions, that was fine.
We like to sit in the front row in church so I was interested to see what would happen. The chancel of our church is made with stone slabs. These stone slabs are not smooth, but textured. So, I kind of thought most people would choose not to kneel on: a) a hard surface; b) cold stone; c) rough stone. But something marvelous happened. Time and time again, the very aged, gingerly knelt down, putting old arthritic knee to cold, hard rough stone. The very young did to0. I did not see anyone not kneel, except for maybe a handful who have severe knee problems, and they can never kneel anyway.
I found it deeply touching that so many chose to kneel to receive their Lord’s body and blood rather than stand. They, like me, were looking forward once more to kneeling before the Lord’s altar, kneeling before the Presence of their Lord and God and taking Him into their mouths, where under the bread and wine they received the true body and blood of their Lord Jesus Christ, for forgiveness, life and salvation. And they did so as we sang, "Lord, may Thy Body and Thy Blood before my soul, the highest good!" Good indeed!