The Orthodox Pages

















Question 193

Morning, I wanted to ask about holy communion I have a 9month old and when going to church he normal is the youngest there, the last few times I have been, there are about a good 7 people (adult) in the queue before him or push in front of him . Is this right? Have days gone when children go first then the elders? As I found this quite upsetting and don't no if I should say something to our priest about this


Answer to Question 193


In many churches it is accepted that babies and young children should be the first to receive Holy Communion before the adults. This has nothing to do with germs, but rather that children are innocent and holy and therefore more worthy than grown ups and out of respect for holiness should be given first place. In general Greeks are disorderly and stampede when coming for Holy Communion. We see a disorderly madness with everyone pushing to reach the Chalice first and stepping on other peoples toes in the process. People must learn to approach in an orderly and humble manner and the only person who can teach them is the priest. When I first became a priest I had the same problem and I had to stop the service and teach them how to line up. Even the old grannies with their walking sticks would come first with the excuse than they couldn’t stand for long. So I responded with telling them to sit down until every else had taken communion and then for them to come last. In time they leant and now form a single file with the children first and those who have problems walking being left to last. I would definitely talk to your priest on this matter because he is the only one who can teach his flock how to behave.