Orthodox Catechetical Instruction
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America
Consistory Office of Religious Education
Fr. Harry Linsinbigler, Director
Those who are preparing to be received into God's Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church should:
- Read the preparatory readings as described in the ancient Jerusalem Typikon for learners (See below I).
- Should learn, understand and accept the Symbol of the Faith (the Creed), and other aspects of Faith as listed in the reception office (See below II).
- Read and understand the Basic Catechism below, or another short Catechism which has the same basic principles (See below, III). Other recommended short Catechisms include: A Visual Catechism of the Orthodox Church by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos or Shorter Catechism of St. Philaret/Shorter Catechism in the prayer books.
- Lex orandi, lex credendi—The rule of the Faith is found in the rule of Prayer. If one is comfortable, for example, in the entirety of the material prayed in the Liturgy and liturgical services, this indicates a readiness to be brought into the Church, because the liturgy is the living dogma of the Church. Scripture and the Creed itself are both first and foremost Liturgical documents. The Liturgical services both proclaim Scripture and interpret it. Therefore, the catechumen must be familiar and accept the basic contents of the Liturgy as the living dogmatic truth proclaimed in the Spirit in the Holy Church of Christ. (See below IV)
Also, the following should be accomplished before reception into the Church:
- To gain a prayer book, to learn certain prayers, such as Trisagion prayers, Psalm 50, and at least one basic prayer for the morning, for prayer at meal times, for the evening, and before going to sleep at night. They should be made familiar with daily services and above all the Liturgy. A catechumen must not be negligent at coming to the services.
- Pray the prayers of Repentance & examination of conscience
- Must do a lifetime Confession of Sins (note to priests, the absolution is not the same as is given to one who is already in the Church, but rather, it is the prayer that is in the office for the reception in the Euchologion/Trebnik.
I. Required preparatory readings given in the ancient Jerusalem Typikon:
Reading 1, from the Prophet Isaiah [1.16-20]
Reading 2, from the Prophet Ezekiel [18.20b-23]
Reading 3, from the Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Romans [6.3-14]
Reading 4, from the Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Colossians [2.8-3.4]
Reading 5, from the Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Hebrews [11.1-31]
Reading 6, from the Prophet Isaiah [45.16b-25 LXX]
Reading 7, from the Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians [3.14-4.13]
Reading 8, from the Prophet Jeremiah [39.19b-44 LXX; 32.19b-44 NRSV]
Reading 9, from Job [38.2-40.5]
Reading 10, from the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians [8.5-9.23]
Reading 11, from the Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Hebrews [1.1-2.1]
Reading 12, from the Prophet Isaiah [7.10-8.10]
Reading 13, from the Prophet Isaiah [53.1-54.5]
Reading 14, from the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians [15.1-28]
Reading 15, from the Prophet Daniel [7.2-27]
Reading 16, from the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians [12.1-7]
Reading 17, from the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians [12.8-27]
Reading 18, from the Prophet Ezekiel [37.1-14]
Reading 19, from the First Letter of the Apostle Paul to Timothy [3.14-16]
The canon of instruction for those who are preparing to be baptized/received into the Faith is finished: 19 readings. (This list is from the ancient Jerusalemite Ordo)
- The Creed and the Affirmations
The Symbol of the Orthodox Christian Faith (the Nicene Creed)
I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not created, of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets. In one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church; I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the Life of the age to come. Amen
The person being received must also be accepting of the following beliefs of the Holy Orthodox Church, which are prescribed by the Euchologion/Trebnik whether being received by Baptism or Chrismation to be affirmed by the neophyte being asked by the Priest:
(Rubric): After the person being received recites the Symbol of the Faith (the Nicene Creed), the Bishop/Priest questions as follows:
Tell us of the other dogmas of our Orthodox Church, its traditions and ordinances; how do you stand concerning them?
