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Russian Orthodox Document Promulgated Regarding Communion

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On February 3, 2015, at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, the Hierarchical Consultation of the Russian Orthodox Church promulgated a document, "On the Participation of the Faithful in the Eucharist."  Here is the link to an English rendering:
http://jordanville.org/files/Articles/On-the-Participation-of-the-Faithful-in-the-Eucharist-Edited.pdf

From my reading, the document appears to be excellent.  It considers the canonical history of the frequency and conditions under which the faithful are to partake of the Eucharist in light of modern developments.  Among other things, it emphasizes the need for fasting, prayer, and confession, and recommends the canonical and traditional means of these as a goal to be attained, but ultimately defers in each individual case to the direction of the priest as pastor to his flock in terms of the frequency of an individual's reception of the Eucharist.  This, to me, is the hallmark of sound Orthodox teaching.  Particularly interesting is the commentary on the historical nature of reception of the Eucharist during the liturgical feasts and fasts.

The document places certain emphasis on practical problems in parishes (late arrivals) and, interestingly, criticizes the present ingrained Russian practice of hearing confessions during the Divine Liturgy itself, and recommends that this practice be abolished as a distraction to the Faithful.

It reinstates, in no uncertain terms, the prohibition of a woman receiving the Eucharist during her monthly cycle, unless there is some extenuating circumstance such as danger of death or grave, continued illness.

It also addresses the situation concerning married couples who have not had their marriage crowned in Church, and stresses that such people should be liberally admitted to communion.  (This is a common problem in the former Soviet Union.)  It also counsels some lesser measure of leniency toward unmarried cohabitating couples, but reinforces the grave nature of adultery.  Interestingly, it directs that canonical penances of a particularly grave nature (such as those requiring more than a year's abstention from the Eucharist) must be cleared by the bishop and should not be abused by a priest.

I apologize if this document has already been posted here.  I only now read about it.  I think it is worth reading by everyone, regardless of jurisdiction.

Documents like this, if followed, will go a long way, I think, to begin remedying the lack of catechesis and outright ignorance on the part of many nominal (and pious) faithful that is found in the present Russian Orthodox Church and other Orthodox Churches operating in the post-Soviet space.
 

mike

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When it was published, discussions about it blocked my fb wall for two days. I was not reading them so I do not really know what the controversial points were.
 
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