Laity’s Role in Church

Part Three

Laity’s and Repentance

The Holy Bible says “That now it is high time to awake out of sleep.” (Romans 13:11) This spiritual calling is for repentance. All who are living in sinful world, notice how it is seeking forgiveness in regret of disappointing the Lord. It is an alarm of returning to God and so repentance then is returning to God. He says, “Return to me, and I will return to you” (Malachi 3:7).

The First Step to Repentance: – is to have true regret of heart and feel guilt for every sinful act of us. It is our way of showing our sin for our repentance, for it is not possible to be forgiven unless and otherwise, we admit our sin and defying God’s law.

The Second Step to Repentance: – is to confess all of our sin to a Priest for he is our witness. We shall admit all of the bad deeds in front of God so we may be granted mercy. For this, we must not hide any sin from the priest for us to be forgiven and fully be cleansed.

The Third Step to Repentance: – is to be punished for all the sins we committed and be canonized. This is through “The Law of Cannon” performed by the Priest who received our confession. Then we shall be cleansed from any harmful act. But we must not forget to be faithful and true to the law for we are in front of God. After repentance, we shall partake of the Holy Communion.

Partake of the Eucharist (Holy Communion)

Holy communion is the Holy Flesh and Blood of Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. The “Sacrament of the Holy Communion” by which the believer eats the Holy Body and Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, presented by the Bread and Wine. This Sacrament has the greatest importance among the Seven Church Sacraments. It is sometimes called the “Mystery of Mysteries” or the “Crown of Sacraments”; for all the Sacraments are crowned by the Eucharist.

Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Gospel said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

Therefore, they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always….” (John 6:27-34)

Married couples who are to partake in the Holy Communion, must not have copulation three days before and two days after the Eucharist. Men who had dream of lust must not partake in the Holy Communion. They shall wash their body as well as their clothes and enter the temple after one day. If a person experiences Epistaxis (nose bleeding), sputum, spitting, or any other bodily bleeding injury, such as a mosquito bite that enters the mouth, he should not partake on that same day.

If any Christian wills or seeks to partake of the Holy Communion, he shall be free from any hate or feeling of avenge. He/ She shall fast for 18 hours before eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When we think of going to Church for the Eucharist, we shall keep our hygiene both of our body and clothe. We must attend the Divine Liturgy attentively and when it is time to partake it, we shall pray saying, “oh my Lord Jesus Christ, I am not worthy for You to come under the roof of my malevolent house, for I have provoked You to wrath and have done evil in Your sight and through the transgression of Your commandment have malign my soul and my body which you create in Your image and Your likeness, and in me dwells no good thing.” But for the sake of Your contrivance and Your incarnation for my salvation, for the sake of Your precious cross and Your life-giving death, for the sake of Your resurrection on the third day, I pray You and beseech You, O my Lord, that You would purge me from all guilt and curse and from all sin and defilement. And when I received Your Holy mystery let it not be judgment nor for condemnation on me, but have compassion upon me and have mercy upon me; and through it grant me remission of my sin and life for my soul, O life of the world, through the petition of our Lady, the Holy Mother of twofold virginity Your Mother and of John the Baptist, and through the prayer of all the Holy Angels and all the Martyrs and Righteous who have fought for the good, forever, Amen. (Book of Divine Liturgy)

In partaking the Holy Communion, first are Archbishops and Bishops. Then in line are Monks, Priests and Deacons. After in line are baptized boys on their 40 days, who are clean from any sin resembling the angels. Subsequent to them are children of seven years old in terms of their age. Then to partake are virginal young men Monks. Then are Archdeacons, Anagnost and Choir. Laities are to partake after them according to their titles after them.

On the women side, first to partake are girls who are baptized on the 80 days as they are pure from any sin resembling the angels. Subsequent to them, are children of seven years. Then the young virginal females of 12 to 15 years old partake. Wives of Priests, virginal women Monks, and wives of Deacons partake of the Holy Communion following them. After them, are monks who have repented and then wives of Archdeacons, Anagnost and Choirs partake the Holy Communion. Mothers who have obeyed the law and then women who have repented partake the Holy Communion in accordance to their title.

During The Eucharist

When we partake the Holy Communion, it shall be in fear of God and pleading His mercy. We shall pray saying, “Holy Holy Holy Trinity ineffable, grant me to receive this flesh and this blood for life and not for condemnation. Grant me to bring forth fruit that shall be well pleasing You, to the end that I may appear in Your glory and live You doing Your will. In faith I call upon You, father, and call upon Your Kingdom; Lord, hallowed be Your name upon us, for You are mighty, praised and glorious and to You be glory forever. ” We shall say “Amen” one time when we eat the flesh and two times when drink the blood.

After The Eucharist

After we partake the Holy Communion, we pray saying, “Fill my mouth with praise, my heart with joy and my soul with gladness; fill me who have received of this Divine Mystery, O You who have become man for the salvation of man.” (Book of Divine Liturgy) We shall wait to drink the holy water until the Holy Communion returned to temple. We shall cover our mouth Handkerchief.

After we finish attending the Divine Liturgy, we must not be in crowds, quarrel or be in any kinds of conflicts whilst leaving the temple. It is even forbidden to talk with any person before eating on the street or after reaching our homes. We must not eat much, go to hotels, restaurants or feasts for refreshment, hear music, enjoy ourselves in our homes but pray, read Holy Scriptures and limit our conversation by the word of God. We shall not take out our white clothes that we partake the Holy Communion with for that day. Cutting nails, spitting, shaving hair, washing clothes with water, bathing the body, walking a long way, doing a lot of work, and copulation (for two days) are absolutely prohibited.

Dear Brethren! The Eucharist or The Holy Communion is the Holy Flesh and Blood of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who has given His life for the salvation of our souls. Thus, it shall be with fear, love and reverence that we partake it.

May God’s mercy be upon us, Amen!