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THE DIVINE LITURGY

of our father among the saints

BASIL THE GREAT

“Liturgy means ‘that which we do together’ – there are times for private prayer, there are times for family prayer, now this is the time for the whole community to gather together to pray, offer thanksgiving and do God’s work.

After the incensing, the priest stands in front of the holy table, makes three bows, and says:

Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who are everywhere present and fill all things, Treasury of Blessings, Giver of Life, come, and dwell within us; cleanse us of all that defiles us, and save our souls, O Gracious Lord.

Often this prayer to the Holy Spirit is said silently by the priest, none-the-less it is good for all to begin the Liturgy by invoking the Holy Spirit to make the Liturgy alive, true to our lives, a treasury of blessings…

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace; among men good will. Twice.

Lord, You will open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Your praise.

We gather to give glory to God! So for this we ask that God open our lips.

The priest then kisses the book of the holy Gospels, the holy table and the cross.

(The faithful stand)

Priest: Blessed be the kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

People: Amen.

With the coming of Christ, heaven is already with us—we ask that God make this Liturgy an experience of that Kingdom.

(The faithful may sit)

Priest: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

We pray for peace 23 times in the Liturgy, underlining the importance of peace in our lives and in the world, and that true peace only comes from God—with our cooperation. Though it might be considered odd that we begin the Liturgy immediately bombarding God with requests (historically a later addition), it is quite appropriate that we begin by asking for peace. For how can we even pray without peace when true peace only comes from God.

Priest: For the peace from on high and for the sal­vation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For peace throughout the world, for the well-being of God’s holy churches and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For this holy church and for all who enter it with faith, reverence, and fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For our most holy universal Pontiff, (name), Pope of Rome, for His Beatitude our Patriarch, (name), our most reverend Metropolitan, Kyr (name), our God-loving Bishop, Kyr (name), the reverend priesthood, diaconate in Christ, and all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

We often pray for the pope and our Bishops for two important reasons. First, they need our prayers, and second in our Ukrainian/Slavic usage, this was the way people knew that we were Catholic—because we prayed for the Pope and the catholic bishops.

Priest: For our nation under God, for our govern­ment, and for all the military, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For this city, for every city and country and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

We pray for our country, government, and our city for that is where we and our loved ones live. Ultimately we pray not that our country is somehow invincible, but rather that we may lead peaceful and prayerful lives under its peaceful governance.

Priest: For favorable weather, for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

We are not simply praying for sunny days, but rather for the weather we need to lead healthy lives.

Priest: For the seafarers and travelers (by air and by land), for the sick and the suffering, for those held captive, and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

We might not be aware of it but we are still very dependent on our seafarers. Without people braving treacherous seas, we would, for instance, have no oil. Perhaps here we should also pray for all those unseen people who make our modern life possible.

Special petitions may be inserted here

Priest: That we may be delivered from all tribula­tion, wrath, and misfortune, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Help and save, have mercy and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

How often do we realize that only God can truly help or save us.

Priest: Remembering our most holy and immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, together with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and
one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

People: To You, O Lord.

At this point to underline the giving of our lives, as did the Mother of God and all the saints, completely to Jesus Christ, we make a bow and a sign of the cross as we say ‘to You, O Lord.’… as our bodies and souls are united, we include our body with this simple symbolic physical act.

Lord, our God, Whose power is beyond comparison, Whose glory is beyond comprehension, Whose mercy is beyond measure, and Whose love for mankind is beyond expression, in the kindness of Your heart, O Master, look upon us and upon this holy church, and bestow on us and on those praying with us, the riches of Your mercyand compassion.

Whenever you have the chance to read the priest’s ‘silent’ prayers, do so. Here we are reminded not of the harsh judging God, but of the Lover of Mankind, rich in mercy and compassion. The people only hear the conclusion of this prayer, the exclamation. Since God is all-powerful, and He is compassionate, we therefore give Him all glory, honor and worship…

Priest: For all glory, honor, and worship befit You; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

People: Amen.

THE FIRST ANTIPHON

the first
Psalm (103) of the Typica

The Antiphons are originally processional songs/Psalms that the people sang, back and forth between two groups of people, as they gathered to go to Church.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within me bless His holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.

He forgives all your iniquities; He heals all your diseases.

He redeems your life from corruption; He crowns you with mercy and compassion.

Compassionate and merciful is the Lord, long-suffering and abounding in mercy.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let all that is within me bless His holy name.

Blessed are You, O Lord.

This is a Psalm of great praise to God for all we continually receive from His boundless Love for us. At last we are no longer asking God for things, but rather praising Him for what we already have received.

or This Sunday Antiphon

This is an ‘alternate antiphon’, here we see the element for praise and worship directed towards the Lord our God. This time it is interspersed with the refrain to the Mother of God, because we hold her in high regard. Among all women, only she was chosen to be the God bearer, the Mother of God. She then shows us how to truly praise, worship, and cooperate with
God. This form of antiphon was popular because of the simple refrain
which everyone could sing.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth; sing now to His name, give glory to His praise.

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Savior, save us.

Say unto God, “How awesome are your works! Because of the greatness of Your strength Your enemies will flatter You.”

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Savior, save us.

Let all the earth worship You and sing to You, let it sing to Your name, O Most High.

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Savior, save us.

(The faithful stand)

People: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Only-begotten Son and Word of God, You are immortal, and You willed for our salvation to be made flesh of the holy Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, and without change You be­came
man. You were crucified, O Christ our God, and trampled death by death. You are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.

The antiphon is then followed by this short creed (summary of what we believe). Originally written by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century to succinctly state what we all agree to; 1) Jesus is the Only-begotten, 2) Born of the ever-virgin, 3) He became man without losing His Divinity, 4) He died on the cross for us, 5) He is one with the Trinity, and 6) He is our Savior.

Priest: Again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

A common refrain of many services that tie two parts together is the ‘Little Litany’.

Priest: Help and save, have mercy and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Remembering our most holy and immaculate, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, together with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and
one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

People: To You, O Lord.

We might think it impossible to give our lives totally to God our creator. Therefore we reflect upon the Mother of God and the saints who show us that it is not only possible, but glorious.

You have given us the grace to pray together in harmony and have promised to grant the requests of two or three who join their voices in Your name. Fulfill now for us, Your servants, these peti­tions for our benefit. Grant us in this present life the knowledge of Your truth, and in the age to come, bestow eternal life.

This ‘silent’ prayer that the priest recites reflects upon the meaning of Matthew 18:19-20 “I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” He asks God to accept all our petitions, and most importantly the petition that our small human mind can at least partially grasp God’s infinite wisdom.

