Monday, April 09, 2007

Some thoughts on church discipline

Over at Energetic Procession there is a short article on a subject worthy of a few words, namely lax discipline, especially as relating to communion. In some places the article is rather sharply worded, but it does not say anything in substance that I disagree with. A few simple rules...
  • If you are late for liturgy don't approach the chalice.
  • If you have not been to confession recently you should not approach the chalice w/o your spiritual father's blessing.
  • If you have failed to commune for two or more consecutive Sundays for reasons other than illness or some other unavoidable circumstance you should not commune without first taking confession.
  • If your visiting a parish other than your own you should not commune w/o the blessing of the parish priest or whoever is celebrating liturgy. This means arriving early and talking to the priest before liturgy.
  • If you are immodestly attired (note this does not mean you need to wear a coat and tie or an ankle length skirt) you should not approach the chalice.
  • If you have reason to think someone who is not Orthodox might be about to commune either ask them quietly if they are Orthodox and draw their attention the rules of the Church or put a bug in the priest's ear. It is not the place for layman to enforce Church discipline. However if something potentially inappropriate is happening the priest should be made aware.
  • If you commune you don't leave before the dismissal. Ideally you should stay for the post communion prayers.
Holy Communion is not fast food. There are no golden arches over our church domes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would just add: "if you are getting your guidance for when to approach the chalice from blogs instead of from your priest, don't approach the chalice."