John Owen: Against kneeling for communion

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
The posture of kneeling in the receiving of this sacrament is a peculiar act of religious adoration, which hath no divine institution or warranty; and is therefore at best an act of will-worship, not to be complied withal.

It is said that “kneeling is required not as an act of worship or religious adoration; but only as a posture decent and comely, because the sacrament is delivered with a prayer unto every one.” But,—

(1.) That delivery of it with a prayer unto every one is uninstituted, without primitive example, contrary to the practice at the first institution of the ordinance, unsuited to the nature of the communion required, and a disturbance of it.

(2.) He that prays stands, and he that doth not pray kneels, which must be another consideration; for,—

(3.) Prayer is not the proper exercise of faith in the instant of receiving of this sacrament, as is evident from the nature and use of it.

(4.) The known original of this rite doth render it not only justly to be suspected, but to be avoided.

For the reference, see John Owen: Against kneeling for communion.