Volume II - Worship

The Divine Liturgy

Communion

After the Our Father, the children of God receive Holy Communion. The celebrant again offers the Peace of Christ to the people, and with bowed heads they pray together for their worthy participation in Holy Communion. The celebrant prays that Christ Himself would come to distribute His Body and Blood.

Attend O Lord Jesus Christ our God, out of Thy holy dwelling place, from the throne of the glory of Thy kingdom and come to sanctify us, O Thou who sittest on high with the Father and art here invisibly present with us, and by Thy mighty hand impart unto us Thy most pure Body and precious Blood, and through us to all of the people.

The consecrated Lamb is then elevated with the proclamation: Holy Things are for the holy! The people respond: One is Holy! One is the Lord Jesus Christ! To the glory of God the Father, Amen. The celebrant then breaks the Lamb into four pieces according to the way it was cut at the prothesis.

One piece of the sanctified bread (IC) is put into the chalice together with a cup of hot water which symbolizes the living character of the Risen Christ whose body and soul are reunited and filled with the Holy Spirit in the glorified life of the Kingdom of God.

The clergy then receive Holy Communion from the bread (XC), and drink from the consecrated cup. While the clergy participate in the Holy Mysteries, the people sing a special communion verse that changes according to the celebration. They may sing other hymns Proper to the season as well, especially if the communion of the clergy takes a long time.

The faithful people 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. Holy Communion is never taken from any “reserve.” As we have mentioned, all who are members of the Church through the sacraments of baptism and chrismation, including small children and infants, may partake of Holy Communion.

During the communion of the faithful the people sing: Receive the Body of Christ, Taste the Fountain of Immortality, Alleluia. Before the reception of Holy Communion generally, the following prayer is recited by all. It is each person’s act of personal commitment to Christ, with faith in him and the Sacred Mysteries of 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 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 1 pray Thee: Have mercy upon me and forgive me my transgressions. ...

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 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, O Lord, but to the healing of soul and body.

Following Holy Communion in some churches it is the custom of the people to take some bread and wine. This helps them to receive the holy gifts, and to have something more to eat since they have been fasting.