Author Topic: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches  (Read 2810 times)

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Offline new_abc

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Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« on: March 26, 2011, 12:33:06 AM »
Hi,

I'm new here. Someone recently told me that they were at an Antiochian Orthodox Church, and noticed when the Blood was given out to the congregation, the priest brings the spoon towards the mouth of the person who wants to receive the Blood and sort of flicks it in his mouth. I recently saw on tv a church do this also and i am pretty sure the church on tv was an Antiochian Orthodox church. So I would like to know:

- Is this how it is usually/always given in the Antiochian Orthodox Church?

- What about other Eastern Orthodox Churches (Russian, Greek, OCA, etc)? DO they also give it out like this? Or do they place it in the person who they place it in or near the mouth of the person who wants to receive it (so that the person drink it by putting their mouth on the spoon or perhaps slightly touch the spoon by sipping it)?

Offline new_abc

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 01:18:31 AM »
Or do they place it in the person who they place it in or near the mouth of the person who wants to receive it (so that the person drink it by putting their mouth on the spoon or perhaps slightly touch the spoon by sipping it)?

=

Or do they place it in or near the mouth of the person who wants to receive it (so that the person can drink it by putting their mouth on the spoon or perhaps slightly touch the spoon by sipping it)?

Offline John of the North

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 01:34:47 AM »
Hi,

I'm new here. Someone recently told me that they were at an Antiochian Orthodox Church, and noticed when the Blood was given out to the congregation, the priest brings the spoon towards the mouth of the person who wants to receive the Blood and sort of flicks it in his mouth. I recently saw on tv a church do this also and i am pretty sure the church on tv was an Antiochian Orthodox church. So I would like to know:

- Is this how it is usually/always given in the Antiochian Orthodox Church?

- What about other Eastern Orthodox Churches (Russian, Greek, OCA, etc)? DO they also give it out like this? Or do they place it in the person who they place it in or near the mouth of the person who wants to receive it (so that the person drink it by putting their mouth on the spoon or perhaps slightly touch the spoon by sipping it)?

Yes this would be how it would be given, outside of the Western Rite or at the Liturgy of St James.
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Offline mike

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 07:17:55 AM »
Yes this would be how it would be given, outside of the Western Rite or at the Liturgy of St James.

How is the Blood given during the Liturgy of St. James? From the chalice? I've been to it once and I don't remember.

To the OP:

In 99% of cases the Eucharist is given in a way you described.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 08:12:44 AM by Michał Kalina »
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Offline bogdan

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 10:14:53 AM »
That is how Antiochians give it, and probably all the Greek-tradition Churches. There is no contact with the spoon, usually.

In my experience, Russian/Slavic tradition has the person close their mouth over the spoon, and then they kiss the chalice.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 10:15:42 AM by bogdan »

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 11:16:15 AM »
That is how Antiochians give it, and probably all the Greek-tradition Churches. There is no contact with the spoon, usually.

I never experienced this kind of thing as standard in any Greek church.

Offline new_abc

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2011, 11:22:58 AM »

Yes this would be how it would be given, outside of the Western Rite or at the Liturgy of St James.

What Eastern Orthodox Church(es) [or other Church(es)] do you mean by the Western Rite or the Liturgy of St James?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 11:24:37 AM by new_abc »

Offline mike

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2011, 12:53:10 PM »
Western Rite Churches use Latin Liturgies. There are some such Parishes under Churches of Russia and Antioch. The Liturgy of St. James is the ancient and not commonly used form of the Divine Liturgy.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 01:36:53 PM »
Hi,

I'm new here. Someone recently told me that they were at an Antiochian Orthodox Church, and noticed when the Blood was given out to the congregation, the priest brings the spoon towards the mouth of the person who wants to receive the Blood and sort of flicks it in his mouth. I recently saw on tv a church do this also and i am pretty sure the church on tv was an Antiochian Orthodox church. So I would like to know:

- Is this how it is usually/always given in the Antiochian Orthodox Church?

- What about other Eastern Orthodox Churches (Russian, Greek, OCA, etc)? DO they also give it out like this? Or do they place it in the person who they place it in or near the mouth of the person who wants to receive it (so that the person drink it by putting their mouth on the spoon or perhaps slightly touch the spoon by sipping it)?

The golden spoon contains both the Body and Blood of our Lord and, at least in my experience, there is no flicking of any sort (I have communed in Bulgarian, Greek, Russian, Antiochian and OCA churches). This is related to the Orthodox belief in the real presence of the Lord in the Mystery of Holy Communion; we treat everything that is touched by the Precious Blood and Body as holy; thus in some jurisdictions both the chalice and the hand of the priest is kissed. Furthermore, in my local OCA parish, we have the practice of consuming blessed but not consecrated wine and bread right after communion to wash it down.