Priest: For You are a good and loving God, and we give glory to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

People: Amen.

Here we give praise and glory to God for we know that He is both good and loving towards us. Here is the wonderful use of the title Christ the ‘Lover of Mankind’

Prayer of the Entrance

At this Antiphon the “little entrance” takes place. The Gospel book is ceremoniously processed out from the altar to the people signifying God the Word’s (real, living) presence amongst us. Because it is His real presence, we kiss the Word saying “God is with us! -He is and always will be!” The Word comes out to us in order to help us in our journey to God’s Kingdom. The 2nd Antiphon was officially omitted in the US and Canada by our Synod of Bishops.

Lord God our Master, Who established in heaven the ranks and armies of angels and archangels for the service of Your glory, grant that as we make our entrance, the holy angels may enter too, serving with us and joining in the praise of Your goodness. For all glory, honor and worship befit You; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Amen: Hebrew word which means “so be it!” thereby signifying our agreeing with what has just been said.

THE THIRD ANTIPHON

the Beatitudes
(Mt 5:3-12)

The most solemn version of this antiphon is the chanting of ‘The Beatitudes” which most definitely merit our continued contemplation. It can be said that the Beatitudes are the Christian fulfilling of the 10 Commandments. Where the Commandments told us what not to do, these tell us how to live: to be merciful, peacemakers, thirst for God, to be pure of heart, and to not despair even when we have difficulties because our reward is in heaven.

Remember us, O Lord, in Your kingdom.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the king­dom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil word against you falsely because of Me.

Rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great in heaven.

Or this THIRD ANTIPHON

This alternate third antiphon echoes the format of the first antiphon. Again we sing joyfully our praise to God, which ultimately is more important than our asking God to grant us our petitions, for in praising God we place ourselves in proper perspective in relation to Him. On Sundays we praise Him for the resurrection.

Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord, let us acclaim God, our Savior.

Son of God, risen from the dead, save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Let us come before His face with praise, and acclaim Him in psalms.

Son of God, risen from the dead, save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

For God is the great Lord and the great king over all the earth.

Son of God, risen from the dead, save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Blessed be the entrance of Your saints, always, now and for ever and ever.

The way this priest’s prayer of the entrance is written reminds us that historically it was at this point that the faithful entered the Church, hence the entrance. All the petitions and prayers were sung in the procession to the church.

Priest: Wisdom! Stand aright!

People: Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ.

Son of God, risen from the dead, save us who sing to You: Alleluia.

Even today when we have a Liturgy with a bishop, it is only after this point that the bishop enters the sanctuary, we ask that God allow us to enter His Kingdom with His holy angels as we join together in praise!

The proper tropars are now sung.

They are poetically written summaries of what we are celebrating. We have the 8 Resurrectional tropars for Sundays (we always celebrate the resurrection on Sundays) and/or tropars that speak of the Feast.

Prayer before the Trisagion

We now prepare for the “Thrice Holy Hymn” to the Trinity, reminding us that we are made from nothingness and we glory that we are created in God’s image and likeness, both ideas we all too often forget. Our greatness comes not from us, but from God! And though we can sometimes forget this, God never turns away from us. He offers us wisdom, understanding repentance, and humility so that we can ever become closer to the true source of what every person yearns for: God—our creator, God—the source of our continued life, God—our Lover of mankind, God—the only source of true justice, God—the only true power and might.

Holy God, You dwell in the holies. With three-fold cries of holy the seraphim acclaim You, the cherubim glorify You, and all the heavenly powers worship You. From nothingness You brought all things into being. You created man in Your own image and like­ness and adorned him with all Your graces. You give wisdom and understanding to all who ask. You do not turn Your face from the sinner but offer repentance as a way for salvation. You have made us, Your humble and undeserving servants, worthy to stand before the glory of Your holy altar at this very time, and bring You due worship and praise. Accept from the lips of us sinners the Thrice-holy Hymn and visit us in Your kindness, O Master. Forgive us all our offenses, voluntary and involuntary. Sanctify our souls and bodies, and grant that we, in holiness, may serve You all the days of our
lives, through the intercession of the holy Mother of God and of all the saints, who throughout the ages have found favor with You.

Priest: For You, our God, are holy, and we give glory to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

People: Amen.

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Im­mortal, have mercy on us. (3 times).

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and
ever. Amen.

Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us.

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Im­mortal, have mercy on us.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed are You on the throne of glory
of Your king­dom, Who sit upon the cherubim, always, now and for ever and
ever.

“Holy is God” for the Father, because He is the source of all things to which all will return, to whom the Trinity points to. “Holy and Mighty” for the Son who conquers sin and death through His death and resurrection. “Holy and Immortal” for the Holy Spirit who gives us Life and life to our faith, which no one nor anything can take away!

Priest: Let us be attentive!Peace + be with all.Wisdom! Let us be attentive!

Every time we hear “Let us be attentive” that means “pay attention—something important is about to happen!”

The Prokimen is now chanted, a psalm of David.

The Prokimen is akin to the responsorial Psalm, which the people chant with the cantor.

Priest: Wisdom!

“Wisdom!”, or Sophia in Greek, is that which helps us choose between good and evil, the reading is here to share with us that wisdom.

Reader: A reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the __________.

Priest: Let us be attentive!

(The faithful may sit)

Reading of the Epistle.

Priest: Peace be with you. Wisdom! Let us be attentive!

(The faithful stand)

People: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! (with verses.)

Alleluia is a Hebrew word that means “Praise be to God!” – sing it that way.

Prayer before the Gospel:

This prayer asks God to help us understand what God is trying to communicate with us through today’s reading. Understanding is not always easy. As we see in this prayer the first thing we must do is to quell our bodily or worldly desires so that we can turn our full attention to God and the Wisdom He wants to impart and reveal to us.

Make the pure light of Your Divine knowledge shine in our hearts, O loving Master. Open the eyes of our minds that we may understand the message of Your gospel. Instill in us the fear of Your blessed commandments that we may subdue all carnal desires and follow a spiritual way of life, thinking and doing all that pleases You. For You, O Christ our God, are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies, and we give glory to You, together with Your eternal Father and Your most holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Priest: Wisdom! Stand aright! Let us listen to the holy Gospel. Peace + be with all.

We stand for the reading for it is the stance of attention and respect.

We again pray for peace for if we have no peace in our hearts, our lives, or our world, we will never have the quiet necessary to listen to the Word of God—The Good News—The Evangelion.

People: And with your spirit.

