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Eucharist

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[[Image:Covered Vessels 2.jpg|right|thumb|200px]]'''Eucharist''' comes (from the Greekεὐχαριστία, or eucharistia, meaning ''thanksgiving'' or ''giving thanks'') is a [[holy mysteries|holy mystery]] (or [[sacrament]]) that is celebrated during the [[Divine Liturgy]] within the [[Orthodox Church]] where the consecrated bread and wine, through the power of the [[Holy Spirit]] becomes the Precious Blood and Body of [[Jesus Christ]], that is consumed by prepared Orthodox Christians. Other names for the Eucharist include: the '''''Holy Gifts''''', '''''Communion''''', and the '''''Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ'''''. [[Orthodox Church|Orthodox Christians]] believe that the Real Presence of God (not merely a symbolsign) is present after the [[consecration]] of the Gifts. Roman Catholics and some protestants also hold this view.
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[[Image:Holy Communion icon.jpg|right|thumb|Icon - The Holy Eucharist.]]
== Background ==
The eucharist Eucharist is the center of life in the [[Orthodox Church. The Orthodox ]] because the Church is primarily a eucharistic community. It The Eucharist is the completion of all of the Church's other sacraments. It is and the source and the goal of all of the Church's doctrines and institutions.
At The majority of scholars of the end of his life ChristLast Supper do not believe that it was a Passover meal, a position consistent with the Jewish Messiah, ate account given by the [[Gospel of John|Gospel of Saint John]]. A minority believe that it was a seder or Passover meal , a position consistent with his the [[discipleSynoptic gospels]]s. Originally However, as Enrico Mazza has argued, the minority view "remains a ritual supper in commemoration of theological interpretation. The historical fact is that the liberation Last Supper was not a Passover celebration and, consequently, that its [[Divine Liturgy|liturgy]] was not that of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the [[Passover|Jewish Passover meal was transformed by Christ into an act done in ''remembrance]]" ('' The Celebration of him, the Eucharist: The Origin of his life, death and resurrection as the new Rite and eternal Passover Lamb who frees men from the slavery Development of evilIts Interpretation'' [Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, ignorance and death and transfers them into the everlasting life of the Kingdom of God1999] pp. 25-26).
The [[Orthodox Church]] uses leavened bread for, according to the [[Gospel of John|Gospel of Saint John]], Last Supper and Passion, took place during the evening, night and day time of [[Passover|Passover Day]], therefore leavened bread was eaten in Last Supper. According to the [[synoptic Gospels]], last Supper, Lord's trial and crucifixion took place during next day, the first Day of Unleavened Bread feast, but according to Lev 23:7, any work on that Day was forbidden. Clearly, the [[synoptic Gospels]] are in error on the day of Last Supper and [[Passion]].
==For the remission of sins and unto life everlasting==
Before the reception of Holy Communion generally, the following prayer is generally recited by all. It is each person's act of personal commitment to Christ, with their promise of faith in him Him and the Sacred Mysteries of his His Church.
:''I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first (see [[I Timothy|1 Tim]] 1:15).''
:''I believe also that this is truly Thine own most pure Body, and that this is truly Thine own most precious Blood. Therefore I pray Thee: Have mercy upon me and forgive me my transgressions, committed in word and deed, whether consciously or unconsciously. ''
:''And make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Thy most pure Mysteries, for the remission of sins and unto life everlasting.''
:''Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant. For I will not speak of Thy Mystery to Thine enemies, neither like [[Judas Iscariot|Judas]] will I give Thee a kiss; but like the thief will I confess Thee: "Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom."''
:''May the communion of Thy Holy Mysteries be neither to my judgment, nor to my condemnation, 0 Lord, but to the healing of soul and body.''
The faithful receive Holy Communion on a spoon. They are given both the consecrated bread (NIKA), and the sanctified wine. The communion of the faithful is always from the gifts offered and sanctified at the given Divine Liturgy. All who are [[Preparation for Holy Communion|prepared]] members of the Church through the [[sacrament]]s of [[baptism]] and [[chrismation]], including small children and infants, may partake of Holy Communion.
==Eucharist as a sacrifice==
The Orthodox Church believes the Eucharist to be a sacrifice. As is heard in the Liturgy, '''"Thine of Thine own we offer to Thee, in all and for all."'''
#We offer '''Thine of Thine own'''. At the Eucharist, the sacrifice offered is Christ himself, and it is Christ himself who in the Church performs the act of offering: he He is both priest and victim.#'''We offer to Thee'''. The Eucharist is offered to [[God]] the [[Trinity]] — not just to the [[God the Father|Father]] but also to the [[Holy Spirit]] and to [[Christ]] himselfHimself. So, what is the sacrifice of the Eucharist? By whom is it offered? and to whom is it offered? In each case the answer is Christ.
#We '''offer for all''': according to Orthodox theology, the Eucharist is a propitiatory sacrifice, offered on behalf of both the living and the dead.
The Church teaches that the sacrifice is not a mere figure or symbol but a true sacrifice. It is not the bread that is sacrificed, but the very Body of Christ. And, the Lamb of God was sacrificed only once, for all time. The sacrifice at the Eucharist consists, not in the real and bloody immolation of the Lamb, but in the transformation of the bread into the sacrificed Lamb.
All the events of Christ’s Christ's sacrifice, the [[Incarnation]], the Last Supper, the [[Crucifixion]], the [[Resurrection]], and the [[Ascension]] are not repeated in the Eucharist, but they are made present.
==Real, symbolic, or mystical==
The Eucharist is both symbolic and mystical. Also, the eucharist Eucharist in the Orthodox Church is understood to be the genuine Body and Blood of Christ, precisely because bread and wine are the mysteries and symbols of God's true and genuine presence and his manifestation to us in Christ.
The mystery of the holy eucharist Holy Eucharist defies analysis and explanation in purely rational and logical terms. For the eucharistEucharist, as Christ himself, is a mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven which, as Jesus has told us, is "not of this world." The eucharistEucharist, because it belongs to God's Kingdom, is truly free from the earth-born "logic" of fallen humanity.
From [[John of Damascus]]: "If you enquire how this happens, it is enough for you to learn that it is through the Holy Spirit ... we know nothing more than this, that the word of God is true, active, and omnipotent, but in its manner of operation unsearchable".
 
