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Author Topic: Attendance at Vigil Required for Communion?  (Read 9272 times) Average Rating: 0
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Marc1152
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« Reply #45 on: July 21, 2008, 10:25:51 AM »

Straw man arguments, I will agree, which is why I avoid making such arguments against the practice of requiring confession before every communion.
But I would venture to say that the idea that one is unprepared for Communion if one hasn't confessed the night before is just as much a straw man argument.  Is the goal to be purified prior to receiving communion, or is the goal to be reminded of how unworthy we are to receive Communion and of how Christ gives us His Body and Blood freely to unite us to Himself despite our unworthiness to receive this gift?  Are we to glory in our purity and worthiness to receive the Holy Mysteries, or are we to humbly give thanks to Christ for His wonderful gift of Himself to us, though we are unworthy of Him?

I disagree. Weekly communion ( BTW, communion is not required more than that if there are multiple liturgies in the same week, unless you have the need to) builds a discipline into your life that  can easily be lacking in many people. If you don't have to have a very recent confession to commune and are only expected to go five or six times per year
( and that minimun can easily be slipped) you may be storing sins and confessing them all at the same time. In between, you may be approaching the chalice unworthily.

There is a big build up to occasional confession which has it's good side. But making confession part of your regular weekly routine cleans out ever dusty corner that less frequent confession has a much harder time getting to. Lets call it the "Slice of Pizza on Wednesday" syndrome. I confess that sort of thing now but never ever would have remembered such things ( or a flash of anger that week etc.) by only confessing around feasts
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« Reply #46 on: July 21, 2008, 11:02:08 AM »

Just my own thought, but I feel that we can't ever truly receive worthily. Regardless of how often we are confessing, we can not be worthy of the body and blood of our Lord. It is Christ that makes us worthy, whether or not we've just confessed the night before. I know for a fact that I can't do this on my own. I also know that confession helps me to be a better person and to become more like the Lord, but there is still nothing I can do to be worthy to approach the chalice.

Your mileage may vary.
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« Reply #47 on: July 21, 2008, 11:18:07 AM »

We are encouraged to confess regularly, and to participate in the life of the church. However, our priest does not require confession each time someone wants to go to communion- in fact he recommends 4 times a year (during the major fasts) as a minimum standard for how often people should be confessing. Obviously individuals still have individual needs, though.  Really, the Church tells us that if we do not eat Christ's body and drink his blood then we have no life in us, and it asks us to draw near. To a certain extent I think this is about obedience, and isn't even up to us, if we are fully participating in the life of the church.

My priest also pointed out the logical fallacy that if you have to confess before communion, it implies that having gone to communion you now need to confess.  So in our parish, everyone who is a regular participant is encouraged to receive every week,and we are encouraged to confess often. I guess I trust my priest's judgment on the individual issues.

This seems to be the norm.

Of course as this thread shows "norm" is a variable indeed.

WE should confess as often as possible, maintain a life of obedience to the Christ and His commandments, condem and rebuke the ways of the world and have a strong relationship with our individual holy father who will guide our life.

A person who does not want a priest to guide his life is in a precarious situation. I know today that I know many people who would rather 'run' their own lives. If that is best for a person than so be it.  WE have to choose. The Church however is our life line in this corrupt world. WE are Orthodox Christians and as such we 'should' be aware that we are preparing for eternity. AS such this world can offer 'us' nothing.

The only source of our sustenance is our communion with Christ.

I had a young sub deacon recently say to me (out of no where)..." I can not wait to make it to paradise". I looked at him (we working together in a field) to evaluate his seriousness. He appeared convincingly very matter-of-fact. However do the the magnitude of his words (and that he is only 14) I verified..."are you certain of what you are saying?".....He said with a straight albeit delighted demeanor..."Yes". I said  "you do know that you would have die to go their among other things". He said ...."of course!..But that would be only physical death". I said..."yes"...you are correct young man".

I left it at that considering that he said to me the day before while we were working on a small project in the church building together late one evening after I asked him about his plans for the future were...He said "I want to become a monk". I was quite shocked considering that I had already prepped his possible answers to my questions by verbalising various presumptions like "doctor", Lawyer, dentist, etc as people do. I never included anything spiritual like a priest or bishop or archdeacon or monk. I was shocked as I said but also I must admit slightly ashamed. I asked him..."what does your parents think about that?"...He looked down then back up and sad...."nothing". I left it at that.

The point here is that the church is our life. Why are'nt we planning to live 'in it'?

When we put our lives in Christ then His church is all we have in this world. Thus we are one in Him with the mystery of the Holy Communion. This young deacon is making plans that few if any of us would make for oursleves. Not that we would not want to be monks persay 'IF' we were called by some great mystery of the Lord; but plan to do it ......Uhm No. This boy is not waiting to be called.......He is persuing it. I pray that he is called. And if not that God protect his life and let his will be preserved in everything he does.

