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Author Topic: Fasting for Communion  (Read 6224 times) Average Rating: 0
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coptic orthodox boy
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« on: November 27, 2004, 12:32:51 PM »

IC XC NIKA
Peace.
I was wondering what the fasting rules are to recieve Communion is among the Eastern Orthodox?  Within the Oriental Orthodox, you must fast Wednesday, Friday, and from Midnight, or nine hours before Communion if you go to an early Liturgy.  Is this the same amoung the EO?
With all love and peace.
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2004, 05:46:26 PM »

The only rule I'm aware of is a complete fast from Midnight the night before including water. I believe for receiving in the evening at Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified it's from Noon until receiving.
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2004, 01:44:35 AM »

Given that Wednesday and Friday are Fast days outright, irrespective of receiving Communion, the practises seem identical.

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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2004, 03:21:27 PM »

I believe that those who do not keep the regular fasts of Wednesday and Friday are often required to fast two days before and one day following.

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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2004, 05:27:15 PM »

Quote
I believe that those who do not keep the regular fasts of Wednesday and Friday are often required to fast two days before and one day following.

I've never heard this until now.

Thanks for posting that interesting factoid Prodromos!

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2004, 06:42:54 PM »

I've always wondered this, may you brush your teeth in the morning or is that forbidden by the fast?  

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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2004, 07:22:16 PM »

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I've always wondered this, may you brush your teeth in the morning or is that forbidden by the fast?

I know that the Coptic Orthodox do not if they are going to commune. I am unaware if that is the same across the board with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches.

Insofar as the Eastern Orthodox churches go, I have been told by my priest (OCA) that it is perfectly alright to brush one's teeth, as long as nothing is swallowed. Nothing is to be consumed from midnight onward.

In Christ,
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coptic orthodox boy
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2004, 11:46:32 PM »

IC XC NIKA
Peace
I brush my teeth before I recieve Communion, and I am a Copt.  Maybe it is not allowed in Egypt, but I have asked many, and no one has said you can't brush your teeth.
With all love and peace.
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2004, 02:14:28 AM »

Thank you for the clarification Coptic Orthodox Boy.  Smiley

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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2004, 04:09:56 PM »

I've always wondered this, may you brush your teeth in the morning or is that forbidden by the fast?  



I can only speak from the Russian Slavonic perspective.  In the Sluzhebnik there is an appendix called "information" in that section many matters are dealt with including the fast before communion.  It says that you don't brush your teeth in the morning before liturgy as there is a danger you would swallow water and thus not be able to commune.  

I am not aware of this being enforced here in the "diaspora" today.  I doubt if it is enforced in Europe either.  

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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2004, 07:19:10 PM »

I've always wondered this, may you brush your teeth in the morning or is that forbidden by the fast?  



I had the same question when I converted.  I was informed that it's considered perfectly OK to brush one's teeth before communing -- again, as others have stated, so long as one is careful not to swallow water while rinsing.  (I'm OCA, BTW.)

I recall a passage in Facing East in which Frederica Matthewes-Greene says she'd hate to be in the choir of a parish that didn't allow tooth-brushing.  Grin

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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2004, 07:34:00 PM »

I had the same question when I converted.  I was informed that it's considered perfectly OK to brush one's teeth before communing -- again, as others have stated, so long as one is careful not to swallow water while rinsing.  (I'm OCA, BTW.)

I recall a passage in Facing East in which Frederica Matthewes-Greene says she'd hate to be in the choir of a parish that didn't allow tooth-brushing.  Grin

BJohnD

I think all of this to teeth brush or not is a bunch of nonesense.  It is looking at the letter of the law instead of the intent.  Just brush 'em.  You're doing everyone a favor instead of yourself.  I think there are those who don't and I can definitely smell that they haven't on their breath.
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2004, 07:40:01 PM »

This can head in the path of pharisee-ism.  If you're brushing your teeth thinking, "Oh gee yippee, I can steal a sip of water when I rinse!" then you probably shouldn't be brushing. If you're trying really hard to not drink, and you get a few drops down your throat, then I'd leave it up to you whether or not you should receive, and in that case, I myself would probably receive.
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2004, 09:12:49 PM »

Quote
Just brush 'em.  You're doing everyone a favor instead of yourself.  I think there are those who don't and I can definitely smell that they haven't on their breath.

