www.byzcath.org
Posted By: Batushka Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/07/05 06:20 PM
One of the posts regarding the unanswerable question, "When does the Consecration take place?" brought up the reservation of the Holy Gifts.

Someone mentioned that while the custom is to prepare them for reservation once a year (on Holy and Great Thursday) there is danger of them becoming corrupt (moldy). Also, it was mentioned that since Byz. Catholics have Divine Liturgy daily there is no need to bring the Holy Communion from the reserved Holy Gifts to the sick. Holy Communion could be brought from a daily Liturgy.

These are two situations that might be common in some places...

here is another situation...among the Eastern Orthodox, as well as many Eastern Catholics the reserved Eucharist is prepared as follows.

At the Divine Liturgy on Holy and Great Thursday two "Lambs" are prepared. One is used consecrated for Holy Communion at this Liturgy. The other is consecrated and left on the Altar. A small amount of the Precious Blood is left in the Chalice. After the Services of that day are finished the priest and other ministers return to the Altar and the priest, takes a few drops of the Precious Blood using the spoon and moistens the Lamb. Using the lance, he carefully divides the Body of the Lord into small particles ("pearls"). These are left on the covered diskos, on the Altar usually until Monday of Bright Week or until they have dried. In many years of preparing the reserved Holy Gifts in this manner I have never had any become corrupt. After Liturgy on Good and Great Friday and Holy and Great Saturday, I move the particles around on the diskos to make sure they "get air." When the Gifts are "dried" I place them in the artophorion.

If the reserved Gifts are depleted this procedure could be used to consecrate more of the Eucharist at any Liturgy.

The custom of why it is done on Holy and Great Thursday is obvious.

I bring Holy Communion to the sick from these Holy Gifts. In a home Communion kit there is a Chalice and a vial with unconsecrated wine. The particle of the Lord's Body is placed in the Chalice of unconsecrated wine. The sick are communed just as anyone would be at a Pre-Sanctified Liturgy.

We do this same thing (to supply the Consecrated Bread) in the Pre-Sanctified Liturgies of the Great Fast.

There an extra "Lamb" is consecrated on the previous Sunday for use at the Pre-Sanctified Liturgies during the following week.

We receive the Lord's Body which has be immersed in a Chalice of unconsecrated wine. (The question is often asked, "Is the wine consecrated by contact with the Lord's Body?" A good answer to this is, "We don't know, receive the Gift and don't worry about it!)

Some have likened the reserved particles as like �croutons.� Once they are immersed in the Chalice they are not like �croutons� but like the Holy Eucharist we would receive at any Liturgy.

While Eastern Catholics can have daily Liturgy many don't, not out of lack of devotion but so that certain days are celebrated as special feasts. Generally in the East Liturgy was served only on Sundays, Saturdays and great Feasts, other days were sanctified with the Prayer of the Hours.

To say that all Orthodox do not have daily Liturgy is incorrect as well; it is known in many monasteries. St. John of Kronstadt, St. Dimitri of Rostov and when possible St. Nectarios of Aegina served daily Liturgy.
Posted By: incognitus Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/07/05 10:29 PM
Dear Batiushka,
I'm with you! And I've done this as you describe on Holy Thursday any number of times, without any particular problem. Likewise for the Divine Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.
Describing the Holy Gifts as "croutons" is offensive beyond belief under any circumstances. When the person offering such a blasphemy is asserting that unlike himself, you and I and those who do as we do are lacking in proper adoration for the Eucharist, something is . . . ah . . . in need of explanation.
I rather wonder if Father Michael Sopoliga is accustomed to prostrate and adore the Holy Gifts as prescribed.

Incognitus
Posted By: Gaudior Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/08/05 01:35 AM
Quote
Originally posted by incognitus:
Describing the Holy Gifts as "croutons" is offensive beyond belief under any circumstances. When the person offering such a blasphemy is asserting that unlike himself, you and I and those who do as we do are lacking in proper adoration for the Eucharist, something is . . . ah . . . in need of explanation. I rather wonder if Father Michael Sopoliga is accustomed to prostrate and adore the Holy Gifts as prescribed.

