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Receiving Communion while on the monthly cycle?

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Tsarina, Nov 22, 2006.

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  1. Tsarina

    Tsarina Most Holy Theotokos save us!

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    Girls, do you take communion while you're on your period? Why or why not?
     
  2. eoe

    eoe Guest

    Don't know if my comments are wanted or not but I am going to give them anyway....

    Instead of asking something like this, why not generalize it more and say "If you are bleeding should you take communion?"

    The problem with receiving the gifts is the fact that you are bleeding - not because of some sexist or cleanliness issue.

    So.... If you fall and scrape your leg and it is not healed over or if a man cuts himself shaving or if you get a nosebleed.... same exact concern.

    You are being deified at that moment. Your whole body and self is being sanctified. If you then subsequently fall down in the parking lot and get a cut, you should carefully clean up the blood and burn it - not flush it or put it in the trash. If you are already in a state where that is likely to happen - say chronic nosebleeds in an Arizona summer - then you should not create a problem for yourself.
     
  3. fourfreaks4

    fourfreaks4 Guest

    To summarize my priest:

    This idea about bleeding comes from the erroneous (he called it a combination of bad theology and bad science) idea that the Blood of Christ becomes your blood. (see Jewish belief that life is contained in the blood of living things, menstrual uncleanness thereof) If we had to be exactingly concerned about "losing" any of our body after receiving Communion, hairs, skin cells, sweat, etc would be a problem. Communion, once consumed and digested, is one with us wholly, body soul mind and spirit. One cannot lose it through bodily fluids.
     
  4. Tsarina

    Tsarina Most Holy Theotokos save us!

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    A lot of people have argued (although i can't remember their statments) that the fact isn't that you are bleeding but IS a cleanliness issue.
     
  5. gtsecc

    gtsecc Aspirant

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    Somebody please email this to Katherine.
     
  6. fourfreaks4

    fourfreaks4 Guest

    If menstruation is unclean, then God made us unclean. I do not believe that God made women to be "unclean" for 13% of their lives or so. Even if you think "uncleanness" is a result of the Fall, I would disagree b/c our natures changed and became mortal, but not unclean. God created everything GOOD.
     
  7. gtsecc

    gtsecc Aspirant

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    Anyway, this is an interesting topic. Women used to be universally forbiden to recieve during their period, right? Now, the teaching has been clarified, and they are allowed, right?
    But, not at ROCOR parishes, where they are still refused once a month, right?
     
  8. FrAnthony

    FrAnthony New Member

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    I've heard arguements for and against this. When I first became Orthodox (via the OCA), we were taught that technically women should not receive communion when they are on their period due to a tradition (some say "custom") that revolved around cleanliness. The Old Testament is against it a women even entering a the sanctuary after giving birth for this very reason (Leviticus 12).

    In the very next breath, he told us that he would never turn someone away from the blessed Sacrament for this reason. To this day, I follow his advice myself and do not turn women away if they are on their period. It's not really practical to enforce either...not exactly a question I ask before administering communion. ;)
     
  9. Tsarina

    Tsarina Most Holy Theotokos save us!

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    Interesting. Thank you, Father.

    I think it would be a really awkward question before administering communion to the women. Oy! :sorry:

    I will be talking with my spiritual father about this the next time i see him. I want to know what he has to say. However, the reason why i asked this question in the first place was because i read this:

    " Cannon 2 of St. Dionysios, but also Canon 7 of Timothy, orders women during their menses not to touch the holy things for up to seven days. The Old Law also commands this, but neither did it permit them to mingle with men, for because of this it happens that the seeds sown become weak and prone to die. Hence the divine Moses also ordered the father to be stoned to death, because on account of his lack of self control he did not wait for the purification of his wife. It was ordered that a women who is disrespectful and touches the divine Mysteries during the time of her impurity is not to commune for forty days."
     
  10. FrAnthony

    FrAnthony New Member

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    It sounds like a great idea to talk about it with your Spiritual Father...that's what he gets paid the big buck for (joking, of course). The Canons can be complicated, but I'm sure he'll give you great advice on what is best for you. :crosseo:
     
  11. OnTheWay

    OnTheWay New Member

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    From what I've been told anyone that is bleeding should not take communion, and given the importance of communion I think it is wiser to be safe than sorry.

    Just like I don't believe pork is unclean any longer I don't believe I should make my wife go live in a tent 3-5 days a month. Some people lose the ability to get anything in the correct context when reading Scripture. The anicent Jews didn't have products that we do today that take care of this issue. As such for general health reasons, after all wandering around in the desert it's not like you could take a bath every day, a degree of separation was a good idea.
     
  12. Akathist

    Akathist Theology Team Supporter

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    My Priest says that we are NOT to refrain from receiveing the Eucharist for his reason. Therefore, I would and have received.

    And I have not read this thread because I know that some people probably wrote that it is a sin to do this or something and right now I am just too weak to withstand anyones judgemental words.

