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.