Incognitus
HERE, HERE! That comment was extremely offensive to me, and to other Orthodox! Croutons, indeed! mad

Gaudior, irked
Posted By: Alice Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/08/05 01:39 AM
Dear Friends,

Quote
Some have likened the reserved particles as like �croutons.� Once they are immersed in the Chalice they are not like �croutons� but like the Holy Eucharist we would receive at any Liturgy.
I don't think that Father/Batushka meant any harm in repeating this description...note the word 'LIKE'-- croutons. It actually helped me better understand the process...something which I was not familiar with before being a female who never had access to the altar, and perhaps also due to me being a somewhat ignorant Orthodox on such matters. frown

Dear Batushka,

Thank you for an informative post.

Asking for your blessing,
In Christ,
Alice
Posted By: Father Anthony Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/08/05 01:49 AM
Dear Friends,

For the matter of church decorum, I do not like to associate the Holy Eucharist in the same fashion as a salad topping. It kind of takes away from its importance. Rather it is dried, and with Its reintroduction into the chalice for the sick, it is given time to rehydrate. As a priest, I know what it feels like and looks like, but it always amazes me that the elements that have been consecrated and preserved properly last for a year, and yet when rehydrated is as fresh as the day it consecrated. You can't get the same results from a salad topping, especially in the life giving properties. The only thing the topping will give you is extra weight, and not around the soul. biggrin

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Posted By: Alice Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/08/05 01:53 AM
Dear Father Anthony,

Please forgive my acceptance of the correlation.

I am sure that you know that I meant no disrespect, and I am sure that Father/Batushka did not either...but come to think of it, dried cubes/particles sounds ALOT better.

Perhaps Batushka can suggest that more respectful and equally understood description as a language substitution from now on. smile

Kissing your right hand,
Alice
Posted By: Father Anthony Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/08/05 02:04 AM
Alice and Batushka,

I know, and you know that no disrespect was intended wink . I am sure he was trying to break down the description for most to understand. But we also have some posters that might get a tad upset, when it was described as such, in a way almost appearing to desanctify the holy elements. No matter what, we have to keep in mind we are describing the Body and Blood of our Lord, and we should be aware of that so we do not set off a scandalized backlash among some of our more vocal traditional posters (not that we have any here in this forum :rolleyes: ).

That was my only concern, and the rest of Father's post was quite enlightening. This happens to be a good topic thread and look forward to seeing some equally good posts.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+
Posted By: Pani Rose Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/08/05 03:32 AM
Your post and explantion shows your love and the grace you receive from the gift of holding Christ in your hands.

It puzzles me how or why anyone would be afraid that the Eucharist would become corrupt. How can the Body and Blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ever become corrupt. The prayer of the priest which states '...divided, always eaten, but never consumed...' - I know that isn't exactly right wording, says it is the same Eucharist that Christ gave the Church at the Last Supper. How could it possibly be corrupt if it is already over 2,000 years old.

Pani Rose
Posted By: JohnRussell Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/08/05 04:18 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Pani Rose:
It puzzles me how or why anyone would be afraid that the Eucharist would become corrupt. How can the Body and Blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ever become corrupt. The prayer of the priest which states '...divided, always eaten, but never consumed...' - I know that isn't exactly right wording, says it is the same Eucharist that Christ gave the Church at the Last Supper. How could it possibly be corrupt if it is already over 2,000 years old.
I have witnessed mold growing on the Eucharist. I have seen the Holy Body and Blood of Jesus accidentally spilled on the ground. And Satanists report no difficulty in their deliberate desecration and corruption of His Body. Why Our Lord submits His Body to these sufferings is mysterious. Perhaps for the same reason He submitted to the cross?
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/08/05 01:25 PM
Dear Friends,

Certainly, the point must be made that the Orthodox East does indeed adore Christ in the Holy Eucharist, but within the context of the Divine Liturgy for the most part.

The service of Suplicatsia in the EC churches was an imitation of the Latin Benediction service, with monstrance (with apologies again to djs for my earlier play on the word) at a time when EC's were simply going to Latin churches for these and other devotional services.

The thinking of the EC hierarchs at the time was that it was better to have a (slavish) imitation of the Latin paraliturgical devotion as a way to prevent the EC faithful from frequenting RC churches - especially given the social pressures to change one's baptismal certificate from "GC" to "RC" (as discussed by Myron Fedoriw of the parish of Sts Volodymyr and Olha in Chicago).

