The Orthodox Pages
















Question 48.

Is it necessary to attend Church every week? 


Answer to Question 48.


I don’t want to give you a fanatical answer, because our society has changed from the days when there was nothing else to do but go to church. In our lives we take great care of the needs of the body but rarely look to the needs of the soul. Our attending church is bound to the need to be close to God and for us to partake of the precious Body and Blood of Christ. This is what is necessary; regular communion of the Holy Chalice, but most people, even those who attend every Sunday only partake just a few times a year. Personally I believe that if you are not going to partake of Holy Communion then there is no need to attend church, but now I’m leaving myself open to attack from those who will not agree with me.  As Christians who love God, we should not try to find excuses for not attending his house and if we truly love our Lord Jesus then we would want to be partakers of his Body and Blood continuously and at every occasion. So basically your question comes down to how much you want to be with God.  When I am on holiday I also like to take a Sunday off and as my excuse I rely on the 80th canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council which states: “In case any bishop, or presbyter, or deacon, or anyone else on the list of the clergy, or any layman, without any graver necessity or any particular difficulty compelling him to absent himself from his own church for a very long time, fails to attend church on Sundays for three consecutive weeks, while living in the city, if he be a cleric, let him be deposed from office; but if he be a layman, let him be removed from Communion”. According to this canon I can have two consecutive Sundays off.