And the one being received replies:
I accept and confess Sacred Tradition, and specifically the Apostolic and Ecclesiastical dogmas, decisions and canonical ordinances established at the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils and the Provincial Councils, and the other traditions, rules, and dispositions of the Orthodox Church of God. I will accept Holy Scripture according to the understanding that the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, or Mother, has held, and holds.
I believe and confess that the power hath been given by our Savior Christ unto the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church to bind and to loose: and that whatsoever, by virtue of that power, is bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven.
I believe and confess that the Foundation, Head, Great High Priest and Chief Shepherd of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church is our Lord Jesus Christ: and that Bishops, Pastors, and teachers are appointed by him to lead the Church: and that the Guide and Pilot of this Church is the Holy Spirit. I confess that the Church is the Bride of Christ and Pillar and Foundation of the truth, and that therein is true salvation.
I believe and confess the Seven Mysteries of the New Testament, specifically: Baptism, Chrismation, the Eucharist; Repentance, Clerical Priesthood, Marriage, and Holy Unction. I believe that these Mysteries were instituted by the Lord Christ and His Church, to the end that, by their operation and reception, we may receive grace from on high.
I believe and confess that, in the Divine Liturgy, under the mystical forms of Bread and Wine, the faithful partake of the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto the remission of sins, and unto life eternal.
I believe and confess that it is proper to reverence and call upon the Saints who reign on high with Christ, according to the understanding of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church of God; and that their prayers and intercessions avail with the beneficent God unto our salvation. Likewise that it is well-pleasing in the sight of God that we should treat with respect and reverence their relics, glorified through incorruption, as the precious memorials of their virtues.
I acknowledge that the icons of Christ our Savior, the Ever-Virgin Mary, and of the other Saints are worthy to be kept and honored; not unto idolatry, but that, through contemplation thereof, we may be incited unto Godliness, and unto emulation of the deeds of the holy persons represented by those images.
I confess that the prayers of the faithful, which are offered up to God for the salvation of those who have departed this life in the faith, are favorably received, through the mercy of God.
Essential Points of Faith from the Divine Liturgy:
- Basic Catechism:
The Creed and the Affirmations stated above are a good start to the Catechism, and then also learn other basic principles, such as those that follow here.
From the 5th Ecumenical Council: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit share from all eternity, before and outside of time, a single divine nature or essence, as well as the natural energy or power of this essence. There is then a co-essential (consubstantial) Trinity, one Godhead to be worshipped in three hypostases or persons. For there is but one God the Father from whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, and only Holy Spirit in whom are all things.
The Word of God has two nativities, the one from all eternity of the Father, without time and without body; the other in these last days, coming down from heaven and being made flesh of the holy and glorious Mary, the Ever-Virgin Mother of God, and born of her. He is a single person that is both fully divine, receiving His Godhead before time from the Father, and fully human, receiving His humanity in the fullness of time from His Mother.
The Essence of Christianity
The Essence of the Christian Faith is simple: God is love and created us to partake of this love. Lest we remain infants drinking only milk, however, and fail to grow into maturity and eat solid food, we must plumb the depths and grow to maturity in wisdom and understanding. As our Lord said, be wise as serpents but gentle as doves, for He is Wisdom and true knowledge.
God is an eternal Communion of love, and created humankind to attain by grace what the Holy Trinity is by nature. God brings to fulfillment all the things of His loving dispensation to accomplish this. Above all these things is the Incarnation and the Theosis that results therein and therefrom.
Only God has absolute unbounded existence, while creatures, including humans and angels, have limited conditional existence. Indeed, only God IS absolute existence. God alone is and has natural existence unconditionally and eternally. He is the great “I AM,” the “Existing One,” or “the Being” (O On). Only God the Father, together with the Word begotten before time in all eternity, and the Spirit who preceeds from the Father, being spirated before time from all eternity, exist before the beginning of Creation. All other things exist as the ex nihilo creation of God, and only continue to exist because He upholds and preserves created existence in his memory. Therefore, the natural universe and the angelic powers have not only their origin but their continued existence dependent upon God’s perpetual memory and will. God created all things good and they are infused with His Presence, as He fills all things as the treasury of blessings and giver of life. The entire Trinity is involved in this creation, as we see in Psalm 33.6: “By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the Spirit [Pneuma, Breath] of His mouth.”
