SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

Presanctified Liturgy at St. John's.....

Apr 9, 2016
Presanctified Liturgy at St. John's.....

It was our unquestionable pleasure and honor to host this week’s Presanctified Liturgy at St. John’s.  We were joined on Wednesday night with friends and parishioners of neighboring  parishes, and together we praised God and received communion singing “...how good the Lord is.”    Following the service, we enjoyed a simple dinner and the company of wonderful Orthodox Christians who attended the Liturgy.  May God grant all those who attended and those who helped Many Years!   Pictures of the event are in the Photo Gallery.   

 

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is one of the great masterpieces of Orthodox piety and liturgical creativity.  It reveals in its form and content the central Christian doctrine and experience, namely that our entire life must be spent in prayer and fasting in order that we might enter into communion with Christ who comes at the end, as “a thief in the night.”  It tells us that all of our life and not only the time of Great Lent, or one day of the Fast, is completed with the Presence of the Victorious Christ who is risen from the dead.   .....  It tells us that we must be ready at His coming, found watching and serving, in order to be worthy to “enter into the joy of the Lord.”      The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is one of the most beautiful and most meaningful liturgical services in the Orthodox Christian Church.  (From the Service Book for the Presanctified Liturgy by Father Thomas Hopko.)

 

The choir sings the evening psalm, Lord I call upon Thee, and continues with the special hymns for that day.  The evening entrance is made and the hymn Gladsome Light is chanted.  Readings from Genesis and from Proverbs follow with their prescribed prokeimenon verses. 

 

The church becomes silent and the people kneel.  It is the solemn singing of the evening psalm that follows:   Let my prayer arise in Thy sight as incense.   The prayer of Saint Ephraim is read and the litany is chanted.  Then, kneeling again, we hear the choir sing:  Now the powers of heaven do serve invisibly with us.  Lo, the King of Glory enters,   Lo, the mystical sacrifice is upborne, fulfilled.” 

 

 The church becomes quiet and in this stillness when the singing is completed, people bow down to the floor in complete love and worship as the Presanctified Gifts are brought in solemn, silent entrance to the altar table.   The beautiful, solemn service continues to the faithful receiving the body and blood of Christ and the choir sings:  O taste and see, how good the Lord is.

 

 Join us for our next Presanctified Liturgy and pray with us:  “We give thanks unto Thee, O Savior, God of all, for all the good things Thou hast granted unto us, and for the communion of the holy Body and Blood of Thy Christ and we pray Thee, O Master, who lovest man, keep us under the shelter of Thy wings.  And grant that even unto our last breath we may worthily partake of Thy holy things, unto illumination of soul and body, unto inheritance of the kingdom of heaven.”           

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Great Vespers - 6:00 p.m.

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