THE MYSTERY (SACRAMENT) OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

THE MYSTERY (SACRAMENT) OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST

The Holy Eucharist literally "thanksgiving" is the Mystery in which the bread and wine of offering are CHANGED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT INTO THE TRUE Body and True Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and then the believers receive Communion of them for a most intimate UNION with Christ and eternal life. "This Mystery is composed, thus, of TWO SEPARATE MOMENTS: (1) THE CHANGING OR TRANSFORMATION OF THE BREAD AND WINE INTO THE BODY AND BLOOD OF THE LORD, AND (2) THESE Holy Gifts. It is called "THE EUCHARIST," THE Mystical Supper," "the Mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ." The Body and Blood of Christ in this Mystery are called the "Bread of heaven and the Cup of life" or the "Cup of salvation"; they are called the "Holy Mysteries," "the Bloodless Sacrifice," The Holy Eucharist is the greatest Christian Mystery (Sacrament).

The Lord said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His Blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My Flesh, and drinketh My Blood dwelleth in Me, and I in Him" (John 6:53-56).

The words of the Savior at the Mystical Supper, "This is My Body, which is broken for you, this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:28).

THE RELATION OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST TO THE SACRIFICE ON GOLGOTHA

"The Eucharistic sacrifice is NOT A REPETITION of the Savior’s Sacrifice on the Cross, BUT IS AN OFFERING OF THE SACRIFICED Body and Blood once offered by our Redeemer on the Cross, by Him Who "IS EVER EATEN, THOUGH NEVER CONSUMED." The Sacrifice on Golgotha and the sacrifice of the Eucharist ARE INSEPARABLE, comprising A SINGLE SACRIFICE; but at the same time THEY ARE TO BE DISTINGUISHED ONE FROM THE OTHER, THEY ARE INSEPARABLE: THEY ARE ONE AND THE SAME Grace-giving Tree of Life planted by God on Golgotha, but FILLING WITH ITS MYSTICAL BRANCHES THE WHOLE Church of God and to the end of the ages nourishing by ITS SAVING FRUITS ALL THOSE WHO SEEK ETERNAL LIFE. But they are also to be distinguished the sacrifice offered in the Eucharist is called "BLOODLESS" and "’PASSIONLESS" since it is performed AFTER THE Resurrection of the Savior."

Therefore, the Orthodox Priest "is NOT permitted to celebrate the Divine Liturgy twice in the same day, nor may be permitted the celebration of two Divine Liturgies on the same Holy Table or Antimision in the course of the day in any temple" (Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America). Churches that have multiple liturgies also have multiple altars and multiple priests. The Orthodox Laity are to commune only once a day. As the common action of the People of God, the Divine Liturgy may be celebrated only once on any given day in an Orthodox Christian community. All of the members of the Christian community must be gathered together with their priest in one place at one time.

In the Gospel of Saint Matthew, in the 26th Chapter, it is said: "As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take eat; this is My Body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, ‘Drink ye all from it; for this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins" (Matthew 26:26-28).

The words of the Savior at the Mystical Supper, "This is My Body, which is broken for you; this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins," (Matthew 26:28) are completely clear and definite, AND DO NOT ALLOW ANY OTHER INTERPRETATION APART FROM THE MOST DIRECT ONE, NAMELY, THAT TO THE DISCIPLES WERE GIVEN THE TRUE BODY AND THE TRUE BLOOD OF CHRIST. And this is completely in accordance with the promise given by the Savior in the 6th chapter of the Gospel of Saint John concerning His Body and Blood.

Being UNITED WITH CHRIST in the Holy Eucharist, believers who receive Holy Communion ARE UNITED ALSO WITH EACH OTHER: "We, being many are one body, for we are all PARTAKERS OF THAT ONE BREAD." In the Paschal canon of Saint John Damascene, we chant, "David, the ancestor in God, danced and leaped before the Ark of the Covenant. But, we, God’s holy people, behold the fulfillment of your signs. Let us then rejoice, inspired by God, for that Christ Omnipotent arose."

Following the great Eucharistic Prayer, the priest says: "Christ is in our midst!" And if the concelebrant priest answers, after exchanging the kiss of peace: "He is with and shall always be." The same is repeated frollowing the priests’ communion. The declaration is made again while the Holy Communion is being offered with the chant: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. God is the Lord and has appeared unto us." And after the faithful receive Holy Communion the chanter sings: "We have seen the True Light; We have received the Holy Spirit; We have found the True faith. Let us worship the inseparable Trinity, for He has redeemed us."

The Holy Orthodox Church has always adhered to the fundamental interpretation, to its ritual never underwent that degeneration and degradation which overcame the Mass during the Midle Ages. In the absence of the grace bestowed by the Holy Spirit there can be no consecration of the gifts and therefore the eucharist becomes merely symbolic. The Orthodox Christians must continue to adhere to sacred dogmas, holy canons, and Holy Tradition without deviating from them. The dogmas (truths) have their origin in Divine Revelation, are Divine, Eternal, Uanassailable and Immutable. The dogma is the expression of the Mind of the Church. In other words the dogma of the Church, represents not the expression of an individual mind, but THE EXPRESSION OF THE MIND OF THE CHURCH AS A WHOLE. In our Holy Church the Christian’s religious and moral life has a practical side to it. It promotes growth in the Christian spiritutal life by keeping the truths of redemption ever present in his/her mind. Orthodoxy is not a theory but a way of life. The Church as the Mystical Body of Christ, and of the Holy Spirit as THE CONTINUOUS STREAM OF LIFE WITHIN THE CHURCH.

The enemies of the Orthodox Christian Church are working very hard to revise, to distort, and corrupt our beliefs. We must be aware of the enemies of the Church and be willing and ready to defend it and protect it. The purity, sanctity, and integrity of the Mysteries must be protected from these deplorable elements disguised as ‘theologians.’ It is very clear that during the covid 19 outbreak we have seen saboteurs attempting to subvert the true faith by assaulting the Mysteries, and instead, to plant the seed of doubt and fear in the minds and hearsts of the faithful. What kind of a message does the use of multiple communion spoons to distribute Holy Communion, or to sanitize the communion chalice after its use? What kind of message does it send to the believer when the priest is told that he must use different cotton-swabs to administer the saccrament of healing, Holy Unction to the each Orthodox Christians attending? And what has happened to the veneration of holy relics, holy icons, and other holy vessels and objects? Churches has been shut down and goverments and Church authorities prevent the faithful from worshipping in a consecrated holy place. Priests are threatened by the state with a stiff fine if they either conduct services or offer the sacraments secretly to their faithful.

Be alert and be ready to defend our Holy Orthodox faith with vigor and conviction.

______________________
"Glory Be To GOD
For
All Things!"
– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

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