    However, I WILL follow the direction of my Spiritual Father on this matter.
     
  13. Wow, menses causes diseases? So like, if I'm around a woman who's not wearing pad or a tampon I could catch something?

    Cause that's what's implied in this post.
     
  14. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina New Member

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    It is threads like these which drive away inquirers.

    Personally, I believe that all this stuff should remain confidential between the Spiritual Father and the parishioner. My priest told people to mind their own business. He saw too many 12 year old girls who were so embarrassed even to go to confession because their yiayias had told them that they were unclean and should not go to church ... now if you are a woman or a married man, then you know that sometimes periods can be very irregular ... and there is always the risk of one starting up at any time ... even stress will cause an unanounced period. Since I was trained in this area, I know what I am talking about.

    So these poor children (some girls start at 9 years old), would be deathly afraid to come to church at all ... deathly afraid that if they sat down in the pew and accidentally started that they would be excommunicated or severely reprimanded by their grandmothers.

    Anyway, our priest told us stories of how these precious children were driven away from the Orthodox faith because of the ignorant yiayias who aren't trained in pastoral care and who don't know how to control their tongues.

    I remember when I was in the Roman Catholic convent (I never took vows) and the mother superior told us never to reveal what went on behind those convent walls because laity (especially our parents) would certainly not understand.

    Certainly, this ascetical life to which we are called is considered to be abnormal by modern atheistic psychiatry. This is the battle that Father Maximos (now a Bishop) in The Mountain of Silence and Father E of Arizona have to endure.

    Those who are not spiritual do not understand why we strive to be holy and obedient to a God who seems so foreign to them.
     
  15. Monica child of God 1

    Monica child of God 1 strives to live eschatologically

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    I agree with Aria. You should really ask your priest about this. If it is the custom of your jurisdiction to refrain, perhaps you shouldn't scandalize anyone by partaking every Sunday of the year out of charity. If it is not the custom, then follow the advice of your SF.

    On the issue of blood, menstrual blood is NOT like a cut. A woman's body stores this material for 2 weeks BEFORE the first day of a woman's period. If she did not want the Eucharist to be contained in that matter , she would have to refrain during the two weeks while the lining of her uterus was building, not during her actual period. By the time the flow has begun that tissue is no longer being supported by her body and is receiving no new blood.

    Besides that, Mary was deified by conceiving Christ in her fertile womb. Think about it: the same matter that would have been expelled from her body, supported Christ in her womb. The matter itself is NOT unclean.

    M.
     
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  16. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina New Member

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    Thanks, Monica, for your wonderful contribution to this thread.

    Everything God created is good.

    What happened with the blood of Christ that fell from the Cross? In this case, His blood purified the earth.

    For those of you who believe that the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Christ, isn't there scientific evidence that Christ's blood still remains on that Shroud? If so, why didn't the Church burn the Shroud?

    On another related topic: Miscarriages

    When I had an early miscarriage, my priest told me to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until my bleeding stopped (about 40 days), similar to the time of confinement that a new mother must undergo until her newborn is churched at 40 days and prayers are said over her too.

    Why does the church impose this confinement on women who have lost children? He said it was not as much an issue of uncleanliness, but the fact that many women who miscarriage weep and curse God. I did NOT curse. I was obedient because it is a time-honored tradition. So, after my time of mourning the loss of my child, I received Holy Confession, and then was allowed to partake.

    Had I not withdrawn when others knew of my predicament, then I would have caused scandal, and the scandal would have been a sin and a stumbling block to others.
     
  17. Tsarina

    Tsarina Most Holy Theotokos save us!

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    I guess everyone's generall say is to talk to the Spiritual Father, and that's what i'll do on Sunday. I'm really interesting in knowing what he has to say.

    Furthermore, guys.. i'm sorry to cause this rambling here in this thread. Shall we get this thread closed? How do we do that?
     
  18. Dust and Ashes

    Dust and Ashes wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked

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    Oh, that's easy, just start talking about tollhouses. ;)
     
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  19. Tsarina

    Tsarina Most Holy Theotokos save us!

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    Or, put up an icon of Fr. Seraphim Rose which has a halo on him.
     
  20. OnTheWay

    OnTheWay New Member

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    Without being graphic, would you really want someone that was dripping blood on your furniture? I was not implying you could catch a disease from it, but how exactly were anicent Jews supposed to know that? Bleeding generally isn't a good sign even today, let alone several thousand years ago. Now today we understand what's happening and why it isn't a big deal. Anicent Jews did not know what was going on, so like with skin conditions the only real option they felt they had was to stay away. This is why if you had a bad rash you had to go outside the camp until it cleared up to ensure you didn't have leporsy. They had no way of knowing a skin rash from leporsy. At any rate, it would be extremely foolish even in the modern world not to avoid contact with the blood of strangers.
     
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