Friday, April 07, 2023
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Teaching Divine Liturgy: Sunday, June 4, 2023
Prayer is a form of communion between God and humanity. It is a conversation, a dialogue between us and our Creator. We reveal our inner-most secrets, requests, needs, and problems to God, and God reveals His Will to our mind. We acknowledge our faults and shortcomings with assurance that He is a merciful God. In return, we experience the satisfaction of forgiveness. At times, our prayers are words of gratitude and glorification to God for His kindness to us. Regardless of what type of prayer we offer, when it pertains to us personally, it is a private prayer.
Public prayer, or worship, is offered by our Church through attendance at the Divine Liturgy. Participation in the Liturgy means being part of the re-enactment of the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, together with common prayer, the study of the scriptures, and communion with God.
The Divine Liturgy is a Sacrament of the Church. It is a sacred, mystical action between God and His people. It originated with the Last Supper; and the Apostles, obedient to the Lord’s command of, “Do this in remembrance of Me,” observed it regularly. St. Paul also gives us a description of the Divine Liturgy in his First Epistle to the Corinthians. Before the Gospels were written, Sacred Tradition provided the basis, the authority, and the method for the observance. Words and phrases were gradually added to the Divine Liturgy. Since the beginning of the Fourth Century, however, when St. Basil compiled the present form of the Divine Liturgy, we have had no substantial changes or variations. Thus, throughout the centuries, the Divine Liturgy has preserved its four major features.
First, the Divine Liturgy is a remembrance of the life, cross, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Secondly, the Divine Liturgy is a sacrifice. “This is my body which is broken for you,” said Christ, and “This is my blood which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Unlike the primitive forms of sacrifice, this sacrifice is the perfect sacrifice offered by the only begotten Son of God.
Thirdly, the Divine Liturgy is a communion. “Take, eat, this is my body,” and “drink of it all of you, this is my blood,” said Christ. When we approach the Holy Chalice we receive Christ in our hearts; rather, we should say that we are received by Christ!! We receive forgiveness of our sins and we reconcile ourselves with God.
Finally, the Divine Liturgy is a thanksgiving, because Christ offered a thanksgiving to God the Father before He instituted the Sacrament. Thus, whenever we receive Holy Communion, we gratefully recall the love of Jesus Christ, who died for us.
On Sunday, June 4, 2023 we shall partake in a very special Divine Liturgy. Father will offer a teaching Divine Liturgy. A commentary, explaining what is about to take place, will precede each of the five major parts of the Divine Liturgy. The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on the solea with Father facing the congregation. This will give the congregation an opportunity to see as well as hear what we do during the Divine Liturgy. This commentary will begin at the very beginning of the Divine Liturgy. Please try and be on time in order that you may benefit from the whole experience.
7th Tuesday after Pascha
Saints and Feasts Commemorated
Isaacius, Abbot of the Monastery of Dalmatus; Macrina, grandmother of St. Basil the Great; Barlaam the Monk of Caesarea; Natalios the Martyr; Emilia, mother of Saint Basil the Great
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