LOL :smiley1:

Quote
This can head in the path of pharisee-ism.  If you're brushing your teeth thinking, "Oh gee yippee, I can steal a sip of water when I rinse!" then you probably shouldn't be brushing. If you're trying really hard to not drink, and you get a few drops down your throat, then I'd leave it up to you whether or not you should receive, and in that case, I myself would probably receive.

I feel the exact same way as you.

In Christ,
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2004, 09:46:06 AM »

The parish priest at my first church did not allow tooth brushing, but my current pastor does.

I can understand the "ban" on brushing one's teeth because It is the Body and Blood of our Lord. However, I find it strange that after we partake of the antidoron we almost immediately fill ourselves with coffee, etc. I understand that the anitdoron is consumed in order to make sure we completely consume the Eucharist. Yet, we still fill our bellies right after.

On the other hand, while it is true that the Eucharist is most precious, our Lord gives us the Eucharist for our nourishment. Hence, it is indeed food and drink: the Eucharist is truely the most pure and precious "relic", but the Eucharist is alive and given to us to eat so that we can be united to Christ.

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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2004, 08:35:57 PM »

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However, I find it strange that after we partake of the antidoron we almost immediately fill ourselves with coffee, etc. I understand that the anitdoron is consumed in order to make sure we completely consume the Eucharist. Yet, we still fill our bellies right after.

I've wondered about this as well....  Huh

When I was looking into Roman Catholicism, I recall reading somewhere (from a RC perspective) that Christ in the Eucharist was present after being consumed until it was processed into your system, then Christ is no longer in the elements after they leave your system. So, it said that one should refrain from eating or drinking anything after consuming, for a respectable amount of time.

I was thinking about this the other day after church and after reading what you said above jumpstarted my memory. Because it is just like you said: as soon as liturgy is over, everyone files downstairs and starts drinking coffee and eating goodies.

Quote
On the other hand, while it is true that the Eucharist is most precious, our Lord gives us the Eucharist for our nourishment. Hence, it is indeed food and drink: the Eucharist is truely the most pure and precious "relic", but the Eucharist is alive and given to us to eat so that we can be united to Christ.

Good point.

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2004, 02:45:41 AM »

When I was looking into Roman Catholicism, I recall reading somewhere (from a RC perspective) that Christ in the Eucharist was present after being consumed until it was processed into your system, then Christ is no longer in the elements after they leave your system. So, it said that one should refrain from eating or drinking anything after consuming, for a respectable amount of time.

I was thinking about this the other day after church and after reading what you said above jumpstarted my memory. Because it is just like you said: as soon as liturgy is over, everyone files downstairs and starts drinking coffee and eating goodies.Good point.

With all due respect, I don't know what you guys are talking about.  Do you mean that people are pigging out so much and so fast that it's really gross and inappropriate?  Then, okay, I see what you mean.  If that's what you mean, please disregard the rest of this rather passionate post.  Otherwise .......of course people are going to have coffee and food.  They're hungry!  They haven't eaten all morning.  What do you guys do after communing at a presanctified liturgy?  Do you hang around for a "respectable amount of time" before you eat?  I don't know about you, but I find it hard to fast for a whole working day, and I want to eat afterwards.  It doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge that I've been to communion.  Of course I'm conscious of the fact that I've received He who is our true food.   Moreover, I wait in Church listening to the post-communion prayers to end before going downstairs.  And anyway, no one gets to eat until the priest comes to bless the food, which usually takes a while.  Come on, please get real.  We're not the Desert Father who sat around for 3 days wondering if he should eat a cucumber that he found and then decided against eating it.

The Latin Church has a really overly-rationalistic and pietistic view of the Eucharist, so what would you expect them to say?

Keep it real, brothers.

