HOLY COMMUNION (EUCHARIST)
The Orthodox Christian Sacrament of Holy Communion (better known as “Holy Eucharist”) is offered to the faithful at any and every Divine (or “Eucharistic”) Liturgy. It is the central and most important worship experience of the Orthodox Church. Often referred to as the “Sacrament of Sacraments”, it is the Church’s celebration of the Death and Resurrection of Christ offered every Sunday and Holy days. All the other Sacraments of the Orthodox Church lead toward and flow from the Eucharist, which is at the center of the life of the Church.
Holy Communion is truly the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and just as it sanctifies and becomes for those prepared provision for eternal life, it may very well become “fire burning the unworthy” for those who are not (see 1 Corinthians 11.27-30). Therefore the Church instructs all Orthodox Christians to prepare with the Orthodox Christian Sacrament of Holy Confession and to have permission from their Spiritual Father before receiving Holy Communion, and also to prepare with the required fast as established by the Holy Fathers of the Church as well as prayer.
When the Holy Cup/Chalice is brought forth from the altar for Holy Communion, the veneration of icons should stop as the Lord is present in front of us in His Precious Body and Blood. We ask that you do not venerate the icons in the front of the Church as you proceed up to receive Holy Communion. We also ask that you not venerate the icons after receiving the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ.