Quinisext Council, Canon 28.previous | next
Since we have learned that in various churches when grapes are offered at the sacrificial altar, in accordance with a certain custom which has gained prevalence, by affixing them to the bloodless sacrifice of the offering (or oblation), the ministers thus distribute both to the laity, we have seen fit to decree that no one in holy orders shall do this any more; but, on the contrary, for the purpose of vivification, and remission of sins, they shall impart to the laity of the oblation only, regarding the offering of grapes as first fruits offered by way of thanks to the giver of fruits, whereby our bodies, in accordance with the divine definition, is enabled to grow and to be nourished. If, then, any Clergyman does contrary to what has been commanded, let him be deposed.
(Ap. cc. III, IV; cc. XXXII, LVII, XCIX of the 6th; c. XL of Carthage.)
Since in some regions, in accordance with a certain custom, some persons used to offer grapes at the Holy Table, which the priests would combine with the intemerate mysteries and then impart both together to the laity, on this account and for this reason the present Canon from now on and henceforth commands that no priest shall do this, but, on the contrary, he must give the Holy Communion alone to the worthy, for vivification, and for remission of their sins, whereas he blesses the grapes as first fruits of the season with a special prayer and hands them out to the laity, by way of thanking God for giving us such fruits, by means whereof our bodies are nourished and grow. As for anyone that does anything in violation of this Canon, let him be deposed from office. Read also Ap. c. III.
 Hence both priests and prelates must employ some shift in time of a plague to enable them to administer communion to the sick without violating this Canon; not, however, by placing the Holy Bread in currants, but in some sacred vessel, so that the dying and the sick may take it thence with tongs or the like. The vessel and the tongs are to be placed in vinegar, and the vinegar is to be poured into a funnel, or in any other manner that they can that is safer and canonical.
 Holy Communion must be administered or imparted not only separately from the grapes, but also separately from the fragments (of holy Bread). That is why Symeon of Thessalonica (ch. 94) says that priests must be very careful not to administer the communion to Christians by giving them these fragments (more usually called, in Greek, antidora), but must be sure to give them pieces of the very body of the Lord itself. If those who are about to commune are not numerous (as happens especially on Great Thursday, during the Christmas festival, on the occasion of the feast of the Holy Apostles, and of that of the Theotokos), let them not place the fragments in the Holy Chalice, in order to avoid making a mistake and administering the communion to anyone by giving them the fragments: instead, let them leave them on the Holy Disc, and after administering the communion to the Christians, then let them put them forth and let them celebrate the holies, just as it is the custom to do so in the monasteries of the Holy Mountain. For notwithstanding that the fragments were united with the blood and the body of the Lord, they did not actually become a part of the Lord’s body.
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