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Menstruation and receiving communion


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#41 Margaret

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 02:16 AM

Hi all..I am not 100% sure, but I don't think this issue of "blood" is related to the OT purity laws, nor that blood itself is "unclean" - but from what I learned in catechumen class (and my memory/understanding is somewhat sketchy at best), it is that the Eucharist is a bloodless sacrifice. We the faithful join ourselves to Christ and we offer both ourselves and Jesus to God the Father as a bloodless sacrifice which the Holy Spirit changes to the body and blood of our Lord in the Eucharist. Perhaps that this is the reason we (all genders) should not be bleeding when approaching the chalice. Likewise, a menstruating female cannot offer herself as a bloodless sacrifice. My parish priest takes obedience very seriously and will withdraw from serving if he cuts himself.

#42 Angie

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 12:52 PM

Sorry to open up this old thread, but had  question.

 

Would like to ask if you wake up and you get your period, can you still partake Holy Comunion? 

 

I have been told the day before no, but if you wake up and you get them, say on sunday morning,  you can, but you must burn or bury it for the next 24 hours in the places you bury holy things.



#43 Phoebe K.

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 02:00 PM

Hi,

 

My Spiritual father is strict on the mater of receiving that if I know I am on I must not receive whenever it starts (in my case I must wait 8 days before apoching again).  I however have never been told I need to do anything special if I start in the afternoon after receiving.

 

On the other hand my Parish Priest in accordance with the instructions from his bishop dose not require those on their mouthy bleed to refrain but rather leves it to their own decision whether to receive, as the bishop's instruction is that it is not a barior to receiving.  He dose however expect us to follow any obences in this area we have been given by our Spiritual fathers if they are other than himself.

 

Phoebe



#44 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:29 PM

The instruction from the bishop Phoebe mentions is wrong.



#45 Phoebe K.

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 06:34 PM

Andreas,

 

Although Metropolitan Joseph (metropolitan of western and southern Europe) has given this instruction very few of the parish I go to actually do this, most eather have spiritual fathers who have made it clear that the tradition is expected of us or have had it impressed on them sufficiently by mothers, Godmothers and grandmothers that they follow it.  The rest of the women are too old or too young to have to worry about it.

 

I do not know how it has been implemented in other parishes in the jurisdiction, but I have a feeling it depends on what the Priest has been tort when he was younger.  I know a number of Priests across several jurisdictions who do not enforce the tradition on not receiving during the period eather by not mentioning it or not teaching that it is expected.  I view it as an issue between them and their bishop with of course the input of the Holy Spirit.

 

Metropolitan Joseph has clearly been able to find justification for what he has told his priests, if the bishops which run the diocese associated with his do not agree they can take it up at the synod.  

 

I am not worrying about it about rather following my Spiritual Fathers direction, and even if this was to be the policy of a Priest I was under in the futcher I still would not receive when actually bleeding unless there were grave circumstances where such economies could be justified.

 

Phoebe



#46 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 06:38 PM

It would be interesting to know what 'justification' this metropolitan has for his instruction.



#47 Phoebe K.

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 06:47 PM

I would love to know as well, I have yet to get out of my Parish Priest the actual cannon used as the bases for this.  If I mange to I will make it known, but it could take a while. :)

 

Phoebe



#48 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 07:11 PM

"Augustine’s Eighth Question:..whether it is lawful for her to come into the church when she has her courses, or to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion..

 

She must not .. be forbidden to receive the Mystery of the Holy Communion during those days [i.e.the days of her courses]]. But if any one out of profound respect do not presume to, she is to be commended; yet if she receive it, she is not to be judged. For it is the part of noble minds in some manner to acknowledge their faults, even when there is no fault; because very often that is done without a fault, which, nevertheless, proceeded from a fault. Thus, when we are hungry, it is no sin to eat; yet our being hungry proceeds from the sin of the first man. The courses are no sin in women, because they happen naturally; yet, because our nature itself is so depraved, that it appears to be defiled even without the concurrence of the will, a defect arises from sin, and thereby human nature may itself know what it is become by judgement. And let man, who wilfully committed the offence, bear the guilt of that offence against his will. And, therefore, let women consider with themselves, and if they do not presume, during their courses, to approach the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Lord, they are to be commended for their praiseworthy consideration; but when they are carried away with love of the same Mystery to receive it according to the custom of the religious life, they are not to be restrained, as we said before." - Saint Gregory the Great Patriarch of Old Rome in an epistle which he sent to Saint Augustine Archbishop of Canterbury, as recorded by St Bede the Venerable in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. 

 

In Christ.

Rdr Daniel.


Edited by Daniel R., 21 September 2014 - 07:12 PM.


#49 Michał

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 07:32 PM

 

The instruction from the bishop Phoebe mentions is wrong.

 

Then write a letter of complain to his Synod.

 

It would be interesting to know what 'justification' this metropolitan has for his instruction.

 

Mk 5, 21-43?



#50 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 07:33 PM

This - #48 - has been quoted before in the forums and is not determinative of the matter.

 

Michal - are you saying it is all right for women to receive during menstruation?

 

Mark 5:21-43 - this has been addressed elsewhere (by Fr David Moser, I think) and does not alter the tradition.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 21 September 2014 - 07:38 PM.


#51 Angie

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 12:06 AM

Daniel, could you provide the link?