Priest: A reading from the holy Gospel ac­cording to (name)…

People: Glory be to You, O Lord, glory be to You.

Priest: Let us be attentive!

The Gospel is now proclaimed

The Homily follows the Gospel as an explanation of the reading, drawing relevant connections with modern life of the congregation, so that the Word can come more fully alive and realized in the faithful.

People: Glory be to You, O Lord, glory be to You.

(The faithful sit)

Homily

Priest: Let us all say with our whole soul and our whole mind, let us say.

People: Lord, have mercy.

After the homily we are called back to pray with our whole soul…. To best pray we need to cut back upon distractions.

Priest: Almighty Lord, God of our Fathers, we pray You, hear us and have mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy.

In asking for the Lord to have mercy upon us we are asking that His Love and compassion flow out upon us. In Greek there is the image of God’s Love flowing upon us as a warm healing oil.

Priest: Have mercy on us, O God, in the greatness of Your compassion, we pray You, hear us and have mercy.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3 times).

If there is a deacon at the Liturgy, he would lead these petitions. Traditionally the deacon worked in the community, which made him knowledgeable of people’s specific needs and would bring them into liturgical payer.

Lord, our God, accept this fervent supplication from Your servants. Take pity on us in the greatness of Your compassion. Let Your loving kindness descend upon us and upon all Your people who await Your abundant mercy.

Priest: We also pray for our most holy universal Pontiff, (name), Pope of Rome; for His Beatitude our Patriarch, (name), our most reverend Metropolitan, Kyr (name), our God-loving Bishop, Kyr (name), for those who serve and have served in this holy church, for our spiritual fathers, and for all our brethren in Christ.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3 times).

Again we pray for our hierarchy for we need their leadership and they need our prayers.

Priest: We also pray for our nation under God, for our government, and for all the military.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3 times).

We pray for our nation not because it can do no wrong and therefore God always supports it, but because our imperfect country needs God’s guidance.

Special petitions may be inserted here

If you have your own special intention, either mention it to the priest before the Liturgy or pray it in your heart.

Priest: We also pray for the people here present who await Your great and bountiful mercies, for those who have been kind to us, and for all orthodox Christians.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3 times).

ortho-dox: ortho: correct; doxia: praise, glory or opinion. We use the word orthodox (small “o”) to describe ourselves because we do correctly give glory to God. This word was in our Liturgy before, during, and after the schism in the Church and has remained after the Union of Brest. It is inappropriate to equate this word and limit it to one denomination. It would be a shame to lose this word at this late point in history, since it seems to divorce us from our spiritual history, tradition and heritage.

Priest: For You are a merciful and loving God, and we give glory to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

People: Amen.

Priest: Again and again in peace let the faithful pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

First Prayer of the Faithful

At this point we transition from the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Faithful. Having heard God’s word we now prepare to offer our gifts to God so that God in turn can offer Himself to us in the gift of His Body and Blood.

You revealed this great mystery of salvation to us, Your humble and unworthy servants, Lord, and made us worthy to be ministers of Your holy altar. By the power of Your Holy Spirit make us fit for this service, so that standing blameless before Your holy majesty we may offer You this sac­rifice of praise. Lord, You Who work all in all, grant that our sacrifice be acceptable and pleasing to You for our sins and the sins of the people.

Second Prayer of the Faithful

During these prayers the priest opens the Antemins, the holy cloth. This cloth given by the bishop to the priest or parish, has been anointed and contains a holy relic which differentiates the Altar from all other tables, upon which this bloodless sacrifice will take place. It also unites us with our bishop and with the historic Church in a physical way.

With mercy and compassion, God, You looked favorably upon our lowliness and placed us, Your humble, sinful and unworthy servants in the presence of Your holy majesty to minister at Your holy altar. Strengthen us for this service by the power of Your Holy Spirit and, when we open our lips grant us the words to call down the grace of Your Holy Spirit upon the gifts about to be offered.

As we are about to begin the Great entrance with our gifts of bread and wine we are called to attention.

Priest: Wisdom! So that always protected by Your might, we may give glory to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

(The faithful stand)

People: Amen. Let us who mystically represent the cherubim and sing the Thrice-holy Hymn to the life-giving Trinity, now lay aside all cares of life.

Special attention should be given to the prayer “Let us who mystically”. Do we fully realize what it means that we represent the angels (the Cherubim). In a very special way we are now joining them in their eternal praise of “Holy, holy, holy…” (Is. 6:3) This is only the beginning of the prayer, for though it is interrupted by the great entrance it is one prayer!

On Holy Thursday we sing

Accept me this day, O Son of God, as a partaker of Your Mystical Supper. I will not tell the mystery to Your enemies, nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief, I confess to You: Remember me, O Lord, when You come into Your kingdom. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (3)

On Holy Saturday we sing

Let all mortal flesh be silent and stand with fear and trembling, its thoughts concerned with nothing earthly. The King of kings, the Lord of lords, comes to be sacrificed and to be given as food to the faith­ful. Choirs of angels precede Him with every Principality and every Power, as well as the many-eyed cherubim and six-winged seraphim hiding their faces and crying out the hymn: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (3)

No one who is bound to carnal desires or pleasures is worthy to approach You or to draw near to You, or to minister to You, O King of Glory. For to serve You is great and awesome, even to the heavenly powers. And yet, because of Your love for mankind — a love which cannot be expressed or measured — You became man, unchanged and unchanging. You were appointed our High Priest, and, as Master of all, handed down to us the priestly ministry of this liturgical and unbloody sacrifice. You alone, O Lord, our God, have dominion over heaven and earth. You are borne on the throne of the cherubim: You are Lord of the seraphim and King of Israel; You alone are holy and rest in the holies. I implore You, therefore, Who alone are good and ready to listen: look upon me, Your sinful and useless servant; cleanse my heart and soul of the evil that lies on my conscience. By the power of Your Holy Spirit enable me, who am clothed with the grace of the priesthood, to stand before this, Your holy table, and offer the sacrifice of Your holy and most pure Body and precious Blood. Bending my neck, I approach and I peti­tion You: turn not Your face from me nor reject me from among Your children, but allow these gifts to be offered to You by me, Your sinful and unworthy servant. For it is You Who offer and You Who are offered, it is You Who receive and You Who are given, O Christ our God, and we give glory to You, together with Your eter­nal Father and Your most holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

We join the Cherubim in singing to the holiness of God. And to truly accomplish the task at hand we must put away all our earthly cares and worries. How can we expect to welcome the “King of All” and realize that he is here with us if we are worried about our mortgage, our taxes, the weather or any other mundane worry we concern ourselves with daily. This idea is underlined and expanded upon in the priest’s silent prayer.