Offline John of the North

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 02:14:32 PM »
Yes this would be how it would be given, outside of the Western Rite or at the Liturgy of St James.

How is the Blood given during the Liturgy of St. James? From the chalice? I've been to it once and I don't remember.

To the OP:

In 99% of cases the Eucharist is given in a way you described.

Yes from the Chalice.


Yes this would be how it would be given, outside of the Western Rite or at the Liturgy of St James.

What Eastern Orthodox Church(es) [or other Church(es)] do you mean by the Western Rite or the Liturgy of St James?

The Western Rite is practiced in both the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Antiochian Orthodox Church--the numbers are very small. I believe the Serbs also have the Western Rite parishes in France.

The Liturgy of St James is only celebrated on special occasions in the Chalcedonian Church (only the Feast Day of St James, I believe). It is the main liturgy of the Syriac Orthodox and the Malankara Orthodox.
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Offline prophetessanna

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2011, 05:08:02 PM »
Hi,

I'm new here. Someone recently told me that they were at an Antiochian Orthodox Church, and noticed when the Blood was given out to the congregation, the priest brings the spoon towards the mouth of the person who wants to receive the Blood and sort of flicks it in his mouth. I recently saw on tv a church do this also and i am pretty sure the church on tv was an Antiochian Orthodox church. So I would like to know:

- Is this how it is usually/always given in the Antiochian Orthodox Church?

- What about other Eastern Orthodox Churches (Russian, Greek, OCA, etc)? DO they also give it out like this?

No flicking!  in our OCA parish, at least. 

Offline Thankful

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2011, 09:00:01 PM »
That is how Antiochians give it, and probably all the Greek-tradition Churches. There is no contact with the spoon, usually.

In my experience, Russian/Slavic tradition has the person close their mouth over the spoon, and then they kiss the chalice.

We are Antiochian and do not receive communion as you describe.  The spoon is placed in our mouth and we close our mouth over it.  We do not kiss the chalice. 

Offline new_abc

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2011, 11:53:53 PM »
Thank you everyone. Your responses have been very helpful.

John, I am still a bit confused with your responses (please bear with me)


Yes this would be how it would be given, outside of the Western Rite or at the Liturgy of St James.


What Eastern Orthodox Church(es) [or other Church(es)] do you mean by the Western Rite or the Liturgy of St James?


The Western Rite is practiced in both the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Antiochian Orthodox Church--the numbers are very small. I believe the Serbs also have the Western Rite parishes in France.

The Liturgy of St James is only celebrated on special occasions in the Chalcedonian Church (only the Feast Day of St James, I believe). It is the main liturgy of the Syriac Orthodox and the Malankara Orthodox.

So when you said "Yes this would be how it would be given, outside of the Western Rite or at the Liturgy of St James", by Liturgy of St James, where you referring to the Eastern Orthodox Churches on the Feast Day of St James? i.e. were you saying that the Eastern Orthodox Churches it is given in the way i described in my first post (by flicking) but that on the the Feast Day of St James it is given in with the spoon in the mouth?

Offline new_abc

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2011, 11:56:12 PM »
That is how Antiochians give it, and probably all the Greek-tradition Churches. There is no contact with the spoon, usually.

In my experience, Russian/Slavic tradition has the person close their mouth over the spoon, and then they kiss the chalice.

We are Antiochian and do not receive communion as you describe.  The spoon is placed in our mouth and we close our mouth over it.  We do not kiss the chalice.  

Thankful, is the Antiochian Orthodox church that you attend mostly Lebanese (Antiochian Orthodox)? Is/Are the priest(s) Lebanese (Antiochian Orthodox)? Maybe it is usually in the churches that are predominantly Lebanese (Antiochian Orthodox) and/or the priest(s) is/are Lebanese (Antiochian Orthodox)?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 11:57:38 PM by new_abc »

Offline Thankful

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2011, 01:15:12 AM »
That is how Antiochians give it, and probably all the Greek-tradition Churches. There is no contact with the spoon, usually.

In my experience, Russian/Slavic tradition has the person close their mouth over the spoon, and then they kiss the chalice.

We are Antiochian and do not receive communion as you describe.  The spoon is placed in our mouth and we close our mouth over it.  We do not kiss the chalice.  

Thankful, is the Antiochian Orthodox church that you attend mostly Lebanese (Antiochian Orthodox)? Is/Are the priest(s) Lebanese (Antiochian Orthodox)? Maybe it is usually in the churches that are predominantly Lebanese (Antiochian Orthodox) and/or the priest(s) is/are Lebanese (Antiochian Orthodox)?

