Only Christened Orthodox may partake in the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion in the Orthodox Church.
In the Russian Orthodox Church all Christians, age 7 and older must give confession before partaking in Holy Communion.
All Orthodox must prepare for Holy Communion by Fasting according to the Church rules for at least three days before partaking of the Holy Mysteries of Christ.
Orthodox that are preparing to partake in Holy Communion must be present and attentive at the evening services on the eve of Holy Communion. During the service, confessions will be heard at the appropriate time when the priest is not rushed and the confession can be heard in a calm and thoughtful manor. For those people that are unable to attend evening services they must arrive to church on time for the reading of the Hours for confession.
Confession during Liturgy is only permitted for people who are unable to attend evening services, usually because they are ill, infirm, have small children or due to other extenuating circumstances. Confession during the Liturgy should never be a habit. It becomes hurried and incomplete. At that time it can also become disruptive to everyone else in church.
At home, preparatory prayers for Communion, that can be found in most prayer books, should be read.
Persons preparing for Holy Communion cannot eat nor drink as of midnight until after Communion.
Men must never cover their heads in church and women should have their heads covered. Attire for both men and women must be modest. With the exception to very young children, shorts are not allowed. One should never wear tee shirts, sports attire or gaudy garments. Women should never wear pants or miniskirts.
No one should take Holy Communion with lipstick on.
When approaching the Chalice, arms should be folded over the chest, left over right. Upon standing in front of the priest, state your Christened name clearly so that it will be heard by the clergy. Open your mouth wide. Upon receiving the Holy Mysteries, close your mouth around the spoon gently. Kiss only the bottom of the Chalice. Never reach out for the Chalice nor attempt to kiss the priests hand.
After receiving Holy Communion one must stay and listen to the Thanksgiving Prayers that are read during the veneration of the Cross or they must be read them at home in the prayer book.
When kissing the Cross, one who partook in Holy Communion does not kiss the priest’s hand.
Following Holy Communion one should piously return home, retain a prayerful peaceful calm, do good works and exert all our efforts not to return to the sins from which they have cleansed.
If you have any questions or are unsure of what to do, please speak with the nuns or clergy.