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« Reply #270 on: January 11, 2012, 11:16:49 PM »

Oh, dear!  Not in 'some ways,' but as its primary!

This is what Orthodoxy is about: the spiritual experience of Christ within our neighbor and ourselves.  Everywhere there is the Image and Likeness of God there is an opportunity to encounter God through this Image and Likeness, just as we encounter the Father through the Son.

When we live according to love for others, we discover the love of God, which in turn provides us with love for others.  Yes, it is circular, but it is also hopeful!  God gives us the love to love others, which in turn allows us to experience His love.


I've never quite looked at this like that before -- a mystical encounter with Christ. I suppose this is how you all see the Eucharist as well in some ways.

What other biblical echoes are there that would suggest the bread and wine to be more than a symbolic memorial?

As far as the fathers of the church go, has any one of them written extensively on this that i would find useful to read?
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 11:17:16 PM by FountainPen » Logged

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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #271 on: January 11, 2012, 11:25:14 PM »

As far as the fathers of the church go, has any one of them written extensively on this that i would find useful to read?

The Pre- and Post Communion Prayers are a good place to start. And, their content (as is the case of so much Orthodox hymnography and prayer) is stuffed full of Scripture.

Pre-Communion Prayers:

PREPARATORY PRAYERS
FOR HOLY COMMUNION

In the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good gifts and Giver of Life, come and abide in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, wash away our sins. O Master, pardon our transgressions. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy Name's sake.

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from the evil one.

For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. (12 times).

O come let us worship God our King.
O come let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and God.
O come let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and our God.

Then the following Psalms: 23, 24, 116: 10-19 (King James text); 22, 23, 115 (Septuagint).

Psalm 22.

The Lord is my Shepherd, and will deny me nothing. He has settled me in a green pasture, and nourished me beside refreshing water. He has converted my soul, and led me in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake. For even though I walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff have comforted me. Thou hast prepared a table before me in the face of those who trouble me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil. And Thy chalice which inebriates me, how glorious it is! And Thy mercy will follow me all the days of my life. And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord throughout the length of my days.

Psalm 23.

The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world and all who dwell in it He has set it on the seas, and prepared it on the rivers. Who will ascend the mountain of the Lord, or who will stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on vanity or sworn deceitfully to his neighbour. He will receive a blessing from the Lord, and mercy from God his Saviour. These are the kind who seek the Lord, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Lift up your gates, you princes, and be lifted up, you eternal doors, and the King of Glory will enter. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your gates, you princes, and be lifted up, you eternal doors, and the King of Glory will enter. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.

Psalm 115.

I believed and so I spoke; but I was deeply humiliated. I said in my madness: every man is a liar. What shall I give in return to the Lord for all that He has given me? I will receive the cup of salvation and call on the Name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints.

O Lord, I am Thy slave; I am Thy slave and son of Thy handmaid. Thou hast broken my bonds asunder. I will offer Thee the sacrifice of praise, and will pray in the Name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the Lord's house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia. Glory to Thee, O God. (Thrice) Lord, have mercy (Thrice). And then the following prayers:

Overlook my faults, O Lord Who wast born of a Virgin, and purify my heart, and make it a temple for Thy spotless Body and Blood. Let me not be rejected from Thy presence, O Thou Who hast infinitely great mercy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

How can I who am unworthy dare to come to the communion of Thy Holy Things? For even if I should dare to approach Thee with those who are worthy, my garment betrays me, for it is not a festal robe, and I shall cause the condemnation of my sinful soul. Cleanse, O Lord, the pollution from my soul, and save me as the Lover of men.

Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Great is the multitude of my sins, O Mother of God. To thee, O pure one, I flee and implore salvation. Visit my sick and feeble soul and intercede with thy Son and our God, that He may grant me forgiveness for the terrible things I have done, O thou who alone art blessed.

On Holy and Great Thursday the following is read:

When Thy glorious Disciples were enlightened at the Supper by the feet-washing, then impious Judas was darkened with the disease of avarice, and he delivered Thee, the Just Judge, to lawless judges. See, O lover of money, this man through money came to hang himself. Flee the insatiable desire which dared to do such things to the Master. O Lord, Who art good towards all, glory to Thee.