==Reserved Sacrament==
The Eucharist is normally reserved in a [[tabernacle]] on the [[altar table]], although there is no strict rule as to the place of reservation. There are no services of public devotion before the reserved sacrament, nor is there any equivalent to the Roman Catholic functions of Exposition and Benediction. The [[priest]] blesses the people with the sacrament during the course of the Liturgy, but never outside it. The faithful at the liturgy are never given communion from the reserved gifts; they are kept exclusively for those unable to be attend liturgy for good reasons, usually sickness or infirmity. Holy Communion is always from the gifts, the bread and wine, actually offered at the eucharistic liturgy which is currently being celebrated. Only the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts uses gifts sanctified at the previous Divine Liturgy. The reserved gifts are normally prepared at the Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Thursday or when the need arises. A detailed description of this can be found in the addendum of the clergy service book. For an illustrated description online see [http://saintjonah.org/preparation/Preparation/Welcome.html]. {{liturgy}}
==Eucharistic Liturgies==
In the Orthodox Church four [[Divine Liturgy |Eucharistic Liturgies]] are commonly used.
===Liturgy of St. James===
The Liturgy of St. James, is served only in certain places, usually on the [[feast day ]] of St. [[Apostle James the Just|James]] the "Brother of the Lord" ([[October 23]]), first [[Bishop]] of [[Church of Jerusalem|Jerusalem]]. It is the oldest, and longest of the liturgies. It varies greatly from the other liturgies celebrated by the [[Church]] today in that it is celebrated outside the sanctuary at an [[altar]] that faces the congregation.  The rubrics require that this liturgy is celebrated by a [[bishop]] and twelve [[priest]]s. In the absence of a [[bishop]], thirteen [[priest]]s may celebrate the service. The faithful receive [[Holy Communion]] as the [[clergy]] do, receiving the Body in their mouth and then drinking from the [[chalice]]. 
===Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great===
The Divine Liturgy of St. [[Basil the Great]], is used on the Sundays of [[Great Lent]], [[Holy Week|Holy Thursday]], the Eves of [[Pascha]], [[Christmas]], and [[Theophany]], and the Feast of St.[[ Basil the Great]] ([[January 1]]). St. Basil shortened and standardized all the variations of liturgies that developed from the time of St. James till until the acceptance of Christianity by the Roman Empire.  
===Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom===
The most common is the Divine Liturgy of St. [[John Chrysostom]], the liturgy used on all Sundays except those which fall during the Great Lent, and all holy days on which a Eucharistic liturgy is served except for the eves of Pascha, Christmas and Theophany, Holy Thursday, and the [[feast day]] of St. Basil the Great.  
===Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts ===
: ''Main article: [[Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts]]'' The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts which is actually an extended a [[Vespers|vesperal]] service at during which Holy Communion which was elements that were previously consecrated on are distributed to the previous Sunday is distributedfaithful. The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is used appointed for use on Wednesdays and Fridays during weekdays of [[Great Lent ]] (and certain feast days when they fall on a weekday during Great Lent) because the full celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy is generally prohibitedon the weekdays of Great Lent. It received its present form from This service is often attributed to St. [[Gregory the Great]], Bishop of [[Church of Rome|Rome]] in the sixth century.
==Other Divine Liturgies==
There are several Divine liturgies that are used in some Orthodox churches frequently and in others rarely.
 