In fact, later RC theologians and liturgists saw that the Eastern liturgies brilliantly linked the dynamic aspect of the Holy Eucharist with the blessing of the people with the chalice (we have always had it in our tradition, but again within the context of the liturgy).

The problems associated with paraliturgical Eucharistic devotions were not lost on RC bishops and liturgists - they came to disconnect the laity from the Sacrifice of the Mass, adoration of the Eucharist was seen as an end in itself, etc.

The best form of Eucharistic Adoration Eastern Christians can and do fulfill is when they properly prepare for Holy Communion and for the experience of the Divine Liturgy.

Alex
Posted By: Alice Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/08/05 02:05 PM
Quote
Alex said: The best form of Eucharistic Adoration Eastern Christians can and do fulfill is when they properly prepare for Holy Communion and for the experience of the Divine Liturgy.
I agree wholeheartedly. Very well said! smile

In Christ,
Alice
Posted By: FrMichaelJS Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/08/05 11:03 PM
Message to Gaudior, Incognitus, and Batushka,
Are you starting the new Byzantine Inquisition?
You're on a roll if you are.
No wonder priests distance themselves from this forum.
Hurling accusations of blasphemy against me is offensive for what I believe was a rather innocuos description for illustrative purposes.
And who are you to question my liturgical rubrics?
If you are priests, (you seem to lead people to believe that you are by your alledged know it all posts) then why don't you post as a priest as I have.
If not, then you should seek the advice of your Father confessor.
Having said that, I will not validate your inflamatory, defaming, and accusatory rhetoric with a further response.

Signed, with pride,
Fr. Michael J Sopoliga, priest and sinner
Posted By: Administrator Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 01:50 AM
Dear Father Michael,

You are in the wrong here. You speak ill of our Orthodox brothers and sisters and falsely accuse them of being in a state of �confusion and awakening� with regards to their theology of the Eucharist and then you expect people not to question you when you refer to the Eucharist as �crunchy croutons�? Are you advocating a double standard whereby you can say nasty and untrue things about the Orthodox and then expect an extra measure of charity for yourself when you make a poor choice of words? No, if you ask to be treated with charity you must first treat others with charity.

John Vernoski, Administrator of the Byzantine Forum
Posted By: Father Anthony Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 02:38 AM
Dear Father Michael,

I was quite confused to the origins on the reference about the Holy Eucharist in which it is likened to a food item for a salad. I had to actually look for the reference on another thread. One should not cast "stones" when looks upon the Eucharist so irreverently. You should practice what you preach, and believe that it is the Eucharist, and not refer to it in such non-chalant terms.

As far as Orthodox being non-chalant and not believing the real presence on the altar, you are definitely wrong. My entire training has always stated when crossing the church, to bless myself, along with the other disciplines that you described. The reserved Eucharist is to be always treated with respect, fear and love.

I find it outrageous that you lack "charity" towards your Orthodox brothers and sister by inferring misinformation, and then cry as a martyr when you are called to account not only for misinformation, but a seemingly blasphemous statement regarding the Body and Blood of our Lord. I believe that all that has been stated as an outrage is your due, and that maybe you should be the one examining it, along with your self-proclaimed pride.

Father Anthony+
Posted By: Pani Rose Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 03:51 AM
LORD JESUS CHRIST, SON OF THE LIVING GOD, HAVE MERCY ON US SINNERS!

We love you Lord and we lift your name on high, we thank you and adore you that true to your word, you have not left us orphan. You not only sent your Holy Spirit to us, but you, who became man for our sake, has remained with us in the flesh. Thank you almighty God for your grace and mercy given us in this Holy Meal for it is not mere bread and wine, but truly the Body and Blood of your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Abba we love you, for truly, you have not left us orphaned. In the flesh you come to us through our blessed priests - men who have laid down their lives for the sake of your Gospel. Bless them in every need, physical and spiritual for your sake Lord, the sake of your kingdom. Abba we glorify you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and in your mighty name Jesus I pray, Amen.
Posted By: Batushka Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 04:24 AM
Please forgive. I had no intention of starting something unkind by posting on the reservation of the Holy Gifts.

I am sorry if I seemed to point a finger at anyone regarding a description that was used regarding the reserved Holy Gifts.

�Some have likened the reserved particles as like �croutons.� Once they are immersed in the Chalice they are not like �croutons� but like the Holy Eucharist we would receive at any Liturgy.�

I especially apologize to Father. I did not intend to even appear to make judgment of Father�s post. I am certainly in no position to be negative about Father or anyone for that matter.

