RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION
The Church has celebrated the Divine Liturgy and partaken of the Holy Eucharist on the Lord’s Day (Sunday) and on major feast days since the time of the Apostles. Since it has always been such an essential aspect of the Christian life, it has been approached with the fear of God, with faith and with love.
The Holy Eucharist is an encounter with our Lord and Savior. If we are encountering God, why would we not properly prepare for this most holy sacrament? No one should approach Holy Communion without proper preparation.
Our need to prepare for Holy Communion should always be on our hearts and minds. We should strive to be aware, even when we miss the mark, that we are preparing ourselves, to receive the Lord within us.
If we have not received Holy Communion in a long time, or if we have not gone to Confession in a long time, you should first consider speaking to your priest before coming for Holy Communion.
The prescribed days and seasons of fasting should be observed—Wednesdays and Fridays, the Nativity Fast, Lent, Apostles & Dormition Fast, etc.—abstaining from eating meat and dairy products. This should be observed whether we receive Communion or not! We should pray our daily morning and evening prayers. We need to set time aside to read our Bibles, especially the New Testament and Psalms. We should meditate on the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes. We should examine ourselves to understand our weaknesses and the things that we do that offend God, while striving to change (i.e. repentance). Almsgiving (giving money to the Church, to the poor, etc.), asking forgiveness from others, forgiving others, and donating your time to help others.
Finally, our Holy Orthodox Church teaches that we must receive Holy Communion frequently. However, this implies that we must be frequently prepared! In the words of Christ: be watchful and pray lest you fall into temptation. (Mark 14:38)
Parents should be aware of these requirements, but common sense needs to be exercised. For example, you must determine when you child is ready for fasting both physically and emotionally. And, if for medical reasons, the prescribed fast cannot be observed, then please seek the counsel of your priest so that he may advise you. The frequent reception of Holy Communion is always encouraged. However, this implies that we should always be prepared to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ when we hear the command: “With the fear of God, with faith and love draw near!”
Below are some guidelines regarding Holy Communion:
- The frequent reception of Holy Communion is encouraged. This means that we must frequently prepare ourselves to receive what we believe to be the medicine of immortality!
- Only members of the Orthodox Church may receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. We must be Baptized and Chrismated into a canonical jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church. If you would like to become an Orthodox Christian, please contact Fr. Jason.
- Our goal is to attain communion with God by living a life of holiness. Are we living in a way that pleases Him?
- Fasting! Are we abstaining from food and drink prior to receiving communion unless it is medically necessary?
- CAUTION! Approach the chalice carefully. Do not do anything that could cause the chalice to spill!!!
- Please State your baptismal name – even if the priest knows it!
- Women, please blot or remove your lipstick prior to receiving Holy Communion.
- Please place the red communion cloth under your chin. It protects the Body and blood in the event of an accidental spill.
- As we approach the Chalice with fear, faith and love, we cannot forget our commandment to love one another. Please be loving and courteous towards everyone.