Bob
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2004, 03:44:39 AM »

Quote
With all due respect, I don't know what you guys are talking about.  Do you mean that people are pigging out so much and so fast that it's really gross and inappropriate?  Then, okay, I see what you mean.  If that's what you mean, please disregard the rest of this rather passionate post.

That's not what I meant.

Quote
Otherwise .......of course people are going to have coffee and food.  They're hungry!  They haven't eaten all morning.  What do you guys do after communing at a presanctified liturgy?  Do you hang around for a "respectable amount of time" before you eat?  I don't know about you, but I find it hard to fast for a whole working day, and I want to eat afterwards.  It doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge that I've been to communion.  Of course I'm conscious of the fact that I've received He who is our true food.


I wasn't saying anything against the fact that people head downstairs to eat food, I don't have a problem with that. I am right there with them because I am starving myself by the time liturgy is over. I don't know why you took my post as me speaking out against such things.  

I was merely commenting on the fact that I myself partake of the Holy Gifts and instead of staying in the moment pondering this great mystery and being thankful I somehow lose track of this and instead I am heading out of the sanctuary to get something to eat and  munch on snacks and coffee.

Insofar as a Pre-sanctified liturgy goes, I was Chrismated less than three weeks ago and there has not been a Pre-sanctified liturgy during that time so since I haven't yet experienced it, I can't even tell you anything about it let alone fasting beforehand.

Methinks you were reading too much into my post.  :book:

Quote
Moreover, I wait in Church listening to the post-communion prayers to end before going downstairs.

Hmm..... my church doesn't have those, instead I read the Prayers of Thanksgiving that are in my prayerbook.

Quote
Come on, please get real.

Huh??? :cwm5:  :smiley7:

Quote
We're not the Desert Father who sat around for 3 days wondering if he should eat a cucumber that he found and then decided against eating it.

I know that is the truth. Top off your coffee, sir?  :cheeky:


Quote
The Latin Church has a really overly-rationalistic and pietistic view of the Eucharist, so what would you expect them to say?

I would expect them to have an over-rationalistic and pietistic view, which is what I posted....?

The only thing that made me remember it was going over these posts, so I brought it up in the hopes it would spark conversation - and apparently it has!

Quote
Keep it real, brothers.

I know, I am.    :cwm11:

In Christ,
Aaron     :grin:

*edited several times in an attempt to fix "smilies", which for some reason aren't showing up.....?
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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2004, 03:22:03 PM »

Aaron,

Gotta love the good nature of your posts.

Sorry if I got carried away.

Bobba-Jim, whose smilies are also not working.
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« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2005, 12:28:33 AM »

+Irini nem ehmot

I know that the Coptic Orthodox do not if they are going to commune. I am unaware if that is the same across the board with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches.

Not to kill an old discussion... As mentioned, before Communion it is permitted (but be careful not to swallow! lol) But there is a pious *t*radition among the Copts that after Eucharist you are not to brush your teeth, chew gum, walk barefeet (footed?), even take a shower after Eucharist... This is/was done out of extreme reverence for the Eucharist we have, so that none of it could be lost in any way. Again, this is pious tradition, but it is not Tradition or canon law or anything like that. I believe John Chrysostom dealt with this piety by making everyone have a cup of water after Communion so that they wouldn't need to be too fanatic.

I like the reverence of our tradition, but it is not uncommon for it to become too extreme. Smiley

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« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2005, 12:13:58 AM »

One of the pre-communion fasting challenges in North America is the fact that in many of our parishes the Liturgy doesn't start on Sunday until 10 or 10:30 am. In Greece, for example, the village church has the Divine Liturgy starting at 7:00am.  I would say, if given an honest answer, in North America very few EO communicants make it to Liturgy without a deliberate sip of water, little alone brushing their teeth.

Also, amongst the Greek immigrants I know, many will fast for from Thursday to Saturday before a Sunday on which they take communion.  This despite the fact the canons state that Saturday is not a fast day.

