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Offline Phoenix73

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Communion Question
« on: April 10, 2012, 07:06:32 AM »
Hi,

Sorry if this has been answered before, but is it true that you are meant to refrain from kissing icons and people (even on the cheek) after communion? or is this another old wives tale, I have heard that even sneezing and yawning is a no no.  :)


Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2012, 10:57:43 AM »

Yes, I've been told the same. 

There are two veins of thought going on here.

One, not to accidentally spit out some of the Holy Gifts which might still be on your lips, etc.
This also includes no chewing gum, eating something "on the bone", eating an apple where you throw away the core, or taking a nap for a few hours, so you don't drool on your pillow.

Second thought process is that you are blessed to have the Holy Gifts within you.  While we always have the Holy Spirit within us, we now have "the Body and Blood of Christ" within us.

People venerate the holy icons because they are the holiest items near them.  As people come forward to partake of the Holy Gifts (and the priest has not yet emerged with the Chalice) people kiss the icon (we have a tetrapod with an icon in the center of the nave) and then get in line.
However, IF the priest has already emerged with the Chalice, and Christ is standing before us....we no longer kiss the icon....because God is standing before us and the saints are now secondary.  Does that make sense?

Same as you ask a priest for his blessing when you come up to him.  However, if the bishop enters the room, you are no longer to kiss the priest's hand, only the bishop's.

This is the same idea.  You have now partaken of the Body and Blood of Christ.  God is within you.  You are "special" and shouldn't walk around kissing everything...because the only truly worthy "thing" to kiss is God, and He is inside of you, at that moment.

I may have worded this poorly....but, this is my understanding of the tradition.

I am interested in what others think.

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Offline LBK

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2012, 11:09:27 AM »

Yes, I've been told the same. 

There are two veins of thought going on here.

One, not to accidentally spit out some of the Holy Gifts which might still be on your lips, etc.
This also includes no chewing gum, eating something "on the bone", eating an apple where you throw away the core, or taking a nap for a few hours, so you don't drool on your pillow.

Second thought process is that you are blessed to have the Holy Gifts within you.  While we always have the Holy Spirit within us, we now have "the Body and Blood of Christ" within us.

People venerate the holy icons because they are the holiest items near them.  As people come forward to partake of the Holy Gifts (and the priest has not yet emerged with the Chalice) people kiss the icon (we have a tetrapod with an icon in the center of the nave) and then get in line.
However, IF the priest has already emerged with the Chalice, and Christ is standing before us....we no longer kiss the icon....because God is standing before us and the saints are now secondary.  Does that make sense?

Same as you ask a priest for his blessing when you come up to him.  However, if the bishop enters the room, you are no longer to kiss the priest's hand, only the bishop's.

This is the same idea.  You have now partaken of the Body and Blood of Christ.  God is within you.  You are "special" and shouldn't walk around kissing everything...because the only truly worthy "thing" to kiss is God, and He is inside of you, at that moment.

I may have worded this poorly....but, this is my understanding of the tradition.

I am interested in what others think.

Excellent answer, Liza!
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Offline mike

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 11:36:52 AM »
So what is the antidorion for? We also drink there an our lips touch cups.

I was taught that we can't do it too but at the Church I currently attend no one cares.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2012, 11:37:26 AM by Michał Kalina »

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 12:00:59 PM »
So what is the antidorion for? We also drink there an our lips touch cups.

I was taught that we can't do it too but at the Church I currently attend no one cares.

The purpose of the antidoron and the zapivka is to "wash down" the Holy Gifts. However, people often venerate icons right after receiving Communion, before taking antidoron. This practice should be discouraged.
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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2012, 12:39:51 PM »
So what is the antidorion for? We also drink there an our lips touch cups.

I was taught that we can't do it too but at the Church I currently attend no one cares.

That's sad that nobody cares.  Apathy is a bad sign.

Therefore YOU should care (which I know you do)....and get them excited about their Faith!
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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 03:44:56 PM »
But why I can take a sip from acup and cannot kiss a cross? What's the difference?

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2012, 04:11:39 PM »

As I said - there are two reasons behind this train of thought.

First, is not expelling the Gifts onto another object, and second, is showing respect to God over other people and things.

The first is obvious - don't spit, don't lick...etc.  The zapyvka is to help you ensure that you have swallowed the Holy Gifts - but, there's no guarantee...so, you should still be careful.   

There difference between sipping from a cup and kissing the icons - each hits on the different reason mentioned above.

The danger in sipping from the cup, I think you are stating that you fear that you might be leaving behind some of the Holy Gifts.  This is why we should open wide...and NOT touch the spoon with our lips.