I intended only to mention one way that the Holy Eucharist can be prepared for reservation.

�May our partaking of these Holy Mysteries be not for our judgment or condemnation but for the healing of our souls and bodies.�

God forbid that we should argue about the Gifts that we have been given to unite us in the Holy Spirit.

Again, sorry to all for the upset.

Pray for me, a sinner!
Posted By: incognitus Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 06:24 AM
My thanks (as so often is the case) to the Administrator for his excellent intervention. One might further suggest that reverence in our speech (and therefore in our writing) concerning the Holy Mysteries is always appropriate; such reverence is an important expression of our Faith and is a witness to that Faith.

Incognitus
Posted By: FrMichaelJS Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 11:22 AM
To quote Alexander Schmemenn's writing on "Theology and Eucharist" he wrote:
"The actual state of Orthodox theology must be characterized by two words: confusion and awakening. By confusion, I mean an obvious lack of unity among Orthodox theologians: unity of theological language, unity of method, consensus as to the nature of questions and the mode of their solution. Our theology develops in a plurality of theological "keys" and within several mutually exclusive intellectual frameworks. This confusion, however, is also the sign of an awakening, of a new search for a genuinely Orthodox theological perspective."
Go to schmemann.org to read more.
These are his words not mine.

It's a sad day when administrators/moderators sanction or condone personal and vindictive attacks of priests on this forum. I shall no longer be a part of it.
I wish to be removed as a member.
May God bless you all!
Goodbye
Posted By: Father Anthony Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 12:19 PM
I repeat my earlier post. It has nothing to do with Alexander Schmemenn's words, Father Michael. I has to do with your irreverence towards the elements of the Eucharist. That you seem to bypass in your laments and turning tail and running.

Can it be that there is no defense, so the obvious defense is a strategic retreat? It seems that you also have a chip on your shoulder concerning this forum and that maybe when you pronounce something it should be accepted without any question. This is not the way it works.

May I be the first to wish you a fond farewell.

Father Anthony+
Posted By: AMM Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 12:39 PM
Here is the full text. Theology and the Eucharist [schmemann.org] .

What I believe Fr. Schmemann is saying is that Orthodox theology (at least at the time he wrote the piece) in general was in a mixed state. He lists several factors - the lifting of Ottoman domination, the "western captivity", the encounter with modernism and so on. His opinions are certainly still controversial within the church especially among traditionalists.

That aside, I don't think what he is talking about is specifically how are the gifts to be venerated; but essentially what is the Eucharist itself, is it just one of seven sacraments? How does the church identify itself? He answers that by saying

by and in the Eucharist, understood and lived as the Sacrament of the Church, as the act, which ever makes the Church to be what she is � the People of God, the Temple of the Holy Spirit, the Body of Christ, the gift and manifestation of the new life of the new age. It is here and only here, in the unique center of all Christian life and experience that theology can find again its fountain of youth, be regenerated as a living testimony to the living Church, her faith, love and hope.

I think what Father was saying was that the church should refocus and view the Eucharist as the primary eschatological contact point between man and God. It isn�t just another event. When you read some of his other writings in some cases he called for the ending of what might be termed hyper-veneration in such things as infrequent communion.

I like this essay, and far from belaying a state of confusion, I think Fr. Schmemann gives us a clear picture of the Eucharist and why it is so central to our lives. That is something I think that can lead us all to the deepest veneration of what is before us.

Perhaps I'm just rambling, and I say this all as a catechumen who has never communed. I have felt the power though in witnessing the consecration of the gifts and the prostration of oneself before them in the season of penitence.

Andrew
Posted By: Administrator Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 02:22 PM
Quote
Father Michael wrote:
To quote Alexander Schmemenn's writing on "Theology and Eucharist" he wrote:
"The actual state of Orthodox theology must be characterized by two words: confusion and awakening. By confusion, I mean an obvious lack of unity among Orthodox theologians: unity of theological language, unity of method, consensus as to the nature of questions and the mode of their solution. Our theology develops in a plurality of theological "keys" and within several mutually exclusive intellectual frameworks. This confusion, however, is also the sign of an awakening, of a new search for a genuinely Orthodox theological perspective."
Go to schmemann.org to read more.
These are his words not mine.
And you have used them out of context (to imply a lack of reverence by the Orthodox towards the Eucharist), which is wrong. I do not understand your hatred for the Orthodox. It is certainly not something you have learned from the teachings or example of the recent popes, most particularly Pope John Paul the Great.