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« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2005, 08:11:08 PM »

Here, it depends on whom you talk to as to what their practice is.  There are some N+P Orthodox who only receive on those days because they have fasted for the 40+ days beforehand, and thats the only way they'll do it.
There are some who don't even fast W + F and then they go almost every Sunday.
Of course, fasting is just one small element to be considered when taking communion.  Part is our self-preparedness; part is the discipline given to us by our parish priest/spiritual father.  Part is an understanding of what Communion is and what it does.

What would a modern, US-living Orthodox say when you tell them that the Fathers of the 4th-6th centuries would consider you an excommunicate member of the Church if you went three straight Sundays without Communion?
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« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2005, 08:25:43 PM »

Cleveland, I'd be in trouble.  It's tough in our church.  Only two converts receive regularly.  That may not be the best, but I'm not going to receive if I don't feel like I prayed and fasted enough during the week.  If I went to confession and Vespers every Saturday . . .
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« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2005, 06:49:02 PM »

I had been told once that one should try to prepare for communion, but if during the DL you are moved to receive and you haven't prepared. you should receive anyway.. because the Devil is always working to keep you from the cup....

Interesting that one of our visiting priests told people who had received communion NOt to kiss his hand after later receiving antidoron.  Absolutely no one in the church had ever heard of this practice and no priest has ever said this  besides him  to anyone's knowledge... Has anyone hear ever heard this??
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« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2005, 07:50:22 PM »

It's true that you are not supposed to kiss the priest's hand after communion. Your lips have been sanctified.  The thing is, even those in the know tend to kiss the priest's hand at the end of the liturgy when they go up to kiss the cross or receive antidoron, because it is such an ingrained Orthodox habit. (It's kind of interesting that this particular priest is trying to "put the brakes on" when it comes to this "habit." I 've never seen a priest insist on this before.) However, when I serve at the altar, I never kiss the priest's hand when I hand him the censer after communion, but before communion, I always do.

You're not supposed to kiss icons after communion either. Lots of people do though.

Bob
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« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2005, 08:45:18 PM »

Interesting--what precisely is the reason for that? I don't completely get just "your lips have been sanctified."
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« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2005, 11:57:40 AM »

I don't know how I can explain it better. While everyone is a "Christ-bearer" , how much more so are we after we go to communion. I suppose this is no different 5 days after communion, as compared to 5 minutes after (excepting of course that being the weak creatures we are we fall into sin so readily and cut ourselves off from God). The" rule" just seems a way to call attention to the awesomeness of what we have just eaten. The hand of the priest is an icon, in a sense, just like the other wooden icons in church. Why would you want to kiss an image of Christ (even though it is more than just an image, in that it imparts his reality) when you have just been brought into union with him in the most complete way possible(untiil the advent of the Kingdom)?

BTW, I have never read any of this in a book. I was just told by another server not to kiss the priest's hand after communion when I gave him the censer, and then I asked the priest more about this later on.

Of course, there are sudeacons' and servers' guides out there.  I wonder if they mention anything about it.

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« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2005, 07:34:24 PM »

Huh. I, of course, think, "What's the hurt in kissing the icon? Why should I stop showing veneration just because I just received the most Holy?"
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« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2005, 07:44:35 PM »

So...what about venerating the cross and kissing the priest's hand (or Bishop at a Hierarchical Liturgy) at the Dismissal?
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« Reply #29 on: April 02, 2005, 12:17:21 AM »

Since we are "Christ-bearers" after communion, one is "not supposed" to kiss the priest's hand, cross, icons or take andidoran. (In Russian churches I have been in, at the very least, everyone seems to kiss the cross after communion) One is also not supposed to have sexual relations, bleed (whether by menstration or cutting oneself), vomit or any other action that may result in the fluids of the body escaping. I was taught this by my older Greek friends.

