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Preparation for Confession and Holy Communion


Receive the Body of Christ; taste ye of the fountain of immortality.

Confession and Holy Communion are two powerful sources of spiritual renewal. In ancient times Christians received Holy Communion every Sunday. They confessed their sins as often as necessary.

One who is preparing to receive Holy Communion should be filled with a deep sense of his sinfulness and nothingness before God. He should be at peace with everyone, guard himself against feelings of ill will or irritability, refrain from judging others, and abstain from impure thoughts, unnecessary conversations, and vain or sinful amusements (television, movies, loud music, etc.). He should ponder the greatness of the sacrament of Holy Communion, and, as far as possible, spend the time in solitude, in spiritual reading and meditation.

One who wishes to go to Holy Communion should also go to Confession, preferably the night before, during the evening services. He should come to the priest with sincere repentance for all his sins in the sight of God, freely opening his soul and concealing nothing, with a firm intention of amending his life. During Confession it is best not to wait for the priest to ask questions; rather, you yourself should tell everything that weighs on your soul, not seeking to justify your actions or to shift blame to someone else. When you go to Confession, you must make the decision to improve yourself and not to repeat your former sins.

Before Holy Communion the appointed prayers should be read from the Prayer Book, and you should also ask God in your own words for mercy and spiritual renewal. Communion must be received on an empty stomach; nothing should be eaten, drunk or smoked from midnight of the day on which it is to be received.

In cases of necessity it is permissible to go to Confession in the morning, but always before the Liturgy begins, never during it. One who demands Confession during the Liturgy is showing a lack of respect for the Sacrament of Penance, which for lack of time is then carried out hurriedly; at the same time, everyone else is compelled to wait, and the continuity of the service is disturbed.

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