There are 9 questions in this category.
How can I explain to my Protestant friends my Coptic Church's view on the Holy Eucharist?
I know that the deacon covers his eyes during the priest's confession because no one is worthy to look at the Holy Body and Blood. I am just asking if it is okay to take pictures of the Holy Communion and post them on social media?
My understanding is that in the Eucharist, Christ's Human Nature and Divine Nature are united, is this correct?
Please explain the process in which the priest/bishop picks the Holy Bread for the Holy Communion and its symbolism/significance.
Should we expose our small children to the terms "Body and Blood" when they are about to receive Holy Communion or is it alright to use other names such as juice or soup for the Blood of our Lord?
What is the nature of the Eucharist? Catholics believe a molecular change happens to the bread and wine as the priest blesses it; and it literally becomes Christ's body and blood that must be locked in a box for protection from corruption, mold, and viewing. Martin Luther saw this as superstitious, unscientific, and a mishandling of God's word. All Protestants seem to follow his line of view that communion with the Lord happens when we have prepared ourselves in repentance; laying aside burdens at His altar. Then in partaking of the elements, they become His Blood and Body within us, Consubstantiation versus Transubstantiation. What have the Copts written on this?
Why did Christ choose to institute the Eucharist on the Thursday before His Crucifixion instead of after His Resurrection?
Why does our church believe in closed Communion? I have asked this question to family members and different priests and keep receiving different answers. I understand why someone who does not believe that Christ is the living Son of God cannot receive Communion, but why do they specifically have to be Coptic?
Why is it that the Church (the clergy of the church) advocates that people must go to confession before partaking of the Eucharist? In fact, for a church that prides itself on keeping ‘Tradition’, the idea of only being worthy of communion after confession is a western theology. Increasingly seen in the Protestant reformation within Puritan thought, clergy would often deem who was and wasn’t worthy to partake of the Holy Mysteries. The Eucharist is not merely a sacrament—it is The Sacrament, the covenant Christ fulfilled with us. It is the center of our lives. By restricting the greatest covenant—the full unity between man and God, we lose the true meaning of the Eucharist and reduce it to a simple tick box of our week. The Eucharist heals us and no one is deemed worthy of it, but we are made worthy by Him. That’s why St. Paul writes, ‘He who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks in an unworthy manner…’ (1 Corinthians 11:29), not ‘he who eats and drinks who is unworthy’ but in an unworthy manner—to not understand the salvation and the redemption that the Lord has granted humanity. In fact, within the early church, the one who did not receive communion for a few weeks had in fact anathemized themselves, as they have excluded themselves from the body of God (Fr. Schemman - Great Lent). I am not saying all this to be picky. I am saying this because people (the laity) are not given a correct understanding of the Eucharist and either see it as something only for those who are great and worthy, which is completely contradictory to Jesus Christ; or it becomes something very insignificant that they believe is fine as long as they had a quick confession with Abouna. We are losing the authentic beauty of what the Eucharist is, and its lost when Abounas, week in and week out, are telling they are congregation that the only criteria is Confession. In fact, Romans 5:8 explicitly highlights God came for the sinners. To make us realize this, not only with our mind but also with our entire being, to lead us into that repentance which alone opens to us the doors of the Kingdom, is the real meaning and content of our preparation for Holy Communion (Fr. Alexander Schmemann - Great Lent, p. 122). "We must not avoid communion because we deem ourselves to be sinful. We must approach it more often for the healing of the soul and the purification of the spirit, but with such humility and faith that considering ourselves unworthy…., we would desire even more the medicine for our wounds. Otherwise it is impossible to receive communion once a year, as certain people do…, considering the sanctification of heavenly Mysteries as available only to saints. It is better to think that by giving us grace, the sacrament makes us pure and holy. Such people manifest more pride than humility…, for when they receive, they think themselves as worthy. It is much better if, in humility of heart, knowing that we are never worthy of the Holy Mysteries, we would receive them every Sunday for the healing of our diseases, rather than, blinded by pride think that after one year we become worthy of receiving them…" (St. John Cassian).
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