So we must persue the Holy Mystery by making IT our priority above everything. We should encourage our children to pray and prepare for Holy Communion every day.

It takes Seven days to prepare. Sunday to Sunday. WE should use all the time we are given for the purpose of partaking of the life sustaining mystery. WE must use our whole body to help us nourish the spirit beings that we are.

I teach sometimes:

1.that our mouths were designed to partake of the Holy Communion; not fried chicken.

2.Our stomachs are designed to hold the precious mystery like the Ark of God; not to hold a belly full of ice cream.  

3.Our noses were designed to intake of the holy, sweet and blessed incense; not 'Channel' or 'Calvin Klien'.

4.Our eyes were designed to stare upon the Holy Icons and the Holy Alter which consecrates the mind and soul; not to look at 'Hancock' or 'Batman'.

5.The feet were designed to walk the path of rightiousness and hold us up being planted in the holy Sancturary; not for running the 400 meters or dancing the lates dance.

6.The knees were designed to bow and prostrate to God along with the Hosts, Principalities and Dominions in the heaven of heaven; not to kneel to the ways of men and this corrupted world of ours.

7.Our hands were designed to stretch out and raise for praises of our Lord and Creator; not to hold our loved ones hands.

8.Our arms are designed to hold each other, and reach out for each other, to pull up those of us who are weak and need help; not hugging or holding our children.

9.Our necks were designed to turn to and frowe but not so much that we see that which is behind us since we are told about the destruction of Sodom and the pillar of salt. Christ said to the tempter "get behind me satan".

Like the spirit of truth pronounced "he who has ears to hear let him hear".
  
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« Reply #48 on: July 21, 2008, 12:21:26 PM »

The only source of our sustenance is our communion with Christ....

So we must persue the Holy Mystery by making IT our priority above everything. We should encourage our children to pray and prepare for Holy Communion every day.

It takes Seven days to prepare. Sunday to Sunday. WE should use all the time we are given for the purpose of partaking of the life sustaining mystery. WE must use our whole body to help us nourish the spirit beings that we are.

I teach sometimes:

1.that our mouths were designed to partake of the Holy Communion; not fried chicken.

2.Our stomachs are designed to hold the precious mystery like the Ark of God; not to hold a belly full of ice cream.  

3.Our noses were designed to intake of the holy, sweet and blessed incense; not 'Channel' or 'Calvin Klien'.

4.Our eyes were designed to stare upon the Holy Icons and the Holy Alter which consecrates the mind and soul; not to look at 'Hancock' or 'Batman'.

5.The feet were designed to walk the path of rightiousness and hold us up being planted in the holy Sancturary; not for running the 400 meters or dancing the lates dance.

6.The knees were designed to bow and prostrate to God along with the Hosts, Principalities and Dominions in the heaven of heaven; not to kneel to the ways of men and this corrupted world of ours.

7.Our hands were designed to stretch out and raise for praises of our Lord and Creator; not to hold our loved ones hands.

8.Our arms are designed to hold each other, and reach out for each other, to pull up those of us who are weak and need help; not hugging or holding our children.

9.Our necks were designed to turn to and frowe but not so much that we see that which is behind us since we are told about the destruction of Sodom and the pillar of salt. Christ said to the tempter "get behind me satan".

Like the spirit of truth pronounced "he who has ears to hear let him hear".
Difficult words, but important ones. I believe Christ said similar things:

Quote from: St. Luke 14:26-27
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

Quote from: St. Luke 18:29-30
Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.
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« Reply #49 on: July 21, 2008, 12:22:22 PM »

This seems to be the norm.

Of course as this thread shows "norm" is a variable indeed.

WE should confess as often as possible, maintain a life of obedience to the Christ and His commandments, condem and rebuke the ways of the world and have a strong relationship with our individual holy father who will guide our life.

A person who does not want a priest to guide his life is in a precarious situation. I know today that I know many people who would rather 'run' their own lives. If that is best for a person than so be it.  WE have to choose. The Church however is our life line in this corrupt world. WE are Orthodox Christians and as such we 'should' be aware that we are preparing for eternity. AS such this world can offer 'us' nothing.

The only source of our sustenance is our communion with Christ.

I had a young sub deacon recently say to me (out of no where)..." I can not wait to make it to paradise". I looked at him (we working together in a field) to evaluate his seriousness. He appeared convincingly very matter-of-fact. However do the the magnitude of his words (and that he is only 14) I verified..."are you certain of what you are saying?".....He said with a straight albeit delighted demeanor..."Yes". I said  "you do know that you would have die to go their among other things". He said ...."of course!..But that would be only physical death". I said..."yes"...you are correct young man".

