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Liturgy of St John Chrysostom | The Divine Liturgy

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The center of Orthodox worship is the Holy Mass, the Mass in which, through excellence, our entry into the Kingdom is achieved. More precisely the union of all in the Church and the entry of the Church into the Kingdom of God. All other Masses are a preparation for the Mass and find their fulfillment in it. Saint Dionysius the Areopagite calls the Mass the Mystery of the Sacraments because it crowns. All that has been given in the other Masses unites most fully every believer. And all in the One and infinite God in love, perfecting communion with God.

According to Christian scholars, the Divine Liturgy of John Chrysostom is an anamnesis dating from the year 1880, being a remembrance of God’s saving works from creation onwards and, primarily, of Christ’s saving work. But this remembrance is not a mere commemoration but an actualization of events.

St. John Chrysostom, drawing a parallel between the Old and New Testaments in terms of moral perfection, says that Adam is the source of natural-corporeal life, Jesus Christ is the source of spiritual life, and it is the Holy Spirit who helps us to perfect this life.

What is the Liturgy?

The authentic Christian life cannot be conceived outside the Holy Mass, which occupies a central place in the Church and the life of every Christian. But to be able to participate fully in the Holy Mass, it is very important to understand its meaning.

The Liturgy is the most important Mass of the Church, the center of religious worship and Christian life. It is the memorial of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each Mass of the Holy Liturgy presents us with the Savior’s sacrifice on the Cross for mankind, a sacrifice made out of His love for His fellow men.

Without the sacrifice of Jesus, Heaven would have remained closed and people would not have been able to enjoy the eternal presence of Christ.

When did John Chrysostom write the liturgy?

He says that if the Church weakens in this aspect (liturgical – eucharistic), the unity of Christians weakens too. In this endeavor, he gives an example of the way of life of the early communities. Where the Holy Eucharist inculcated unity among Christians as members of the Church. He says that the Church of Hyristos is alive and strong to the extent that it is nourished by the body. And blood of its divine founder, for without communion between Christ. And also Christians there can be no Church.

St. John Chrysostom wrote the liturgy in 1883 and through it, he strives to strengthen practically the bond between the faithful of his time through the liturgy.

The Church as the means of salvation of mankind from sin is likened to Noah’s ark. Which saved those in it. But unlike Noah’s ark, the Church also transforms those who enter it. And does not leave them as they are, as Noah’s ark did. The Church transforms Christians into children of God by grace. For it is the place best suited to restore us spiritually.

Liturgy of St John Chrysostom

What happens in the Liturgy?

The Mass is served in communion with the whole universal Church and in the name of the whole Church. Remembering both the departed and the departed as members of the one Body of Christ. Thus achieving unity in time and space.

At the moment when the priests recite the Liturgy, Christ is present amid His Church, the assembly of the faithful. We meet Him not as solitary individuals but as members of His Body gathered together. Continually increasing communion with Him and with one another through our continual spiritual ascent to ever higher steps of spiritual communion with Christ. And, in Christ, with the Holy Trinity.

In the Liturgy the Church receives the gift of unity “from above” in Christ, fulfilling herself as the Body of Christ. Each local community thus realizes and reveals the whole Church, the event of the new way of life which constitutes salvation, and man’s participation in eternal life.

By what is the explanation of the Church’s Sobornicity?

The Sovereignty of the Church has its foundation in the periphrastic life of the Holy Trinity. It embraces both the unity and the plurality of the Church’s component persons, after the model of the Trinitarian life.

In the Sobornicity of the Church, everything is explained by the Holy Trinity because the members of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ give themselves to each other and God in the Holy Trinity.

The Sobornicity of the Church is realized in the consciousness of the faithful as an agreement of unity and diversity in the image of the Trinity. The Holy Trinity manifests itself in the life of the Church as a sure foundation of truth.

How many Masses are there in the Orthodox Church?

Instead of the sacrifices of the Old Law, sealed with the blood of goats and calves, the Savior establishes a new Law, or a new covenant between God and man, sealing it with His own Body and Blood on Calvary. The Saviour gave to His Holy Apostles at supper, in the bloodless form of bread and wine, this sacrifice which His disciples were henceforth to offer, according to His command: “Thus you shall do in remembrance of Me.”

In the Orthodox Church there are three Masses:

1. The Mass of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople.

2. The Mass of St. Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea Cappadocia

3. Liturgy of the Most Holy Gifts or St. Gregory the Great (Dialogue), Bishop of Rome

The first part of the Liturgy is celebrated in silence, during the Masses preceding the Mass (the Utrenia or the Vespers), inside the altar, on a small table, or in the recess in the wall called the prostomium, which in some larger churches is even a separate room to the left of the altar.

What is the Eucharist the center of?

The Liturgy of the Word has the Word of God at its center, so this is where the readings from the Apostle and Gospel take place. In it, the faithful are prepared for the most important part of the Mass, the Eucharistic Liturgy.

The Eucharistic Liturgy is the center of the transformation of the gifts of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. It includes the offering of gifts. The bread and wine are brought from the table of the presbyter to the altar to be consecrated. The priest offers them to God and gives thanks for them.

For Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, the faithful come to church with chalices and wine. They represent the very physical and spiritual being of the faithful, which they offer as an offering to God in this form. The chalices are small loaves made of leavened dough, sometimes round in shape, but mostly in the shape of a cross, with four horns, recalling the Cross on which the Saviour was crucified and representing the four sides of the world.

What is the importance of Mass in Christianity?

The purpose of the Holy Mass is to sanctify the gifts and to share the body and blood of the Saviour with the faithful. The work that God accomplishes through the Mass surpasses in its greatness the very making of the world. It is truly a heavenly service of God on earth. It also nourishes the mind, calls forth tears of humility, of piety; it gathers all into one brotherly union, it unites heaven with earth, men with angels.

The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, the Mass of the Christian Sacrifice, is important because just as the Savior’s sacrifice on the Cross was the culmination of the Savior’s ministry and also the most significant event in the history of the salvation of the world, so too the Holy Mass is the core, the crowning, and completion of the other Masses through which we give praise and thanks to God.

It is also the only Christian service founded and performed by the Saviour himself. All the other Masses that precede it, such as Vespers and the Urantia. Which serve only as a kind of preparation for the Mass.

Primary Takeaways

  •  In the Vesper and the Urantia we bring to God the only prayer of petition. Or praise, thanksgiving, and praise. Whereas through the Mass we bring him something more: we bring him the Sacrifice. Which is the highest form of honor and praise of God.
  • The Holy Mass can only be celebrated in the church or sanctified chapels. And chapels with Antimis, in the holiest part, the Holy Altar. The Holy Antimysium is square linen or silk cloth with the icon of the Entombment of the Lord engraved on it.
  • The Liturgy is consecrated by the bishop of the place with the Holy and Great Ointment. And has in its seam parts of holy relics because in the first Christian centuries churches were built on the tombs of martyrs. And it is always placed on the Holy Table of the Holy Table. The four evangelists are painted in the corners. Without the Holy Antimysium, the Holy Mass cannot be celebrated.

Conclusion

St. John Chrysostom emphasizes that life in Christ shines with special power because it is characterized by boundless love. In other words, Christian perfection is the love that was incarnated in the life of Jesus Christ. A love that must also be incarnated in our lives. Love for God generates love for one’s fellow human beings. For he who loves God must also love his brothers and sisters. With whom Jesus Christ himself identified himself.

The authentic Christian life cannot be conceived outside of the Holy Mass. Which occupies a central place in the Church of Saint John Chrysostom. And in the life of every Christian who takes seriously his dignity as a member of the Body of Christ. But to be able to participate fully in the Liturgy and not only to attend it. It is also very important that every believer understands its meaning. As a result, we will give you a systematic explanation of this essential service of the Church which is the Holy Liturgy of St John Chrysostom.