Lord, have mercy. (40 times)

Prostrations as desired. Then these prayers:

First Prayer of St. Basil the Great

O Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ our God, source of life and immortality, Who art the Author of all creation, visible and invisible, the equally everlasting and co-eternal Son of the eternal Father, Who through the excess of Thy goodness didst in the last days assume our flesh and wast crucified for us, ungrateful and ignorant as we were, and didst cause through Thy own Blood the restoration of our nature which had been marred by sin: O immortal King, accept the repentance even of me a sinner, and incline Thine ear to me and hear my words. For I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and I am not worthy to gaze on the height of Thy glory; for I have provoked Thy goodness by transgressing Thy commandments and not obeying Thy orders. But Thou, O Lord, in Thy forbearance, patience, and great mercy, hast not given me up to be destroyed with my sins, but Thou awaitest my complete conversion. For Thou, O Lover of men, hast said through Thy Prophet that Thou desirest not the death of the sinner, but that he should return to Thee and live. For Thou dost not will, O Lord, that the work of Thy hands should be destroyed, neither dost Thou delight in the destruction of men, but Thou desirest that all should be saved and come to a knowledge of the Truth. Therefore, though I am unworthy both of heaven and earth, and even of this transient life, since I have completely succumbed to sin and am a slave to pleasure and have defaced Thy image, yet being Thy work and creation, wretch that I am, even I do not despair of my salvation and dare to draw near to Thy boundless compassion. So receive even me, O Christ Lover of men, as the harlot, as the thief, as the publican, and as the prodigal; and take from me the heavy burden of my sins, Thou Who takest away the sin of the world, Who healest men's sicknesses, Who callest the weary and heavy laden to Thyself and givest them rest; for Thou camest not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. And purify me from all defilement of flesh and spirit. Teach me to achieve perfect holiness in the fear of Thee, that with the clear witness of my conscience I may receive the portion of Thy holy Things and be united with Thy holy Body and Blood, and have Thee dwelling and remaining in me with the Father and Thy Holy Spirit. And, O Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let not the communion of Thy immaculate and life-giving Mysteries be to me for condemnation nor let it make me sick in body or soul through my partaking of them unworthily; but grant me till my last breath to receive without condemnation the portion of Thy holy Things, for communion with the Holy Spirit, as a provision for eternal life, and as an acceptable defense at Thy dread tribunal, so that I too with all Thy elect may become a partaker of Thy pure joys which Thou hast prepared for those who love Thee, O Lord, in whom Thou art glorified throughout the ages. Amen.

First Prayer
of St. John Chrysostom

O Lord my God, I know that I am not worthy or sufficient that Thou shouldest come under the roof of the house of my soul, for all is desolate and fallen, and Thou hast not with me a place fit to lay Thy head. But as from the highest heaven Thou didst humble Thyself for our sake, so now conform Thyself to my humility. And as Thou didst consent to lie in a cave and in a manger of dumb beasts, so also consent to lie in the manger of my unspiritual soul and to enter my defiled body. And as Thou didst not disdain to enter and dine with sinners in the house of Simon the Leper, so consent also to enter the house of my humble soul which is leprous and sinful. And as Thou didst not reject the woman, who was a harlot and a sinner like me, when she approached and touched Thee, so also be compassionate with me, a sinner, as I approach and touch Thee, and let the live coal of Thy most holy Body and precious Blood be for the sanctification and enlightenment and strengthening of my humble soul and body, for a relief from the burden of my many sins, for a protection from all diabolical practices, for a restraint and a check on my evil and wicked way of life, for the mortification of passions, for the keeping of Thy commandments, for an increase of Thy divine grace, and for the advancement of Thy Kingdom. For it is not insolently that I draw near to Thee, O Christ my God, but as taking courage from Thy unspeakable goodness, and that I may not by long abstaining from Thy communion become a prey to the spiritual wolf. Therefore, I pray Thee, O Lord, Who alone art holy, sanctify my soul and body, my mind and heart, my emotions and affections, and wholly renew me. Root the fear of Thee in my members, and make Thy sanctification indelible in me. Be also my helper and defender, guide my life in peace, and make me worthy to stand on Thy right hand with Thy Saints: through the prayers and intercessions of Thy immaculate Mother, of Thy ministering Angels, of the immaculate Powers and of all the Saints who have ever been pleasing to Thee. Amen.