I left it at that considering that he said to me the day before while we were working on a small project in the church building together late one evening after I asked him about his plans for the future were...He said "I want to become a monk". I was quite shocked considering that I had already prepped his possible answers to my questions by verbalising various presumptions like "doctor", Lawyer, dentist, etc as people do. I never included anything spiritual like a priest or bishop or archdeacon or monk. I was shocked as I said but also I must admit slightly ashamed. I asked him..."what does your parents think about that?"...He looked down then back up and sad...."nothing". I left it at that.

The point here is that the church is our life. Why are'nt we planning to live 'in it'?

When we put our lives in Christ then His church is all we have in this world. Thus we are one in Him with the mystery of the Holy Communion. This young deacon is making plans that few if any of us would make for oursleves. Not that we would not want to be monks persay 'IF' we were called by some great mystery of the Lord; but plan to do it ......Uhm No. This boy is not waiting to be called.......He is persuing it. I pray that he is called. And if not that God protect his life and let his will be preserved in everything he does.

So we must persue the Holy Mystery by making IT our priority above everything. We should encourage our children to pray and prepare for Holy Communion every day.

It takes Seven days to prepare. Sunday to Sunday. WE should use all the time we are given for the purpose of partaking of the life sustaining mystery. WE must use our whole body to help us nourish the spirit beings that we are.

I teach sometimes:

1.that our mouths were designed to partake of the Holy Communion; not fried chicken.

2.Our stomachs are designed to hold the precious mystery like the Ark of God; not to hold a belly full of ice cream.  

3.Our noses were designed to intake of the holy, sweet and blessed incense; not 'Channel' or 'Calvin Klien'.

4.Our eyes were designed to stare upon the Holy Icons and the Holy Alter which consecrates the mind and soul; not to look at 'Hancock' or 'Batman'.

5.The feet were designed to walk the path of rightiousness and hold us up being planted in the holy Sancturary; not for running the 400 meters or dancing the lates dance.

6.The knees were designed to bow and prostrate to God along with the Hosts, Principalities and Dominions in the heaven of heaven; not to kneel to the ways of men and this corrupted world of ours.

7.Our hands were designed to stretch out and raise for praises of our Lord and Creator; not to hold our loved ones hands.

8.Our arms are designed to hold each other, and reach out for each other, to pull up those of us who are weak and need help; not hugging or holding our children.

9.Our necks were designed to turn to and frowe but not so much that we see that which is behind us since we are told about the destruction of Sodom and the pillar of salt. Christ said to the tempter "get behind me satan".

Like the spirit of truth pronounced "he who has ears to hear let him hear".
  

Please tell us more about the practice in Ethiopia regarding confession and communion.
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Marc1152
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« Reply #50 on: July 21, 2008, 01:21:58 PM »

Just my own thought, but I feel that we can't ever truly receive worthily. Regardless of how often we are confessing, we can not be worthy of the body and blood of our Lord. It is Christ that makes us worthy, whether or not we've just confessed the night before. I know for a fact that I can't do this on my own. I also know that confession helps me to be a better person and to become more like the Lord, but there is still nothing I can do to be worthy to approach the chalice.

Your mileage may vary.

Well.................Do you mean to say that since we are never really worthy why do anything? At base it's true that we never are, but it's better to make such labors than not to. I am sure we agree on that.
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« Reply #51 on: July 21, 2008, 02:05:14 PM »

No no, I don't mean that since we are never worthy we should never do anything! My point was that going to confession is good, and the more often you go the better it is for your soul, but it doesn't make you worthy of the chalice.
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« Reply #52 on: July 21, 2008, 03:40:09 PM »

No no, I don't mean that since we are never worthy we should never do anything! My point was that going to confession is good, and the more often you go the better it is for your soul, but it doesn't make you worthy of the chalice.
My point exactly.  Marc1152, if frequent confession for you means weekly, then I commend your commitment to this practice.  Such frequent confession, engaged with the right frame of mind, cannot but benefit your salvation.  All I would say is that it's not good to refrain from receiving Communion on Sunday just because you did NOT go to confession the night or the week before.
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« Reply #53 on: July 21, 2008, 04:07:13 PM »

My point exactly.  Marc1152, if frequent confession for you means weekly, then I commend your commitment to this practice.  Such frequent confession, engaged with the right frame of mind, cannot but benefit your salvation.  All I would say is that it's not good to refrain from receiving Communion on Sunday just because you did NOT go to confession the night or the week before.

Okay, but understand that the Rocor Priests I know and in my own parish this would be a moot point. They will not allow you to receive unless they know you have made a recent confession.I had a good OCA friend attend last week ( she is on this board and may be reading this Smiley. She was careful to call ahead and let our Priest know that she had recently confessed at her Church.

 I have seen our Priests turn people away at the chalice who did not understand the rule. I rather like their seriousness.
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« Reply #54 on: July 21, 2008, 04:19:50 PM »

Okay, but understand that the Rocor Priests I know and in my own parish this would be a moot point. They will not allow you to receive unless they know you have made a recent confession.I had a good OCA friend attend last week ( she is on this board and may be reading this Smiley. She was careful to call ahead and let our Priest know that she had recently confessed at her Church.

