Guidelines for Preparation for Holy Communion
The holy Orthodox Church sets certain guidelines for members to prepare themselves for the joyous partaking of the divine Body and the precious Blood of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. These are:
- Attendance at Church services the night before the Liturgy.
- Observance of the fasting regulations of the Church during the week before Communion, and since the last confession made.
- Fasting from all food and beverage (including water) from midnight on the day in which Communion is being received.
- Reading of the appointed Psalms, the Canon and the Pre-Communion prayers; after Holy Communion, the Post-Communion prayers are to be read as well.
- Before approaching the divine Mysteries of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ, one must be at peace with all others.
- A recent confession should have been made before Communion. Members of the faith should make confessions as often as possible, and must confess immediately before Communion if they have neglected the Church's guidelines for fasting, Church attendance, or the like. Likewise, confession should always immediately precede Communion if a person has committed any transgression against God or neighbor that would defile his presence at the partaking of Holy Communion.
Note: Certain sins require the clergy to forbid the partaking of the Eucharist until the confessing person ceases such sins. Among such sins are fornication and adultery. Furthermore, penance given by the spiritual father must be completed before the confessing person may partake of the Holy Mysteries.