On Friday evenings we are discussing what you and I need to know about going to church on Sunday. An understanding of the Divine Liturgy is top on the list. In the following weeks we will share with you what we are learning about the structure, meaning, and symbolism of our Divine Liturgy.
The Divine Liturgy is considered the most significant ancient Christian service. Did you know it was in practice right after the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Disciples of Christ on the 50th day after His Resurrection? It was officiated long before the beginning of the writings of the New Testament! The Divine Liturgy as such was the center of the inspiration of the first Christians in their communion with God and with one another (Rev. George Mastrantonis, http://www.goarch.org).
The word Liturgy–from Greek leitourgi — means the common action or common work of the people. The central action of the Divine Liturgy is the reception of Holy Communion. Every Sunday is devoted to the Resurrection of Christ. During the Divine Liturgy, as Orthodox Christians, we believe that the offered bread and wine truly become the Body and Blood of Christ.
The most commonly celebrated form of the Divine Liturgy, which we participate in almost every Sunday, is the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (Liturgija Sv. Jovana Zlatousta).There are three parts of the Divine Liturgy:
1) The Preparation–Proskomedija
2) Liturgy of the Catechumens (Liturgy of the Word); and
3) Liturgy of the Faithful (Liturgy of the Eucharist).
The part of the Divine Liturgy that is performed before the royal door opens, and our participation in Liturgy starts, is called Preparation or Proskomedija. It is performed by the priest and the deacon. During this part of the Liturgy, the bread and wine is prepared for the Holy Eucharist. This is where you and I will start learning about the Liturgy.
Join us Fridays at 7:00pm in the Church Library!