In Greek Orthodox tradition, we have to remember a few things. First of all, until recently, communion was very rare for most people. I have met people who come regularly to church who haven't been to communion for literally decades! Thus, the Antidoran became almost like a "junior communion" That is why we are taught to fast going to church even if not taking communion, the special pieces of antidoran that are often wrapped in aluminum foil and have communion wine put on it (Ipsoma), making sure you don't drop a crump of Antidoran at church and taking some home to have first thing in the morning for the rest of the week. In strict monasteries, Antidoran can only be given to Orthodox Christians. With more people coming to communion on a regular basis, these old "village practices" become confusing.

On a similiar note, and since I'm on a roll, "confusing" liturgical practices also applies to the kissing of clergy hands. In Greek practice, we kiss priests' and bishops' hands for several reasons. One of the most important ones is because they have touched the chalice and body and blood of our Lord in the Holy Communion. However, the deacons also touches the chalice and the Bread and Body of our Lord, but we don't kiss his hand. Why is this? I was told that reason was because deacons are so rare in Greek Churches and almost every deacon becomes a priest in a matter of weeks, that deacons aren't considered "in the clerical equation."

Personally, I think it is dangerous when we spend too much time on discussing what one friend of mine called "village practices." Basically, do what your priest asks you to do, but be aware that in the next village (in other words, another parish) some "small t traditions and practices" may be different.

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« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2005, 12:07:29 PM »

So...what about venerating the cross and kissing the priest's hand (or Bishop at a Hierarchical Liturgy) at the Dismissal?

About kissing the cross I am not sure.    I don't let it bother me, I do it.  EVERYBODY does it.  Can you imagine not going up to greet the priest at the end of liturgy?  It would be like a snub.  Maybe we could just go up and greet him and not kiss anything?  But there are inconsistencies here, at least as it relates to some slavic Churches.  I am speaking of the practice of kissing the chalice right after receiving the Gifts.  This seems a perfectly right and fitting practice to me.  (Perhaps because I am so used to it and couldn't imagine it otherwise? Hopefully not!)  Maybe it is okay to kiss the cross but not the hand of the priest.  I did this for quite some time with the priest who expounded on the whole not-kissing-priests'-hands-after-communion thing.  Maybe you could talk to your priest about it.  I just do both and accept the inconsistency.  But only when I go up to greet the priest at the end of the liturgy.  Clear as mud, right?  Smiley  (It makes perfect sense to me!)

As far as I know, if a bishop is involved, it is quite another matter.  Personally, I kiss a bishop's hand anywhere and everywhere.   
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« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2005, 12:24:04 PM »

Basil,

You might wish to look at this thread in relation to what you posted about bodily fluids.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/newboard/index.php/topic,5317.msg67791.html#msg67791

Bob
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« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2005, 01:28:37 AM »

With regards to fasting, my wife and I fast on Wednesday & Fridays regularly and on other days as stated in the church calendar. As far as Lent goes, we have tried very hard to fast the entire 40 days but haven't been able to. We do the best that we can, with our medical conditions, and medications that have to be taken with food, etc. Over the years as I have gotten older I find that all I can do is the best that I can. I don't think the purpose of fasting is to cause you to become sick. When I don't fast as required, I ask for forgiveness in my prayers and continue to do the best that I know I can in my heart.
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« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2005, 04:47:40 AM »



About kissing the cross I am not sure. I don't let it bother me, I do it. EVERYBODY does it. Can you imagine not going up to greet the priest at the end of liturgy? It would be like a snub. Maybe we could just go up and greet him and not kiss anything? But there are inconsistencies here, at least as it relates to some slavic Churches. I am speaking of the practice of kissing the chalice right after receiving the Gifts. This seems a perfectly right and fitting practice to me. (Perhaps because I am so used to it and couldn't imagine it otherwise? Hopefully not!) Maybe it is okay to kiss the cross but not the hand of the priest. I did this for quite some time with the priest who expounded on the whole not-kissing-priests'-hands-after-communion thing. Maybe you could talk to your priest about it. I just do both and accept the inconsistency. But only when I go up to greet the priest at the end of the liturgy. Clear as mud, right? Smiley (It makes perfect sense to me!)

As far as I know, if a bishop is involved, it is quite another matter. Personally, I kiss a bishop's hand anywhere and everywhere.

