Prayerful Preparation for Communion
Of all of the days in the life of a Christian, the happiest is the day on which we receive Holy Communion worthily, with complete attentiveness and preparation. Through confession, we have washed ourselves of all sins, opened before the Lord our entire soul, and received into the house of our soul the Holy Heavenly Guest, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who said “He who eats of My Body and drinks of My Blood abides in Me and I in him.”
On the day on which we receive Communion, it is extremely important for us to recognize what we are doing, and in participating in the awesome Mystery, to understand what responsibility we are taking upon ourselves. To receive the Divine Guest carelessly, without the requisite attention, is to condemn ourselves. May it not be so! Here is the minimum that is essential for us to do in order to derive spiritual benefit.
- Confess on the eve of the Liturgy, in order to give yourself and your spiritual father time for a complete confession. You may also confess before the Liturgy (on Sunday), but please, arrive before 10:15am.
- On the day of Holy Communion, it is essential to come to the church by the beginning of the Liturgy (provided that you have confessed the previous evening), and on an empty stomach, i.e. having abstained since midnight from food and drink, as well as from smoking. Those who come to church late may not approach the Holy Chalice.
- The Church instructs those who approach for Communion to cross their arms over their chest, and to approach with lips confessing Christ, and hearts filled with a fervent love for Him and with thanksgiving.
- After Communion, read the thanksgiving prayers.
- Continue partaking of the Holy Communion during the Great Lent. After the Lent is over continue fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays (as prescribed by our Holy Orthodox Church), come to the confession and continue partaking of the Holy Communion. With proper preparation (as indicated above) we should then frequently partake of the Holy Communion. May we continue to be united with the Lord through the Holy Communion unto life everlasting!