God is a Communion of the Love of Three Persons who share one Divine Nature: God the Father, together with His Only-Begotten Son and Word and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity one in essence and undivided. Hence, God is love. He created man in his own image that man too, might be a communion of love. He created man in His own image, and refers to man as both “him” and “them,” reflecting that man was also brought forth as a plurality of persons who share a single nature so that they too might be a communion of love, being icons of the Trinity.
For this reason, because we were created that we might attain union with God by grace and thereby union with one another, the essential commandment of God is simply this: to love—to love God above all things, and to love all the things that God loves. Love is the way that we cooperate (synergize) with God and find energetic union with Him, also calledTheosis. Whatever comes from the human will that is not complete love is sin. Therefore, the Lord became Incarnate to save us from our sins and restore us to His love.
The Four High Commandments of Love given by our Lord Jesus Christ: The Two Great Commandments and New Commandments:
1&2 The Lord tells us that all the law is summed up in the commandment to Love:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matt. 22.36-40
- But the Lord wants us to go beyond this, as He wants us to love one another more than we love ourselves, as He selflessly loved us an our lives putting us before Himself: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love each other. Love one another even as I have loved you. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for each other. Jn 13.34 15.12
- For the sake of clarity, the Lord instructs us that the commandment to love includes our enemies, and gives us specific instructions as to how we can accomplish this: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the even and on the good, and sends rains on the just and on the unjust. For if you love only those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the Publicans do so? Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5.43-44). [it should be noted here that at anyone moment we are either serving God, i.e. “being perfect” in goodness, or serving selfish or bad impulses. Thus most people are in a back and forth growth process, obeying the commandment at one time, and turning away from it the next]
Are all men our neighbors?
Yes, all; because all are the creation of one God, and have come from one man: but our neighbors in faith are doubly neighbors to us, as being children of one heavenly Father by faith in Jesus Christ.
But why is there no commandment of love to ourselves?
There is: love your neighbor as yourself is a command to love yourself—not with sinful self-satisfying love, but as the image of God and temple of the Holy Spirit. Thus we love ourselves, not with selfish love (philavtia), but with the selfless love of the image of God within us.
No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it. (Eph. 5.29). But we must take sure that this love is God-centered, not self-centered, or else it profits nothing.
What relative order should there be in our love to God, our neighbor, and ourselves?
We should love ourselves not for our own, but for God's sake, and
partly also for the sake of our neighbors; we should love our neighbor also for the sake of God; but we should love God for Himself, and above all. Love of self should be sacrificed to the love of our neighbor; but both should be sacrificed to the love of God. Sacrificed does not mean “done away with” but rather offered into the ultimate context of God’s love for us: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.John 15.13.
Ten Commandments given to Moses
I am the Lord your God—you shall have no other gods other than me
You shall not make unto yourself a graven idol
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy
Honor your father and your mother—This commandment includes father and mother, as well as all those who stand in a patristic way, the Shepherds of the Church both living and departed (i.e. the Saints and Fathers of the Church), earthly rulers, those who are our superiors in rank at work, elders in our family, benefactors, and our governors in other ways. St. Paul said “you have not many fathers…but I am your father”
What does “honor” include here?
a. To behave respectfully to them.
b. To obey them.
c. To support and comfort them in sickness and age.
d. After their death, as well as during their lives, to pray for the salvation of their souls; and faithfully to fulfill their last wills, so far as they are not contrary to law, divine or civil. See2 Macc. xii. 43, 44; Jer. xxxv. 18, 19. (J. Damasc. Serm. de Mort.)