Let us who mystically represent the cherubim and sing the Thrice-holy Hymn to the life-giving Trinity, now lay aside all cares of life. That we may receive the King of all, escorted invisibly by ranks of angels. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (3 times).

We are preparing ourselves for the Great Entrance. First we incense the altar and the Church as our preliminary sacrifice to God as a sweet smelling offering that wafts up to God. The procession then goes out among the people, for this bread and wine symbolize our gift to God. Originally the people would bring to Church this offering which they prepared from their own wheat and grapes (the work of their hands). This bread, called prosphora, is now often prepared by the priest for use in the Liturgy.

Then the priest goes to the prothesis (proskomydia):

+ God, be merciful to me, a sinner.

Lift up your hands toward the holy places and bless the Lord.

Before the Liturgy with the particles of bread are placed on the discos by the priest as he mentions and prays for the saints, the hierarchy, the living and the dead, for whom the liturgy is being offered and for all the faithful. This list is echoed in the prayer of the Great Entrance. What is important for all of us to remember is that this is our offering, and ultimately we are on the discos processing through the church. We offer our gifts of bread and wine to God so that He can change them into His Body and Blood, just as we are to offer ourselves to God so that He changes us as well (as He did the saints).

Priest: May the Lord God remember in His kingdom our most holy universal Pontiff, (name), Pope of Rome; His Beatitude our Patriarch, (name), our most reverend Metropolitan, Kyr (name), our God-lov­ing Bishop, Kyr (name); all the priestly, diaconal and religious orders; our nation under God, our government, and all the military; the noble and ever-to-be remembered founders and benefactors of this holy church; and all you, orthodox Christians, always, now and for ever and ever.

Since people no longer bring bread and wine to Church as their offering of sacrifice, it is very appropriate that their (monetary) donation be carried in this procession. The donation is not meant to be a contribution simply for the support of the parish, but rather our heartfelt sacrificial offering to God.

People: Amen. That we may receive the King of all, es­corted invisibly by ranks of angels. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

The noble Joseph took down Your most pure body from the tree. He wrapped it with a clean shroud and, with aromatic spices, placed it in a new tomb.

Deal favorably, O Lord, with Sion in Your good pleasure and let the walls of Jerusalem be rebuilt. Then You shall be pleased with a sacrifice of justice, oblations and holocausts; then
they shall lay calves upon Your altar.
(Psalm 50:20-21)

As we make our gift offering to the Lord on His altar, we are reminded by Psalm 50 (here in a shortened form) that more than Sacrifice, God wants a humble and contrite heart.

Priest: Let us complete our prayer to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Again a reminder that those are our gifts upon that altar representing our lives offered to God.

Priest: For the precious gifts that have been pre­sented, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: For this holy church and for all who enter it with faith, reverence, and fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

The fear referred to here can be understood in two (Biblical) ways; 1) great awe and respect when we realize the great different between us and God and what that means about our subsequent relationship; and 2) Fear in the sense that God is Justice and Truth, if we are living immorally, with lies, or cheating, we might feel that we are now getting away with it, but in the end it will catch up with us. Therefore, if we live with God, the fear of God is nothing to be afraid of.

Priest: That we may be delivered from all tribulation, wrath, and misfortune, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Lord our God, You created us and brought us into this life and showed us the path to salva­tion by revealing Your heavenly mysteries to us. You appointed us for this service by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May it please You, Lord, that we be ministers of Your new covenant, officers of Your holy mysteries. Welcome us according to Your great mercy as we approach Your holy altar. Make us worthy of offering this spiritual and unbloody sacrifice to You for our sins and those of the people. Receive it upon Your holy spiritual altar in heaven in the odor of spiritual fragrance and send down in return the grace of Your Holy Spirit. Look favorably upon us, God, and upon this our worship. Accept it as You accepted the gifts of Abel, the sacrifices of Noah, the holocausts of Abraham, the priesthood of Moses and Aaron, the peace-offerings of Samuel. Just as You accepted this true worship from Your holy apostles, so too, in Your kindness, Lord, accept these gifts from the hands of us sinners. En­able us to serve without blame at Your holy altar so that we may obtain the reward of wise and faith­ful stewards on the dread day of Your just judgment.

As we are about to enter into the most sacred part of the Divine Liturgy, we are reminded that we must enter in through the doorway of love. If we are to enter into God’s eternal banquet with hate in our hearts we make God’s sacrifice and gift to us meaningless.

Priest: Through the mercies of Your only-be­gotten Son with Whom You are blessed, together with Your most holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

People: Amen.

Priest: Peace + be with all.

People: And with your spirit.

Priest: Let us love one another so that we may be of one mind in confessing.

If we are angry at someone or hate someone, we must make peace with them before continuing on in the Liturgy. Receiving communion while hating, is one of the ways that we receive Eucharist “unto condemnation…”

People: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in being and undivided.

I will love You, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my stronghold and my refuge.(3 times).

Priest: The doors, the doors! In wisdom let us be attentive.

This phrase “the doors, the doors…” is from a time when the unbaptized were required to leave the church. Up to this point, they were allowed to listen to the Word, but they were not allowed to stay for the holiest and most intimate part of the Liturgy which has just begun.

People: I believe in one God, the Father, the Al­mighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.

I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father.

Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary, and be­came man.

For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried.

On the third day He rose again in fulfill­ment of the Scriptures: He ascended into
heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have
no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the
Father.

With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the
Prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

I look for the resur­rection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Nicean-Constantinopolitan Creed, (AD 325, 381), also known as the Symbol of Faith, is a concise summary in 12 articles, of what we as a Church believe. The Creed was written at these two Ecumenical Councils, which means the entire Church was present, so that it could serve as a guide of faith. Each phrase was very carefully debated and written so that one could say that if you do not agree with even one of these articles of faith then you could not consider yourself a true member of the Church. In accordance with the wishes of the Holy Father, Pope of Rome, we no longer say the ‘Filioque’. In our tradition we say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (the original format) because it is God the Father that maintains in Himself the Unity of the Trinity!

Priest: Let us stand well, let us stand with fear; let us be attentive to offer in peace the holy oblation.

With this we are called to stand in reverence and celebration of the great miracle we are about to witness. If you desire to kneel at this point you may, although in our tradition we do not kneel because God so loves us, and so wants us to partake of His Body and Blood that he forgives and perfects us. We are like the Prodigal son who is told to arise and take part in the banquet. If you still wish to kneel, you may, just please do not sit, if you can’t kneel, stand. Only if you can’t stand, may you sit.

