Holy Communion3 February 2017
At this point, the curtain of the Royal Doors is usually closed, and preparations are made for the Holy Communion of the priests and the faithful. While this is happening, the Communion Hymn is sung, which is often verses from certain psalms, but may also be other hymns or extracts from the prayers of preparation for Holy Communion.
First the priest communes from the ΙΣ portion of the Body, and then the Blood, three times. The priest then gives Communion to the deacon and the other priests, if present, make their Communion in the same way, having first put on their stoles.
The priest then places the other portions of the Body in the Holy Chalice and carefully gathers the ‘pearls’ (the crumbs’) which may have fallen onto the altar cover, saying the prayer ‘In that we have beheld the Resurrection of Christ…’
Finally, holding high the Holy Chalice, which has been covered, he comes out through the Royal Doors and invites the faithful to come for Holy Communion “With fear of God, faith and love’. The congregation takes Communion from a spoon, ‘in both kinds’, that is the Body and Blood together.
We approach Communion humbly and with contrition, in the knowledge we’re partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, that we, who are created, are encountering our Creator and becoming one with Him. When we reach the priest, we say our name and he says: ‘The servant of God (Name) partakes of the Body and Blood of Christ for the remission of sins and life everlasting’. When we’ve received the Precious Gifts, we carefully wipe our lips on the red cloth and return to the body of the Church, after taking a piece of blessed bread and, in some parishes, a sip of wine. We then wait for others to make their Communion, so that we can all give thanks to Christ together.