You shall not murder
You shall not commit adultery
You shall not steal
You shall not bear false witness (i.e. you shall not tell lies against someone in any way that injures them
You shall not covet (i.e. desire to have for yourself) anything that belongs to your neighbor
Operative Love in the life of the Christian
The Catechumen must learn and take to heart the following duties of Christians (Matthew 6):
- Alms (Acts of Mercy or Charity)
1. Alms: Acts of Mercy, Charity. With regard to the first duty of Christians, called Alms, Charity, or Acts of Mercy (Matthew 6). In the Gospels, Christ does not say “if you do works of mercy” but rather “when you do works of mercy,” otherwise known as “alms.” It is listed even before prayer or fasting. Christ says that without practicing these, we shall in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven, and we will be told: “depart from me you workers of iniquity”
The works of mercy are 14 total in number, with 7 basic spiritual works of mercy and 7 basic bodily works of mercy:
The Seven Acts of Mercy relating to the Body.
To feed the hungry
To give drink to the thirsty
To clothe the naked
To receive the traveler
To visit the sick
To visit the imprisoned
To bury the dead
The Seven Spiritual Acts of Mercy
To admonish sinners
To instruct the ignorant
To counsel the doubtful
To pray to the Lord for the salvation of your neighbor
To comfort the sorrowful
To bear wrongs patiently
To forgive all injuries
- Prayer. Prayer is essential to the Christian, both corporate and personal. Prayer is communicating with your Lord regularly, not only daily but throughout the day, with both formal prayer and with prayers from the heart. We are aided by icons. When we pray looking toward icons, especially icons of the Lord, we are reminded of His presence. The prayer offered to a Lord before an icon and the honor paid to the image of the Lord in the icon passes to the prototype, that is, the Lord Himself. Prayer includes silent prayer, action prayer, such as making the sign of the cross, and vocal prayer from the heart and from the service books, the pinnacle of all being prayer together in the Divine Liturgy.
- Fasting. We must acquire the power of moderation, which dashes the wicked hopes of adversarial spirits. Because there are sometimes we indulge, such as in periods of rejoicing, we must always be balancing this out with refraining from indulgence. Fasting itself is all at once the acquiring and building of up many virtues, or grace-filled powers of God that he wishes us also to have, including the virtues of sobriety, moderation, temperance, and other. Our Lord did not say “if you fast” but rather “when you fast.” To fast is to abstain from something. We first abstain from indulgences on fast days and fast periods. This includes food. We are told by the Fathers to fast on fast days all the day if we can; if not then to fast until 3pm, and if we cannot do this, we must be careful not to overeat.
Becoming like God:
The virtues--Acquiring God’s power
The Three Great Theological Virtues
Love—the Greatest Virtue, and summation of all virtues
Faith—A particular aspect of loving God is to trust him and believe him, as we are finite and he is infinite, all-knowing and all-loving
Hope—Another particular aspect of loving God is to place our hope in him, and not in ourselves or in anything else
Scripture says “Faith, hope and love abide, but the greatest of these is love”
Seven Capital Christian Virtues
Humility—Behaving in a manner of submission, modesty, deference, or self-emptying (kenosis). Behaving humbly, that is, behaving in a humble manner. The Lord Jesus said “learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart”. This means not being a show-off or putting anyone else down to make yourself look good. We should be constantly building up the confidence of others and ourselves be modest in words about ourselves and put others first out of love for God.
Liberality—Freely giving of self, money, and time to the work of God in the Church and in the world, and generally wanting what is best for others. This entails an awareness that God gave you all that you have an that ultimately it is not yours, but on loan to you. Thus Liberality is summed up in the Lord’s teachings: “Freely you have received, freely give.”
Chastity—(Greek Sophrosyne) Behaving in a way that is based desire for good and pleasure doing God’s will and for other’s virtue and true happiness (rather than pleasure based on evil things and leading others down a wrong path). This includes behaving decently and modestly. This includes behaving like a young lady or a gentleman.