People: The mercy of peace, the sacrifice of praise.

This phrase “the mercy of peace…” is another wonderful summation of our relationship with God in the Liturgy—we offer up praise, He in turn gives us peace.

Priest: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit + be with all of you.

People: And with your spirit.

Priest: Let us lift up our hearts.

People: We have lifted them to the Lord.

Priest: Let us give thanks to the Lord.

We lift up our hand and our hearts to the Lord so that He can transform them. Only when we offer, can He change our hearts.

People: It is right and just to worship the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in being and undivided.

Though we cannot describe God we know that He is. We respond by praising Him for all that He has done for us in the past, present, and future.

Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving to God the Father (The Prelude to the Anaphora)

You, Who are being itself, Master, Lord God, adorable all-sovereign Father, it is fitting, proper and owing to Your magnificent holi­ness to praise You, to sing to You, to bless You, to worship You, to thank You, to glorify You, the one true God and to offer to You this our spiritual service with contrite heart and humble spirit. You gave us the knowledge of Your truth. Who can ex­press Your power, make all Your praises heard, or at all times recount all Your wonders?

Master of all, Lord of heaven and earth and of all visible and invisible creation, You Who sit upon the throne of glory and look upon the depths, without beginning, invisible, inscrutable, indescribable, immutable, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ our great God, Savior and hope, Who is the image of Your goodness, the identical impression showing in Himself You the Father. He is the living Word, true God, eternal wisdom, life, sanctification, power, true light.

He is from Whom the Holy Spirit was made manifest, the Spirit of truth, the gift conferring divine adoption, the foretaste of our coming inheritance, the first-fruits of everlasting goods, the life-giving power, the source of sanctification Who em­powered every intelligent and reasoning creature to worship You and give You perpetual glory, for all things are Your servants.

Angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities, powers and the many-eyed cherubim praise You. Sur­rounding You are seraphim, each with six wings, with two they cover their faces, with two their feet, and with two they hover with their wings. They unceasingly cry out to one another in endless resounding:

Priest: Singing, crying, exclaiming, and saying the triumphal hymn.

People: Holy, holy, holy Lord of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of Your glory! Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!

We sing with the angels Holy Holy Holy for God is Holiest, as all holiness flows from Him. Holy: a: characterized by perfection and transcendence, pure b: wholly other as in opposite of regular, daily , mundane, how else can we speak of God who is radically other. c: angelic for “wow!” Sa-ba-oth: the heavenly powers. Ho-san-na: a cry of adoration.

With these blessed powers, loving Lord, we sinners cry out and say: You are indeed holy and most holy. Boundless is the majesty of Your holiness. Holy are You in all Your works, for You did all things with true justice and righteousness.

From the earth’s clay you formed and created humanity – man and woman. You honored them with Your image, O God. You placed them in a paradise of delight, promis­ed them eternal life and the enjoyment of ever­lasting goods for keeping Your commandments. When they disobeyed You, the true God Who created them, and they succumbed to the guile of the serpent, they became subject to death because of their sins. By Your just judgment, O God, You drove them out of para­dise into this world, and returned them to the earth from which they were taken while planning for them salvation by rebirth in Your Christ.

You did not turn away from the crea­ture You made, good Lord, nor did You ignore Your handiwork, but You looked kindly upon your people in many ways because of the depth of Your gentle-hearted love. You sent prophets and did mighty deeds through Your holy ones who pleased You in every age. You spoke to us through the lips of Your servants, the pro­phets, and announced the coming salvation to us. You provided the Law to help us and gave us angels to guard us.

Yes, there is much, if not everything, that God has done for us, and all He asks for in return is for us to follow Him. Besides, we should never forget that what we are offering God, whether our time, talent or treasure, or this bread for the sacrifice was God’s to begin with and He gives it back to us for our good.

In the fullness of time You spoke to us in Your very Son with Whom You made the ages. Being the radiant reflection of Your glory, the exact representation of Your being. Though sustaining all things by the might of His word, He did not deem being equal to You, God the Father, something to be clung to. Although He was God from before the ages, He appeared on earth and lived among men. Enfleshed of the holy Virgin, He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave and becoming like in form to our lowly body, in order to conform us to the image of His own glory.

“Since through a man sin entered the world and with sin death,” it pleased Your only-begotten Son in the bosom of You, God the Father, to be born of a woman, the holy God-bearer and Ever-virgin Mary, to become subject to the law and to condemn sin in His flesh, so that those who die in Adam may live in Your Christ. While He was in this world, He gave saving commandments, saved us from the deceit of idolatry and brought us to know­ledge of You, the true God and Father, Thus He gained us for Himself as “His special people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.”

He cleansed with water and sanctified with the Holy Spirit and gave Himself as a ransom to the death by which we were bound when we sold ourselves to sin. So that everything concerning Him may be fulfilled, He went down to Hades through the cross and broke the bonds of death. He arose on the third day and broke a path to resurrection from the dead for all flesh, for it was impossible for the Author of life to be held by corruption. He became the first-fruits of those who sleep, the first-born of the dead, so that He may be preeminent in all things in every respect. He ascended into heaven, took His seat at the right hand of Your majesty on high and will come to “repay every man for what he has done.”

He left us a memorial of His saving passion, which we bring to You according to His commandment. When He was about to go forth to His voluntary, ever to be remembered, life-giving death, on the night in which He handed Himself over for the life of the world, He took bread in His holy and immaculate hands and showed it to You, God, the Father. After giving thanks, He blest + and sanctified the bread, and broke it:

Priest: He gave the bread to His holy disciples, and apostles, saying: Take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you for the forgiveness of sins.

People: Amen.

In like manner, He took the cup of the fruit of the vine and mixed it. After He gave thanks, He blest + and sanctified it.

Priest: He gave the cup to his holy disciples, the apostles, saying: Drink of it, all of you. This is my blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

People: Amen.

Anamnesis

The change from bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord is not completed with the words of institution, the Anamnesis (“this is my Body…”) but rather competed with the Epiklesis, or the calling down of the Holy Spirit upon the gifts. This part is just as sacred. People should participate in this part as well by saying the ‘Amen’ quietly with the priest.

Do this in remembrance of me, for as often as you eat this Bread and drink this Cup, you proclaim my death, you profess my resurrection. Furthermore, Lord, mindful as we are of His saving Passion, His life-giving cross, His three-day burial, His resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, His enthronement at Your right hand, God and Father, and His glorious and awe­some second coming in glory.