Prayer
of St. Symeon the Translator

O only pure and sinless Lord, Who through the ineffable compassion of Thy love for men didst assume our whole nature through the pure and virgin blood of her who supernaturally conceived Thee by the coming of the Divine Spirit and by the will of the Eternal Father; O Christ Jesus, Wisdom and Peace and Power of God, Who in Thy assumption of our nature didst suffer Thy life-giving and saving Passion - the Cross, the Nails, the Spear, and Death - mortify all the deadly passions of my body. Thou Who in Thy burial didst spoil the dominions of hell, bury with good thoughts my evil schemes and scatter the spirits of wickedness. Thou Who by Thy life-giving Resurrection on the third day didst raise up our fallen first Parent, raise me up who am sunk in sin and suggest to me ways of repentance. Thou Who by Thy glorious Ascension didst deify our nature which Thou hadst assumed and didst honor it by Thy session at the right hand of the Father, make me worthy by partaking of Thy holy Mysteries of a place at Thy right hand among those who are saved. Thou Who by the descent of the Spirit, the Paraclete, didst make Thy holy Disciples worthy vessels, make me also a recipient of His coming. Thou Who art to come again to judge the World with justice, grant me also to meet Thee on the clouds, my Maker and Creator, with all Thy Saints, that I may unendingly glorify and praise Thee with Thy Eternal Father and Thy all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

First Prayer
of St. John Damascene

O Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ our God, Who alone hast authority to forgive men their sins, overlook in Thy goodness and love for men all my offences whether committed with knowledge or in ignorance, and make me worthy to receive without condemnation Thy divine, glorious, spotless, and life-giving Mysteries, not for punishment, nor for an increase of sins, but for purification and sanctification and as a pledge of the life and kingdom to come, as a protection and help, and for the destruction of enemies, and for the blotting out of my many transgressions. For Thou art a God of mercy and compassion and love for men, and to Thee we send up the glory, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Second Prayer
of St. Basil the Great

I know, O Lord, that I partake of Thy immaculate Body and precious Blood unworthily, and that I am guilty, and eat and drink judgment to myself by not discerning the Body and Blood of Thee my Christ and God. But taking courage from Thy compassion I approach Thee, for Thou hast said: "He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me and I in him." Therefore have compassion, O Lord, and do not make an example of me, a sinner, but deal with me according to Thy mercy; and let these Holy Things be for my healing and purification and enlightenment and protection and salvation and sanctification of body and soul, for the turning away of every phantasy and all evil practice and diabolical activity working subconsciously in my members, for confidence and love towards Thee, for reformation of life and security, for an increase of virtue and perfection, for fulfillment of the commandments, for communion with the Holy Spirit, as a provision for eternal life, and as an acceptable defense at Thy dread Tribunal, not for judgment or for condemnation.

Prayer
of St. Symeon the New Theologian

From sullied lips,
From an abominable heart,
From an unclean tongue,
Out of a polluted soul,
Receive my prayer, O my Christ.
Reject me not,
Nor my words, nor my ways,
Nor even my shamelessness,
But give me courage to say
What I desire, my Christ.
And even more, teach me
What to do and say.
I have sinned more than the harlot
Who, on learning where Thou wast lodging,
Bought myrrh,
And dared to come and anoint
Thy feet, my Christ,
My Lord and my God.
As Thou didst not repulse her
When she drew near from her heart,
Neither, O Word, abominate me,
But grant me Thy feet
To clasp and kiss,
And with a flood of tears
As with most precious myrrh
Dare to anoint them.
Wash me with my tears
And purify me with them, O Word.
Forgive my sins
And grant me pardon.
Thou knowest the multitude of my evil-doings,
Thou knowest also my wounds,
And Thou seest my bruises.
But also Thou knowest my faith,
And Thou beholdest my willingness,
And Thou hearest my sighs.
Nothing escapes Thee, my God,
My Maker, my Redeemer,
Not even a tear-drop,
Nor part of a drop.
Thine eyes know
What I have not achieved,
And in Thy book
Things not yet done
Are written by Thee.
See my depression,
See how great is my trouble,
And all my sins
Take from me, O God of all,
That with a clean heart,
Trembling mind
And contrite spirit
I may partake of Thy pure
And all-holy Mysteries
By which all who eat and drink Thee
With sincerity of heart
Are quickened and deified.
For Thou, my Lord, hast said:
"Whoever eats My Flesh
And drinks My Blood
Abides in Me
And I in Him."
Wholly true is the word
Of my Lord and God.
For whoever partakes of Thy divine
And deifying Gifts
Certainly is not alone,
But is with Thee, my Christ,
Light of the Triune Sun
Which illumines the world.
And that I may not remain alone
Without Thee, the Giver of Life,
My Breath, my Life,
My Joy,
The Salvation of the world,
Therefore I have drawn near to Thee
As Thou seest, with tears
And with a contrite spirit.
Ransom of my offences,
I beseech Thee to receive me,
And that I may partake without condemnation
Of Thy life-giving and perfect Mysteries,
That Thou mayest remain as Thou hast said
With me, thrice-wretched as I am,
Lest the tempter may find me
Without Thy grace
And craftily seize me,
And having deceived me, may seduce me,
From Thy deifying words.
Therefore I fall at Thy feet
And fervently cry to Thee:
As Thou receivedst the Prodigal
And the Harlot who drew near to Thee,
So have compassion and receive me,
The profligate and the prodigal,
As with contrite spirit
I now draw near to Thee.
I know, O Saviour, that no other
Has sinned against Thee as I,
Nor has done the deeds
That I have committed.
But this again I know
That not the greatness of my offences
Nor the multitude of my sins
Surpasses the great patience
Of my God,
And His extreme love for men.
But with the oil of compassion
Those who fervently repent
Thou dost purify and enlighten
And makest them children of the light,
Sharers of Thy Divine Nature.
And Thou dost act most generously,
For what is strange to Angels
And to the minds of men
Often Thou tellest to them
As to Thy true friends.
These things make me bold, my Christ,
These things give me wings,
And I take courage from the wealth
Of Thy goodness to us.
And rejoicing and trembling at once,
I who am straw partake of fire,
And, strange wonder!
I am ineffably bedewed,
Like the bush of old
Which burnt without being consumed.
Therefore with thankful mind,
And with thankful heart,
And with thankfulness in all the members
Of my soul and body,
I worship and magnify
And glorify Thee, my God,
For Thou art blessed,
Now and throughout the ages.

