Can an Orthodox Church Order Communion?
Can an Orthodox church order Communion? This question is a perennial one, and it has been debated for centuries. One view is that Communion is partaken only by clergy, and the other holds that it can be partaken only by faithful. In 1819, the Council of Constantinople endorsed this view and said that it is proper for clergy and faithful to take Communion regularly.
Service is congregational singing
The Orthodox Church is a denomination of Christians with a wide diversity in languages and customs. While there are differences in the languages used and the style of worship, many of the elements of a service are the same. Many Orthodox churches in the United States use the same traditional liturgical texts and settings. The Liturgy, or daily routines, was developed over centuries and has roots in Jewish and early Christian worship. The service includes congregational singing.
Sponsors must be Orthodox Christians in good standing
Sponsors must be Orthodox Christians in good spiritual standing and actively participate in the life of their parish. For a baptism to be valid, the Sponsor must be married to an Orthodox Christian and be in good standing with the Church sacramentally. The Sponsor cannot have a record of an excommunication from the Church, or have been anathematized. If the Sponsor is from a different Orthodox Church, they must present a letter from their parish priest stating that they are in good standing.
Sacrament of Holy Unction
The Sacrament of Holy Unction is an ancient Christian healing ritual. A priest administers holy oil to a sick person in order to make them well again. The oil is used to heal all sorts of ailments. It is often applied to the forehead, nostrils, cheeks, lips, chest, and hands.
In Orthodox Christianity, fasting before the Divine Liturgy and communion afterward are two important practices. Fasting is a time when a person does not eat or drink anything until midnight before the Liturgy. This fast should be observed for at least one week, but in some circumstances a person can be exempted from the fast if his spiritual father so orders. During this time, a person should read the prayers for Holy Communion and refrain from social engagements. For children, it is important to ask their parents for forgiveness before they attend church, and likewise, parents should ensure that their children refrain from eating or drinking before the Divine Liturgy.
Orthodox Christians practice various forms of confession. Some Patriarchates recommend that people make a confession before receiving Holy Communion. Others encourage people to make confessions frequently, such as at the beginning of a fast or during a period of intense fasting. In some monasteries on Mount Athos, monks even confess daily.
In the Orthodox Church, the traditional method of distributing Communion bread is through the use of leavened bread. This practice dates back to the 8th century. Leaven is associated with sin in the Scriptures, but it was also used by Christ during the Last Supper. In fact, the Orthodox Church still uses leavened bread today.
The practice of congregational singing in the Orthodox Church dates back to the first centuries of Christianity. While Orthodox worship is not directly influenced by the Jewish Temple, it evolved from synagogue worship, which involved segregation of the sexes and standing for prayer. During the Liturgy, singing and chanting both serve to enhance the congregation’s participation.
While it is possible for Orthodox churches to order communion food for their members, this practice is not always allowed. There are many reasons for this practice, including food safety. In the United States, the Orthodox Church has adopted an individual communion spoon. The Orthodox Church also sterilizes all serving vessels after Communion, and adds boiling water to the wine prior to communion.