 I have seen our Priests turn people away at the chalice who did not understand the rule. I rather like their seriousness.

So what's the standard?  The ROCOR priests that require recent confession before communion of their parishioners are also dealing with people who receive once per month or less.  If the standard is 1:1 Confession:Communion and nothing less, then there may be a problem, especially if confessions are frequent but communion is desired to be more frequent.  Would communion 2-3 times per month with monthly confession be ok?  Weekly communion with 2 confessions per month?  Bi-monthly confession with 2-3 communion per month?
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« Reply #55 on: July 21, 2008, 04:32:07 PM »

I have seen our Priests turn people away at the chalice who did not understand the rule. I rather like their seriousness.

If I were ever refused Communion by an Orthodox priest (unless I was placed under such a restriction by my own Priest and I would know better than to Receive Communion under such a restriction), I would be inclined to literally shake the dust off my shoes and leave, never to return to that Church again.

I realize that Priests aren't mind readers; However, if a Priest says "With the fear of God and with love draw near" and turn away someone who's Orthodox and who wishes to Receive because such a person is a "stranger" who hasn't called ahead and "reserved" a place in the Communion line, I don't see the justification....   Huh

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« Reply #56 on: July 21, 2008, 04:49:28 PM »

If I were ever refused Communion by an Orthodox priest (unless I was placed under such a restriction by my own Priest and I would know better than to Receive Communion under such a restriction), I would be inclined to literally shake the dust off my shoes and leave, never to return to that Church again.

I realize that Priests aren't mind readers; However, if a Priest says "With the fear of God and with love draw near" and turn away someone who's Orthodox and who wishes to Receive because such a person is a "stranger" who hasn't called ahead and "reserved" a place in the Communion line, I don't see the justification....   Huh
I do.  Every priest is tasked by his bishop--I believe also by his ordination vows--to guard the sacred Chalice.  This means that he has the responsibility to verify that you are able to receive the Holy Mysteries.  He therefore has the authority to deny you Communion for whatever reason he deems disqualifying.  You have no right to receive Communion, for Communion is the gift of Jesus Christ, Who makes Himself present in the person of the priest.  Granted, the priest also must not exercise this authority frivolously.  But who are you to judge?
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« Reply #57 on: July 21, 2008, 05:01:33 PM »

Peter, I agree with you on every point you made.  Imagine the nightmare of every Priest calling every Church of every visitor who wishes to receive Communion.  Why should Priest B care if I went to Confession at Priest A - let's say a year ago or even a month ago or a week ago?  Priest A has no business telling Priest B that I attended Confession.
 
If I'm refused Communion only because I'm a stranger, hasn't that Priest already judged me and I have a right to act under such Judgment by walking out of the Church with dignity and calm?  Thankfully, I have never been refused Communion in a number of Orthodox Jurisdictions; However, I dread the day when I'm refused Communion solely because I'm a stranger who didn't call ahead?

I do.  Every priest is tasked by his bishop--I believe also by his ordination vows--to guard the sacred Chalice.  This means that he has the responsibility to verify that you are able to receive the Holy Mysteries.  He therefore has the authority to deny you Communion for whatever reason he deems disqualifying.  You have no right to receive Communion, for Communion is the gift of Jesus Christ, Who makes Himself present in the person of the priest.  Granted, the priest also must not exercise this authority frivolously.  But who are you to judge?
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« Reply #58 on: July 21, 2008, 05:08:20 PM »

You have no right to receive Communion, for Communion is the gift of Jesus Christ, Who makes Himself present in the person of the priest. 

Neither do you nor anyone in this forum nor anyone of the Orthodox faith.  Why say I have no right to receive Communion when technically, no one has the right to distribute and receive Communion?  It's by fasting, prayer, confession, etc. that we prepare ourselves to receive something which we're totally unworthy of receiving except we receive for the remission of sins and of life everlasting.
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« Reply #59 on: July 21, 2008, 05:34:21 PM »

Priest A has no business telling Priest B that I attended Confession.
Really?  I am aware that your priest has no business telling another priest what you divulged in confession, but I am not aware that the sacrosanctity of the confessional prohibits your priest from telling another priest with a legitimate concern that you have been to confession recently.

Quote

If I'm refused Communion only because I'm a stranger, hasn't that Priest already judged me
No.  Most likely the priest just doesn't know you and wants to err on the side of caution by making sure you're Orthodox before he gives you Communion.  He's probably not acting on any certitude that you're NOT Orthodox; he just wants to be cautious.

Quote
and I have a right to act under such Judgment by walking out of the Church with dignity and calm?
And no.  Are you not judging the priest [for "judging" you] when you do this?  What gives you the right to so judge a priest?