After getting back from a great retreat - where this issue was inadvertantly covered - I'm not worrying about it in the least.
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« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2005, 08:48:44 PM »

Since we are "Christ-bearers" after communion, one is "not supposed" to  kiss the priest's hand, cross, icons or take andidoran. (In Russian churches I have been in, at the very least, everyone seems to kiss the cross after communion) One is also not supposed to have sexual relations, bleed (whether by menstration or cutting oneself), vomit or any other action that may result in the fluids of the body escaping.  I was taught this by my older Greek friends. 

This is where we get into the region of pharisee-ism by our pious and God-fearing grandparents (mine included).  The idea that one cannot "bleed", or vomit, or whatever after receiving the Body and Blood of Christ has roots in ideas of "ritual purity" and common piety - not that these are necessarily the worst things on Earth, but not good to make into a focus of faith.  There are many logical reasons why these practices are not preached widely,

1. If the Body and Blood of Christ is so present in our bloodstream that we cannot bleed after Communion, then we cannot either shed skin cells, cough, sneeze, tear, sweat, etc.  Christ is fully present within every part of our body the moment we receive - we do not hold some sort of strict biological view of receiving Communion (after 30 min Christ is in your bloodstream; after and hour He's in your muscles, etc. - just making a point).

2. We should be concentrating on our actions that are related to our sinful disposition (i.e. avoiding lust, greed, envy) rather than on biological functions (mestruation, cutting ourselves, vomiting).

Granted, we say if one vomits within a certain period of time of receiving Communion that the vomit should be disposed of outside rather than in a toilet, but even this is debateable.

In Greek Orthodox tradition, we have to remember a few things. First of all, until recently, communion was very rare for most people. I have met people who come regularly to church who haven't been to communion for literally decades! Thus, the Antidoran became almost like a "junior communion"  That is why we are taught to fast going to church even if not taking communion, the special pieces of antidoran that are often wrapped in aluminum foil and have communion wine put on it (Ipsoma), making sure you don't drop a crump of Antidoran at church and taking some home to have first thing in the morning for the rest of the week. In strict monasteries, Antidoran can only be given to Orthodox Christians. With more people coming to communion on a regular basis, these old "village practices" become confusing.   

Antidoron - Greek for "instead of the gifts" - implemented as a "consolation prize" when frequent communion went into decline.  It is blessed, but not to the same degree that Communion is.  And the idea that Communion was rare until recently forgets about the practice of the Church within its first 4 centures, when if you didn't receive Communion it was seen as an aberration - which would be accompanied (sp?) by confession, etc.

On a similiar note, and since I'm on a roll, "confusing" liturgical practices also applies to the kissing of clergy hands.  In Greek practice, we kiss priests' and bishops' hands for several reasons. One of the most important ones is because they have touched the chalice and body and blood of our Lord in the Holy Communion. However, the deacons also touches the chalice and the Bread and Body of our Lord, but we don't kiss his hand. Why is this? I was told that reason was because deacons are so rare in Greek Churches and almost every deacon becomes a priest in a matter of weeks, that deacons aren't considered "in the clerical equation." 

My bishop and priest have both explained this matter this way: kissing clergy hands has nothing to do with their touching the body and blood of Christ with their hands.  In that case, we should kiss everyone's tongue, everyone's hands!  For each touch the body and blood on their tongues, and each becomes a God-bearer by being united with Christ!  And there is nothing to prevent laypeople from receiving in the hands; here at the Seminary it happens every year as part of St. James' liturgy.

No, the kissing of hands of clergy was told to me to be related to the act of giving a blessing.  A Deacon may not bless with his hands, period.  The Priest may bless with his right hand, thus why we only should kiss a priest's right hand (not to say one is wrong for kissing either hand, especially if you only have the left one available to you, as is often the case when receiving Antidoron).  A Bishop may bless with either hand, which is why we can kiss either one.

Personally, I think it is dangerous when we spend too much time on discussing what one friend of mine called "village practices."  Basically, do what your priest asks you to do, but be aware that in the next village (in other words, another parish) some "small t traditions and practices" may be different. 

