Eastern Orthodox Communion

I assume in the East, they also think that the crumbs are also the flesh and blood of Christ, which is minimized with the use of unleavened wafers in the West. The remaining wine is all consumed by the priest.
In Eastern Orthodoxy, they use leavened bread. Wouldn’t that create many crumbs of our precious Lord’s flesh? What about wine? What do they do to ensure all wine is consumed (is liquid added to remaining wine to dilute it before consumption)?

What is the proper way in Eastern Orthodoxy to deal with remaining bread or crumbs and wine.

The bread and wine are mixed together and the faithful receive via a communion spoon, the priest consumes the leftovers.

It’s that I went to an Eastern Orthodox parish with a Greek Orthodox friend. When the Divine liturgy was done, they said I could have some of the leftover communion bread. Is this ok? And it wasn’t just me. Everyone who wanted to just went up casually to the priest and was given a piece of bread in the hand for consumption.

That’s not consecrated communion bread. In the eastern churches there is blessed bread at the end.

It’s called antidoron, and anyone can take it.


In the Orthodox Church, the loaves to be offered for the Eucharist are imprinted with a seal which at the very minimum has a cross and the letters ICXC NIKA (Jesus Christ conquers). From one loaf alone, the portion (called the lamb) with the cross and ICXC NIKA imprinted upon it is cut out and consecrated by the priest. The remaining bread and the rest of the loaves which were not consecrated are called the antidoron (literally, instead of the gift). These we bless (not consecrate) and cut up for distribution to the faithful.

Exactly. Non-Orthodox (Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, etc.) are not allowed to receive communion in Orthodox Churches, but may take a piece of antidoron. It is really nothing like intercommunion which some churches (not yours, I realize) practice.

Thanks everyone for the answers.

Yes if you attend a Divine Liturgy you will see the priest/clergy are extremely careful to make sure all of the Eucharist is consumed. It is most precious to us.

I’ve heard (never seen) some churches limit the antidoron to the faithful as well.

I have seen that as well, in very strict Old Calendar churches. One ROCOR parish I belonged to did not even have antidoron. The did have a table set up with bread and wine to make sure Holy Communion went completely down however.

I think the use of a spoon for holy Communion wouldn’t sit too well with Lutherans. Hygienic concerns!

You will notice in churches that leave the holy doors open so you can see. The Holy Lamb is always broken over the chalice so that not one crumb goes amiss.

The discos is always wiped over the chalice as well. And they are extra careful with the ablutions.

gary, Orthodox subdeacon

At the beginning of the AIDS scare before it was not known how it was transmitted a few churches used individual, disposable plastic spoons for every communicant.

Of course they were abluted before they were thrown away.

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