Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you. Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. John 6:32
For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. John 6:33
I am that bread of life John 6:48
Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. John 6:49
This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. John 6:50
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:51
For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink in¬deed. John 6:55
He that eateth my flesh, and drinkith my blood, dwell¬eth in me, and I in him. John 6:56
The bread and wine becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ when the Holy Spirit descends from heaven upon it. When we receive Holy Communion, we are uniting our life with Jesus’. We let Jesus enter our soul and be¬come a part of us. Through the Sacrament of Communion, we remember the death, the burial, the resurrection, ascension and the Second coming of Jesus Christ.
PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION
There are really no set rules of preparation for Communion but there are a few general rules to follow.
1. Self-Examination: We should take a good look at ourselves the way we live, treat other people, things we may abuse. Find our faults and try to overcome them and ourselves. We know we are not perfect but perfection should be our goal.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 1 Cor. 11:282. Fasting: From midnight before we go to Divine Liturgy, we should not eat or drink anything, if your health permits. Some people will not eat meat the Wednesday or Friday before. You should never let the “RULE OF FASTING” prevent you from receiving Communion. The Church Fathers say that the true rule for fasting is to abstain from sin and evil.
“And whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do for they neglect their appearance in order to be seen fasting by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” Matt. 6:16
“But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. Matt. 6:17 Matt. 6:18
3. Prayer is something we should do daily.
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. Mark 1:35
Not only did Jesus pray daily, but also before all major decisions:
While being baptized Luke 3:21-22
4. Forgiveness is something we should try to attain from all those who we may have hurt. We should not have any dissension, grudges or hostilities while receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
THE COMMUNION PRAYER
I believe, 0 Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ. the Son of the living God, who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. I believe also that this is truly thine own most pure Body, and that this is truly Thine own precious Blood. Therefore, I pray Thee: have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, committed in knowledge or in ignorance. And make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Thy most pure Mysteries, for the remission of my sins, and unto life everlasting. Amen.
Of Thy Mystical Supper, 0 Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of Thy Mystery to Thine enemies, neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss; but like the thief will I confess Thee: Remember me, 0 Lord, in Thy Kingdom.
May the communion of Thy holy Mysteries he neither to my judgment, nor to my condemnation, 0 Lord, but to the healing of soul and body.
THE LITANY OF THANKSGIVING
After receiving Holy Communion, the priest chants a short litany of thanks and folds the Antimins. As in the beginning of the Divine Liturgy we asked that we be able to pray in peace. Now that the Liturgy is coming to an end we pray and ask God that we are able to depart in peace.
PRAYER BEHIND THE AMBO
The priest will come out of the Royal Doors and stand behind the Ambo (the table in the center of the Church) and recite a prayer which is briefly a summary of the Divine Liturgy. He will than return to the Altar.
The priest will stand in front of the Royal Doors and say:
Glory to thee, O Christ our God and our hope, glory to thee!
The people will now come up and kiss the cross and the hand of the priest and receive a piece of bread called Antidoron (substitute for the Gift).