Church Community

 

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body.’
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.'”

(Matthew 26:26-28)

Shared Faith
Fellowship
Communal Worship

Inner Worship

Inner worship, which is experienced by the believer as a communion of love with God, is expressed through external worship in which man’s body also participates through kneeling, veneration of the holy icons, psalmody and so forth.

Worship through the act of prayer practised in churches is closely linked to our love for our brothers. This love for our fellow man gives strength to the supplications of the many. ‘Great is the power of the supplications offered by a large number of people,’ writes St Chrysostom, ‘which is why we all gather here in church, so that we can better attract God’s mercy… Prayer at home does not have so much power…as when the whole body of the Church offers up its prayer with one soul and one voice, when priests are present and raise the prayers of the congregation of the faithful up to the Lord.’

Christ spoke about the power of communal prayer: If two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there among them (Matt. 18: 19-20). It is Christ’s presence that sanctifies the gatherings of the faithful and He who answers their petitions.

(Hieromonk Gregorios (2016). The Orthodox Faith, Worship, and Life – Orthodox Christian Catechism: An Outline. Mount Athos: The Cell of St. John the Theologian, pp.96-97.)

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Holy Communion - Prayers of Preparation and Thanksgiving

I believe and confess, Lord, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. I also believe that this is truly Your pure Body and that this is truly Your precious Blood. Therefore, I pray to You, have mercy upon me, and forgive my transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in word and deed, known and unknown. And make me worthy without condemnation to partake of Your pure Mysteries for the forgiveness of sins and for life eternal. Amen.

How shall I, who am unworthy, enter into the splendor of Your saints? If I dare to enter into the bridal chamber, my clothing will accuse me, since it is not a wedding garment; and being bound up, I shall be cast out by the angels. In Your love, Lord, cleanse my soul and save me.

Loving Master, Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let not these holy Gifts be to my condemnation because of my unworthiness, but for the cleansing and sanctification of soul and body and the pledge of the future life and kingdom. It is good for me to cling to God and to place in Him the hope of my salvation. Receive me today, Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical Supper. I will not reveal Your mystery to Your adversaries. Nor will I give You a kiss as did Judas. But as the thief I confess to You: Lord, remember me in Your kingdom.

Glory to you, our Lord, glory to you.
Glory to you, our Lord, glory to you.
Glory to you, our Lord, glory to you.

Anonymous

Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let Your sacred Body be unto me for eternal life and Your precious Blood for forgiveness of sins. Let this Eucharist be unto me for joy, health, and gladness. And in Your awesome Second Coming make me, a sinner, worthy to stand at the right hand of Your glory; through the intercessions of Your pure Mother and of all Your Saints. Amen.

Saint Basil

I thank You, Christ and Master our God, King of the ages and Creator of all things, for all the good gifts You have given me, and especially for the participation in Your pure and life-giving mysteries. I pray You, therefore, good and loving Lord, keep me under Your protection and under the shadow of Your wings. Grant that to my last breath I may, with a pure conscience, partake worthily of Your gifts for the forgiveness of sins and for eternal life. For You are the bread of life, the source of holiness, the giver of all good things, and to You we give glory, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Anonymous

I thank You, Lord my God, that You have not rejected me, a sinner, but have made me worthy to partake of Your holy mysteries. I thank You that You have permitted me, although I am unworthy, to receive Your pure and heavenly gifts. O loving Master, who died and rose for our sake and granted to us these awesome and life-giving mysteries for the well being and sanctification of our souls and bodies, let these gifts be for healing of my own soul and body, the averting of every evil, the illumination of the eyes of my heart, the peace of my spiritual powers, a faith unashamed, a love unfeigned, the fulfilling of wisdom, the observing of Your commandments, the receiving of Your divine grace, and the inheritance of Your kingdom. Preserved by them in Your holiness, may I always be mindful of Your grace and no longer live for myself, but for You, our Master and Benefactor. May I pass from this life in the hope of eternal life, and attain to the everlasting rest, where the voices of Your Saints who feast are unceasing, and their joy, beholding the ineffable beauty of Your countenance, is unending. For You, Christ our God, are the true joy and gladness of those who love You, and all creation praises You forever. Amen.

Saint John Chrysostomos

I thank You, loving Master, benefactor of my soul, that on this day You have made me worthy once again of Your heavenly and immortal mysteries. Direct my ways on the right path, establish me firmly in Your fear, guard my life, and make my endeavors safe, through the prayers and supplications of the glorious Theotokos and ever virgin Mary and of all Your Saints. Amen.

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