Priest: We offer to You, Yours of Your own, in behalf of all and for all.

People: We sing of You, we bless You, we thank You, O Lord, and we pray to You, our God.

Prayer with Bowed Head

Though Jesus continually forgives our sins, we should do our part preparing ourselves for this Great and Holy Communion with prayer, fasting and by regularly sacramentally confessing our sins.

Therefore, most holy Lord, we, Your sinful and unworthy servants, dare to ap­proach Your holy altar, since You made us worthy to minister at Your holy altar, not because of any of our just works, for we have done nothing good on earth, but because of the mercies and compassion You so richly poured out upon us.

Epiklesis

In offering the true representation of the holy Body and Blood of Your Christ, we pray and beseech You, most holy God, that in Your gracious good pleasure, Your Holy Spirit may come upon us and upon these Gifts here present to bless Them, to sanctify Them and to make

The priest blesses the Holy Bread, saying:

This Bread + the Precious Body it­self of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

He then blesses the Holy Chalice, saying:

And this + Cup, the Precious Blood it­self of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

He then Blesses them both, saying:

Poured + out for the life of the world. Amen, amen, amen.

As all of us who partake of the one Bread and one Cup unite together in the fellowship of the one Holy Spirit. Let none of us partake of the Holy Body and Blood of Your Christ for judg­ment or condemnation. But let us find mercy and grace together with all the saints who have pleased You from of old, the forefathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, teachers, and every just spirit made perfect in faith.

(The faithful stand)

To complete the offering of the sacrifice we again offer incense to God.

Priest: Especially together with our most holy, most blessed glorious Lady, the Godbearer and ever-virgin Mary.

People: In you, Lady full of grace, all creation rejoices, the world of angels and the human race. Sanctified temple, spiritual paradise, boast of virgins. God took flesh from you and became a child. He was God before the ages. He made your womb a throne and made it more encompassing than the heavens. In you, Lady full of grace, all creation rejoices, glory be to you.

On Holy Thursday (Strans tvzya)

With uplifted heart, come, faithful, let us enjoy the master’s hospitality and the table of immortality in the upper room, learning from the word, the exaltation of the word. Him we extol.

On Holy Saturday (Ne rydai mene Maty)

Do not bewail me, mother, as you see in the tomb the son you bore in your womb without seed. For I shall rise and be glorified, and as God shall exalt in everlasting glory those who in faith and love extol you.

For St. John, the prophet, forerunner and baptist; for the holy, glorious, and all-praiseworthy apostles; for Saint(s) (name) whose memory we celebrate; and for all Your saints. Through their supplications, visit us, O God.

We are never alone in Church, we are always celebrating with the Mother of God, John the Baptist and all the saints.

And remember all who have fallen asleep in the hope of rising to eternal life.

Here is mentioned by name the deceased for whom we pray.

For the repose of the soul(s) of Your servant(s) (name), in the place of light from which pain, sorrow and grief have fled. And grant him (her, them) rest in a place enlightened by the light of Your countenance.

We beseech You, Lord, remember Your holy, catholic and apostolic Church extending over the whole world. Give her the peace You acquired by the precious blood of Your Christ. Give strength to this holy house until the end of the world.

Remember those, Lord, who brought these gifts to You and those in behalf of whom and for whom they are offered.

Remember those, Lord, who bear fruit, who do good works in Your holy churches and who remember the poor. Reward them with Your riches and heavenly favors. Instead of the earthly
– give them the heavenly; instead of the temporal – the eternal; instead of the corruptible – the incorruptible.

Remember those, Lord, in the deserts, in the mountains, in caves and holes in the ground.

Remember those, Lord, who live in virgin­ity, in religious life, in asceticism and in holiness.

Remember our governing authorities, Lord. Grant them a deep and enduring peace. Instill in their hearts the good of Your church and of all Your people, so that in their calm we may live a tranquil and quiet life in all piety and holi­ness. O Lord, remember all who rule and are in authority, the lawmakers and the peacekeepers, and all our military services in the protection of our country.

Here is a good example why we need to pray for our government, because if they do their ‘job’ well, we can ‘lead calm and quiet lives…’

The good – keep in their goodness; the evil – turn to good by Your kindness.

Remember the people here present, Lord, and those absent for good reasons. Have mercy on them and us according to Your great mercy. Fill their storerooms with everything good. Pre­serve their marriages in peace and harmony. Nourish the infants, guide the youth, strengthen the aged, encourage the dispirited, heal and protect the abused, bring toge­ther the scattered, lead back those gone astray and rejoin them to Your holy, catholic and apos­tolic church. Free those troubled by evil spir­its, sail with those who sail, journey with those who travel, protect the widows, care for the orphans, free the imprisoned, cure the sick.

Remember those who stand trial, God, and those in mines, in exile, at hard labor, in every kind of trib­ulation, need and difficulty, and all those who need Your great kindness. Also remember those who love us and those who hate us and those who enjoined us to pray for them, unworthy as we are. Remember all Your people, Lord God, and pour forth the riches of Your mercy upon all, granting to all whatever they ask for their salvation.

Whomever we did not mention because of oversight, forgetfulness or the large number of names, You Yourself remember them, God, You Who know the age and name of everyone and know each one from his mother’s womb.

For You, Lord, are the help of the helpless, the hope of those without hope, the Savior of the storm-tossed, the harbor of those who sail, and physician of the ailing. Be all things to all, for You know each one and his petition, his home, and what­ever he needs, Lord. Preserve this city and every city and rural dis­trict from hunger, pestilence, earthquake, flood, fire, sword, foreign invasion, riot, terrorist attack and civil war.

Commemoration of the Living

Priest: Among the first, remember, O Lord, our most holy universal Pontiff, (name), Pope of Rome; His Beatitude our Patriarch, (name), our most reverend Metropolitan, Kyr (name), our God-loving Bishop Kyr (name). For the sake of Your holy churches grant that they may live in peace, safety, honor and health for many years, and rightly im­part the word of Your truth.

The Hierarchy is prayed for again, this time specifically because they are in charge of teaching the Word of God’s truth—an awesome responsibility for which they need our prayers.

People: And remember all men and all women.

In our response to this prayer we see that we too share in this responsibility in teaching the Word of God’s truth, especially in our actions with others. The Ukrainian addition to this response “and all things.” is originally a mistranslation, but we also do learn of God’s truth through His creation.

The priest commemorates the names of the living.

O Lord, remember your servant(s) (name). Grant him (her, them) salvation, visitation,
health and forgiveness of sins.