Perhaps so. Our bishop received his secondary and university education in Lebanon, but our priest and most of the parishioners are American converts.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 01:15:52 AM by Thankful »

Offline John of the North

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2011, 02:14:54 AM »
So when you said "Yes this would be how it would be given, outside of the Western Rite or at the Liturgy of St James", by Liturgy of St James, where you referring to the Eastern Orthodox Churches on the Feast Day of St James? i.e. were you saying that the Eastern Orthodox Churches it is given in the way i described in my first post (by flicking) but that on the the Feast Day of St James it is given in with the spoon in the mouth?

In almost all cases Communion is administered via a spoon, where the communicant may or may not touch the spoon with his/her mouth. In the case of the Western Rite and the Liturgy of Saint James, my understanding is that the Body would be administered with the priest using his fingers to place it directly into the mouth of the communicant. The communicant would then commune of the Blood from a Common Chalice. I have not attended either of these two services, but this is how I understand they would administer the sacrament of Communion. I would also highlight that this how clergy commune in the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom (the Body and Blood being separate, and the Blood from the Chalice directly).
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2011, 02:53:09 PM »
That is how Antiochians give it, and probably all the Greek-tradition Churches. There is no contact with the spoon, usually.

In my experience, Russian/Slavic tradition has the person close their mouth over the spoon, and then they kiss the chalice.

We are Antiochian and do not receive communion as you describe.  The spoon is placed in our mouth and we close our mouth over it.  We do not kiss the chalice. 
I am Antiochian and was taught to put my head back, open my mouth wide and allow the Holy Mysteries to be dropped into the mouth. And never kiss the chalice or move towards it (even as in crossing oneself) to avoid accidents that result in spillage.

Offline stashko

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2011, 04:44:11 PM »
Like wise In The Serbian Orthodox Church ,I've yet to see someone close their Mouth over the Spoon and lick the spoon......I was taught tilt Head back, open wide ,and the Body and Blood Is dropped into the mouth, spoon never touches the mouth...... :police:

When it comes to communing Babies, infants they don't open their mouth on command, so the spoon will touch there mouth .......  Baby Fed..... ;D



That is how Antiochians give it, and probably all the Greek-tradition Churches. There is no contact with the spoon, usually.

In my experience, Russian/Slavic tradition has the person close their mouth over the spoon, and then they kiss the chalice.

We are Antiochian and do not receive communion as you describe.  The spoon is placed in our mouth and we close our mouth over it.  We do not kiss the chalice.  
I am Antiochian and was taught to put my head back, open my mouth wide and allow the Holy Mysteries to be dropped into the mouth. And never kiss the chalice or move towards it (even as in crossing oneself) to avoid accidents that result in spillage.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 04:50:32 PM by stashko »
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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2011, 04:46:59 PM »
Frankly I have no idea whether I touch the spoon or not. I definitely know I kiss the chalice.
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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2011, 04:50:52 PM »
I've had issues before (albeit minor ones) with this, where I forgot how a priest at a particular parish does this, and I ended up closing my mouth around communion at the same time that the priest was trying to turn the spoon to give me communion. Somewhat embarrassing, even if only 3 or 4 people knew what was happening.
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Offline maryofegypt

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2011, 06:44:59 PM »
The standard in the parishes I have attended (Bulgarian, ROCOR, OCA) is to close one's mouth around the spoon completely and kiss the base of the chalice afterwards.  I do remember our current priest (OCA) saying that it was up to the parishoner as to whether they closed their mouth over the spoon or not, but to indicate clearly one way or the other (as in if you didn't want to close your mouth, tip your head back farther and keep your mouth open wider). 

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2011, 10:21:12 AM »
Just about all these things can potentially happen at any communion (kissing, flicking, mouth closing). Doesn't really matter. People make arguments for and against them, but there is no one universal practice.
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Offline jktacoma

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2011, 01:39:39 AM »
This is one of those ways in which the Orthodox are of one Faith, but various expressions of that one Faith.
As to communing - at seminary (Greek Archdiocese of America) we were taught to impress upon the Faithful how to receive properly: open the mouth, then close the lips around the Spoon so as to minimize the chance of losing even one drop of the Blood. And this is what most Orthodox do - I have encountered, many Greek and Slavs during my 14 years of service.
Most Antiochians, on the other hand, seem to be taught to leave the mouth open, to allow the priest to flip over the spoon in their mouth. (I suspect that there has been discussion of transmission of disease through the Communion Spoon) Problem with this is, there will always remain a drop on the Spoon, and the danger of spilling.

As to communing at the Liturgy of St. James (referred to somewhere along the line) the Byzantine rubrics say that the people are to receive the Body in their hand, then commune from the Chalice, just as the clergy do at the Altar. Again, at seminary, we were instructed NOT to do this - our people are not accustomed to this, and it could cause great confusion. Personally, I agree, though for other reasons.

I hope this helps.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Eucharist In Eastern Orthodox Churches
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2011, 03:35:58 AM »
the person who wants to receive the Blood and sort of flicks it in his mouth.
Actually, the Body's in there too.
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