Can I go to church during menstruation?
The eternal topic that priests constantly face, is it possible to go to church during menstruation. Probably, every believing Orthodox young woman asked such a question, because she did not know where the roots of the ban on entering the church during her period are rooted.
Monthly from the point of view of the Old Testament
As the priest Konstantin Parkhomenko says, to solve the problem of whether it is possible to go to church during menstruation, it is necessary to refer to the Old Testament, in which there are some prescriptions regarding the cleanliness and impurity of the human body. What is considered unclean in the Old Testament? Separate human diseases, his dead body and just the expiration of the genitals of women and men. At first glance, everything is simple and clear, but in fact the biblical prescriptions are more complicated and much deeper than it may seem at first.
It turns out that according to the Old Testament, when a person is not pure, he should tactfully be aloof from God.In general, impurity is closely related to the topic of death, and diseases, bleeding clearly remind people of mortality. Let us turn to the pages of the New Testament, where the Savior radically rethinks this topic. Christ is the embodiment of life, and everyone who is with the Lord, if he dies, will live. And with this, the meaning of any other impurity disappears.
Monthly: New Testament
Recall, according to the Gospel, while the bleeding woman touched the edge of the Savior's clothes for the sake of recovery, there was no reproach from the Lord, his words: "Your faith saved you." The words of the Apostle Paul said: "For every creature of God is good, and nothing is reprehensible, if accepted with thanksgiving, because it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer" (1 Tim. 4, 4). First of all, it says about impurity in food, that is, there are no products created by God that would be unclean. About the monthly bleeding was not said, but based on the logic of the preaching of the Apostle Paul, the monthly are natural processes of the body, and therefore it is not reprehensible and can not separate a person from the Lord and his grace.
Perhaps the familiar prohibition against usthat it is impossible to go to church during menstruation, comes from the traditions of the first centuries, when some adhered to them, relying on the theological convictions of the Old Testament or simply “just in case”, as they say. Others went to church during menstruation, weekly, under the threat of death, received communion and served the Liturgy. No one has excommunicated them from this, nothing is mentioned in the ancient church monuments.
Monthly and Church: Conclusion
It turns out that a woman can go to church during menstruation, because both marriage, the birth of children, and the monthly natural cleansing of the body are not disgusting to the Lord. Such purification, like man himself, was created by God. And that which was created by the Savior is holy and pure. Confirmation of this will be the words of St.. Gregory Dvoeslova (VI century), who writes that a woman should not be forbidden to go to church during menstruation, as she is not guilty of what nature has given her against her own will. He also refers to the moment that the Lord with a bleeding to the woman allowed the touch of his saving clothes to be touched and healed.
As for the Communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, then a woman cannot be impeded during the menstruation days.If her refusal is out of great respect, of course, it deserves praise. But if she takes communion on critical days, then it cannot be called a sin, and it should not be excluded from this either, as priest Konstantin Parkhomenko writes. And in the 18th century, Reverend Nicodemus the Holy Father called the cause of impurity during menstruation: it is the prohibition for men to copulate with women these days mainly because of the concern for offspring.
So, in our time, some priests, respecting past prohibitions, do not recommend women to go to church and take communion during menstruation, while others consider these traditions to be historical misunderstandings and do not impose prohibitions.