Second Prayer
of St. John Chrysostom

I am not worthy, O Lord and Master, that Thou shouldest enter under the roof of my soul; but since Thou in Thy love for men dost will to dwell in me, I take courage and approach. Thou commandest: I will open wide the doors which Thou alone didst create, that Thou mayest enter with love as is Thy nature, enter and enlighten my darkened thought. I believe that Thou wilt do this, for Thou didst not banish the Harlot who approached Thee with tears, nor didst Thou reject the Publican who repented, nor didst Thou drive away the Thief who acknowledged Thy Kingdom, nor didst Thou leave the repentant persecutor (Paul) to himself; but all who had been brought to Thee by repentance Thou didst set in the company of Thy friends, O Thou Who alone art blessed always, now and to endless ages. Amen.

Third Prayer
of St. John Chrysostom

Lord Jesus Christ my God, remit, forgive, absolve and pardon the sins, offences and transgressions which I, Thy sinful, useless and unworthy servant have committed from my youth, up to the present day and hour, whether with knowledge or in ignorance, whether by words or deeds or intentions or thoughts, and whether by habit or through any of my senses. And through the intercession of her who conceived Thee without seed, the immaculate and ever-virgin Mary Thy Mother, my only sure hope and protection and salvation, make me worthy without condemnation to receive Thy pure, immortal, life-giving and dread Mysteries, for forgiveness of sins and for eternal life, for sanctification and enlightenment and strength and healing and health of soul and body, and for the blotting out and complete destruction of my evil reasonings and intentions and prejudices and nocturnal fantasies of dark evil spirits. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory and the honour and the worship, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Second Prayer
of St. John Damascene

I stand before the doors of Thy sanctuary, yet I do not put away my terrible thoughts. But O Christ our God, Who didst justify the Publican, and have mercy on the Canaanite woman, and didst open the gates of Paradise to the Thief, open to me the depths of Thy love for men, and as I approach and touch Thee, receive me like the Harlot and the woman with an issue of blood. For the one received healing easily by touching the hem of Thy garment, and the other by clasping Thy sacred feet obtained release from her sins. And I, in my pitiableness, dare to receive Thy whole Body. Let me not be burnt, but receive me even as these; enlighten the senses of my soul, and burn the stains of my sins: through the intercessions of her who bore Thee without seed, and of the Heavenly Powers, for Thou art blessed to the ages of ages. Amen.

Fourth Prayer
of St. John Chrysostom

I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief. And I believe that this is Thy pure Body and Thy own precious Blood. Therefore, I pray Thee, have mercy on me and forgive my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word and deed, known and unknown. And grant that I may partake of Thy Holy Mysteries without condemnation, for the remission of sins and for life eternal. Amen.

