Question: Is it permitted to eat meat on the day I have partaken of the Holy Communion?
Answer: First of all, let us point out that the Church tradition prescribes certain fast only before Holy Communion and says nothing about food restrictions after partaking of Holy Communion if it is not a Lenten day. Excesses in food such as greed and gluttony are sins regardless of when we commit them: on the day when we have partaken of Holy Communion or on any other day.
Secondly, “Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man” – this is the main principle of our attitude towards food, explained to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. Eucharist is our reunion with God, our communion with His Holy Blood and Body, which become the sources or eternal life inside of us. We can become unworthy of this communion not because of the food we eat after the service but because of our attitude towards our neighbors.
Metropolitan Vladimir, the reposed Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, always said: “The main thing during Lent is not to eat each other”. Consequently, even if we abstain from food entirely on the day of Holy Communion, but at the same time we judge someone or hurt someone, then the participation in the sacrament of Eucharist will be with condemnation, as it is said in one of the prayers before Holy Communion.