Monday, February 20, 2017

On Casual Frequent Communion

On casual frequent Communion.

Elder Paisius

Question: It is observed in some places Confession is neglected, and Holy Communion is given very often. What's the best thing to do in this situation?

Answer: We have no right to renounce the holy canons and the age-old practice of the Church. Let us follow the path of the Fathers and our predecessors, on the canonical path of holy tradition. Frequent Communion does not bring us to perfection, but repentance with tears, frequent Confession, abandonment of sin, and prayer of the heart do. The zeal of some for frequent Communion is a sign of the weakening of faith and of pride, and not of spiritual advancement. Our correction and advancement on the path of salvation begin with frequent Confession, and continue through fasting and tearful prayer, through the abandoning of sins, almsgiving, reconciliation with everyone, and humility. Only after we do all these things may we have Communion more often, as the holy canons and traditions of the Church show us. Otherwise, how can you receive the Lord of Heaven and earth into your house, when your soul is unclean, unconfessed, a slave to passions, and especially, full of pride? First we have need of tears, prayer, and frequent Confession, then all other gifts will be added to us.
From: A Little Corner of Paradise, St. Herman Press, 2016, p. 209

"If you approach them [the Most-Pure Mysteries] with uncorrected hearts, unworthily, then you commune to your own judgment and condemnation and will be 'guilty of the body and blood of the Lord' (1 Cor. 11:27), and after communion will be no better; on the contrary you will have made yourself worse."      St. John of Kronstadt
From: Season of Repentance: Lenten Homilies, Holy Trinity Publications, p. 75