Neither do you nor anyone in this forum nor anyone of the Orthodox faith.  Why say I have no right to receive Communion when technically, no one has the right to distribute and receive Communion?
You're absolutely correct.  No one has the right to receive Communion, so I'm not singling you out. Wink  But when you speak of your "righteous indignation" toward any priest who denies you Communion because you're a "stranger", are you not in fact asserting that Communion is yours to receive by right?

Quote
  It's by fasting, prayer, confession, etc. that we prepare ourselves to receive something which we're totally unworthy of receiving except we receive for the remission of sins and of life everlasting.
AMEN!
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« Reply #60 on: July 21, 2008, 07:10:05 PM »

So what's the standard?  The ROCOR priests that require recent confession before communion of their parishioners are also dealing with people who receive once per month or less.  If the standard is 1:1 Confession:Communion and nothing less, then there may be a problem, especially if confessions are frequent but communion is desired to be more frequent.  Would communion 2-3 times per month with monthly confession be ok?  Weekly communion with 2 confessions per month?  Bi-monthly confession with 2-3 communion per month?

Like I said before, you must give a confession before receiving communion. The exception would be multiple Liturgies in the same week. So for example, if there is a Liturgy on Thursday and you confessed before receiving then ( in most cases that would have been done during Vigil the evening before) you would not be expected to confess again before Sunday unless something comes up and you need to.

This really should not be all that confusing.

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« Reply #61 on: July 21, 2008, 07:17:03 PM »

If I were ever refused Communion by an Orthodox priest (unless I was placed under such a restriction by my own Priest and I would know better than to Receive Communion under such a restriction), I would be inclined to literally shake the dust off my shoes and leave, never to return to that Church again.

I realize that Priests aren't mind readers; However, if a Priest says "With the fear of God and with love draw near" and turn away someone who's Orthodox and who wishes to Receive because such a person is a "stranger" who hasn't called ahead and "reserved" a place in the Communion line, I don't see the justification....   Huh

I wouldn't get too hung up on the calling ahead part. My friend knows the Priest very well and the rules of the parish, so for the sake of courtesy and efficiency she called ahead. But if a stranger approached the Chalice he or she would simply be asked a few questions. This is a pretty standard practice. Anything less boarders on malpractice IMHO.

I am going to an OCA parish at the beach while I am on vacation next week. I will email the Priest and let him know I am coming and also go to vespers and give my confession.

If I go to another Rocor Parish, I know to let the Priest or Deacon know if I am recently confessed and if not I will get in line... No biggie
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« Reply #62 on: July 21, 2008, 10:20:38 PM »

In Reference to Replies 59, 60 & 61.

On July 13, 2008, Four Priests from California in town for the Clergy-Laity Conference served the Divine Liturgy.  Three of the Four visiting Priests distributed Holy Communion while the 2 Priests from my Church remained in the Altar.  These visiting Priests didn't know the local Parishioners.  The local Parishioners didn't know the visiting Priests and all three Priests distributed Holy Communion without any issues.   Grin

Now, if I were a visitor to another Church, why should the Priest of that church treat me any differently compared to the visiting Priests from California who distributed Holy Communion to a foreign laity?  Was every parishioner intent on receiving Communion supposed to call the Church Office and report that they intended on receiving Communion as a courtesy to the visiting Priests?   Huh
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« Reply #63 on: July 21, 2008, 10:25:04 PM »

But if a stranger approached the Chalice he or she would simply be asked a few questions. This is a pretty standard practice. Anything less boarders on malpractice IMHO.

I faintly remember that happening to me a long time ago; I don't exactly know where and only one question was asked - if I were Orthodox and I received Holy Communion without issues.  I see the logic in asking a simple question although my bigger concern is being refused because I didn't follow a certain protocol.
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« Reply #64 on: July 21, 2008, 10:55:30 PM »

Are you not judging the priest [for "judging" you] when you do this?  What gives you the right to so judge a priest?

If a Priest judges me, He judges Himself.  If I judge a Priest, I judge myself as well.  If I'm rejected for receiving Holy Communion because I'm a stranger, that Priest and that Church automatically become strangers to me.  However, asking one simple question, "Are you Orthodox?" is more than enough satisfaction for me.  Not asking such a question reflects on my nature and that Priest's nature - being too cautious, being too timid, et al.  I take the chance under the Fear of God to receive Holy Communion.  While I don't take such Fear lightly, neither does the Priest who distributes Holy Communion.   Wink

You're absolutely correct.  No one has the right to receive Communion, so I'm not singling you out. Wink 

As usual, we're good.   Wink

The context of your statement indicated that I practiced something which I find false (e.g. my right to receive Holy Communion).  If I felt that receiving Holy Communion was a right, I would receive every Sunday except that I receive once every blue moon (e.g. Feast Days) after preparation.  I was taught that way in GOA and what I read backs it up.   Wink

But when you speak of your "righteous indignation" toward any priest who denies you Communion because you're a "stranger", are you not in fact asserting that Communion is yours to receive by right?

