The Sacraments and their guidelines as they appear here are meant to instruct and educate the Orthodox faithful about the principle rules regarding a variety of topics in our Orthodox Church.
Sacramental guidelines are outlined to better instruct those who wish to participate in these sacraments.
The Eucharist is at the very center of Orthodox piety, worship and theology. One is encouraged to receive Holy Communion as frequently as possible. However, as frequent communion is encouraged, casual communion is not.
One must always prepare themselves through prayer, fasting (see below) and confession before receiving Holy Communion. A cavalier attitude toward Holy Communion demeans, not the Eucharist, but the individual who receives it un-prepared. Holy Communion is a fire that devours and burns away our sins. Holy Communion is a gift and should be received with joy in the fashion prescribed by the Church.
Eating / Fasting Before Communion
Everyone receiving Holy Communion at the Divine Liturgy must observe the ancient custom as prescribed by the Holy Canons of fasting from every food item. No person should approach and receive Holy Communion if they have not fasted the morning of a Divine Liturgy.
Traditionally, no food or drink is taken (complete fast) from sunset on Saturday until after receiving Holy Communion.
The elderly who require medication may take small amounts of food to help the medication work effectively.
Young children are encouraged to learn the discipline of fasting at an early age.
Children older than ten years of age should practice the complete fast.
Toddlers may consume breakfast. However snacking in church or approach the chalice with food particles remaining on their face is inappropriate.
Babies require regular nourishment and should eat at their prescribed time.
As you approach the Chalice to receive the Eucharist, please do so with utmost respect and reverence. You are receiving the Lord, Jesus Christ into your being.
To prevent accidental contact with the Chalice or spilling of the Holy Eucharist, please make the sign of the cross before approaching and after clearing the general area of the Chalice.
Ladies please blot off all lipstick prior to receiving Holy Communion.
Clearly state your baptized name.