Can we give Holy
Communion at whatever time of the night to the sick?
Answer to Question
There is no time for the giving of Holy Communion to the faithful. But so
that we don't go back to the very old age of the Apostolic years when the
Divine Eucharist was celebrated in the evening and Christians then had
Holy Communion, we can search for the answer in our contemporary practice.
The Divine Liturgies of Sundays and the Feasts are held in the mornings
and we receive Holy Communion then. In Orthodox Churches of the Diaspora
in Europe and America, The Liturgy is held closer to midday. During the
Night Vigil of Pascha the Liturgy begins after midnight. The Liturgies of
Great Thursday and Great Saturday, the Liturgies on the Eves of Christmas
and Theophany and the Presanctified Liturgies of Great Lent are afternoon
services and are served together with the evening Vespers service which
even today are served in some places like Mount Athos in the afternoon.
Therefore we see that under normal circumstances, Holy Communion is given
today not only during the morning, but also at midday, afternoon and after
midnight. Much more so can it be given when it concerns the sick,
especially those who are in danger of dying and are about to leave this
world without the "provision for eternal life" the "seed of Immortality"
which will raise them on that last day. Faced with this need, formalities
and time are dispensed with. It is for this very reason that the Church
preserves in the Artophorion the Body and Blood of our Lord, so as to have
available the Holy Sacrament ready at hand in times of need at whatever
time of the day or night.