No, I do not assert that I have a right to receive Holy Communion.  I do assert that if I prepared to receive Holy Communion in another Orthodox Church like how I prepare for receiving Holy Communion in GOA and the Priest throws a curveball in my preparation by refusing the Chalice, I will feel rather disappointed and upset.  Plus, I feel that I would be rejected due to being refused Communion and if I feel rejected in an Orthodox Church - why stay in that Church one picosecond longer than necessary?

AMEN!
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« Reply #65 on: July 21, 2008, 10:56:12 PM »

In Reference to Replies 59, 60 & 61.

On July 13, 2008, Four Priests from California in town for the Clergy-Laity Conference served the Divine Liturgy.  Three of the Four visiting Priests distributed Holy Communion while the 2 Priests from my Church remained in the Altar.  These visiting Priests didn't know the local Parishioners.  The local Parishioners didn't know the visiting Priests and all three Priests distributed Holy Communion without any issues.   Grin

Now, if I were a visitor to another Church, why should the Priest of that church treat me any differently compared to the visiting Priests from California who distributed Holy Communion to a foreign laity?  Was every parishioner intent on receiving Communion supposed to call the Church Office and report that they intended on receiving Communion as a courtesy to the visiting Priests?   Huh

You should call or email and let the Priest know who you are and when you will be there.  More commonly it's done when you show up to a Church where they don't know you. Simply let them know that you are Orthodox. If the rule of the Jurisdiction is confession before communion you should do so or consider refraining from receiving communion.  

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« Reply #66 on: July 21, 2008, 10:59:17 PM »

"If I'm rejected for receiving Holy Communion because I'm a stranger"

I think this is the problem. You would feel personally "Rejected". Wrong attitude. The Priest is protecting the Chalice and trying ( really really hard) to protect you. You should be grateful and inspired by such seriousness by our Priests.
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« Reply #67 on: July 21, 2008, 11:21:26 PM »

I think this is the problem. You would feel personally "Rejected". Wrong attitude.

I ought to rejoice for being turned away from the Chalice?  What am I going to celebrate when I feel that I deserve to be in tears and shame?

You should be grateful and inspired by such seriousness by our Priests.

I agree with you.
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« Reply #68 on: July 22, 2008, 12:47:11 PM »

Please tell us more about the practice in Ethiopia regarding confession and communion.

No difference from what is already posted on this thread already.

After Holy Baptism:

1. Live a life according to the commandments of God. Including prayer and fasting.

2. Confess sins snd short comings as often as needed. The Soul father has a big part in how and when and how often. People are not left to decide this for themselves or to just keep confessing as a prerequisite to communion to ensure that 'confessing' is active in the person.

3. Confer with and obtain giudence form your Soul father (confessor) on a regular basis. This is very important in the Ethiopian and Coptic traditions. Absenece from your Soul fathers guidance for an extended period of time (over one month or more lets say) a person should not take communion until he has talked to and has gotten his Soul fathers guidnace and blessing. This 'may' include confession if needed. The Soul father will decide if confession is needed based on the situation. The person may also simply ask for confession and it will be granted.
 
4. attend the Holy Liturgy ON TIME.
 
5. With a contrite heart take communion.

The Ethiopian Church strictly miantains:
- Communicants must wear white. NO black or dark clothing. Black is allowed if a person is in morning. Such persons usually do not take communion until they are finished morning.

- Shoes must be removed. Actually knowone enters an Ethiopian Church in shoes....no exceptions.

- All communicants must have fasted at minimum from 12 midnight the night before. In Ethiopia many people start fasting at 6 PM Saturday until they take communion the next day. Fasting for communion means the usual no meat or animal products. We believe that covers the stomach only.

So for us we do not watch TV shows, movies, videos, games  etc. Only reading of scripture or maybe a nature show or videos about a bible story if you must. This fasts the eyes.

We do not listen to music or any audio that is regarding entertainment. This fasts the ears. We listen to liturgy or psalms and the like.

We do not attend birthdays or any other kind of party while fasting. It does matter whos birthday it is or what the party is for. This fasts the mind and removes us from temptation.

We refain from idle talk. To fast the mouth and speech. Many Ethiopian faithful once the fast period begins will not talk at all (other than for prayer or an emergency) until they take communion the next day.

Basically the whole body is at a state of fasting; this includes any kind of physical relations.

- Women are required to be covered from head to toe at all times while praying and during the Holy Liturgy. This applies to guests as well. NO exceptions.

- Men are required to be cover from neck to toe. NO skin exposed but from the neck up.

