Covering Mouth after communion.

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
Hello, I recently attended a Coptic Orthodox church. I am not coptic, I am Palestinian Eastern Orthodox. I loved the liturgy and truly felt the holy spirit present. The Coptic people are very devout and I truly admire them.  One thing I noticed that was different than my church, is that after they would receive communion, they had this piece of cloth that they covered their mouth with.  I felt this was so beautiful and such a sign of respect towards the communion.  Now at my Antiochian Orthodox church, they hold a cloth under you and once you have received it, you dap your mouth.  But the coptic approach is more serious I feel.  I would like to practice this in my church.  But I do not know where to receive this cloth or what its called. Does anyone have any idea where I can get one and what its called in Arabic? And does it have to be a special cloth or can it be any cloth? Thank you!


  • Hello and welcome Esamer90 from the Palestinian Eastern Orthodox Church :)

      The cloths are generally square-like and they usually will have a cross on them or even some now have the Prayer before receiving Holy Communion and after.  When a person receives the Holy Body of Jesus Christ, that person would cover the mouth with the cloth or mandeel or lefafa(arabic) because It is Precious, Sacred, and prevent any part from coming out of the mouth. During these moment, (thank/talk within yourself with Christ intimately). The mouth is covered until receiving the Holy Blood of Jesus Christ, which is received almost immediately, and then drinking water to make sure nothing remains in the mouth.  :) 

  • because we take the Body and Blood separately, there is a chance some crumbs could fall out, so we cover our mouths for that reasons. we don't use the cloth after we take the Holy Blood.
    in eastern orthodox Holy Communion, you take the Body and Blood together, so it is mostly liquid and crumbs can't fall out.
    so you have your lips dabbed to stop any dribbles.

    it is an equally valid and equally orthodox practice. you don't need to change the way you do it in your church.
    but i am pleased you visited our church and found the unity of faith we have.
    may God continue to bless you and your church and your country and may the people of the earth see the glory of God.
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