Of all the miracles of Christ, the greatest is the Eucharist. The Gospels are filled with accounts of miracles performed by Christ, but the greatest of them all was when He offered the simple elements of bread and wine, made by man, and transformed them into His very Body and Blood. This miracle continues to this very day, after some two thousand years, to bring Christ into our very midst and allow us to receive Him for the healing of both our bodies and our souls. That He would use as agents for this transformation, priests, to call down the Holy Spirit to continue this miracle, is one of the great mysteries of our Christian Faith.
Just before the priest offers Holy Communion to the faithful, he recites the following prayer, which he has himself recited just before his own communion. This prayer is each person's act of personal commitment to Christ.
I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first (I Timothy 1:15).
I believe also that this is truly Thine own most pure Body, and that this is truly Thine own most precious Blood. Therefore I pray Thee: Have mercy upon me and forgive me my transgressions, committed in word and deed, whether consciously or unconsciously.
And make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Thy most pure Mysteries, for the remission of sins and unto life everlasting.
Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, receive me today as a communicant. For I will not speak of Thy Mystery to Thine enemies, neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss; but like the thief will I confess Thee: "Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom."
May the communion of Thy Holy Mysteries be neither to my judgment, nor to my condemnation, 0 Lord, but to the healing of soul and body.
This prayer is a clear sign that we are not simply commemorating a past event, or celebrating a communal meal like the Passover of the Jews. The Church never saw this as a continuation of the Passover Meal, but rather a sacrifice that is offered for both the living and the dead. Because this sacrifice is not a mere figure or symbol but a true sacrifice, it is the most important service that takes place in the life of the Church. Furthermore, it is not the bread that is sacrificed, but the very Body of Christ. Although the Lamb of God was sacrificed only once, the sacrifice at the Eucharist consists, not in the real and bloody immolation of the Lamb, but in the transformation of the bread into the sacrificed Lamb.
The Mystery of the Holy Eucharist can not be explained in purely logical or rational terms, for the Eucharist, like Christ Himself, is a mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven which is “not of this world.” "Having learn these things, and been fully assured that the seeming bread is not bread, though sensible to taste, but the Body of Christ; and that the seeming wine is not wine, though the taste will have it so, but the Blood of Christ; and that of this David sung of old, saying, And bread strengtheneth man's heart, to make his face to shine with oil, 'strengthen thou thine heart,' by partaking thereof as spiritual, and "make the face of thy soul to shine."" Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, XXII:8 (c. A.D. 350).
With love in Christ,
Tuesday August 27, 2013 / August 14, 2013
10th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Dormition (Theotokos) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil
Forefeast of the Dormition.
Prophet Micah (8th c. B.C.).
Translation of the relics of Venerable Theodosius of the Kiev Caves (1091).New Hieromartyr Basil bishop of Chernigov and with him Hieromartyr Mathew and Martyr Alexis (1918).
New Hieromartyr Vladimir priest (1920).
New Hieromartyrs Vladimir and Nicholas priests, Hieromartyr Eleutherius, Virgin-Martyr Eudokia and Martyr Theodore (1937).
New Hieromartyr Schema-archimandrite Eleutherius of Chimkent (Kazakhstan) (1937).
Venerable Alexander confessor (1961).
Venerable Arcadius, monk, of Vyazma and New Torzhok (1077).
Hieromartyr Marcellus, bishop of Apamea (389).
"Converser" (1383) and "Narva" (1558) Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Martyr Ursicius at Nicomedia.
St. Fachanan, abbot of Ross Carbery, Cork, Ireland (ca. 600) (Celtic & British).
Hieromartyr Nazarius, metropolitan of Kutaisi, Georgia, with Priest-martyrs Herman, Hierotheus, and Simon, and Archdeacon Bessarion (1924) (Georgia).
Synaxis of the New Martyrs of Georgia who suffered under the Atheist Yoke (20th c.).
New Martyr Simeon of Trebizond (1653) (Greek).
Martyr Luke the Soldier (Greek). You can read the life of the saint in red, by clicking on the name.
THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,
Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA
The Scripture Readings for the Day
1 Corinthians 15:29-38
Effects of Denying the Resurrection29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? 30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
A Glorious Body35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.
Jesus’ Authority Questioned23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”
24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: 25 The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?”
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.”
And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
I invite my readers to listen to my
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts.
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts.