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Who Taught Against Frequent Communion?

Bizzlebin

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There are countless threads about frequent communion, both East and West. We've got everything from Sacred Heart devotions to the Kollyvades, Pr Alexander Schmemann to St John Chrysostom, and plenty more—all advocating for *frequent* communion. But what I've not seen is the opposite, the source(s) that creates the problem in the first place by promoting *infrequent* communion. So, what source(s) advocates for infrequent communion, and is thus the target of all these saints and teachers? Thanks.
 

Irened

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Can we first clarify what is considered frequent and infrequent taking of Holy Communion?
 

RaphaCam

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This text quotes some anti-Kollyvades reactionaries. It recommends a book called Manna from Athos. I'd be interested to know whether there are Church Fathers or at least reputed ecclesiastical writers who advocated for infrequent communion.
 

J Michael

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I'm not aware of everything that's been written in the threads referred to by Bizzlebin above, but just looking at this superficially, maybe it's as easy as 2 things: 1) No one has specifically advocated, on a wide-spread basis, for infrequent Communion, and the arguments for frequent Communion were not against anything, but rather were just encouragements for the faithful to commune frequently (all that's just me speculating, and if I'm wrong, will happily be corrected) and reap the benefits thereof; and 2) Historically in some places-Russia comes to mind-circumstances dictated against frequent Confession and Communion and the faithful, along with the clergy, just got "used to" it, as it were, so it became almost habitual and therefore needed to be countered by arguments for "frequent" Communion once the circumstances (whatever they may have been) changed and allowed for it.

Am I totally off base here?
 

RaphaCam

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I'm not aware of everything that's been written in the threads referred to by Bizzlebin above, but just looking at this superficially, maybe it's as easy as 2 things: 1) No one has specifically advocated, on a wide-spread basis, for infrequent Communion, and the arguments for frequent Communion were not against anything, but rather were just encouragements for the faithful to commune frequently (all that's just me speculating, and if I'm wrong, will happily be corrected) and reap the benefits thereof; and 2) Historically in some places-Russia comes to mind-circumstances dictated against frequent Confession and Communion and the faithful, along with the clergy, just got "used to" it, as it were, so it became almost habitual and therefore needed to be countered by arguments for "frequent" Communion once the circumstances (whatever they may have been) changed and allowed for it.

Am I totally off base here?
It seems people grew self-conscious at some point, and communion became infrequent across Christendom even though many theologians now and them would write about it. The Latins restored it through the Sacred Heart devotion, since Margaret Mary Alacoque claimed Christ had asked for monthly communion rather than yearly communion. It would only be consolidated by Pope Pius X. The Greeks restored it under the influence of a group of Patristic revivalists from Mt. Athos, the Kollyvades Fathers, and this spread through the Eastern Orthodox Church, although @augustin717 mentioned that in Transylvania it's a very recent phenomenon. At least some Oriental Orthodox have picked it up, too.

A great example of the difference between small-t and big-t "tradition".
 

augustin717

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But is weekly communion the norm these days? Sure among the Greeks and Antiochians ( in US at least) then also in the OCA there is a larger percentage of people taking communion of they are present at a given liturgy, but from what I’ve noticed across Europe, that’s more of an American phenomenon. Perhaps Western European too. Weekly communion is certainly not the norm in Romania which I know best. In fact if you read the most popular Romanian elders many of you’ll feel like slapping yourself in the face (or slapping them) : they come up with countless rules and even superstitions against weekly communion, which obviously, only apply to laity : no communion without prior confession. Then they have this tradition that a layperson must fast I dunno how many days before communion, not do this or that after . And then most priest seem to prefer ( or atl least not care ) that people only commune rarely.
 

RaphaCam

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But is weekly communion the norm these days? Sure among the Greeks and Antiochians ( in US at least) then also in the OCA there is a larger percentage of people taking communion of they are present at a given liturgy, but from what I’ve noticed across Europe, that’s more of an American phenomenon. Perhaps Western European too. Weekly communion is certainly not the norm in Romania which I know best. In fact if you read the most popular Romanian elders many of you’ll feel like slapping yourself in the face (or slapping them) : they come up with countless rules and even superstitions against weekly communion, which obviously, only apply to laity : no communion without prior confession. Then they have this tradition that a layperson must fast I dunno how many days before communion, not do this or that after . And then most priest seem to prefer ( or atl least not care ) that people only commune rarely.
Yeah, weekly communion doesn't seem as nearly as widespread as among Roman Catholics. I've read Vladimir Moss claiming all Old Calendarists hold to some days of fasting, except for HOCNA, which has its own accidental reasons for having come into existence at a late point.
 

Ainnir

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Do they not commune daily in monasteries?
 

Dominika

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But is weekly communion the norm these days? Sure among the Greeks and Antiochians ( in US at least) then also in the OCA there is a larger percentage of people taking communion of they are present at a given liturgy, but from what I’ve noticed across Europe, that’s more of an American phenomenon. Perhaps Western European too. Weekly communion is certainly not the norm in Romania which I know best. In fact if you read the most popular Romanian elders many of you’ll feel like slapping yourself in the face (or slapping them) : they come up with countless rules and even superstitions against weekly communion, which obviously, only apply to laity : no communion without prior confession. Then they have this tradition that a layperson must fast I dunno how many days before communion, not do this or that after . And then most priest seem to prefer ( or atl least not care ) that people only commune rarely.
Middle East, some parishes in Poland: weekly (or even more than weekly) Communion is a norm.
 
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