Preparation for Holy Communion
10 Things 
5. Sometime before Divine Liturgy, you should say the “Pre-communion” prayers.
They are in any complete prayer book. They begin with some psalms, then a canon, then some pre-communion prayers from various saints.
This prayer rule is easy for some and very difficult for some. If it is hard for you, then split it into pieces. For instance, say the canon Saturday morning and the other prayers Saturday afternoon, or evening, or say a part on Saturday and a part on Sunday morning. It is even possible to split the rule up over some days throughout the week.
As in all things, if you have trouble with this rule, talk to your confessor.
There is a custom among some to say a very long rule in addition to the “pre-communion” prayers. Among Russians, this is called the “Pravilo” (or rule). It consists of three canons which are combined, and an Akathist. Usually the canons are the ones in a typical complete prayer book – “To our Lord Jesus Christ”, the Supplicatory canon to the Theotokos, and the canon to the Guardian Angel. The Akathist is usually to Christ or the Theotokos. There us some variability in the canons and Akathist that are said.
This is an excellent rule to follow, and clergy usually observe it. I have known some lay people to observe it also, but I have never required it of anyone. I am more interested in getting people to come to confession and the evening service regularly, and this rule is too big for someone who is not accustomed to attendance at vigil.
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