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Home / Parish / Pastor's Corner / On Preparing for Holy Communion
Briefly, how should an Orthodox Christian prepare for Communion: 1) examine oneself, as St Paul commands, before receiving—look at your sins before God, your neighbor, the Church and yourself. 2) Confess your sins before the Priest, in the Holy Mystery of Confession if you have sins. How do you know? You best find out about this before receiving Communion, so you do not receive unto damnation and unworthily. We say that we should not receive Holy Communion unless we have made a recent Confession. One can interpret “recent” in many ways, but if in doubt of its meaning, ask your priest. The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America teaches us that if we are receiving Holy Communion regularly we should be confessing at least once a month, or thereabouts. It is also normal to attend Vespers the evening before receiving Holy Communion. Please make every effort to do these things.

The document on Confession and Communion is available at the following website:

3) Forgive everyone, ask forgiveness of those whom we may have or have offended. 4) Pray the Pre-Communion Prayers, found in the Prayer book. 5) Attend Vespers the night before receiving Holy Communion. 6) Keep a total fast from midnight (as well as the weekly Wed/ Fri abstaining from dairy and meat and the fasting seasons), unless you have medical reasons to do otherwise. 7) Always always remember that Holy Communion is a Gift to us from God, the most precious Gift upon the earth.

You may say, "this list is TOO LONG!" You may ask, “why does the Bulletin so frequently address the question of proper preparation for Holy Communion?” Why keep bringing this up? The answer is simple: Holy Communion is the "Medicine of Immortality", the "Provision for Life Eternal" the "burning coal of divinity" the very presence of Christ, in the form of bread and wine. Our reception of It is for the union with God, our co-union with ALL in the Church—our parents, here, and those gone to their eternal rest, our grandparents, the saints, the Mother of God, all of the Church for all time; It is the participation at the Mystical Supper in the Upper Room with the Holy Disciples, that SAME Supper of Holy Thursday; It is the cleansing of our sins; the illumination of our souls, and much more. If one cannot prepare for such a marvelous and mysterious mingling of God and man, then, probably, one should not dare step up to the Chalice. The very purpose of our life is linked with how seriously we take our participation in the Eucharistic feast, since the purpose of our life is to be cleansed of our sins so that we might be joined with God, and to be the "light of the world".



    5 PM, Great Vespers or Vigil, as posted (preceeded and followed by Confessions)

    8:40 AM, Resurrectional Matins and 6th Hour Psalmody
    10 AM, Divine Liturgy
    Noon, Agape Meal

    6 PM, Vespers