Every Divine Liturgy in our Church is a consecration, a joyful celebration of a solemn pledge by God and Man alike. All we faithful are called upon to actively participate in this Holy Service and, through prayer and chant, fill our hearts with love and raise it to God, from Whom we receive His infinite mercy and all His blessings. The word “Liturgy” is of Greek origin and denotes a popular work or action, common cause, or simply a public service or deed. In the Christian sense of the word, it signifies the work of the Church, the passion of godly people, the ceremonial worship itself.
As one of the services in our Church which carries paramount importance and symbolism, The Holy Liturgy is indeed an act of common worship and gratitude offered to God by the faithful for all the blessings we continue to receive from Him: the creation of the World and of Man; the salvation of men in Jesus Christ, and the sanctification of humankind by his Holy Spirit. As a gesture of our gratitude for all these blessings, men offer to God the gifts embodied in the very symbols of life: the bread and the wine, to receive them back after consecration as the greatest gift of all: the Body and Blood of Christ the Lord. The faithful then partake from both for the well-being of body and soul and for the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Holy sacrament of Communion is the very essence of the Divine Liturgy, and it has been passed on to us, His humble disciples, by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper. Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: “Take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you for the remission of sins;” He then lifted the cup, thanked God, and offered it to His disciples, saying: “Drink of it all of you; this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins.”
Due to the utmost importance of Holy Communion in living the true, Christian life and for gaining access to the Kingdom of God, the faithful are invited frequently – by means of fast, prayer, and penitence – to prepare themselves and receive the Sacrament of the Body and the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and be assured life everlasting. For, Jesus Christ Himself had said: “Whomever shall partake of my Body and drink of my Blood, shall live in Me, as I shall live in him. Whomever shall partake of my Body and Blood shall have life everlasting. Amen.”
Holy Sacrament of Communion can only be received by persons baptized in the Orthodox-Christian faith. For those who do not take Holy Communion regularly, a blessing from the parish priest for taking Communion is required.