The Divine Liturgy (Vol IV, Ch 3, pp.129-145)

From Michael Ruse:

Rebekah Galloway will represent part of Chapter 3 this week. There are few key themes in this section that Metropolitan Hilarion discusses. 

First, the fact that the Typikon of the Church doesn’t make a difference in general terms of the priesthood and the people, since they are actually “the priest vested and the priest unvested.” What Metropolitan Hilarion brings out of the Liturgy of the Faithful and the Great Procession is the idea that we – both clergy and laity – are part of the “royal priesthood.” We all offer up glory and call for the Holy Spirit to bring down grace on the bread and wine. With that being said, the priests who serve with vestments still retain their special privilege and responsibility for the community of worshippers, and the priest has his own prayers offered for himself, others, and to Christ. The priest or senior hierarch stands as both Christ “the Offerer” and Christ “the Offered One.” So we shouldn't neglect the role that the laity play as priests without vestments. 

The second section discusses the Preparation for the Offering of the Eucharist. It is noteworthy to say that Metropolitan Hilarion draws much of his opinions and sources from commentaries as well as the liturgical text and prayers themselves. The meaning behind the prayers give us a better understanding of the symbolic and personal relations that are happening during the Orthodox liturgy Typology is rich in the prayers where it refers to the sacrifices of the Old Testament that point to the Eucharist celebrated today everywhere. Metropolitan Hilarion reminds of St. Paul’s point in Hebrews that no one calls himself to “serve” God at the altar and that the blood of animals makes no difference to God; God alone calls men to service at the altar and Christ brings Himself. It’s a calling from God. 

The last sections cover the Kiss of Peace and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. When the deacon says, “Let us love one another …..,” he signals the part of the service that recalls us to put ourselves in a loving and peaceful nature toward each other before we the faithful receive the Eucharist. The practice is ancient and is mostly preserved in its use among the clergy during the service.

Join us this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. This chapter will help anyone new or unfamiliar with the Orthodox liturgy to understand the details, theology, mindset, disposition and organization of the primary parts of the divine service.