Remember, Lord, all orthodox bishops who rightly teach the word of your truth.

Remember also, my unworthiness in Your abounding mercy, Lord, and forgive me my every offense, voluntary and involuntary. Do not hold back, because of my sins, the grace of Your Holy Spirit, from these gifts offered here.

Remember the priesthood, Lord, the deaconate in Christ and every priestly rank. Be not ashamed of any of us who stand around Your holy altar. In Your kindness look favorably upon us, Lord; come to us with Your rich mercies.

Give us temperate and beneficial weather; give gentle rain to the earth to bear fruit. Crown the year with Your bounty. Stop the schisms of the churches. Quench the insolence of nations. Quickly put down the eruptions of heresies by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Welcome us all into Your kingdom and make us children of light and children of day. Grant us Your peace and Your love, Lord our God, for everything You have given us.

Priest: And grant that with one voice and one heart we may glorify and sing the praises of Your most honored and magnificent name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

People: Amen.

We are brought back together to pray.

Priest: And may the mercies of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ +, be with all of you.

People: And with your spirit.

This common exchange between the priest and people—the priest asks God to bless the people and in turn they pass this blessing to the priest—who bows in acceptance of this grace.

(The faithful may sit)

Priest: Having remembered all the saints, again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

The saints teach us how we can be both human and holy, no matter what personality we have. There is a saint whose personality is just like ours who still managed to be a saint. Also, as St. Paul would say, all us who are in Christ are saints, therefore we are praying for ourselves, and our ‘sainthood’.

Priest: For the precious Gifts, which have been pre­sented and consecrated, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: That our loving God, Who has received them as a spiritual fragrance upon His holy, heavenly and mystical altar, may send down on us in return His divine grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit, let us pray.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: That we may be delivered from all tribula­tion, wrath, and misfortune, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

The Ultimate gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives is that our faith becomes alive.

O God, the God of salvation, teach us to give thanks to You in a manner worthy of the benefits You gave us and give us. It is You, our God, who received these gifts. Cleanse us of every defilement of flesh and spirit. Teach us to attain sanctity in fear of You, so that by the witness of our clear conscience, we may receive a share of Your holy things and be unit­ed with the Body and Blood of Your Christ. Re­ceiving them worthily may we have Christ living in our hearts and become a temple of Your Holy Spirit. Yes, God, hold none of us guilty of these Your awesome, heavenly mysteries. Do not allow us to partake of them unworthily because of weakness of soul and body, but grant us until our last breath to receive the hope of Your holy things as provisions for eternal life, as an acceptable defense before the dread judgment seat of Your Christ. So that together with all Your saints who have pleased You from of old, we may become partakers of Your eternal good things which You prepared for those who love You, Lord.

Priest: Help and save, have mercy and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

We have a wonderful tradition of making the sign of the cross during these petitions, because they are all specifically for us.

Priest: That this whole day may be perfect, holy, peaceful, and sinless, let us ask the Lord.

People: Grant this, O Lord.

“May this day be perfect…” unfortunately many of us growing up were taught that perfection is not possible, but alas we believe that it is possible (but only with God, otherwise it would not be perfection but perfectionism). If it were not possible, then why would God want to invite us to this perfection (Mt 5:48) “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect”. See also (Mt 19:21 and Jn 17:23)

Priest: For an angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us ask the Lord.

People: Grant this, O Lord.

Priest: For the forgiveness and remission of our sins and offences, let us ask the Lord.

People: Grant this, O Lord.

Priest: For all that is good and beneficial for our souls and for peace for the world, let us ask the Lord.

People: Grant this, O Lord.

Priest: That we may spend the rest of our lives in peace and repentance, let us ask the Lord.

People: Grant this, O Lord.

We prepare now, by how we live our daily lives, for our good defense before the awesome judgment seat of Christ, for it is a daily choice whether we are to live in Christ and love or in the hatred and evil of the devil.

Priest: For a Christian end to our lives, one that is painless, unashamed, and peaceful; and for a good defense at the awesome tribunal of Christ, let us ask the Lord.

People: Grant this, O Lord.

Priest: Having asked for unity of the faith and for the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

People: To You, O Lord.

(The faithful stand)

Priest: Make us worthy, O Master, with con­fidence and without condemnation to dare call You, the heavenly God, Father, and say:

The Our Father is the prayer that Jesus Himself taught us, and therefore has special significance.

People: Our Father, Who art in heaven, hal­lowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Do we realize what it means by Jesus inviting us into a special relationship with God the Creator of the Universe, that now we can call Him “Abba—Father”. Abba is an informal Aramaic word, which is how a small child would call his Daddy. Perhaps this is the best reason for us to lift up our hands to God our Father—the same way a child lifts up his hands to his father when he wants to be picked up. We lift our hands to God the Father for the same reasons.

Priest: For the kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

We conclude the Our Father by balancing the two ideas: we are invited by God into a special familiar loving relationship, while at the same time God retains His Kingship, power and is not diminished in His glory.

People: Amen.

Priest: Peace + be with all.

People: And with Your spirit.

Priest: Bow your heads to the Lord.

People: To You, O Lord.

A reminder: If the priest says “Bow your Heads…” then the people should physically bow their heads for this prayer. Besides, the prayer is asking God’s blessing and healing upon those who have bowed their heads…

Lord and Master, Father of mercies and God of all consolation, bless those who have bowed their heads before You. Sanctify and guard them. Fortify and strengthen them. Keep them from every evil deed and incline them to every good work. Make them worthy to partake of these Your most pure and life-giving mysteries without blame for the remission of sins and for fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

Only really after we have read the ‘silent prayer’ does the subsequent exclamation make sense.

Priest: Through the grace, mercies and loving-kindness of Your only-begotten Son with Whom You are blessed together with Your most holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

People: Amen.

Attend, O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, from Your holy dwelling and from the throne of glory in Your kingdom, and come to sanctify us, you Who are seated on high with the Father and are invisibly present here with us. Deign to give to us with Your mighty hand Your most pure Body and precious Blood, and through us, to all the people.

+ God, be merciful to me, a sinner. (3).

I have always at this point been struck by the idea that God comes into the world through us, not only the priests, but actually through all of us.

Priest: Let us be attentive! The holy Things for the holy!

People: One is holy, one is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.

God has made us holy so that we can partake of His Body and Blood without being destroyed.

The people sing the Sunday Communion verse

People: Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the highest. Alleluia (3 times).

We then respond by acknowledging that all holiness comes from God.

Broken and distributed is the Lamb of God – broken and not divided, always eaten and never consumed – but sanctifying those who partake.

