"The Holy Eucharist, which is known as the Divine Liturgy, is the central and most important worship experience of the Orthodox Church. Often referred to as the 'Sacrament of Sacraments,' it is the Church's celebration of the Death and Resurrection of Christ offered every Sunday and Holy day. All the other Sacraments of the Church lead toward and flow from the Eucharist, which is at the center of the life of the Church" (Rev. Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald, Understanding the Sacraments).
How to Prepare to Receive Communion and attend the Divine Liturgy
We prepare to participate in the divine liturgy and to receive communion in a number of ways.
- We fast
- We pray
- We confess
- Read the epistle and gospel reading for the day
- Read about the life of the saint of the day
- Prepare a list of names of the living and departed for the clergy to commemorate
How you can help and participate in the Divine Liturgy
As the saying goes, "One Christian is no Christian." The Divine Liturgy requires the full participation of our community.
- Bake Prosphora
- Prepare Kolliva
- Welcome Visitors
- Chant Orthros or Sing in Our Choir
- Pray for Your Loved Ones
- Serve in the Altar
- Attend Sunday School
What to do following the Divine Liturgy
- Attend Coffee Hour and get to know our community
- Sponsor a Coffee Hour
- If there was something you didn't understand, follow up and ask a question
- Discuss the epistle and gospel readings of the day, the sermon, or what you or your child learned in Sunday School
- Discuss and plan what parish events you would like to attend with friends or family
Preparing for the
There is a lot of work and preparation that precedes each divine liturgy.
During the orthros (matins) service the celebrating clergy pray a service called kairos during which they exit the altar, unvested, and offer prayers asking God to help the prepare for the work they are about to do. Having asked for God's blessing, the intercessions of the saints, and asked for forgiveness from the congregation they then vest for the service.
Following Kairos the celebrating clergy then put on their vestments according to their rank. Each vestment has a corresponding prayer which is prayed as they get dressed. Watch the video below to learn more about vestments and vesting!
While the orthros service is being prayed, the celebrating clergy simultaneously prepare the gifts (bread and wine) that will be offered during the divine liturgy which will follow the orthros. This service is called the proskomide. Later, during the great entrance these gifts are processed around the church and brought back to the altar to be consecrated. Watch the video below to learn more about the proskomide!