Quote
Father Michael wrote:
It's a sad day when administrators/moderators sanction or condone personal and vindictive attacks of priests on this forum. I shall no longer be a part of it.
I wish to be removed as a member.
May God bless you all!
Goodbye
It is fairly common for those who have made a mistake and who refuse to admit their error to retreat while complaining that those who disagree with them are guilty of attacking them personally. Father Michael�s accusation is false.

As Father Michael takes his leave from the Forum I offer him my prayers and wish him God�s blessings in all things.
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 02:25 PM
Dear Administrator,

Yes, I myself have difficulty understanding such attitudes! smile smile smile

(Thank you, by the way, for sticking up for me with "stlouisix" smile )

Alex
Posted By: Gaudior Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 04:02 PM
Goodbye again, Father Michael!

Gaudior, Proud Member of the New Byzantine Inquisition!
Posted By: Scandinavian Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 04:04 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Father Anthony:
I has to do with your irreverence towards the elements of the Eucharist.


In the Eucharist the Body of Christ has the apperance of bread, yes?

When dried to be reserved for the communion of the sick and the liturgy of the presanctified gifts, the Body of Christ has the apperance of dried bread.

Crutons are pieces of dried bread,

Where is the irreverence???
Posted By: Father Deacon Ed Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 05:22 PM
Okay boys and girls, let's all take a deep breath... Okay, take another one... One more... Good. Now let it go! Words were used that caused hurt feelings. It happens. Fr. Michael is, apparently, taking a sabbatical.

We, Catholic and Orthodox, both know how precious the Eucharist is. Let us always be careful in how we describe and approach it. This most wonderful, mysterious gift that God gives us of Himself cannot be taken lightly.

At the same time, we need to recognize that we are all sinners, that we are human and prone to fail in our approach to other, to ourselves, and in how we speak and write.

May our God who is beyond all understanding and yet gives Himself to us as Bread and Wine also give us the grace to be more like Him whom we eat!

Fr. Deacon Edward,
Moderator
Posted By: Alice Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/09/05 10:48 PM
I am in total agreement with Father Deacon Ed.

I think that alot that was written here by some posters to each other was unflattering in tone for Christians.

Whether we like each other or not, or agree with each other or not, if we are to consider ourselves followers of Christ, who preached that we should even love our enemies, we should be, at the very least, respectful of each other.

If we don't, we have little more to boast of and to light the world with than an atheist or agnostic does.

Let's practice what we preach, and let's resume loving and asking forgiveness from one another. The written word in this particular form of communication can often be misunderstood or misconstrued.

I hope that those who have hurt feelings will find it in their hearts to forgive, and that those who have hurt, will find it in their hearts to humble themselves to make peace in the name of our Lord who is the Prince of Peace.

Humbly,
In Christ,
Alice, Moderator and sinner
Posted By: incognitus Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/10/05 05:09 PM
Unfortunately this will be a long post. Those who are not particularly interested in the question need not read it; I shall not be offended!

The recent discussion of the preparation, reservation, and veneration of the Holy Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ may mean that some of our readers will wish to know the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church on this topic. In Church-Slavonic and in those modern Slav languages used for divine services (such as Ukrainian and Belarusian) a complete edition of the priest�s service-book normally includes a section called the Учителное Известие, for the instruction of the Reverend Clergy on several such matters. In 1999, Holy Trinity Monastery at Jordanville published an English translation of this text with the blessing of Archbishop [now Metropolitan] Laurus. This English translation is bound together with an English translation of the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom but the text of the instructive material is titled Instructional Information, is separately paginated (there are 107 pages of this text) and follows the Divine Liturgy itself � the edition is hard-bound, pocket-sized and printed in black and red; the book itself is nice.