Lines of St. Symeon the Translator

Behold I approach for Divine Communion.
O Creator, let me not be burnt by communicating,
For Thou art Fire which burns the unworthy.
But purify me from every stain.

Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of the Mystery to Thy enemies; I will not give Thee a kiss like Judas; but like the Thief do I confess Thee. Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom.

And again these lines:

Tremble, O man, when you see the deifying Blood,
For it is a coal that burns the unworthy.
The Body of God both deifies and nourishes;
It deifies the spirit and wondrously nourishes the mind.

Thou hast ravished me with longing, O Christ, and with Thy divine love Thou hast changed me. But burn up with spiritual fire my sins and make me worthy to be filled with delight in Thee, that I may leap for joy, O gracious Lord, and magnify Thy two comings.

Into the splendor of Thy Saints how shall I who am unworthy enter? For if I dare to enter the bridechamber, my vesture betrays me, for it is not a wedding garment, and as a prisoner I shall be cast out by the Angels. Cleanse my soul from pollution and save me, O Lord, in Thy love for men.

Sovereign Lover of men, Lord Jesus my God, let not these Holy Things be to me for judgment through my being unworthy, but for the purification and sanctification of my soul and body, and as a pledge of the life and kingdom to come. For it is good for me to cling to God and to place in the Lord my hope of salvation.
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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #272 on: January 11, 2012, 11:43:10 PM »

Some of the Prayers After Communion:

THANKSGIVING
AFTER HOLY COMMUNION

Glory to Thee, O God;
Glory to Thee, O God;
Glory to Thee, O God.

Anonymous

I thank Thee, O Lord my God, that Thou hast not rejected me, a sinner, but hast granted me to be a communicant of Thy holy Things. I thank Thee that Thou hast granted me, unworthy as I am, to partake of Thy pure and heavenly Gifts. But, O Lord, Lover of men, Who didst die for us and rise again and bestow upon us these Thy dread and life-giving Mysteries for the wellbeing and sanctification of our souls and bodies, grant that these may be even to me for the healing of my soul and body, for the averting of everything hostile, for the enlightenment of the eyes of my heart, for the peace of the powers of my soul, for unashamed faith, for sincere love, for the fullness of wisdom, for the keeping of Thy commandments, for an increase of Thy divine grace, and for familiarity with Thy Kingdom; that being kept by Them in Thy holiness I may ever remember Thy grace, and never live for myself but for Thee our Lord and Benefactor. And so when I have passed from existence here in the hope of eternal life, may I attain to everlasting rest, where the song is unceasing of those who keep festival and the joy is boundless of those who behold the ineffable beauty of Thy face. For Thou art the true desire and the unutterable gladness of those who love Thee, O Christ our God, and all creation sings of Thee throughout the ages.

Prayer of St. Basil the Great

Lord Christ our God, King of the ages and Creator of all, I thank Thee for all the blessings Thou hast granted me and for the communion of Thy pure and life-giving Mysteries. I pray Thee, therefore, good Lord and Lover of men, guard me under Thy protection and within the shadow of Thy wings; and grant me with a clear conscience till my last breath worthily to partake of Thy holy Things for forgiveness of sins and for life eternal. For Thou art the Bread of Life, the Source of Holiness, the Giver of all that is good, and to Thee we send up the glory, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer of St. Symeon the Translator

O Thou Who givest me willingly Thy Flesh for food,
Thou Who art fire, and burnest the unworthy,
Scorch me not, O my Maker,
But rather pass through me for the integration of my members,
Into all my joints, my affections, and my heart.
Burn up the thorns of all my sins.
Purify my soul, sanctify my mind;
Strengthen my knees and bones;
Enlighten the simplicity of my five senses.
Nail down the whole of me with Thy fear.
Ever protect, guard, and keep me
From every soul-destroying word and act.
Sanctify, purify, attune, and rule me.
Adorn me, give me understanding, and enlighten me.
Make me the habitation of Thy Spirit alone,
And no longer a habitation of sin,
That as Thy house from the entry of communion
Every evil spirit and passion may flee from me like fire.
I offer Thee as intercessors all the sanctified,
The Commanders of the Bodiless Hosts,
Thy Forerunner, the wise Apostles,
And Thy pure and immaculate Mother.
Receive their prayers, my compassionate Christ.
And make Thy slave a child of light.
For Thou alone art our sanctification, O Good One,
And the radiance of our souls,
And to Thee as our Lord and God as is right
We all give glory day and night.

