Hi. Can someone please tell me why we are not supposed to prostrate after we receive Communion?
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Posted 01 April 2015 - 11:20 AM
Most of the faithful receive Holy Communion on Sundays when there is no prostration anyway. But in any case, when we receive the Holy Gifts, we are blessed, we are sanctified, we are hallowed, and having the Body and Blood of the Lord within us, we should 'be upright' as the priest says after we receive.
Posted 01 April 2015 - 01:43 PM
When we receive Holy Communion, the Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, we are thereby united to Him, even as He says "The one that eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him" -The Holy Gospel according to St John. Each of us then having the Lord dwelling within himself being united to Him by being as it were "commingled and immingled with Him through the participation, so that he is found in Christ, Christ again in him." -St Cyril on the Holy Gospel of St John- ought not to prostrate before the Lord as one without His indwelling, for He is within us. For this same reason we need not venerate the Holy Icons as we ourselves, like as the saints depicted thereon, each become a Holy Icon of the Lord, as by this union with Christ God He is rekindling the Divine icon (image) and likeness within us. As saint Cyril continues, "Thus was Christ teaching us in the Gospel too according to Matthew, saying, 'The Kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened'." That is the indwelling of the Holy One, the Divine Leaven, makes Holy the entire loaf, that is us. For this reason also , I would say, were the Jews forbidden leaven in the Paschal meal, for they were being taught to cast out the leaven of sin awaiting the True Leaven, that is the Christ who appeared in Zion and made us partakers of Himself in the Divine Mysteries saving us through them by the Pascha of the Lord; by which we have been delivered from death and it's sting, that is sin, that we might continually praise the Lord, and offer the "reasonable and bloodless sacrifice, which all nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun, from the north and the south, present to Thee, O Lord; for great is Thy name among all peoples, and in all places are incense, sacrifice, and oblation offered to Thy holy name" - Anaphora of St Mark.
Edited by Daniel R., 01 April 2015 - 01:45 PM.
Posted 01 April 2015 - 09:56 PM
It is so important to be free of rules that govern our behavior. And the best way to learn this, is by having rules that have exceptions.
Spiritual path is full of exceptions that have the purpose of making us understand that we are on a path of "breaking" all rules, we are on a path of becoming free of rules. Therefore we are getting the opportunity to taste freedom from rules. Then something strange takes place: the taste of freedom transforms our submission to rules. Acting by the rules is no longer an obsession for formality and order, it becomes a path to freedom. Exceptions from rules are light rays that illuminate our spiritual path.
Posted 02 April 2015 - 05:17 PM
Consider the life of St Mary of Egypt which we all just heard during the reading of the Great Canon last week. When St Zossimas first encountered St Mary, they both prostrated asking the other to bless. St Zossimas recognized the spirit-bearing saintliness of St Mary and St Mary recognizing the saintliness of Zossimas' priesthood. In the end it was St Mary who relented and invoked the blessing of God on them both. However, the next time they met, St Zossimas was carrying the Gifts in order that St Mary might receive Holy Communion. Seeing her walk across the water of the Jordan, St Zossimas made to prostrate himself in the presence of her obvious holiness, and St Mary cried out that he should not do so because he was bearing the Divine Gifts. The difference in these two meetings was not either of the saints, but the presence of the Divine Mysteries which prevented St Zossimas from prostrating himself. When we have just received the Holy Mysteries, we too become bearers of the Most Holy Body and Most Precious Blood of our Lord and thus should also not prostrate ourselves while bearing in reality the Body and Blood of God incarnate.
Fr David Moser
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