Gentleness—to behave in a kind, friendly, and peaceful manner
Temperance—Behaving moderately (with balance) in the satisfaction of appetites or passions, behaving with restraint and moving on to other helpful activities, dividing your time to include a variety of good activities (i.e. eating, drinking, things that you like in balance, doing other things as well—dividing your time to include other good things—leaving time to help your parents, neighbors, friends, Church, community, etc.—Play a video game for an hour but not 4 hours, this is wasteful—what about homework, chores to help out, etc.).
Happiness (Joy, Joyfulness)—“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in the Faith, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15.13). A state of well being and contentment; being pleased with the good fortune of others and with one’s own situation. “Joy” is probably the more accurate word here. Literally the term “happiness” indicates contentment with your situation and making oneself well-adapted to one’s environment. Happiness is not a “feeling” that someone “gets”, but is part of who someone is by choice and action. Having joy oneself for the joy of others. Desiring that others be happy and celebrating/rejoicing with them when good things happen. This is true happiness—it is choice and action. To choose to be content with what you have and to be in a state of satisfaction and gratefulness for your life that God has given you. Heartfelt friendliness.
Diligence—Dedication in doing the work of God. More specifically, steady, hardworking (earnest), and energetic effort to doing good to others and the world around you in accordance with God’s will. Scripture: “For God is not unjust and will not forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward his name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do help them (minister unto them). And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6.10-12).
Seven Deadly Sins
Pride—Lack of humility, the unwillingness of a person to allow God to justify or glorify him or her (rather, it typically results with a person glorifying themselves, or justifying themselves)
Greed—The absence or corruption of Liberality. Too great a desire for money or worldly goods due to stinginess and selfishness. Rather than wanting to give freely, greed is turning inward and desiring to be given to freely in selfishness. This ultimately leads to theft, adultery, bearing false witness, and other deadly sins.
Lust—impure and unworthy desire for something evil.
Wrath—unrighteous anger, unworthy irritation and lack of self—control. Incensed in an unworthy manner.
Gluttony—the habit of eating or drinking or overindulging in anything (video games, watching TV, etc.) without self-control and balance
Envy—jealousy of another person’s happiness (joy)
Sloth—laziness that keeps us from doing our duty to God and man.
Nine ways of participating in another’s sin
By counsel (advising others to do something wrong)
by command (ordering someone to do something wrong)
by consent (agreeing with someone when they suggest that they should do something wrong, rather than admonishing them, in other words, we should tell them that it is wrong and that they shouldn’t do it, even if they get mad at us)
by provocation (getting someone to do something wrong by saying things like: “awe come on, what are you, chicken” or “you want to fit in don’t you”)
by praise or flattery (telling someone that they did good when they really did something wrong)
by concealment (by keeping secret something that someone did that is wrong)
by partaking (by helping someone do something wrong)
by silence (by not speaking up when someone is doing something wrong)
by defense of the sin committed (to defend or make excuses for someone who did something wrong)
- Essential Points of Church Teaching in the Liturgical Services:
Only Begotten Son and immortal Word of God, Who for our salvation willed to be incarnate of the holy Theotokos and ever Virgin Mary, Who without change became man and was crucified, O Christ our God trampling down death by death, Who is one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us.
Priest: O Existing One, Master, Lord God the Father Almighty and adorable, it is truly meet and right and befitting the magnificence of Thy holiness to praise, hymn, bless, worship, thank and glorify Thee—the only true existing God—and to offer to Thee this our reasonable worship with a contrite heart and a spirit of humility, for Thou hast granted us the knowledge of Thy truth. Who can utter Thy mighty acts? Or make all Thy praises known? Or tell of all Thy miracles at all times? O Master of all, Lord of heaven and earth and of all creation both visible and invisible; who sits upon the throne of glory and beholds the depths; without beginning, invisible, incomprehensible, indescribable, changeless. O Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the great God and Savior, our hope, Who is the image of Thy goodness, the seal of Thy very likeness, showing forth in Himself Thee, O Father—the living Word, the true God, the eternal Wisdom, the Life, the Sanctification, the Power, the true Light, through Whom the Holy Spirit was revealed--the Spirit of truth, the gift of sonship, the pledge of future inheritance, the first fruits of eternal blessings, the life-creating power, the foundation of sanctification, through Whom every creature of reason and understanding worships Thee and always sings to Thee a hymn of glory, for all things are Thy servants.
