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samkim
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« on: September 11, 2007, 08:24:43 PM »

What is it like to take it? Someone asked about mystical experiences people had when they were baptised into the Church. What about the eucharist? What was it like to first take it?
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2007, 09:29:26 PM »

It's absolutely undescribable.
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2007, 03:51:02 AM »

I have heard that it is one of the most wonderful feeling for the beginning of your journey to Christ for those that take it in humility, pure heart and good will. It was special for me after I started believing (always "been" Orthodox but never believed in God until recently) but It is a disappointment for those who take it hypocritically or those who are not always faithful to God and do not follow the "guidelines" to taking it (like me sadly)
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2007, 09:05:34 AM »

There is a reason why we pray... Whenever we stand in Your holy temple we are considered as those who abide in Heaven... (see Agbia 3rd hour).

I must say that I was quite fearful in case I had forgotten to confess something or if perhaps I had sinned that morning and not realised it. I know of at least one story within the Coptic Church were a person died having partaken of Holy Communion unworthily.
(As I was baptised by His Eminence Metropolitan Bakhomious, Coptic Archbishop of the Pentapolis and Lybia, I also knew that that particular Holy Liturgy was somewhat unique for our quaint chapel in the small town of Ningi in Queensland.)

One thing that often surprises me is the temperature of Holy Communion.

When I last visited Abouna Youhanna in Sydeny the Holy Communion was so soft that I did not realise I had received at first!
It was not until I opened my eyes and noticed Abouna had moved and so closed my mouth and was rather stunned to discover how wonderful the Lord's Body tasted.
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2007, 10:12:38 PM »

What is it like to take it? Someone asked about mystical experiences people had when they were baptised into the Church. What about the eucharist? What was it like to first take it?
Frightening and yet warm and inviting. Suffice it to say that the Eucharist is the most powerful force in the universe. In the Eucharist we experience God within us.



Now that you've had space to pause, read that again. In the Eucharist we experience God within us.




Still don't understand it? Neither do I. Maybe I never will, but it's a beautiful thing. Received with faith, the Eucharist can heal all diseases and even raise the dead. There is no doubt this is our Lord Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2007, 10:54:36 PM »

I too don't quite understand the Eucharist as body and blood...I'm not sure many people do...All I know is that Christ is in it...or rather IS the Eucharist. I feel soooo much @ peace after I've taken the Eucharist...it lasts several hours or until I do something to disturb that peace. I'm able to deal with issues with a clear mind and everything is just so undescribably peaceful.
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2007, 09:43:14 AM »

Frightening and yet warm and inviting.

You find this too Smiley Glad indeed to hear this.

...it lasts several hours or until I do something to disturb that peace...

Whilst sometimes it takes a moment or so (or sometimes even until a little while after the Holy Liturgy is ended if I am aware that I am to help organise lunch afterwards) once the peace of God settles my heart I cannot help but feel such great joy for hours and I smile so wonderfully in this time.

Tomorrow our little chapel at Ningi is being visited by a humble monk who is to pray the Holy Liturgy for us but unfortunately afterwards I must go into university to complete an assignment. (It is due Monday but the lecture delivered yesterday is of great importance in relation to it. I managed to complete about 800 of 2000 words today and I know where I'm headed with it. It's more just a matter of actually typing all the words whilst continually interjecting to write references. Nonetheless, I still prefer to reference as I go so that when I'm done I am actually finished and don't have to go back and add them in.)

Pray for me please. Thank you.
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2007, 02:03:45 PM »

I did not notice anything immediate but since going to choir (our choir is in a loft) there is not always enough time to partake of the Eucharist since we must continually hymn and my spiritual perception is slightly diminished.  Thankfully, I was able to partake last week and hopefully some balance will be restored (of course with proper contrition, prayer, & fasting).
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2007, 07:07:46 PM »

Holy Communion, like all divine experiences, is only partially describable.

One should prepare properly for this intense experience by means of the Preparation for Holy Communion in the prayer books according to the direction of your priest.  Otherwise, we will be receiving the King of all without discerning the Body and Blood of our Lord.
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2007, 07:21:45 PM »

I was like 1 year old when I first tasted it...so...

