Receiving Holy Communion / Church Etiquette
Just some reminders about receiving Holy Communion when properly prepared to do so.....
As with all the Greek Orthodox Church's Sacraments, Holy Communion is offered to Orthodox Christians who are sacramentally in good standing with the Church. This would mean among other things that if married the wedding took place in the Orthodox Church, if divorced (and were married in the Orthodox Church) an Ecclesiastical Divorce has been obtained, and that you are not under penance placed by a Father Confessor, etc. The Orthodox Church does not practice open Communion.
When approaching the Chalice, please quietly say your Baptismal name as you take the red cloth and place it under your chin. Ladies - Please NO lipstick.
Also, please open your mouth to allow the communion spoon to enter, and once it has please close your mouth around the spoon to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Please do not sip, as if sipping soup.
Aside from spiritual preparation for receiving Holy Communion, it is expected (unless discussed with your Father Confessor) that no food or drink is to be consumed from the time you awake until you receive Holy Communion. This also applies to children. Once they are of school-age, children should not eat or drink after they leave home to come to church, and as they get older, from the time they awake.
However, the blessed bread (antidoron) that is distributed at the conclusion of services may be received by everyone and serves to join together all those who have gathered for worship.
Also, don't forget we have a closed-circuit real-time broadcast, with sound, of the services on the monitor in the Social Hall. If your youngster needs a short break please step into the hall until he/she feels ready to rejoin the congregation, while you continue to be able to participate in the service.
Participation in services is an evolving process for children as they see, hear, smell, touch (lighting candles, kissing icons) and taste. That learning process should also not become a distraction for others as they attempt to focus on their prayer and participation.
Please remember that all movement in the church should be curtailed during all processions, the reading of the Epistle/Gospel, the recitation of the Creed and Lord's Prayer and during the sermon, and whenever the priest is facing the congregation (which indicates he is conveying the blessings of God).
Thank you for your attention to these reminders.
If you are married but have not been married in the Orthodox Church, or if divorced and were married in the Orthodox Church and have not received an Ecclesiastical Divorce, please contact Fr. Michael to discuss the process of restoring you back into the Sacramental life of the Church.