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Re: [orthodox-synod] The Symbolic Meaning of the Liturgy

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  • phillip nina
    I do remember Bishop Seraphim, he gave mo some really good advices. Phil ... === message truncated === __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Win a
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 28, 2004
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      I do remember Bishop Seraphim, he gave mo some really
      good advices.
      Phil
      --- byakimov@... wrote:
      > ��The Symbolic Meaning of the Liturgy
      >
      >
      >
      > The Liturgy is the most important Divine service in
      > our Orthodox Church,
      > because during it is accomplished the great Mystery
      > of the Eucharist or
      > Holy Communion, which was established by our Lord
      > Jesus Christ at the
      > Mystical Supper; its essence being that through the
      > action of the Grace of
      > the Holy Spirit our offerings of bread and wine
      > become the Body and Blood
      > of the Lord Jesus.
      >
      >
      > The whole life of the Saviour, from His Nativity to
      > His Glorious Ascension,
      > transpires at the Liturgy.
      >
      >
      > The first part of the Liturgy is called the
      > Proskomedia. This word is Greek
      > and means "offering," because in the first centuries
      > of Christianity,
      > people did not bake pros-phora, but rather brought
      > bread and wine.
      >
      >
      > The Proskomedia symbolically represents the Nativity
      > of the Lord Jesus
      > Christ, and the Table of Oblation represents the
      > cave where the Infant
      > Jesus was born.
      >
      >
      > At the Proskomedia five prosphora are used: the
      > first is called the Lamb,
      > from which are cut out four triangular particles;
      > the second prosphoron is
      > called the Mother of God; the third is called the
      > prosphoron of the nine,
      > because from it are cut out nine particles as a sign
      > of the nine ranks of
      > divine service; from the fourth prosphoron particles
      > are taken out for the
      > living, and from the fifth prosphoron a particle for
      > the departed.
      >
      >
      > The taking out of the Lamb from the prosphoron
      > signifies the Nativity of
      > the Infant Jesus from the Mother of God. The priest
      > places the Lamb on the
      > paten, or diskos, which represents the manger where
      > the Mother of God laid
      > the Infant Jesus. Then the priest places the
      > star-cover on the diskos,
      > which represents the star that showed the way to the
      > wise men.
      >
      >
      > The priest then covers the diskos with the veil,
      > which symbolizes the
      > swaddling clothes in which the Infant Christ was
      > wrapped.
      >
      >
      > When the Proskomedia is finished, the priest censes
      > the as yet unsanctified
      > gifts. The censing and the censor represent the
      > gifts brought by the wise
      > men to the Holy Family. After the birth of the
      > Infant Jesus, the Holy
      > Family had to flee into Egypt, where they stayed
      > until the death of Herod.
      > When Herod died, the Holy Family returned to
      > Palestine and settled in
      > Nazareth where the child Jesus lived in obedience to
      > the Mother of God and
      > the elderly Joseph. When the Lord Jesus Christ was
      > thirty years old, He
      > went to John the Baptist and was baptized in the
      > Jordan and afterwards went
      > up the mountain where He prayed and fasted forty
      > days and forty nights,
      > after which He went out to preach and fulfill His
      > mission of saving
      > mankind.
      >
      >
      > Christ's going out to preach is represented by the
      > Small Entrance, when the
      > priest takes the Book of the Gospels from the Holy�
      > Table and gives it to
      > the deacon. They go around the Holy� Table and exit
      > through the northern
      > doors of the sanctuary to the ambo and stand before
      > the Royal Doors. The
      > priest blesses the Entrance and the deacon makes the
      > sign of the Cross with
      > the Holy Gospel and says, "Wisdom, attend." They
      > enter the sanctuary and
      > put the Holy Gospel in its place on the Holy Table.
      >
      >
      > After the going out to preach comes the preaching at
      > the Liturgy - the
      > Epistle and Gospel are read.
      >
      >
      > The Saviour's preaching continues for three and a
      > half years, up until His
      > triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. The triumphal Entry
      > into Jerusalem at the
      > Liturgy is represented by the Great Entrance, when
      > the clergy take from the
      > table of oblation the chalice and diskos, with the
      > still unsanctified
      > gifts, exit through the northern doors from the
      > sanctuary onto the ambo,
      > take them into the sanctuary and place them on the
      > Holy� Table. After the
      > triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, on Great Thursday at
      > the Mystical Supper,
      > the Saviour instituted the Sacrament of the
      > Eucharist, when He took bread,
      > blessed it, broke it, and, giving it to His
      > disciples, said, Take, eat:
      > this is My Body, which is broken for you for the
      > remission of sins. Then
      > taking the chalice, He blessed it and giving it to
      > His disciples, said,
      > Drink ye all of it; for this is My Blood of the� new
      > testament which is
      > shed for many for the remission of sins.
      >
      >
      > And He commanded His disciples: This do in
      > remembrance of Me. And the
      > Orthodox Church performs this Sacrament of the
      > Eucharist and will continue
      > to perform it till the end of the ages.
      >
      >
      > After the Mystical Supper, the Lord with His
      > disciples went to the Garden
      > of Gethsemane, where the Saviour prayed until His
      > sweat became as drops of
      > blood. Here He was betrayed by Judas, was bound and
      > was first taken to the
      > judgment seat of the high priests, and then to
      > Pilate, who condemned the
      > Lord to death on the Cross. The Lord was crucified,
      > suffered on the Cross,
      > died on the Cross and was buried in a cave. This was
      > closed with a stone
      > which was sealed and guarded.
      >
      >
      > At the Liturgy this is represented as follows: the
      > Royal Doors are closed,
      > the curtain is pulled shut, and a lit candle is
      > placed before the Royal
      > Doors.
      >
      >
      > At this time, in the altar, the clergy partake of
      > Holy Communion. On the
      > third day the Saviour rose. An angel came down from
      > heaven and rolled away
      > the stone from the Sepulchre. At the Liturgy this is
      > represented thus: the
      > candle is taken away, the curtain is pulled aside
      > and the Royal Doors are
      > opened. The clergy, with the chalice, come out onto
      > the ambo with the
      > words, "With the fear of God and faith draw near."
      > This signifies the
      > Lord's first appearance after His Resurrection. At
      > this time the faithful
      > partake of Holy Communion.
      >
      >
      > After the faithful receive Communion, the priest
      > returns the chalice to the
      > Holy� Table where he submerges all the particles
      > left on the diskos with
      > the words, "Cleanse, O Lord, the sins of those
      > remembered here, with Thy
      > honorable Blood, by the prayers of Thy saints."
      >
      >
      > The priest once again brings out the chalice and
      > blesses the people:
      > "Always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages."
      > This represents the last
      > appearance of the Saviour before His Ascension.
      >
      >
      >
      === message truncated ===





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