The covering up allows each faithful person to be 'one ' with each other. We are 'one' body. It is wonderful to see the "sea of white" during the Holy Liturgy. You can not tell one person from the other. You can not distinquish rich or poor old or young. We say Tewahado....One nature, One faith, One Baptism, One God. WE coevr up also to remind of that our street cloths are symbols of the world and sin. So we cover our street cloths truly hoping that the Lord will look away from our sins. It is a very ancient practice. Older than Christianity. This covering tradition is national dress in Ethiopia due to the fact of the age of the tradition plus the fact that we are an Christian Orthodox country for over 1600 years.

- When  recieving we use an order: The just Baptised, babies (boys first then girls), girls, boys, men, women.

- We receive on our knees. ("Every knee shall bow")

- We keep our mouths covered until we have masticated and cosumed the mystery.

- We refrain from touching non-communicants until after sun down.

If a person fails to follow the above then they are best to refrain from taking communion.

Just  a small list of our tradition.
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« Reply #69 on: July 22, 2008, 05:09:27 PM »

"If I'm rejected for receiving Holy Communion because I'm a stranger"

I think this is the problem. You would feel personally "Rejected". Wrong attitude. The Priest is protecting the Chalice and trying ( really really hard) to protect you. You should be grateful and inspired by such seriousness by our Priests.

I keep reading about what people and priests should and should not do about communion:  surely the canons offer some guidance.  After reading through so many posts, I have the following questions.

1.  What is the earliest canon we know of which mandates confession before communion?  Does it explain how often to confess?
2.  How is the priest instructed to refuse communion?
3.  Are there canons clarifying the priest's treatment of visiting parishioners?

If there are canons answering these questions, there is hardly any reason to debate them; if there are no canons answering these questions, then we are likely concocting man-made rules which are so far from being unnecessary that they are positively harmful.
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« Reply #70 on: July 22, 2008, 07:59:02 PM »

1.  What is the earliest canon we know of which mandates confession before communion? 

None exists.

2.  How is the priest instructed to refuse communion? 

The only canon that I can recall that discusses the giving or refusing of Holy Communion is Canon 101 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, which instructs all laypeople to receive the Gifts in their hand, and which excommunicates all laymen and priests who do otherwise.


3.  Are there canons clarifying the priest's treatment of visiting parishioners?

No.

P.S. I cannot think of any canon before the 13th century, Eastern or Western, that even mentions Confession. Anyone?
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« Reply #71 on: July 22, 2008, 08:57:21 PM »

I feel compelled to add, the examinations discussed above, while I understand them; are not my experience.  One of the many things I like about the Orthodox Church, is it's catholicity; the fact that I had felt I can receive Holy Communion, not only in my home parish in the midwest U.S., but in Moscow; on the Greek island of Samos; or in Sofia, Bulgaria.

It seems to me, in this discussion, there is too legalistic of an examination involved, when the extent of fasting, and the frequency of Holy Confession are the responsibility of the communicants who are guided by their spiritual father, typically the communicant's parish parist.  These are disciplines, which vary based on the spiritual level of the communicant. Holy Communion, too, is "...for the remission of sins..."  The priestly examination seems as if there is some level of perfection sought by the parish priest that I feel is un-Orthodox; and which, I have never been exposed to from multiple priests and bishops or from any written guidance from the ecclesiastical jurisdiction in which I am a member and have been a member for my over 55 years on Earth.
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« Reply #72 on: July 23, 2008, 01:16:43 PM »

Rom 10:4 - 18
"The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" that is, the word of faith which we preach: that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

1Jn 1:1-end
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.


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« Reply #73 on: July 23, 2008, 01:22:46 PM »

Difficult words, but important ones. I believe Christ said similar things:


1Jn 2:1-6
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.[/i]

Hard words indeed.

But the true faith is exactly that.

A lot of work and extreme sacrifice was done to put a human on the moon.

How much more than will it take to put one human in Heaven?


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« Reply #74 on: July 23, 2008, 01:43:38 PM »

Canons requiring confession before communion?
None exists.

Then what is the point of this discussion?  Aren't each of us entitled to his opinion?
If the Scriptures are silent, if the Fathers say nothing, if the canons do not exist, then my
opinion is no better than yours.

Does anyone want to cite chapter and verse on fasting before communion?
Extra-credit to anyone who can satisfactorily explain why the monastic habit of fasting on
Saturday in preparation for communion does not violate the ancient canon mandating that
Saturday be fast-free.

DanM
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« Reply #75 on: July 23, 2008, 02:34:48 PM »

1Jn 2:1-6
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.[/i]

Hard words indeed.

But the true faith is exactly that.

A lot of work and extreme sacrifice was done to put a human on the moon.

How much more than will it take to put one human in Heaven?
The Christian faith is a difficult, narrow road. Christ never promised that salvation was easy. I think I would have seriously doubted Him if He had said so.
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« Reply #76 on: July 23, 2008, 02:53:58 PM »

Does anyone want to cite chapter and verse on fasting before communion?

