Holy Communion on Good Friday

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  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Jews with Yom Kippur, too. Taking care of oneself by not fasting when this is a necessary thing is as much of a discipline as fasting when one is able to. I can't find a link right now but there is an excellent sermon by a rabbi on this regarding people with eating disorders for whom fasting is not a good idea.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    Thanks Bishop's Finger, that's most helpful. I have been wondering about this question for a long time. But even if there was a conflict then surely receiving Holy Communion would be the higher priority because it is a dominical command to do this in remembrance of Him.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I'd also take the view that unless a person is very, very confident that they can do so without risking safety, a person should not fast from all food, yet alone liquid, if they need to drive or work machinery. This doesn't apply to fasts that only involve abstaining from certain foods. After all, vegans fast all the time.

    I've somewhere heard that on health grounds, people over a certain age are let off fasting but if so, I don't know how old you have to be. Can any shipmate answer?
  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Fasting which involves abstaining from certain food doesn't necessarily mean abstaining from animal products, depending on the faith involved - for Hindus it often means abstaining from strong-flavoured food such as onion and garlic, for example. I wouldn't consider a vegan to be fasting all the time since even for Orthodox there are other elements to the fast, eg abstaining from alcohol, and non-vegan items such as honey is permitted. Veganism is also of course a lifestyle not just strict vegetarianism.
  • It depends on your vegan. There is a small but distinct group among vegetarians and vegans whose abstention is done on the grounds of religion. Actually to call them a cohesive group is stretching it. The nearest to an organised group would be those among Seventh Day Adventists who have a vegetarian diet but while they are health-based some others are bearing witness to the Adamic covenant where only plants were given for food. Protestant food practices are weird by the standards of most other religious groups. Anything from you can eat what you want when you want through to quite prescriptive dietary rules can occur.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Pomona wrote: »
    Fasting which involves abstaining from certain food doesn't necessarily mean abstaining from animal products, depending on the faith involved - for Hindus it often means abstaining from strong-flavoured food such as onion and garlic, for example. I wouldn't consider a vegan to be fasting all the time since even for Orthodox there are other elements to the fast, eg abstaining from alcohol, and non-vegan items such as honey is permitted. Veganism is also of course a lifestyle not just strict vegetarianism.
    I don't think fasting somehow ceases to be fasting just because it does not exactly coincide with the fasting rules of a particular faith community. Abstaining from food or a particular sort of food by reason of religious or philosophical belief is following a fasting practice, whether one chooses to call it fasting or not. It only ceases to be if the reason is either medical necessity, or just possibly (I'm not sure about this) the belief that the item is taboo in some way.

    Incidentally, and please correct me if I'm wrong and explain why, I would have thought honey should be all right for a vegan. It isn't actually an animal product. It's made by animals out of vegetable matter. It's my understanding that's why if you're Orthodox, you can eat it on fast days.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Enoch, I don't know the details, but many vegans would not eat honey because gathering it deprives the bees of labour done to preserve the swarm and its progeny in turn.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host
    rhubarb wrote: »
    Today the choir decided that we would not take communion and sang anthems while the congregation took the sacrament. We received a long stare from the minister, but that was all. Maybe the reprimand comes later.
    Good for you.

    I was both in the choir and amongst the (five) lectors reading the Passion today. Since I'm now in a wheelchair (cancer does suck) and quite gimpy when on my feet, the associate rector asked if I would like to use her mike, rather than walk over to the lectern. I thanked her and said I thought I could get to the lectern - but that I would not go up to the altar rail. She asked if they should bring me the sacrament; I thanked her and said no, that it was not my practice to receive on Good Friday. (A concerned fellow alto also asked if they should have communion brought to me, and I gave her the same answer.) No long stares from anyone.

  • PomonaPomona Shipmate
    Orthodox abstain from dairy, meat/fish (though molluscs, cephalopods and other fish without a backbone are usually permitted for Greek Orthodox as part of local custom), and eggs on fast days, they do not follow a vegan philosophy unless they also happen to be vegan anyway. Hence, animal products that are not those things are permitted such as wearing wool or leather clothing, but they are not used by vegans - honey being another one as vegans do not consume anything made by animals alongside things made *from* animals. Orthodox also abstain from alcohol on fast days, which is not an inherently vegan thing! I am not vegan, but I have friends who are both Orthodox and vegan, and they are clear that their veganism is very separate from their fasting days. There is stuff unique to fasting days other than diet.