Thou art praised by angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities, powers, and many-eyed Cherubim. Round about Thee stand the Seraphim, one with six wings and the other with six wings; with two they cover their faces, with two they cover their feet, and with two they fly crying one to another with unceasing voices and ever-resounding praises:
Then the Priest exclaims: Singing the hymn of victory, crying aloud, proclaiming, and saying:
People: Holy Holy Holy Lord of Sabaoth, Heaven and Earth are full of Thy Glory Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!
The Anamnesis: The Recalling of the Mysteries of Salvation
Priest: With these blessed powers, O Master Who loves mankind, we also cry aloud and say: Holy art Thou—truly most holy—and there are no bounds to the splendor of Thy holiness. Thou art gracious in all Thy deeds, for with righteousness and true judgment Thou hast ordered all things for us. Thou didst create man by taking dust from the earth and honored him with Thine own image, O God, setting him in a paradise of delight, promising him eternal life and the enjoyment of everlasting blessings in the observance of Thy Commandments. But when man disobeyed Thee, the true God Who had created him, and was deceived by the guile of the serpent, becoming subject to death through his own transgressions, Thou, O God, in Thy righteous judgment, sent him forth from paradise into this world, returning him to the earth from which he was taken, yet providing for him the salvation of regeneration in Thy Christ Himself.
For Thou didst not turn Thyself away forever from Thy creature, whom Thou hadst made, O Good One, nor didst Thou forget the works of Thy hands, but in tenderhearted mercy visited him in various ways by sending prophets and performing mighty works by the saints who in every generation were well-pleasing to Thee. Thou didst speak to us by the mouths of Thy servants the prophets, foretelling to us the salvation which was to come, giving us the law as a help, and appointing angels as guardians.
And when the fullness of time had come, Thou didst speak to us through Thy Son Himself, by Whom Thou didst also make the ages; Who, being the Radiance of Thy glory and the Image of Thy person, upholding all things by the word of His power, thought it not robbery to be equal to Thee, God and Father. He was God before the ages, yet He appeared on earth and lived among men, becoming incarnate of a holy Virgin; He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being likened to the body of our humility, that He might liken us to the image of His glory.
For as by man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, so it pleased Thine Only-Begotten Son, Who was in the bosom of Thee, God and Father, Who was born of a woman, the holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, Who was born under the law to condemn sin in His flesh, so that those who were dead in Adam might be made alive in Thy Christ Himself. He lived in this world and gave us commandments of salvation; releasing us from the delusions of idolatry, He brought us to knowledge of Thee, the true God and Father.
He took us unto Himself as His own Chosen People, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation. Having cleansed us in water, and sanctified us with the Holy Spirit, He gave Himself as a ransom to death, in which we were held captive, sold under sin.
Descending through the Cross into hell—that he might fill all things with Himself—He loosed the pangs of death. He arose on the third day, having made for all flesh a path to the resurrection from the dead, since it was not possible for the Author of Life to be a victim of corruption. So He became the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep, the first-born of the dead, that He might be Himself truly the first in all things. Ascending into heaven, He sat down at the right hand of Thy majesty on high, and He will come to render to every man according to his works. And as memorials of His saving Passion, He has left us these things which we have set forth according to His command. For when He was about to go forth to His voluntary and ever-memorable and life-creating death--in the night in which He gave Himself up for the life of the world--He took bread into His holy and undefiled hands; and presenting it to Thee, God and Father, He gave thanks, blessed it, sanctified it, and having broken it Then in an exclamatory voice:
He gave it to His holy disciples and apostles, saying, Take, eat, this is my Body, which is broken for you for the remission of sins.