Every time you recieve its different, I think.  I'm not sure its one of those things we should be striving to describe.  Its a very personal experience...
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2007, 09:27:02 PM »

I think someone talked about seeing light when they were baptized...anything like that? Like, unexplainable physical manifestations of the mystical.... I know I sound dumb. I'm just really curious. Is there something about it that makes you not sin? I realize if you receive with a heart of contrition and realization that this is the Lord, obviously you will not have the desire to displease the Lord, but anything objectively mystical about it? I know ultimately it has to do with the state of our hearts. Just wondering.

Sorry, I can't quite word my question right.
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2007, 11:08:05 PM »

samkim as someone who thirsts for "evidence" and also the inability to word my questions I believe if you are saying is there something that can show us it truly is the lord or something that is able to show how mystical it is. There was a recent thread that spoke about what happens if the eucharist is dropped and then the conversation got on to the transmission of disease through the eucharist and how this never happens (because it is the cup of life not death) and then someone stated a story about a pious Saint  who administed the eucharist to a tuberculosis ridden patient and this patient vomited and he bent down and consumed the lord holy body along with the vomit yet never contracted tuberculosis even though it is a highly contagious disease.

Also I believe someone said there was a deacon present who refused to drink from the chalice after the tuberculosis patients for fear of contracting the disease and ironically for not participating in it he got tuberculosis.
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2007, 05:14:24 PM »

What a painful question (not your fault at all, dear Samkim)... I was baptized Presbyterian in February 2004, and made elder of a local Presbyterian congregation in January 2005. I took Communion there many times and I, as an elder, also served Communion, saying, "body of Christ, broken for you.... blood of Christ, shed for you..." And I was taught to believe that Christ is somehow mysteriusly present in the church where the bread and the wine are served, but He is not in the bread and He is not in the wine (Calvin's exegesis). Then, when I was chrismated Orthodox this past February, I began to partake in the Holy Eucharist in an Orthodox Church and I began to believe, indeed, sincerely, that I am really, literally, taking the most precious and most holy Body and Blood of my Savior Jesus Christ in my mouth. The feeling was incredible and, like others said, impossible to describe. My entire life changed. Just this one mere thought - that next Sunday, I will be standing in church and taking the Holy Eucharist - made me examine myself most carefully, ruthlessly, with a much bigger scrutiny than I ever did before - and yet, I never felt a "burden," but, rather, felt happiness, a bliss... But now, it turns out that the church where I was taking the Eucharist is not really Orthodox and I might have NOT beein partaking in the real Body and Blood of Christ...
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2007, 08:56:58 PM »

well i do firmly believe that the eucharist is the body and blood of our Lord. I was not asking from a sceptical point of view, just wondering Smiley. And Heorhij, i think you answered the closest to what i was looking for.

"How is it life changing?"
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« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2007, 09:43:16 AM »

well i do firmly believe that the eucharist is the body and blood of our Lord. I was not asking from a sceptical point of view, just wondering Smiley. And Heorhij, i think you answered the closest to what i was looking for.

"How is it life changing?"

Well, in my case, I guess, it was just that I became like several orders of magnitude more self-critical and aware of my sins. I developed, for the first time in my life (being already 49), a prayer rule: about 15-20 minutes of prayer in front of Holy Icons in the morning, and the same in the evening, each day, no breaks. I went to Holy Confession and seriously tried to prepare myself for it, going over a list of common human sins, over and over again. I began (again, for the first time in my life, being already 49) to observe all fasts of the Church. I learned to hold my temper, to abstain from angry reactions to people's words by whispering the Jesus prayer.

I know, all of this might seem trivial to people who live all their lives as Orthodox, but to me it all was very unusual and truly a "turning point" sort of experience. And, again, all of those "little things" were sustained in me - or so I thought... - by the Body and the Blood of Christ I was partaking at.
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« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2007, 06:21:38 PM »

I think someone talked about seeing light when they were baptized...anything like that? Like, unexplainable physical manifestations of the mystical.... I know I sound dumb.

