The following was written by my priest for today's Sunday bulletin at church:
PREPARATION FOR THE HOLY COMMUNION
The most wonderful thing about man is that he was created to contain God. Holy Communion is the miracle of miracles! To receive the Divine Guest carelessly, without due attention, means that we condemn ourselves. Let it not be so! Here are some short specific suggestions for those wishing to take Communion.
On the day of Communion, it is imperative to come to church at the beginning of the Liturgy and on an empty stomach, that is, to refrain from food and drink, and also from smoking, from the preceding midnight.
The Orthodox Prayer Book contains some very moving prayers "Rule for the Holy Communion" written by the Church Fathers that are designed to be read before and after Communion. These prayers give us the proper attitude for the reception of Communion.
Only having sincere faith and repentance should we approach the Chalice. No hostilities or grudges or dissension must be brought there. For those who participate in the Holy Eucharist regularly, it is not necessary to go to Confession before each Communion. It is up to our father-confessor to decide how often we should go to Confession, although monthly Confession is recommended. Those who take Communion rarely must come for Confession before each time.
Those preparing for Communion should pray at the evening Divine Service in church on the eve of the day of Communion.
Approaching the Chalice, the faithful fold their arms in the form of a cross. In order not to push the Chalice accidentally, we do not make the sign of the cross in front of the Holy Gifts. Having reverence for the Holy Chalice, ladies must remove lipstick before the Communion.
You will note that Father simply says "Orthodox Prayer Book" above. This could be the Jordanville Prayer Book (ROCOR), Orthodox Daily Prayers (St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 1982), or any other standard Orthodox prayer book from jurisdictions other than the ROCOR or the OCA that contains the prayers for both before and after the reception of Holy Communion. Personally, even though I own 2 Jordanville Prayer Books, I prefer the prayer book published by St. Tikhon's Seminary Press for easier readability in language style.