But to the material in question


Page 74 directs �How to Reserve the Divine Mysteries for the Sick�, as follows:

�First of all, the parish priest [or a priest in a monastery] must take care that the vessels, that is, the chalice, diskos, asterisk, spoon and tabernacle be gold or silver or, in case of poverty, pewter, beautifully made for serving and for the reservation of the divine and life-giving Body of Jesus Christ, for in them is accomplished the awesome Mystery and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself manifestly abides in them.
. . .
page 75 �Let the tabernacle in which the Holy Mysteries must be reserved, that is, the Body of Christ, be covered by a cross on top and let it always stand with the Divine Mysteries on the Holy Table and not any other place.

�Never let an unconsecrated hand touch it under mortal sin and a great epitimia, except in the greatest need.

�The Holy Mysteries may be consecrated, dried and reserved not only on Great Thursday but, for a great need, on other days as well, according to the order written for Great Thursday.

. . .

page 78 �If, O priest, you must prepare the Holy Mysteries for special needs on Great Thursday or at another time, then take out another Lamb and do according to the order as in the Great Fast for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts; moisten the holy Lamb with the life-giving Blood, holding it a bit over the chalice, with great care and caution, in order not to over-wet it, so that it not drip there because of superfluity. One must dry the moistened holy Lamb on the Holy Table thus: first, spread out the antimension, and having removed the Lamb from the Tabernacle, put it on a diskos, cense around it, and then, making the proper reverence, cut it up with the holy spear into little particles with all reverence.

Page 79 �After cutting it up, place a flat rock or brick on the side of the antimension at your right hand and on the rock place a new cup or a clean iron or copper pot with burning coals and, making the proper reverence, and with great attention, take the holy diskos with the cut-up Divine Mysteries, place it above the cup and attentively watch so that the Divine Mysteries dry out a little, mixing them with the holy spear so that they not burn. When the holy diskos is well warmed, take it away and place it on the holy antimension or on the veil so that they not become too hot and the Holy Mysteries be burned. When it cools down a bit, again place it above the cup or other vessel set aside for this. Do this many times until They dry out. Put the dried particles with all heedfulness into the holy tabernacle, and, covering them, put them in their place, and making the proper reverence, fold up the antimension again.

Page 80: �But where the Divine Liturgy is served every day, as happens in great cities or in monasteries, then even without drying the Holy Mysteries they might be preserved in this manner: two Lambs are offered, but having taken part of one of them and moistened it with the Divine Blood as was said, keep it until morning for every serious case. Doing this daily we shall not need to dry them and we avoid all unfortunate accidents.�

Page 83: �At the beginning of the Holy Liturgy let all gather in the church. During the celebration of the Holy Liturgy let them, listening to it, stand and pray with fear and reverence. Let everyone who approaches Holy Communion, having bowed down once to the ground to Christ, Who is truly manifest in the Mysteries under the appearances of bread and wine, [p. 84] approach truly modestly, in deep humility, having placed his hands on his breast in the form of a cross, and let him receive Communion with faith and love for Christ crucified. Having received the Divine Mysteries, let him consume them in a dignified manner, and when the priest wipes his lips with the veil, let him kiss the edge of the holy chalice as if it were the very side of Christ from which came out blood and water. Afterwards the communicants, having stepped aside a bit, bow, but not to the earth, in order that they may preserve the Mysteries which they have received, and let them stand in their places, not speaking to one another . . . let them not go out of the church until the ending of the Holy Liturgy, and let them listen to the Thanksgiving Prayers after Holy Communion.�

Page 87: �The priest must strictly teach those who serve in the altar, i.e. the acolytes, that they must enter into the holy altar of God with great fear and trembling and all piety, and doing there their appointed [tasks], let them always remember that on the Holy Table dwells Christ our God. Therefore, when entering into the altar and exiting from it, let them bow deeply.

Page 88: �Never let them dare to touch the divine Holy Table, and, even more, the Divine Mysteries themselves which are on it, as well as any sacred vessel and other holy things, in order not to fall into great sins. They may take into their hands only candle-sticks, candles, censers and other minor holy things.

�Out of respect for the Divine Mysteries let none of the unordained enter into the altar, and women never.

�Acolytes who often confess and receive the Divine Mysteries must abide temperately and piously in virtue.

�These acolytes must bring into the altar prosphora, water, and incense, and must light and extinguish the candles, prepare and give to the priests the censer and zeon, carefully and often sweep and clean the whole altar and floor from every uncleanness, and the walls and ceiling from dust and spider webs.

