On Tue, 1 Aug 2006, Basil Yakimov wrote:
> CHURCH RULES FOR CONFESSION & HOLY COMMUNION
> by Protopriest Gregory Naumenko
> "If thou desirest, O man, to eat the Body of the Master, approach with fear
> lest thou be burnt, for It is fire."
> "Behold, I approach the Divine Communion. O Creator, let me not be burnt by
> communicating, for Thou art Fire consuming the unworthy." (From the Prayers
> Before Holy Communion)
> Those who desire to have Confession and to commune of the Holy Mysteries
> must prepare properly, according to the rules instituted by the Holy
> Orthodox Church. Namely:
> [trimmed for brevity]
There seem to have been in the past, and to be at present, different
attitudes and disciplines regarding Holy Communion. What has been posted
here seems to be only one set of attitudes and discipline, perhaps as
especially prevailing in the Russian Church.
One attitude, which is reflected in an accompanying discipline, is
(more or less) that Holy Communion is a sort of reward for the
righteous, those who have put themselves through a rigorous
"training," so to speak. This attitude and discipline seem to be
associated with infrequent Communion among the laity.
Another attitude, which is reflected in another discipline, is that
Holy Communion is healing and nourishing food and medicine for the
weak and sinful. The discipline of preparation is less strict, and
the attitude and practice seem to be associated with more frequent
Communion among the laity.
Back when I was Orthodox in ROCOR, my association was to some extent
with those in the following of Holy Transfiguration Monastery (who
later became HOCNA). There the attitude was that Holy Communion was
a normal part of participation in the Divine Liturgy unless there was
some grave reason not to receive. This is not to say that there was
no discipline of preparation, only that it was less strict, perhaps in
part in recognition of human weakness.