Priest in ordinary voice: Likewise, He also took the cup of the fruit of the vine, mingled it, gave thanks, and when He had blessed and hallowed it
Then in exclamatory voice: He gave it to His holy disciples and apostles, saying, Drink this all of you; this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins.
Priest in ordinary voice: Do this in remembrance of me, for as often as you eat this Bread and drink from this Cup, you proclaim my death and profess my resurrection.
Therefore, Master, remembering His saving Passion and life-creating Cross, His three-day burial and resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, and sitting down at Thy right hand, God and Father, and His glorious and awesome second coming,
Priest (exclaims): Thine own of Thine own we offer unto Thee on behalf of all and for all.
Divine Liturgy of St. Basil—prayer of Thanksgiving after communion:
Priest (in a low voice): We thank You, Lord, our God, for the communion of Your holy, most pure, immortal, and heavenly Mysteries which You have granted us for the benefit, sanctification, and healing of our souls and bodies. Grant, Master of all, that the communion of the holy Body and Blood of Your Christ may become for us faith unashamed, love unfeigned, fullness of wisdom, healing of soul and body, repelling of every hostile adversary, observance of Your commandments, and an acceptable defense at the dread judgment seat of Your Christ.
Here we have a basic summation of the central aspects of the Faith: That Communion is given to us for the good, benefit, and healing of our souls and bodies, and that this Communion may be for Faith, Love, fullness of Wisdom, helal
Priest: The mystery of Thy dispensation, O Christ our God, has been accomplished and perfected, as far as is in our power, for we have had the memorial of Thy death, we have seen the image of Thy Resurrection, we have been filled with Thine unending life, we have enjoyed Thine inexhaustible bounty, of which be pleased to also deem us all worthy in the age to come, through the grace of Thine Unoriginate Father, and of Thy Holy and good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Priest (in a low voice): It is proper and right to sing to You, bless You, praise You, thank You and worship You in all places of Your dominion; for You are God ineffable, beyond comprehension, invisible, beyond understanding, existing forever and always the same; You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit. You brought us into being out of nothing, and when we fell, You raised us up again. You did not cease doing everything until You led us to heaven and granted us Your kingdom to come. For all these things we thank You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit; for all things that we know and do not know, for blessings seen and unseen that have been bestowed upon us. We also thank You for this liturgy which You are pleased to accept from our hands, even though You are surrounded by thousands of Archangels and tens of thousands of Angels, by the Cherubim and Seraphim, six-winged, many-eyed, soaring with their wings,
Priest: Singing the victory hymn, proclaiming, crying out, and saying:
People: Holy, holy, holy, Lord Sabaoth, heaven and earth are filled with Your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna to God in the highest.
Priest (in a low voice): Together with these blessed powers, merciful Master, we also proclaim and say: You are holy and most holy, You and Your only-begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit. You are holy and most holy, and sublime is Your glory. You so loved Your world that You gave Your only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. He came and fulfilled the divine plan for us. On the night when He was betrayed, or rather when He gave Himself up for the life of the world, He took bread in His holy, pure, and blameless hands, gave thanks, blessed, sanctified, broke, and gave it to His holy disciples and apostles saying:
Priest: Take, eat, this is my Body which is broken for you for the forgiveness of sins.
Priest: Likewise, after supper, He took the cup, saying:
Priest: Drink of it all of you; this is my Blood of the new Covenant which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Priest: Remembering, therefore, this command of the Savior, and all that came to pass for our sake, the cross, the tomb, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the enthronement at the right hand of the Father, and the second, glorious coming.
Priest: Your own, from what is Your own, we offer unto You, on behalf of all, and for all.