The danger from kissing the icons...in addition to transferring Holy Gifts via spittle....is that you are showing respect to the secondary, when you already have the primary within you.

This would be akin to walking past the bishop and asking the priest for a blessing. 

The ONE thing that you should respect most, is within you at that very moment....unless you can work your lips around to give yourself a good kiss...there's little else worthy to be kissed right then and there.

:)

To be on the safe side...when folks move in for a kiss of greeting after I've received Communion....all they get is my cheek....feel free to kiss me all you like!   ;D   I however, do not kiss them back.
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2012, 05:02:10 PM »
I have a feeling this is somewhat of a Slavic thing.

In another thread, someone who serves at the altar mentioned that he considers it improper to kiss the priest's hand when handing him the censer after communing. I have not observed anyone in the Greek Church to omit to kiss the priest's hand at that moment, though perhaps I haven't been paying close enough attention.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 05:11:36 PM »

...then, again....that's just me "talking".

I don't know whether there is an "official" stance on this.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 05:12:38 PM »
But why I can take a sip from acup and cannot kiss a cross? What's the difference?

The zapivka cup is specially cleansed.

Also, I've been told that, in some places, those who have communed do not actually kiss the cross after communion at the end of liturgy, but just touch it with their foreheads.
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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2012, 06:47:51 PM »
Um, has anyone thought about the fact that there's coffee hour right after church- at least at my parish- and pretty much everybody has coffee and cookies?

 ???

I'm not chrismated yet, but after I am, will I get in trouble if I have a drink?
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2012, 06:55:03 PM »
Um, has anyone thought about the fact that there's coffee hour right after church- at least at my parish- and pretty much everybody has coffee and cookies?

 ???

I'm not chrismated yet, but after I am, will I get in trouble if I have a drink?

The antidoron, the zapivka, and the food afterward serve the same purpose. It's not like the Holy Gifts work some way different than bread and wine, with regard to receiving them in your mouth off a spoon, chewing, swallowing, etc. If you've received antidoron afterward and have been reasonably careful, I don't see what else there is to worry about.
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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2012, 10:47:10 PM »
These post-communion prohibitions (venerating icons, priest's hand, not eating certain things, etc.) , from my experience, are simply pious custom. They're nice. If you observe them, that's wonderful...but they aren't binding anywhere as far as I know.

It's custom at my parish to venerate the central icon in the middle of the nave before communing, even if the chalice is already out. As a server, I always kiss the priest's hand, and I kiss both his hand and the cross at the end of Liturgy.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2012, 10:57:19 PM »
we venerate the hand cross after liturgy before receiving the antidoron.

Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2012, 11:08:06 PM »
I have personally never heard of this...

However, it would render the question why?

Basically because when you partake of communion, you are IN communion with every other Eastern Orthodox Christian (of course the ones that are in communion together), communion with the saints as well...   If you were to give somebody a holy kiss, or kiss the hand of the priest, venerate an icon (saint, theotokos, or of the lord) whom also has partaken of communion as much as you have, how would this (I don't know the word....) "wrongly dilute/show disrespect etc"?

Anyway as stated above by Benjamin the Red, that it is a pious custom... 
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Offline Phoenix73

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2012, 02:11:57 AM »

Yes, I've been told the same. 

There are two veins of thought going on here.

One, not to accidentally spit out some of the Holy Gifts which might still be on your lips, etc.
This also includes no chewing gum, eating something "on the bone", eating an apple where you throw away the core, or taking a nap for a few hours, so you don't drool on your pillow.

Second thought process is that you are blessed to have the Holy Gifts within you.  While we always have the Holy Spirit within us, we now have "the Body and Blood of Christ" within us.

People venerate the holy icons because they are the holiest items near them.  As people come forward to partake of the Holy Gifts (and the priest has not yet emerged with the Chalice) people kiss the icon (we have a tetrapod with an icon in the center of the nave) and then get in line.
However, IF the priest has already emerged with the Chalice, and Christ is standing before us....we no longer kiss the icon....because God is standing before us and the saints are now secondary.  Does that make sense?

Same as you ask a priest for his blessing when you come up to him.  However, if the bishop enters the room, you are no longer to kiss the priest's hand, only the bishop's.

This is the same idea.  You have now partaken of the Body and Blood of Christ.  God is within you.  You are "special" and shouldn't walk around kissing everything...because the only truly worthy "thing" to kiss is God, and He is inside of you, at that moment.

I may have worded this poorly....but, this is my understanding of the tradition.

I am interested in what others think.



As I said - there are two reasons behind this train of thought.

First, is not expelling the Gifts onto another object, and second, is showing respect to God over other people and things.