Anonymous

May Thy Holy Body, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, be to me for eternal life, and Thy Precious Blood for forgiveness of sins. And may this Eucharist be to me for joy, health, and gladness. And in Thy awful second coming, make me, a sinner, worthy to stand on the right hand of Thy glory, through the intercessions of Thy holy and most pure Mother and of all Thy Saints. Amen.
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O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #273 on: January 11, 2012, 11:58:05 PM »

What other biblical echoes are there that would suggest the bread and wine to be more than a symbolic memorial?

As far as the fathers of the church go, has any one of them written extensively on this that i would find useful to read?

A couple of things.

First, you may want to check out the following threads, "The Eucharist, representative or literally Christ?" and "This Food We Call the Eucharist", as we've gone round and round that mulberry bush a few times. Smiley

In regards to Biblical evidence that the Eucharist is literally the Body and Blood of Christ, and that we are to partake of it to receive healing of soul and body, I point to the following verses:

"He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him" (John 6:55-57)

"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread." (1 Corinthians 10:16-17)

"For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body." (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)

Here are quotes from Early Church Fathers:

"Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead."

-St. Ignatius of Antioch "Letter to the Smyrnaeans", paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D.

"This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God's Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus."

St. Justin Martyr "First Apology", Ch. 66, inter A.D. 148-155.

"[Christ] has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own Blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own Body, from which he gives increase to our bodies."

Source: St. Irenaeus of Lyons,

"So then, if the mixed cup and the manufactured bread receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, that is to say, the Blood and Body of Christ, which fortify and build up the substance of our flesh, how can these people claim that the flesh is incapable of receiving God's gift of eternal life, when it is nourished by Christ's Blood and Body and is His member? As the blessed apostle says in his letter to the Ephesians, 'For we are members of His Body, of His flesh and of His bones' (Eph. 5:30). He is not talking about some kind of 'spiritual' and 'invisible' man, 'for a spirit does not have flesh an bones' (Lk. 24:39). No, he is talking of the organism possessed by a real human being, composed of flesh and nerves and bones. It is this which is nourished by the cup which is His Blood, and is fortified by the bread which is His Body. The stem of the vine takes root in the earth and eventually bears fruit, and 'the grain of wheat falls into the earth' (Jn. 12:24), dissolves, rises again, multiplied by the all-containing Spirit of God, and finally after skilled processing, is put to human use. These two then receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ."

-ST. IRENAEUS OF LYONS, Against Heresies, 180 A.D.

"For just as the bread which comes from the earth, having received the invocation of God, is no longer ordinary bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly, so our bodies, having received the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, because they have the hope of the resurrection."

-ST. IRENAEUS OF LYONS "Five Books on the Unmasking and Refutation of the Falsely named Gnosis". Book 4:18 4-5, circa 180 A.D.

"Therefore with fullest assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that thou by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, mightest be made of the same body and the same blood with Him. For thus we come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are diffused through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, (we become partaker of the divine nature.) [2 Peter 1:4]"

-ST. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM, 348-378 A.D. -"Catechetical Lectures [22 (Mystagogic 4), 1]

"When we speak of the reality of Christ's nature being in us, we would be speaking foolishly and impiously - had we not learned it from Him. For He Himself says: 'My Flesh is truly Food, and My Blood is truly Drink. He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood will remain in Me and I in him.' As to the reality of His Flesh and Blood, there is no room left for doubt, because now, both by the declaration of the Lord Himself and by our own faith, it is truly the Flesh and it is truly Blood. And These Elements bring it about, when taken and consumed, that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Is this not true? Let those who deny that Jesus Christ is true God be free to find these things untrue. But He Himself is in us through the flesh and we are in Him, while that which we are with Him is in God."

-ST. HILARY OF POITERS -"The Trinity" [8,14] inter 356-359 A.D.

"When the word says, 'This is My Body,' be convinced of it and believe it, and look at it with the eyes of the mind. For Christ did not give us something tangible, but even in His tangible things all is intellectual. So too with Baptism: the gift is bestowed through what is a tangible thing, water; but what is accomplished is intellectually perceived: the birth and the renewal. If you were incorporeal He would have given you those incorporeal gifts naked; but since the soul is intertwined with the body, He hands over to you in tangible things that which is perceived intellectually. How many now say, 'I wish I could see His shape, His appearance, His garments, His sandals.' Only look! You see Him! You touch Him! You eat Him!"

-ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM -"Homilies on the Gospel of Matthew" [82,4] 370 A.D.
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« Reply #274 on: January 12, 2012, 12:34:32 AM »

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« Reply #275 on: January 12, 2012, 01:13:06 AM »

The off-topic chatter has been moved to Orthodox-Protestant Discussion.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=42247.0
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« Reply #276 on: January 12, 2012, 01:14:28 AM »

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« Reply #277 on: January 12, 2012, 01:18:23 AM »

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« Reply #278 on: January 12, 2012, 02:08:42 AM »

Well, here's a big problem: the concept of 'symbolic' or 'symbolically' is a modern translation (when appearing in modern English translation of Scripture) of the Greek work for 'spiritually' (c.f. various translations of Re 11:7-9).  There really isn't such a category: 'symbol' as we now understand it as 'other' is not a Christian concept: we are made in the Image and Likeness of God, which is 'symbolic' in the strictest sense of the concept and yet we do not think of it that way.  Rather, a symbol is a means of connecting with the subject of the symbol.

In the case of the Eucharist, remember what Jesus Christ says:

Then Jesus said unto them, "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.  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever." (John 6:53-58)

And 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 it to them, saying, "Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:26-28)

And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, "Take, eat: this is my body."  And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.  And he said unto them, "This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many." (Mark 14:22-24)

And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me."  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." (Luke 22:19-20)


Notice all of these quotes use the term 'this is...'  We take that seriously.

Here is St. Paul...

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (1 Corinthians 11:23-30)

Do you think the Corinthians were dying and getting sick from a 'symbol' as you understand it?

I will have to do a little research to find an accessible reading list for you.

Anyway, I hope you see where we are coming from on this.


Oh, dear!  Not in 'some ways,' but as its primary!

This is what Orthodoxy is about: the spiritual experience of Christ within our neighbor and ourselves.  Everywhere there is the Image and Likeness of God there is an opportunity to encounter God through this Image and Likeness, just as we encounter the Father through the Son.

When we live according to love for others, we discover the love of God, which in turn provides us with love for others.  Yes, it is circular, but it is also hopeful!  God gives us the love to love others, which in turn allows us to experience His love.


I've never quite looked at this like that before -- a mystical encounter with Christ. I suppose this is how you all see the Eucharist as well in some ways.

What other biblical echoes are there that would suggest the bread and wine to be more than a symbolic memorial?

As far as the fathers of the church go, has any one of them written extensively on this that i would find useful to read?
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« Reply #279 on: January 12, 2012, 10:32:35 AM »

Fountain Pen,

Thank you for responding to my post and for clarifying your position on a number of issues. I apologize if my tone was curt.

While I understand getting to an Orthodox parish may be difficult, I would highly recommend ordering Timothy Ware's "The Orthodox Church." It is available on http://www.amazon.co.uk/ in both paperback and kindle format.

Timothy Ware (now +Metropolitan Kallistos Ware) does an excellent job explaining the history of the Orthodox Church, what we believe, and why. Admittedly, it can be a little dry at times. (He is after all, an Oxford scholar.) However, it has become a standard in most Orthodox catechism, and is a tried and true resource for information on the Church.

I am not trying to dismiss your questions or to stop you from asking them on the forum, but I think this will help you dive deeper into your inquiry of Orthodoxy and be able to ask more focused questions.

On a seperate note, I'd like to address one item you listed in your post to me:

If i can explain -- when people feed the poor and it isn't a mission headed up with a preacher making a big fuss about saving the lost and telling them about Jesus, unless there is activity of people preaching and teaching the gospel, such as there is when our church has sent a group out to do a homeless soup run, then i am thinking it's purely (and rightly) humanitarian. We do all need to care for those less fortunate than ourselves and sometimes we are the less fortunate and need others to help.

I should have asked a clear question, I'm sorry.

I'm not saying the way our church did it was correct, i don't think it was and it doesn't matter anyway. I was simply trying to establish what happened in these activities and whether any preaching or witnessing happened.

Obviously, I cannot address how every humanitarian action carried out by the Orthodox Church worldwide is done, but I would like to say this: sometimes, what seems like a humanitarian action on the outside is exactly what is needed to save souls. Let me give you a personal example:

A friend of mine has a mother who is a Russian Jew and a father who is an Egyptian Muslim. As a child, she attended Catholic school and had been exposed to Protestant Christianity through friends. Although she believed in a god, she didn't follow any particular faith tradition.

Two years ago, she started to date a man who happened to be Russian Orthodox. He brought her to Church with him and introduced her to some of his friends and the priest at coffee hour.

