Thursday, May 14, 2020

Austria takes cue from Liturgy of St. James for communion

If you are curious how this is done, see the below video.

(Orthodox Times) - The religious services will be conducted with the participation of faithful from May 15. After consulting with the competent authorities, the Metropolis decided to implement a number of hygiene rules with the aim of conducting religious services without difficulties with the participation of faithful.

The Metropolis decided that the Holy Communion would be offered according to with the Typikon of the Divine Liturgy of St. James while emphasizing that the priests will be given details.

The Metropolis of Austria also announced that during the services the ratio of one person per 10 square meters in the temple will be strictly observed, with the faithful keeping at least a 2 m distance between them, wearing masks. The church employees will clean and disinfect regularly the surfaces and various equipment.

Before entering the church there will be antiseptic while the Metropolis recommended that vulnerable groups stay at home.

Moreover, if due to the size of the church, a small number of believers can participate in the services, it is recommended to organize the participation by registration.

Regarding the Holy Communion, the Metropolis stated that we share the body and blood of Jesus Christ to be in communion with Him. “So we firmly believe that the Holy Communion is the source of Life and Health of soul and body and it will never be a way of transmission or cause of any disease. We consider it very important, after many weeks of isolation, to allow the faithful to participate in the Divine Liturgy again so that they can receive the Holy Body and the Holy Blood of Christ.”

However, it was pointed out, “Of course we do not disregard the lack of faith, that is, trust in Christ, something we can see that it exists around us. It was, therefore, decided to follow the centuries-old tried and tested practice of the offering the Holy Communion, according to the liturgical and canonical tradition of the first millennium of our Church and the typikon of the Divine Liturgy of St. James, which we sometimes perform annually in our local Church. This centuries-old liturgical practice will be implemented temporarily for a limited time in our churches.”


  1. Ok, I don't get it. Instead of a spoon, the priests hands are very close (in? certainly at least for some of the communicants) to each and every mouth, and this is repeated in series. The Blood is communed directly from the cup.

    How is this an improvement from the normative spoon (Body & Blood) perspective from a hygienic (i.e. physical - without going into metaphysics) perspective?

  2. So far as I could tell, not one of the communicants makes the slightest effort to bend the neck backwards in order to elevate the mouth, in order to make it possible for the priests to drop (not the right word, perhaps, maybe the phrase "let fall" would be better) communion into communicants' mouths; instead, they have to put their fingers into the communicants' mouths.

    Would not have made a little sense to give some instruction on this in the form of an announcement?

  3. Interestingly enough, I recall reading some years back that things changed to the spoon to be more hygenic.

  4. "That's crazy as a sack of weasels."
    - The Pedalion

  5. Weird...would the communicant receive the Lord's Body in the hand?
    Drinking from the chalice is a strange idea right about unhygienic.
    The Latins are pushing placing the consecrated bread in the hands (instead of on the tongue) but not distributing the consecrated wine. Some Latin dioceses are suggesting tongs to give the consecrated bread. Of course, in some Orthodox Churches the spoon is called "tongs" in the native language.

  6. I saw one of our bishops have the Body of Christ on a large discos with deacon anoiting each particle with precious Blood with each communicant helping himself to the Holy Mysteries. No judgement on my part as the Bishop is the ustav in his diocese.

  7. Here we are witnessing the Fall of Orthodoxy. Interesting that this should take place at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. I , until saw this,thought Russia a safe haven for Orthodoxy. Now I am not so sure, recalling the state of things before 1917, for which the Revolution was so obviously a scourge. Read Romans 1:18ff. Any mention of the Liturgy of St. James today has become a call for Ecumenism and papalization. Now another punishment has come in the pandemic. The heavenly message now is go within. The Kingdom of God is within. Read Ecclesiastes 3:7.

    1. “Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.”

      ― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

  8. Please note that this video is not recent, and the bishop in the video is not the one making these suggestions. The video shows the Liturgy of Saint James, not the Liturgy of Saint James during our current covid period.

    This video is from the Saint Petersburg Theological Academy from the time when Archbishop Ambrosius was still rector; he is not head of the Moscow Theological Academy and resides at Stretensky Monastery in Moscow.