===Divine Liturgy of St. Mark===
The service is the original, traditional liturgy of the Church of Alexandria, used by the great hierarchs of Christ Athanasios, Cyril, Makarios, Dionysios and others. Manuscript texts of this liturgy date back to the fourth century, but more ancient fragments exist. Although the order of the service has developed over the course of many centuries, we are assured that the author of this liturgy is indeed the Apostle Mark. The most recent text (dating to 1585 during the time of the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria Meletios Pigas) was approved and published by St. Nektarios of Aegina. This liturgy is served once a year in the Greek and Russian Churches.
 
===Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon===
: ''Main article: [[Liturgy of St. Tikhon of Moscow]]''
 
Used by the Western-rite Orthodox of the Antiochian church.
 
===Divine Liturgy of Peter the Apostle===
This liturgy is also known as the [[Sarum Rite]]; it is used by the Antiochian and ROCOR Western-rite churches.
 
===Divine Liturgy according to St. Germanus of Paris===
The [[Divine Liturgy according to St Germanus of Paris]] is a restoration of the Gallican liturgy as celebrated in Paris in the sixth century. It is authorized for use by some parishes of the [[Church of Romania]] in France.
==See also==
*[[Prosphora]].*[[Preparation for Holy Communion]].*[[Blood in the Bible]].*[[Zapivka]] ==Published works==* Laverdiere, Eugene. ''The Eucharist in the New Testament and in the Early Church''. (ISBN 0814661521)* [[John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon|Zizioulas, John D.]] ''Eucharist, Bishop, Church: The Unity of the Church in the Divine Eucharist and the Bishop During the First Three Centuries''. (ISBN 1885652518)
==External links==
*[http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/num31.htm Orthodoxy and Transubstantiation]
*[http://goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article7077.asp The Holy Eucharist] by Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald from the [[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America]] website
*[http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=53 The Orthodox Faith] Fr. [[Thomas Hopko]], Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir's Seminary, Crestwood, NY. *[http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/theologyandeucharist.html Theology and Eucharist] by Protopresbyter [[Alexander Schmemann]]*[http://www.newmartyr.org.uk/branch.html Broken but Never Divided: Some Thoughts on "closed" Communion]*[http://www.prosphora.org/page27.html Leavened versus Unleavened Bread]*[http://saintjonah.org/preparation/Preparation/Welcome.html Preparation of the reserved mysteries for the sick] [[Category:Featured Articles]]
[[Category:Sacraments]]
 
[[el:Θεία Ευχαριστία]]
[[mk:Света Евхаристија]]
[[ro:Euharistie]]
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