Reception of Holy Communion - Kiddus Qurban #
The following letter was written to a spiritual child of the late Abba Haile Iyesus. It is a spiritual powerful reminder to all those who call themselves Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox that the frequent reception of Holy Communion - Kiddus Qurban is the ancient and normal practice of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
Tears and repentance have great power my son. But the receiving of Holy Communion - Kiddus Qurban, the hallowed Mysteries of Our Lords True Body and Blood, above all, has great power and benefit, and, seeing that you are so indifferent towards it and do not frequently receive it, I am in wonder and great amazement.
For I see from what you write that you only receive Holy Communion on special Feasts and not each Sunday. I tell you, receive the Lord of Glory at each Sunday Qiddasie - Eucharist; if there is a Eucharistic Liturgy - Qiddasie on any other day, if you are prepared, Commune!
When you were close to the Monastery you had permission from me, your spiritual father to commune every day, if you so desired. But now living away from Ethiopia, in a distant land, the Liturgy is less frequently celebrated, and you still do not receive Holy Communion - Kiddus Qurban. What has happen? Are you so foolish to believe the waging tongues of the spiritual deceived to think Holy Communion - Kiddus Qurban is only for children, old men and women? I say these things to you, not because I wish for you simply to receive Holy Communion - Kiddus Qurban haphazardly, without preparation (for it is written: “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the Bread, and drink of the Cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lords body and blood” [1 Cor. 11:2829]). No, I am not saying this. God forbid! I say that we should, out of our desire for Holy Communion - Kiddus Qurban purify ourselves as much as possible and make ourselves worthy of the Gifts of His Precious Body and Blood. “For the Bread which came down from heaven is participation in life: If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (St. John 6:51). Again He says: “He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him” (Saint John 6:58).
Do you see the indescribable gift? He, the Lord Jesus not only died for us, but He also gives Himself to us as food. What could show more love than this? What is more saving to the soul? Moreover, no one fails to partake every day of the earthly food and drink of the common table. And, if it happens that someone does not eat, he becomes in pain. I am not speaking here about ordinary bread, but about the Bread of life; not about an ordinary cup, but about the Cup of immortality. And do we consider Holy Communion - Kiddus Qurban an indifferent matter, entirely unnecessary? How is this thought not irrational and foolish? If this is how it has been up until now, my children, I ask that we henceforth take heed to ourselves, and, knowing the power of the Precious Body and Blood of Christ Jesus, let us purify ourselves as much as possible and partake of Holy Communion - Kiddus Qurban. And if it happens that we are occupied with a handicraft, as soon as we hear the bells calling us to Church, let us put our work aside and go partake of the Mystery with great desire. And this (that is, frequent reception of Holy Communion - Kiddus Qurban) will certainly benefit us, for we keep ourselves pure through our preparation for receiving Holy Communion. If we do not commune frequently, it is impossible for us not to become subject to the passions of this world. Frequent receptions of Holy Communion - Kiddus Qurban will become for us a companion unto eternal life.