The importance of preparing for the Divine Liturgy
That the Church requires us to prepare to receive the Holy Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ, prior to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, by saying the Pre-Communion Prayers, is a given. The Church also requires us to fast from midnight on, abstaining from either food or drink, until after we have received the Body and Blood of our Saviour. The only exception is when we must, because of health issues, eat or drink something, and this must be blessed by our confessor or priest.
Although not required, if we read the appointed Epistle and Gospel readings prior to entering into the Liturgy, the Word can better enter the heart, for when hearing God’s Word for the second time, we are more receptive, and the Word penetrates deeply.
Perhaps the most important preparation we must make before attending the Divine Liturgy, is to be sure we are at peace with all our brothers and sisters. We dare not approach the chalice with malice or hatred towards anyone, nor can we receive the Holy Gifts with a heart that has refused to forgive those who have hurt or offended us. An important part of forgiving others, is for us to seek forgiveness. Thus, frequent confession is an imperative.
Participating in the Divine Liturgy is a great privilege, for in this service we are entering into a place where there is neither time nor space, and where we are worshiping the Holy Trinity, together with the hosts of heaven.
In the Liturgy, encounter God in a way that is beyond human comprehension, for we are invited to commune with our Creator in the most intimate way. To approach the Holy Mysteries (Communion) without thought, as though we were simply going to a movie, is beyond foolishness. To receive the “hot coals” that is meant to transform us, and make us whole, without proper preparation, is a very dangerous thing to do.
Love in Christ,
Photo: Holy Resurrection Church, also known as the Church on Spilled Blood, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Saturday October 20, 2018 / October 7, 2018
21st Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus in Syria (290-303).
St. Jonah, bishop of Manchuria (1925).
New Hieromartyr Priest Valentine Sventsitsky of Moscow (1931) and Priest Nicholas Kazansky (1931).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1942).
Venerable Sergius the Obedient of the Kiev Caves (13th c.).
Venerable Sergius, abbot of Nurma (Vologda) (1412) , disciple of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh.
Uncovering of the relics (1514) of Venerable Martinian, abbot of Byelozersk (White Lake) (1483).
Martyrs Julian, presbyter, and Caesarius, deacon, at Terracina (1st c.).
Virgin-martyr Pelagia of Tarsus (287).
Martyr Polychronius of Gamphanitus (4th c.).
Pskov Icon of the Mother of God named “Tenderness” (1524).
Martyrs Eusebius and Felix at Terracina.
St. Dubtach, bishop of Armagh (Scotland) (513) (Celtic & British).
Holy Martyr Princess Osyth of Chich (England) (ca. 700) (Celtic & British).
99 Fathers of Crete (Greek).
St. Leontius the Governor (Greek).
Venerable Joseph, elder of Mokhevi, wonderworker of Georgia (1763) (Georgia).
The Scripture Readings
2 Corinthians 3:12-18
12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech— 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Matthew the Tax Collector
27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” 28 So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.
29 Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. 30 And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
31 Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”