Now, my friend is a very open individual and will basically tell you her life story the first time you meet her.

During introductions, she mentioned she was going to be having surgery, and would be laid up for a few weeks, but would have no one to take care of her.

The people she had just met for the first time at Church set about making a schedule so that each of them would take turns bringing her meals, taking care of her animals, and making sure she was okay. Even the priest volunteered!

They did so without obligation that she ever return to the Church.

My friend was so impressed by the hospitality demonstrated by these individuals over the coming weeks that she did return. She began meeting with the priest and asking questions. Ultimately, a little over a year later, she was baptized and chrismated into the Church.

So what started out as a humanitarian mission turned out to be just what she needed to come to know Christ.

Hope this helps,

HofG

That is an incredibly impressive account and a wonderful testimony of their faithfulness and love which resulted in salvation. That, to me, is a far more effective way of 'evangelising' than the leaflet distributing, event driven, hard sell, that i've experienced.

I'm glad we've come to an understanding as i really appreciate your posts and always try not to miss any.

And -- i'll get the book  Roll Eyes  Grin

You can read it online:

http://www.intratext.com/x/eng0804.htm

http://www.synaxis.org/catechist/Orthodox_Church.html
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« Reply #280 on: January 12, 2012, 10:47:27 AM »

A resource for the UK

http://www.theorthodoxchurch.co.uk/orthodox/Welcome.html
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« Reply #281 on: January 12, 2012, 02:00:52 PM »


Do you think the Corinthians were dying and getting sick from a 'symbol' as you understand it?


I would have said that given the scriptures make it clear that it's what comes out of a man that makes him unclean, not what goes into him (Mark 7: Matthew 15) that it is his heart attitude which brings condemnation upon himself.

As i think about that now, i can see it's lacking.

I'll have to think about it.
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« Reply #282 on: January 12, 2012, 02:03:42 PM »

Thanks for the resources all of you.
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« Reply #283 on: January 13, 2012, 01:27:46 PM »

The tangent on the Eucharist has been moved here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,42247.msg693147.html#msg693147. BGTF, please do try to keep our threads on topic. Thank you.
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« Reply #284 on: January 13, 2012, 05:11:41 PM »

Just a quick request for the sake of keeping my mind un cluttered on the topic. Do you think you could summarize your view on the church invisible fountain pen? I've so far very much enjoyed reading your posts. And have developed a good respect for you.

God bless!

Td Andreis.
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« Reply #285 on: January 02, 2013, 03:12:00 PM »



Luke 6:45
"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh".





I was once talking with my psychotherapist about that one. In her terms, indeed what is in heart (thoughts), affects the behaviour. So basically whatever we do. We are motivated by something we feel in our hearts.
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« Reply #286 on: January 02, 2013, 03:15:41 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.


you may be right.
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« Reply #287 on: January 02, 2013, 03:20:34 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.


you may be right.

No, she wasn't.
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« Reply #288 on: January 02, 2013, 03:22:01 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.


you may be right.

No, she wasn't.
She also hasn't posted here since May of last year.
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« Reply #289 on: January 02, 2013, 03:24:47 PM »

If there was no physical Church, then why did they anoint Deacons in the Book of Acts? Why did the First Council in Jerusalem take place in the Book of Acts? Why were any of the Epistles written?

If the presence of a physical Church was not important, then why did the Apostles go to the Temple daily after Pentecost to worship God? (Acts 2:46) They could have stayed in the Upper Room and prayed, but they went to the Temple as well.

God outlined how Temple worship was to be conducted and how the Temple was to be decorated in the Old Testament. The Orthodox Church took what was given to us in the Old, and completed it with God's covenant from the New.

The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church.

It is apparent in the history, the architecture, the hymnography; it is all there.

A physical church structure, is important for many reasons but pentecost didn't happen in a temple, it happened in a casual gathering of people for a reason. "Where two or three are gathered, there i am in the midst" Matthew 18:20. The bride that is The Church, is spiritual and is invisible for the reasons i gave in my OP.


you may be right.

No, she wasn't.
She also hasn't posted here since May of last year.

With " Is not wasting any more of her ink" above her avatar.
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« Reply #290 on: January 02, 2013, 03:44:15 PM »

Invisible church? I've found one.

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« Reply #291 on: January 03, 2013, 08:59:31 PM »

All right who necro-bumped this thread?
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« Reply #292 on: January 04, 2013, 03:53:35 AM »

All right who necro-bumped this thread?
The Necromancer
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