Though it may seem anti-climactic, most people whom I've talked to say there was nothing other-worldly about the moment of baptism. But there's certainly a tremendous amount of good that comes from the experience, just in different ways.

When I was baptized, I didn't experience anything mystical; it was mostly an overwhelming feeling of peace and well-being. That feeling lasted a week or so, then it started to fade as sins were added on, etc. However, things have never been the same as they were before I was baptized. Some things are worse, some things are better, but I am overall a more happy person.

I can't say I've had any "WOW!" experiences while partaking of the Eucharist, and though I don't feel anything different at the time, I have noticed an increase in irritation or feeling "low" when I haven't had it in a few weeks.

But, like everyone has said, it's a personal experience.
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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2007, 09:18:36 PM »

Well, in my case, I guess, it was just that I became like several orders of magnitude more self-critical and aware of my sins. I developed, for the first time in my life (being already 49), a prayer rule: about 15-20 minutes of prayer in front of Holy Icons in the morning, and the same in the evening, each day, no breaks. I went to Holy Confession and seriously tried to prepare myself for it, going over a list of common human sins, over and over again. I began (again, for the first time in my life, being already 49) to observe all fasts of the Church. I learned to hold my temper, to abstain from angry reactions to people's words by whispering the Jesus prayer.

I know, all of this might seem trivial to people who live all their lives as Orthodox, but to me it all was very unusual and truly a "turning point" sort of experience. And, again, all of those "little things" were sustained in me - or so I thought... - by the Body and the Blood of Christ I was partaking at.
If this earnest repentance is the response you were motivated to make by your participation in what you believed to be the Eucharist, then I would in no way say that that of which you partook was not effective in sustaining you in some way and that the grace of God was totally absent.  Clearly, the grace of God moved you through your participation in the sacraments, even if they were celebrated in a non-canonical church.
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« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2007, 11:38:13 PM »

If this earnest repentance is the response you were motivated to make by your participation in what you believed to be the Eucharist, then I would in no way say that that of which you partook was not effective in sustaining you in some way and that the grace of God was totally absent.  Clearly, the grace of God moved you through your participation in the sacraments, even if they were celebrated in a non-canonical church.

I agree with you Peter.
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2007, 12:34:25 AM »

It's good to have deep reverence for the Bread as the Body and the Wine as the Blood, to stand in awe and to bow before the Mystery, but do not forget that You and your Brothers and Sisters are equally the Body and Blood of Christ.

If you revere the Bread and Wine as the Body and Blood, but you ignore that your brothers and sisters are equally the living Body and Blood of Christ, you're overlooking something, to say the least.

You bow before the bread and wine, but do you bow before your brothers and sisters, the living temple of God?
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« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2007, 12:46:25 AM »

It's good to have deep reverence for the Bread as the Body and the Wine as the Blood, to stand in awe and to bow before the Mystery, but do not forget that You and your Brothers and Sisters are equally the Body and Blood of Christ.

If you revere the Bread and Wine as the Body and Blood, but you ignore that your brothers and sisters are equally the living Body and Blood of Christ, you're overlooking something, to say the least.

You bow before the bread and wine, but do you bow before your brothers and sisters, the living temple of God?
Excellent point, and welcome to the Forum.  Your post reminds me of the priest's prayers of epiclesis/epiklesis--Oh, I wish Aristibule was still here to give the correct spelling for this context--over the bread and wine according to the usage of St. John Chrysostom.  "We call upon the Holy Spirit to descend upon US and upon these gifts here offered..."
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« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2007, 09:49:58 PM »

Yes, the Body of Christ must be present in the first place before the bread and wine can ever become part of Christ...

It is we (yet not we, but Christ in us) who change the bread and wine into His Body and Blood through our common reception which begins at the offering of thanksgiving and completes when the last member partakes.

The bread and wine are no greater than Us...every last crumb, every last drop, every last member of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanks for the welcome!
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