    Medical fasting is considered a type of fasting, eg with fasting blood tests. I think it's inaccurate to include things like veganism and vegetarianism in fasting, since the defining feature of fasting is that it is *temporary* abstention from food or a particular food, not a lifelong or longterm choice. To me it's like the difficult between chastity and celibacy - fasting may include veganism but not all veganism is fasting. Also if you included any abstention from a food on moral or philosophical grounds, you could then say that only buying fairtrade, or only local food is fasting, and that would be silly.
  • Pomona wrote: »
    Jews with Yom Kippur, too. Taking care of oneself by not fasting when this is a necessary thing is as much of a discipline as fasting when one is able to. I can't find a link right now but there is an excellent sermon by a rabbi on this regarding people with eating disorders for whom fasting is not a good idea.

    Rabbinic Judaism in all its forms prohibits doing anything that would seriously damage one's health. I think most Christians these days would agree that any mortification that goes so far as to permanent damage one's health is not ideal, but there are certainly traditions that date from the earliest days, and are found in both the Eastern and Western churches, that can be interpreted as glorifying what modern medicine would surely describe as very disordered eating.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I've often wondered about the "glorifying" of heroic (mad?) feats of fasting from earlier ages, the Desert Fathers and Mothers, etc. Are they truly supposed to be examples for us, or more an indication of the "holy" doing away with the things of this world, and not necessarily a plan for us to follow? I've tended towards the latter...
  • Well, I've certainly come across peeps who try to 'glorify' their feats of fasting, e.g. Father (or should that be Fathead?) F**kwit, who loudly proclaimed how he (and Lovely Wife) had 'pigged themselves' (his words) on special-offer pizza at ASDA's cafe on a Friday ('MEAT-FREE, OF COURSE!!!!!!').

    Quite how Our Saviour's sufferings on the Cross were emphasised thereby (as I dutifully enquired), I don't know. Fr F was unable to give me an answer.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Chorister wrote: »
    Why would someone object to the Reserved Sacrament per se? I should think that all churches would find it extremely useful when trying to provide for additional services, eg. in nursing homes, or in large multi-church benefices, regardless of what happens on Good Friday.

    I've no idea, but I know at one stage when I was in a diocese (not here) where I was told it was absolutely illegal to reserve sacrament under the rubrics of that diocese. I'm not sure that was correct, but my interlocutor was avery angry archdeacon, so I didn't argue. I was leaving anyway, so I went ahead and reserved. :smirk:
  • Zappa wrote: »
    Chorister wrote: »
    Why would someone object to the Reserved Sacrament per se? I should think that all churches would find it extremely useful when trying to provide for additional services, eg. in nursing homes, or in large multi-church benefices, regardless of what happens on Good Friday.

    I've no idea, but I know at one stage when I was in a diocese (not here) where I was told it was absolutely illegal to reserve sacrament under the rubrics of that diocese. I'm not sure that was correct, but my interlocutor was avery angry archdeacon, so I didn't argue. I was leaving anyway, so I went ahead and reserved. :smirk:

    I already commented above that it's not the usual Church of Ireland practice to 'reserve sacrament' or use that phrase, certainly in the North! Though, of course, it does happen technically.

    I think it's probably down to the same principle that objected to vestments, crosses and crucifixes, candles etc. The need to ensure that the Anglican Church in Ireland was NOT the Roman Catholic Church at a time when the CofI was the established religion.

    If you 'reserved' Jesus, you might be tempted to parade him about in a monstrance or lift him up for adoration, rather than partake of his body and blood as scripturally commanded to do! Something like that. As Chorister implies, however, certainly leftover communion bread and wine ie the Holy Sacrament is certainly taken out to others after the service.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    The Article (forgotten which number of the top of my head) denounces the parading around etc, not reservation. Even in Sydney, reservation is permitted to allow communion to be taken to the sick etc. Then again, communion is pretty rare in many parishes these days.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited April 2019
    Article 28 (or XXVIII).
    https://churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/book-common-prayer/articles-religion#XXV

    NB. It's not exactly a denunciation, or a prohibition as such, but just a gentle warning......YMMV :wink:

    Cranmer was a sensible and pragmatic man, however tossed and turned by the changes and chances of the fleeting world in which he lived and died.
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