Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost Jairus’ Daughter and the Woman With an Issue of Blood (Luke 8:41-56). Fr. Iakovos, a disciple of Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra (Mount Athos) talks about a taboo subject in Church, the natural flow of blood in a woman, the regular periods.
Location & video source: St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, Ottawa.
“Even the natural flow of blood in a woman, when she has her period, was something that was taboo.
Any person who would touch a woman during this time also could not go and do anything, he had to seclude himself inside his home, go through a ritualistic purification, wash all his clothes, wash anything which he himself touched and then could go back and be among the people.
This is something which is even entered into our Church, unfortunately. And it is not understood properly, because what happens is there are many times when a woman has her natural flow, they are not able to, as many say, come and kiss the icons, or enter into the church, or venerate the relics… That is stretching things too far, my dearly beloved.
There is a purpose why a woman who has her natural flow of blood can not receive communion, and that is that this must be a bloodless sacrifice. And with a flow of blood it means that you are not honoring the blood which you are taking into your own body. So that is why a woman can not approach the chalice at that time.
But it is not that she is unclean. We must be careful about that. This is a natural cycle which the Lord gave to woman to know when it is that they can have a child.
It’s a blessing, indeed”.