I'm a catechumen, so this isn't an issue for me - yet. I'll be baptized at Pascha and I want to receive communion properly. I read this on a church's website:
Those who are preparing for Holy Communion are obliged to read three Canons and one Akathist the evening before. Usually read are the Canons to the Saviour, the Mother of God, and the Guardian Angel (in that order), and either an Akathist to the Saviour or to the Mother of God. Those who desire to carry out this evening rule of prayer daily receive great spiritual benefit from) doing so.
You can find it here: http://www.orthodox.net/ustav/order-for-reading-canons.html
Obliged? Really? Not that it's a problem or anything, but sometimes it worries me to come across things like this - it reminds me that there is SO MUCH I do not know...