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Monday, December 15, 2008

A Note About Receiving Holy Eucharist

I had the joy of recently visiting Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Mission (WR) in Hot Springs, Arkansas. My good friend, priest and fellow laborer Father John Denny founded the church as a Charismatic Episcopal Church (ICCEC) and eventually led the church into the Orthodox faith. I commend Father John Denny and the mission parish as worthy of your support by way of prayer and especially by way of financial gifts.

Along with spending some very valuable personal discussions with Father John Denny, I also picked up a bulletin with a very clear explanation of the Eucharist, who receives it, who does not and why. It is brief but explains so much:

"The Orthodox understands the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper, to be-among other things-the paramount expression of Christian unity. While it is our deepest hope that all Christians will one day fulfill Christ's desire for unity among all who claim His name (John 17:21), the unfortunate reality of our day is that the various communities of Christendom are not unified with the historic Orthodox Catholic faith. Since participation in the Eucharist expresses a unity with all the dogma and practice of the Orthodox Church, non-Orthodox guests do not receive Holy Communion but are permitted to come forward for a blessing as well as a portion of blessed bread. Holy Communion is reserved for those members of the Orthodox Church who have prepared themselves by prayer, fasting, and recent confession. But that need not be the end of the question for our non-Orthodox guests! Have you considered the possibility that you too could become an Orthodox Christian?"

I am sure such exclusivity flies in the face of the western view of relativity, "I'm okay, you're okay", "Every path to God is a right one", "There is no one true church", etc. This mantra, no matter how often chanted, does not negate the fact that there is certain, absolute truth and there is ONE Church where that truth has been maintained for 2000 years.

2 comments:

  1. That you would salve the wound that separates your people,
    Lord, have mercy.
    Christ, have mercy.
    Lord, have mercy.
    Make us one,
    in truth,
    in love,
    in purpose,
    In the name of the Father,
    and the Son,
    and the Holy Spirit.

    The peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones, Nathan.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Adam. May Holy Trinity bless you and your family in your continued theosis.

    ReplyDelete

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