 

I would really like to read it.

 

Thank you.



#52 Angie

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 02:34 AM

Also who is Augustine? Sorry I havnt heard of him. 

 

I am greek orthodox  under Patriarch Bartholemew.



#53 Michał

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:15 AM

 Michal - are you saying it is all right for women to receive during menstruation?

 

Yes.



#54 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 11:24 AM

Dear Angie,

 

Saint Augustine was the leader of the mission sent to preach the Christian faith to the English by Saint Gregory the Great (also known as St Gregory the Dialogist) Patriarch of Rome A.D. 590-604. His work and that of his followers along with the Irish missionaries was instrumental in the conversion of England to (Orthodox) Christianity. He is thus a very important figure in English Christianity and was the first Archbishop of Canterbury. 

 

As he was a new bishop and was dealing with a people who were only just being brought to Christianity he wrote an epistle to his Patriarch St Gregory the Great with a series of questions, the epistle in Bede is the one St Gregory sent back to him answering those questions and which served as canons for the English church and latter missionary churches in Germania.

 

A translation can be found in St Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People which tells the history of the English people and church. A translation can be found online here http://www.ccel.org/...y.v.i.xxvi.html

 

 

Dear Reader Andreas,

No it is not determinative in the matter for the Church as a whole, but it was determinative for the English church and those of Germania and it was written by an Orthodox Saint who was the Patriarch of Rome and was/is regard highly by Orthodox Christians East and West, it does therefore carry some weight. 

 

 

 

In Christ.

Rdr Daniel.


Edited by Daniel R., 22 September 2014 - 11:26 AM.


#55 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 08:20 PM

The tradition and ecclesiastical discipline of the Church regarding this matter has existed for many centuries, from the earliest times in the Greek Church we may suppose, and in the Russian and other Slavic Churches for more than a thousand years. This tradition and discipline is rooted in a deep and mystical understanding of the Eucharist. The letter to St Augustine of Canterbury from Pope Gregory must be set in this context: it was pastoral advice - somewhat 'yes and no' as it is - to a local Church which, however, like the Roman Church itself, ceased to be part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church from about the middle of the 11th century. It cannot stand against the tradition and discipline of the whole Orthodox Church in the Orthodox homelands maintained to this day. I am conscious that I am writing this in Moscow where the question is not even asked. All this notwithstanding there are those in these days who would go against all this. The utmost caution is to be exercised in supposing that modernist ideas, from whomsoever they may come, can supplant such long tradition and discipline.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 22 September 2014 - 08:22 PM.


#56 Angie

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 05:53 AM

Ok, thank you for this.

 

So I suppose we greek orthodox should acknowledge his writings, as I havnt heard of him. 

 

The thing is why are we getting mixed responses from parishes and people?


Edited by Angie, 23 September 2014 - 06:00 AM.


#57 Angie

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Posted 25 September 2014 - 09:14 AM

Thanks



#58 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 04:12 PM

The tradition and ecclesiastical discipline of the Church regarding this matter has existed for many centuries, from the earliest times in the Greek Church we may suppose, and in the Russian and other Slavic Churches for more than a thousand years. This tradition and discipline is rooted in a deep and mystical understanding of the Eucharist. The letter to St Augustine of Canterbury from Pope Gregory must be set in this context: it was pastoral advice - somewhat 'yes and no' as it is - to a local Church which, however, like the Roman Church itself, ceased to be part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church from about the middle of the 11th century. It cannot stand against the tradition and discipline of the whole Orthodox Church in the Orthodox homelands maintained to this day. I am conscious that I am writing this in Moscow where the question is not even asked. All this notwithstanding there are those in these days who would go against all this. The utmost caution is to be exercised in supposing that modernist ideas, from whomsoever they may come, can supplant such long tradition and discipline.

Dear Rdr Andreas,

 

I do not wish to get into a debate regarding this issue, but the quote from Saint Gregory as well as other examples show this was not as universally held as perhaps one might think (I have not come across cannons in the ecumenical councils), I personally believe it be a pastoral matter. What I would like to point out however is that the idea that somehow the advice of St Gregory (and Western Fathers in general) is somehow inferior due to the great schism is without merit, it is akin to saying St Athanasius and St Cyril should be taken with a pinch of salt due to the schism of the Copts in the 5th century. The fathers are not to be weight based on there geographical location. Also I don't think we can say that the writings of a man of the 6th century exactly classes as modernist ideas. 

 

In Christ.

Rdr Daniel,


Edited by Daniel R., 28 September 2014 - 04:14 PM.


#59 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 06:18 PM

I take your point, Rdr Daniel. My point was that the relevant discipline of the Church has existed for well over a thousand years, and that the weight of that fact has to be set against the saying of St Gregory. In the Orthodox homelands, comprising as they do the vast majority of Orthodox Christians, the issue tends to Church discipline rather than within the pastoral discretion of individual priests. Certainly in Russia, that is how it is seen.



#60 Hieromonk Ambrose

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Posted 29 March 2015 - 12:43 AM

I see that the Holy Synod of Antioch has resolved the menstruation question.

 


"The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch, meeting in Syria from May 26-May 27, 1997, at the Patriarchal Monastery of St. George, decided, among other things:

 

......... 2) To allow women to commune at any time and to remove from the Church's liturgical texts any reference to women as "unclean" or "tainted."
 






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