The first is obvious - don't spit, don't lick...etc.  The zapyvka is to help you ensure that you have swallowed the Holy Gifts - but, there's no guarantee...so, you should still be careful.   

There difference between sipping from a cup and kissing the icons - each hits on the different reason mentioned above.

The danger in sipping from the cup, I think you are stating that you fear that you might be leaving behind some of the Holy Gifts.  This is why we should open wide...and NOT touch the spoon with our lips.

The danger from kissing the icons...in addition to transferring Holy Gifts via spittle....is that you are showing respect to the secondary, when you already have the primary within you.

This would be akin to walking past the bishop and asking the priest for a blessing. 

The ONE thing that you should respect most, is within you at that very moment....unless you can work your lips around to give yourself a good kiss...there's little else worthy to be kissed right then and there.

:)

To be on the safe side...when folks move in for a kiss of greeting after I've received Communion....all they get is my cheek....feel free to kiss me all you like!   ;D   I however, do not kiss them back.


Thank you Liza, you have answered my question perfectly.  :)

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2012, 04:52:48 AM »
The zapivka cup is specially cleansed.

When I used to be an altar server we used just to wash them with water.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2012, 11:50:38 AM »
The zapivka cup is specially cleansed.

When I used to be an altar server we used just to wash them with water.

No special drain going right into the ground?
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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2012, 01:13:10 PM »
our zapivka cups are plastic cups and get tossed in the trash post usage.  I don't get kissing a hand cross at the end of liturgy if you have received communion.  If you are serving with the bishop you don't kiss his hand post communion if you hand him something because you have taken communion so why kiss a cross if you have taken communion at the end of liturgy? makes no sense.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2012, 01:15:20 PM »

That's interesting...as I have never "served" with a bishop....and can't say that I noticed the altar servers "not" kiss his hand after Communion.  That's really cool.

So....if you've had Communion....and you bump in to your bishop in the hall afterwards....are you NOT supposed to ask for his blessing?   Or do you ask for a blessing but, just not kiss his hand?
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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2012, 01:31:18 PM »
The zapivka cup is specially cleansed.

When I used to be an altar server we used just to wash them with water.

No special drain going right into the ground?

Nah. We propably spilled in on the ground (there was no canalisation) but no special treatment,

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2012, 02:29:38 PM »
our zapivka cups are plastic cups and get tossed in the trash post usage.  I don't get kissing a hand cross at the end of liturgy if you have received communion.  If you are serving with the bishop you don't kiss his hand post communion if you hand him something because you have taken communion so why kiss a cross if you have taken communion at the end of liturgy? makes no sense.

Oh dear, plastic cups. That reminds me of the brilliant anecdote of Archbishop John Shakhovsky of Chicago of happy memory, when he found a parish he was at was using plastic spoons for distributing communion because people were worried about infection. He said, "Where's spoon?" They gave him the spoons. And he proceeded to throw down the plastic spoons and stomp on them. Then he gave a sermon about the blasphemy of using plastic spoons for communion and had the clergy find the old communion spoon which had been used for incense, and communed people with that spoon, which apparently had little bits of incense and charcoal on it yet. The parish apparently never used plastic spoons again.
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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2012, 02:41:17 PM »

EXCELLENT!!!!  I love it when the clergy lay down the law!!!!

When that swine flu was going around....we ALMOST had the same thing happen....but, thankfully did not.

We had folks grumble, but, our pastor did what he thought was right!

The shepherd should lead his flock, not the flock lead the shepherd!
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2012, 02:44:20 PM »

EXCELLENT!!!!  I love it when the clergy lay down the law!!!!

When that swine flu was going around....we ALMOST had the same thing happen....but, thankfully did not.

We had folks grumble, but, our pastor did what he thought was right!

The shepherd should lead his flock, not the flock lead the shepherd!


Archbishop John of Chicago, a small man, apparently also smuggled the quite large Tikhvin Icon outside of Russia in WWII. According to the Unsourced Orthodox Anecdote (TM), he carried it under his cassock. It was obvious to everyone there was something under there, but no one ever questioned him.
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Re: Communion Question
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2012, 03:20:03 PM »
our zapivka cups are plastic cups and get tossed in the trash post usage.  I don't get kissing a hand cross at the end of liturgy if you have received communion.  If you are serving with the bishop you don't kiss his hand post communion if you hand him something because you have taken communion so why kiss a cross if you have taken communion at the end of liturgy? makes no sense.

In the practice I've received, we do kiss the bishop's hand after communing at a hierarchical Liturgy. Just the same, we kiss the priest's hand after communing at a presbyterial Liturgy.
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