As the priest places the 1st piece (IC) into the chalice, he says:

Fullness of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The priest now blesses the teplota (warm water):

Blessed be the warming of Your holy Gifts + always now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Warmth of faith full of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

People: I believe, O Lord, and confess that You are truly Christ, the Son of the living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first.

Accept me this day, O Son of God, as a partaker of Your Mystical Supper. I will not tell the mystery to Your enemies, nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief, I confess to You:

+ Remember me, O Lord, when You come into Your kingdom.

+ Remember me, O Master, when You come into Your kingdom.

+ Remember me, O Holy One, when You come into Your kingdom.

May the partaking of Your Holy Mysteries, O Lord, be unto me not for judgment or con­demnation but for the healing of soul and body.

+ God, be merciful to me, a sinner.

+ God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.

+ I have sinned without number, forgive me, O Lord.

Though God forgives our sins, we acknowledge that we are sinners in the prayer before communion echoing the good thief who repented upon the cross next to the crucified Christ. We prayerfully ask God to help us so that we do not receive Holy Communion unto condemnation (as mentioned earlier) but rather for our healing. Another way we can receive the Eucharist ‘unto condemnation’ would be to lightheartedly take God’s love and forgiveness. Lest we forget, God is not only loving and merciful, He is also Just! We also echo the prayer seeking mercy and forgiveness as said by the Publican. Whereas he beat his breast in repentance, we cross ourselves (a symbol not available to him) to underline that through Christ, God is merciful to us, through the cross, we are cleansed of our sins; and because of God, all our sins can be forgiven. All Catholics are invited to partake of the Holy Eucharist as long as they have appropriately prepared themselves with prayer and fasting, truly believe that the Eucharist is the true Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and are not guilty of grievous sin.

Priest: Approach with the fear of God and with faith.

People: Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord, God the Lord has appeared to us.

To receive come up to the ambo in a quiet, orderly and pious manner, kiss the icon on the tetrapod, approach the priest, make the sign of the cross, state your first name. (We receive all sacraments personally, and unfortunately the priest can not always remember all the names.) Please then tilt your head back, open your mouth wide, and the priest will gently place the Holy Eucharist into your mouth, please do not stick out your tongue nor close your mouth upon the spoon. Do not say “Amen.” After receiving communion, you should make a sign of the cross and a simple bow in the direction of the Chalice and quietly return to your place.

In distributing Communion, the priest says:

The servant of God, (name), partakes of the precious, most holy and most pure Body and Blood of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of his/her sins and life everlasting. Amen.

After everyone has received Holy Communion:

Priest: Save Your people, O God, and bless Your inheritance.

People: We have seen the true light. We have received the heavenly Spirit. We have found the true faith. We worship the undivided Trinity for having saved us.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; above all the earth be Your glory.

Blessed be Our God

Priest: Always, now and for ever and ever.

(The faithful stand)

People: Amen. May our mouths be filled with your praise, O Lord, that we may sing of Your glory. For You made us worthy to partake of Your holy, divine, immortal and life-giving Mysteries. Preserve us in Your holiness that we may meditate all the day upon Your justice. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Leaving the church at this point is like leaving a dinner party right after the last forkful.

Priest: Stand aright! Having received the divine, holy, immaculate, immortal, heavenly, and life-giving, awesome Mysteries of Christ, let us rightly give thanks to the Lord.

In reference to Gal 4:6-7 we make the sign of the cross when we say “and bless your inheritance” because we are now God inheritors through Christ, therefore we are asking God to bless us.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Help and save, have mercy and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Having asked that this whole day may be per­fect, holy, peaceful and sinless, let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life to Christ Our God.

People: To You, O Lord.

It has been said that the most important part of the Liturgy is not the consecration not the Communion, but rather the conclusion of the Liturgy, for if we do not take into our daily lives what we have learned and experience here then it is for naught. Again we ask that the day be not only good and holy, but perfect.

Lord our God, we thank You for our participation in Your holy, most pure, im­mortal and heavenly mysteries which You gave us for the benefit, sanctification and healing of our souls and bodies. Lord of all, grant that our communion with the sacred Body and Blood of Your Christ may work for us an unabash­ed faith, unfeigned love, abundant wisdom, heal­ing of soul and body, removal of everything ad­verse, observance of Your commandments and an acceptable defense when we appear before the dread judgment seat of Your Christ.

Please note, we are invited to stand in order to properly give thanks.

Priest: For You are our sanctification and we give glory to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

People: Amen.

As we are concluding the Liturgy we remind ourselves that ultimately only through God do we have salvation and sanctification, not through politics nor material things, or even through the saints or the Mother of God, as important as they are—only through God.

Priest: Let us go forth in peace.

People: In the name of the Lord.

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: You bless those who bless You, O Lord, and sanctify those who trust in You. Save Your people and bless + Your inheritance. Protect the full­ness of Your Church. Sanctify those who love the beauty of Your house and glorify them by Your divine power. Do not forsake us who hope in You. Grant peace to Your world, to Your churches, to the priests, to our nation under God, to our govern­ment, and to all Your people. For all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from You, the Father of Lights. And we give glory, thanks, and worship to You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever.

People: Amen. Blessed be the name of the Lord now and for ever. (3 times).

This ‘Prayer Beyond the Ambo’ is a summary of our prayers and petitions as we conclude our Liturgical worship. We need to carry what we learned and experienced here out into the everyday world that we live in. On certain feast days there are special prayer that can be substituted at this point that summarize the relevance of the feast for our lives.

Prayer at the Consumption of the Holy Gifts:

The mystery of Your divine plan has been fulfilled and com­pleted as far as lies with us, Christ our God. We had the memorial of Your death, experi­enced the presentation of Your resurrection, and enjoyed Your inexhaustible delights. Be pleased to make us all worthy of them also in the age to come, by the grace of Your Father without begin­ning and Your holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and forever and ever.

Priest: The blessing + of the Lord be upon you with His grace and love for mankind, always, now and for ever and ever.

People: Amen.

Priest: Glory be to You, O Christ our God, our hope, glory be to You.

When we put all our hope and trust in Christ instead of in everything else, then finally will we be fully blessed.

People: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen. Lord, have mercy. (3 times). Give the blessing.

Priest: Christ our true God, risen from the dead, through the prayers of His immacu­late Mother, of our father among the saints, Basil the Great, archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, of Saint (name) the patron of this holy Church, and of Saint (name) whom we commemorate today, and all the saints, will have mercy and save us, for He is good and loves mankind.

People: Amen.