St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain has a number of things to say about it (and abstaining from sex before and after) in the Pedalion. That's probably the most chapter and verse one could find.

Extra-credit to anyone who can satisfactorily explain why the monastic habit of fasting on Saturday in preparation for communion does not violate the ancient canon mandating that Saturday be fast-free.

Hey! If one can explain away Canon 101 of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, one can do anything! Canons only make sense when interpreted with context in mind and applied by the competent ecclesiastical authority. They ain't proof-texts.

That said, I would simply point out that "fasting" and "feasting" in a monastic setting mean something VERY different than they do to most people in the world. Can't remember where, but there's a story in the Gerondikon about a monk who broke the fast with much celebration and laxity by eating 3 olives in addition to his typical crust of hard bread.
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« Reply #77 on: August 10, 2008, 09:09:13 PM »

No difference from what is already posted on this thread already.

After Holy Baptism:

1. Live a life according to the commandments of God. Including prayer and fasting.

2. Confess sins snd short comings as often as needed. The Soul father has a big part in how and when and how often. People are not left to decide this for themselves or to just keep confessing as a prerequisite to communion to ensure that 'confessing' is active in the person.

3. Confer with and obtain giudence form your Soul father (confessor) on a regular basis. This is very important in the Ethiopian and Coptic traditions. Absenece from your Soul fathers guidance for an extended period of time (over one month or more lets say) a person should not take communion until he has talked to and has gotten his Soul fathers guidnace and blessing. This 'may' include confession if needed. The Soul father will decide if confession is needed based on the situation. The person may also simply ask for confession and it will be granted.
 
4. attend the Holy Liturgy ON TIME.
 
5. With a contrite heart take communion.

The Ethiopian Church strictly miantains:
- Communicants must wear white. NO black or dark clothing. Black is allowed if a person is in morning. Such persons usually do not take communion until they are finished morning.

- Shoes must be removed. Actually knowone enters an Ethiopian Church in shoes....no exceptions.

- All communicants must have fasted at minimum from 12 midnight the night before. In Ethiopia many people start fasting at 6 PM Saturday until they take communion the next day. Fasting for communion means the usual no meat or animal products. We believe that covers the stomach only.

So for us we do not watch TV shows, movies, videos, games  etc. Only reading of scripture or maybe a nature show or videos about a bible story if you must. This fasts the eyes.

We do not listen to music or any audio that is regarding entertainment. This fasts the ears. We listen to liturgy or psalms and the like.

We do not attend birthdays or any other kind of party while fasting. It does matter whos birthday it is or what the party is for. This fasts the mind and removes us from temptation.

We refain from idle talk. To fast the mouth and speech. Many Ethiopian faithful once the fast period begins will not talk at all (other than for prayer or an emergency) until they take communion the next day.

Basically the whole body is at a state of fasting; this includes any kind of physical relations.

- Women are required to be covered from head to toe at all times while praying and during the Holy Liturgy. This applies to guests as well. NO exceptions.

- Men are required to be cover from neck to toe. NO skin exposed but from the neck up.

The covering up allows each faithful person to be 'one ' with each other. We are 'one' body. It is wonderful to see the "sea of white" during the Holy Liturgy. You can not tell one person from the other. You can not distinquish rich or poor old or young. We say Tewahado....One nature, One faith, One Baptism, One God. WE coevr up also to remind of that our street cloths are symbols of the world and sin. So we cover our street cloths truly hoping that the Lord will look away from our sins. It is a very ancient practice. Older than Christianity. This covering tradition is national dress in Ethiopia due to the fact of the age of the tradition plus the fact that we are an Christian Orthodox country for over 1600 years.

- When  recieving we use an order: The just Baptised, babies (boys first then girls), girls, boys, men, women.

- We receive on our knees. ("Every knee shall bow")

- We keep our mouths covered until we have masticated and cosumed the mystery.

- We refrain from touching non-communicants until after sun down.

If a person fails to follow the above then they are best to refrain from taking communion.

Just  a small list of our tradition.

I found this very interesting; thanks for this. The Tewahedo Church has some very beautiful traditions.
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« Reply #78 on: August 11, 2008, 08:26:46 PM »

Like I said before, you must give a confession before receiving communion. The exception would be multiple Liturgies in the same week. So for example, if there is a Liturgy on Thursday and you confessed before receiving then ( in most cases that would have been done during Vigil the evening before) you would not be expected to confess again before Sunday unless something comes up and you need to.

This really should not be all that confusing. 

Oh, it isn't, trust me.  What's confusing is how one can come up with a practice that was non-existent in the Early Church, or Middle-Ages Church, such as 1:1 Confession:Communion.  As I said, when it's applied to once-monthly communion, it makes sense.  But if someone wishes to receive once per week and are told to confess once per week, then the direction doesn't match up with the Church's historical practice.
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