Holy Communion

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Holy Hierarch St. John Chrysostom teaches that one must commune of the Holy Gifts of Christ “with a clear conscience, with a pure heart, with an irreproachable life, in the greatest oneness of mind with the Church, and with intense love, with trepidation and in all purity.” On the day he is spiritually reborn and receives the seal of the Holy Spirit, the Christian is called to such a life in which he might have the opportunity to approach - albeit with a profound recognition of his sinfulness and unworthiness - the Holy Chalice “with fear of God, and love” ever more often, and take part in the prayers of holy elevation.

Do not tear yourself away from Communion; do not deprive yourself of the holy, spiritual powers of the Mysteries on account of the vileness of sin.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem

We must not remove ourselves from Communion of the Lord on the grounds that we recognize ourselves to be sinners. Rather, we should come to It more and more often. thirsting after the healing of the soul and cleansing of the spirit, but with such humility of soul and faith that. considering ourselves unworthy of receiving such grace, we might yearn for greater treatment of our wounds. With the humility of heart with which we believe and confess that we can never worthily come into contact with the Holy Mysteries, we may receive them on every Sunday unto healing of our illnesses, lest, by exalting ourselves through a vain confident heart, we believe that after the lapse of a year we are worthy of receiving it.

St. John Cassian

Regarding Holy Communion on Pascha

To consume the Lamb of God on the Holy and Radiant Night of Resurrection. That is something for which we already pray as we begin to prepare for Great Lent, and then often throughout Great Lent: that the Lord vouchsafe unto us to commune on the night of Holy Pascha. It is a time when the grace of God especially affects people’s hearts. We then commune of the Risen Christ, and become partakers of His Resurrection. Of course, one must first repent and confess, and having already communed during Great Lent, once again commune of the Holy Gifts. There is no time to have a detailed confession before the Paschal Liturgy; that should be done earlier. On the actual Radiant Night of Pascha, and having received general permission to do so, we should approach the Divine Lamb, the pledge of our own Resurrection. Let no one leave the Church early, hurrying to taste of meat flesh, rather than tasting of the Most-pure Body and Blood of Christ.

St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco

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  • 4001 17th St. N.W.,
  • Washington, D.C., 20011

Phone  (202) 726-3000

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