Exactly.  Let's not let our differences in the non-essential questions of faith cause shism, when the very-essential matters of faith are the same.
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« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2005, 09:09:11 PM »

Dear Cleveland:

I agree with everything you said.

The point, which I didn't make very clear, is that we tend to give too much credance to "village reasons" for many of our liturgical "small t" traditions. Thus, we need to respect the "traditions" of every parish. As someone said to me. "Orthodox worship is very uniform. It is uniformly different every where I go."

With love in the Lord,
Basil

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« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2005, 12:40:58 AM »



This is where we get into the region of pharisee-ism by our pious and God-fearing grandparents (mine included). The idea that one cannot "bleed", or vomit, or whatever after receiving the Body and Blood of Christ has roots in ideas of "ritual purity" and common piety - not that these are necessarily the worst things on Earth, but not good to make into a focus of faith.

We call these things 'yiayia isms'... !  I had been taught that you kiss the priest's hand to graciously thank him for his blessing and antidoron. For children, the practice teaches respect....

kizzy
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« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2005, 11:15:41 AM »

re. brushing your teeth

Ask your Priest, and do what he says.  If it turns out he told you something wrong, it's not your fault, but his.  Ain't obedience great?!

re. pious customs

While I agree that if taken too far they can be come "pharisaical", there is a logic for most of them, like taking care with the bandages of someone who has bled shortly after communing.  Yes, it is true that if taken too far the logic would require that one not "shed skin cells".  Yet, I think here it's a case of doing that which is reasonably possible.  For example (strictly speaking) very small particles are unavoidably going to come off of the Holy Gifts and find their way all over the place.  Yet, we do our best to avoid this - a cloth is held under the communicant's mouth lest there be a spill, Holy Communion is placed directly in their mouth, and the Priest takes great care in cleansing the sacred vessels afterward.

Now, because we cannot "save every micron", one could argue none of this is necessary - that it's all a waste of time.  But this would be very mistaken.  Rather, this is a question of reverence on our part.  The reality is that there is nothing we could possibly do to stop something "unbecoming" from happening in regard to God's dignity - yet we ought to do everything we can on our part to prevent such from happening.  It's a question of our own reverence in this regard.  God of Himself, doesn't need us to stick up for Him - He is quite prepared to suffer an incredible number of unbecoming things, in His supreme humility, precisely because He wants to save us.  Yet, we need to act with care in reverence, for our own sakes - for if we cop a casual, overly-familiar attitude toward Holy things, then we are on a slipperly slope toward losing our souls.

It's the same with worship in general (perhaps such reverences and precautions can be viewed as a species of worship?) - God does not need our worship.  He will not be deprived or unhappy, or lacking something if we do not fall on our faces before Him.  Yet, should we not be prepared to do this, we will be the losers - we will lose something, ultimatly our very souls.

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« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2005, 02:11:23 PM »

I've always wondered this, may you brush your teeth in the morning or is that forbidden by the fast? ÂÂ


           For Syriac orthodox in India it necessary to brush teeth , have shower  in the morning and wear clean cloths if they receving communion. And normaly  fast after bedtime  prayer till receving communion,its a practice to fast on wednesdays and fridays ;but normaly dont do any extra fasting even if we didnt fast on wednesday and friday  But not laws are allways flexible for sick and elderly
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« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2005, 01:02:23 PM »

Our Archbishop reminded me that we never kiss his hand after receiving Holy Communion.  I've also heard that even if you do not receive Holy Communion but only received the Antidoron, you still must fast.
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« Reply #40 on: June 22, 2005, 04:52:56 PM »

I am just not going to worry about the etiquette of this. I once I had Greek Orthodox priest (I'm Russian Orthodox) scold me for kissing the Chalice, the icons, and the priest's hand after Communion. I thought his nasty scolding of me (in front of God and everyone) was more a violation of Christian charity than any honest mistake on my part, esp. his sneering remark "Don't bring your Russian customs into a Greek Church!" 
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