Confession and Communion 

Preparation for Holy Communion at St. Vladimir Church


HOW OFTEN SHOULD ONE PARTAKE OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES?


According to the canons of the Holy Church we must partake of the Holy Mysteries not less than once per year. However, our bishops have asked us to increase our frequency of communing to not less than once per fasting period, or four times per year. Fr. Gregory asks that we all make the effort to commune not less than once every four to six weeks at the very least. Waiting longer than four to six weeks allows us to begin to forget our sins (or, alternatively, to become comfortable with these sins as part of our lives), and thus can be spiritually unhealthy. Please note that one may confess more frequently than one communes the two Mysteries are not always partaken of together. Children should partake of the Holy Mysteries at every given opportunity. Those children who reach the age when they begin to confess (usually about 7 years old) should still commune at every opportunity, although this does take an extra effort on the parents part to get them to church early enough to confess.


HOW SHOULD ONE PREPARE TO PARTAKE OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES?


It is important to partake of Holy Communion regularly, but perhaps even more so it is important to prepare ourselves worthily and properly to receive this great gift of God so important for our salvation. Preparation for Communion should begin at least a week before hand (in that we should conduct our lives in such a way as to avoid anger, judging others, and other sins that so often beset us). In other words, we should be on our best behavior as we prepare to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord. In addition to being especially spiritually watchful we should ideally:

Prepare ourselves for Confession by arranging some quiet time to reflect on our sins and/or reading a pamphlet designed to help prepare us for this Mystery

Write down the sins we wish to confess or in some other way prepare ourselves to recall these sins when we confess

Attend the evening service the night before partaking of Communion and confessing before or after that service

Fast strictly (no meat or dairy products) for three days before partaking of Communion if we do not follow the Holy Churchs fasting guidelines otherwise (this is not to say that we should not follow the fasting rules we should but this provision is for those who for some reason do not or cannot follow these rules)

Those who do follow the Holy Churchs fasting guidelines need not fast strictly for three days before partaking of Holy Communion, but they are likewise not prohibited from this pious practice

Not eat or drink ANYTHING from the midnight before we partake of Holy Communion

Read the Prayers before Holy Communion found in ones Prayer Book

Those who are able should also read the canons to our Lord Jesus Christ, The Theotokos, and the Guardian Angel, as well as an akathist (all found in ones Prayer Book)

Following the partaking of Holy Communion thank God most sincerely and listen attentively to the thanksgiving prayers read in church while others who have not communed kiss the cross (those who have communed should kiss the cross after the thanksgiving prayers have been read)

Spend the remainder of the day on which one receives Holy Communion in pious spiritual pursuits such as spending time with family, visiting the sick, or reading the Bible or other spiritually edifying literature

QUESTIONS? Please ask Fr. Gregory. The above are presented as the IDEAL. We should strive to follow these guidelines, but with the understanding that we may not always attain them completely. However, one should not arbitrarily decide that any of the above guidelines are not necessary, but rather discuss the practical application of these guidelines with Fr. Gregory.

When are confessions heard at St. Vladimirs?


Those living in the Ann Arbor area who are not sick, elderly, or very young: Following Vigil on Saturdays and Eves of Feasts or by appointment

Those living far from Ann Arbor or the sick, elderly, or very young: Sunday or Feast Day mornings from 9:00 - 9:45 a.m. or by appointment

Confessions are not heard after 9:45 a.m. on Sundays or Feast Days unless the weather is especially poor.

We provide here several pamphlets to aid you in your preparation for the Mysteries of Confession and Communion:

Guidance to the Repentant a good aid in preparing for Confession

The Journey Beyond Death the part of the pamphlet that references the Toll Houses is quite helpful in preparing for Confession

The Sacrament of Confession another helpful resource in preparing oneself

A Brief Confession before Ones Spiritual Father helpful in preparing for Confession

Proper Confession & Communion good pamphlet for general preparation and instruction

How Everyone Should Prepare Before Confession - excellent excerpt from a newly translated book on this topic

Forgive us Merciful Lord - A Preparation for Confession

Questions? Please contact Fr. Gregory at 734-649-5746 or ogrisha@stvladimiraami.org