�Only the priest or deacon or subdeacon may clean and wipe the Holy Table and the Table of Oblation; to them it belongs to take care that there be no dust there or any impurity; let no unordained sinful hand touch the sacred articles.

. . .

�For the same reason, not only the priest, and the celebrants in the altar, but all pious Christians, if they be in church, seeing the Divine Mysteries being carried to the sick, should honour Them with reverent prostrations.�


There is more which could be quoted, but I trust this makes the matter sufficiently clear and will dispel any thought or question as to the veneration and worship which Eastern Orthodoxy pays to the Divine Mysteries.

One or two points should perhaps be explained further: it was a universal custom of the Church to reserve the Divine Mysteries on Holy Thursday. This is the origin of the procession found in the Western Mass for that day, taking the Divine Mysteries from the high altar to the place of reservation (which has come to be called the �altar of repose�).

The prescription that the tabernacle must be on the Holy Table is a side-swipe at the Old Rite, which knows the practice of reserving the Divine Mysteries in the �Zion�, a tabernacle recessed high up into the Eastern wall of the apse � sufficiently high up so that the bishop does not turn his back on the Divine Mysteries when he is seated for the Epistle. [The term �Zion� can also be used for a vessel in which the deacon carries the Divine Mysteries, but this has become very rare.] In older Byzantine usage, there can also be a tabernacle on the Table of Preparation, especially for the Divine Mysteries kept for the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts, and this possibility is provided for in the Ordo Celebrationis and some editions of the service-book. [For example, see The Priest�s Service Book, Orthodox Church in America 2003, translated by Archbishop Dmitri, pp. 239-240.]

Incognitus the Inquisitive Inquisitor
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/10/05 06:07 PM
Dear Incognitus,

Perhaps this is part of the larger work that you quote from or perhaps this belongs to where I first read it - the instructions by St Peter Mohyla.

It was he who actually mentions Eucharistic miracles and how Orthodox priests are to respond to them . . .

He says, and I know this from memory, that following the Consecration, "should the Body of the Lord take on the true appearance of Flesh (or of a small Child) and the Blood of the Lord take on the appearance of true Blood," then, as he goes on to say, "O priest know that this is not Holy Communion, but a miracle of the Lord by which Divine Anger is expressed, perhaps by the lack of faith or fervour by someone in the Church" etc.

The priest is then instructed to cover the miracle up and leave it, all the while checking at different points during the Liturgy to see if the miracle had ceased.

If not, then the priest is admonished that he cannot possibly give this miracle as Communion - for indeed it is not.

He is to then take other bread and wine etc.

In the year 800 A.D., a priest of the Basilian tradition in Lanciano Italy was serving the Divine Liturgy and then, during the consecration, had a doubt as to whether a true transmutation occurs . . .

At that point, the Bread turned into real Flesh and the Wine into real Blood.

The miracle has continued to this day and can be seen, as it was seen, by my cousin, some years back.

And the rule of prayer for the preparation for Holy Communion in the Eastern Orthodox tradition is so intense and so very beautiful - can any other tradition compare to it?

To demean the Orthodox tradition with respect to its Eucharistic devotion is to truly exemplify a deep ignorance of what is, in fact, very beautiful and compelling!

Alex
Posted By: Arystarcus Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/11/05 06:24 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
And the rule of prayer for the preparation for Holy Communion in the Eastern Orthodox tradition is so intense and so very beautiful - can any other tradition compare to it?
Alex,

How do the Eastern Catholic preperatory prayers compare to the Eastern Orthodox? Aren't they similar?

In Christ,
Aaron
Posted By: Orthodox Catholic Re: Reservation of the Holy Gifts - 08/11/05 01:16 PM
Dear Aaron,

Excellent point!

In fact, EC's can and should prepare for Holy Communion EXACTLY the same traditional way as the Orthodox do.

However, in the UGCC parishes up here, we don't really teach our parishioners about this, although there are parishes where strict observance is made.

Others say, "This is how it used to be done, this is what needs to be done as an absolute minimum etc."

As "Orthodox in communion with Rome," we should be as Orthodox in our religious practice as our Orthodox brothers and sisters are (unless they belong to a more liberal jurisdiction wink ).

In fact, the whole realm of fasting rules and the like belong to the jurisdiction of the Particular Churches as well - the Patriarchs are the ones who legislate these things for their churches, not Rome.

Alex
© The Byzantine Forum