Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon

The Liturgy of the Catechumens.

The Entrance

The altar, at the Communion-time having a fair white linen cloth upon it, shall stand in the body of the Church, or in the chancel. At least once a month, just before the Opening/Entrance Hymn is sung by the congregation, the people shall kneel and the Decalogue shall be recited by the celebrant and the people. During the hymn, the celebrant ascends to the altar and honors it with a kiss. At a Solemn Mass, incense is set, after which the altar and the celebrant are censed. Then the celebrant, standing at the right side of the altar, or where Morning and Evening Prayer are appointed to be offered, the celebrant quietly says the Lord’s Prayer and the Collect afterwards, the Lord’s Prayer may be omitted, if Morning Prayer has been said immediately before. With the Preparatory prayers completed, the celebrant sings or says the Introit verse and then greets the congregation.

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily glorify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ said. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

The celebrant now greets the congregation and offers a very brief Invocation.

The Kyrie

Leader: Lord, have mercy upon us. (Kyrie, eleison)
Response: Lord, have mercy upon us. (Kyrie, eleison)
Leader: Lord, have mercy upon us. (Kyrie, eleison)

Leader: Christ, have mercy upon us. (Christe, eleison)
Response: Christ, have mercy upon us. (Christe, eleison)
Leader: Christ, have mercy upon us. (Christe, eleison)

Leader: Lord, have mercy upon us. (Kyrie, eleison)
Response: Lord, have mercy upon us. (Kyrie, eleison)
Leader: Lord, have mercy upon us. (Kyrie, eleison)

The Gloria in Excelsis

The Gloria is omitted during Advent, Lent, Nuptials, and Requiem Masses. All the people and ministers turn to the altar and bow, and then the celebrant says:

Celebrant/Cantor: Glory be to God on high,

Response: and on earth peace, good will towards all. We praise you, we bless you, we worship you, we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.
O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. You that takes away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. You that seated at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.
For you only are holy; you only are the Lord; you only, O Christ, with the Holy Spirit, are most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen

After the Gloria, the celebrant makes the personal sign of the cross, and turns to the people, raising the arms a little, then joins the hands, and says:

The Collect

Celebrant: The Lord be with you.
Response: And with your spirit.
Celebrant: Let us pray.

Then the celebrant shall then read the appropriate Collect(s) for the day, at the end of which is said … “Amen.”

The Epistle

The response after the reading: Thanks be to God.

The Gradual

The deacon/celebrant prays to worthily proclaim the Gospel. At a Solemn Mass, incense is set, after which the Gospel censed.

The Holy Gospel

The Gospeller then proceeds through the midst of the quire (choir area and/or sanctuary), carrying the text solemnly in the left hand, led by a crucifer, to the middle of the front entrance of the Chancel area. The people stand, turn to face the book of the Gospels, acknowledge the cross.

Gospeller: The Lord be with you.
Response: And with your spirit.
Gospeller: The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to __Name__ .
Response: Glory be to you, O Lord.

The Holy Gospel is now read or sung.
The response after the reading: Praise be to you, O Christ.

The Sermon may be given here or at any other place, at the discretion of the celebrant.
The Creed is said on all Sundays and Greater feasts, but is omitted at Nuptial and Requiem Masses.

The Nicene Creed

Celebrant: I believe in one God:

Response: The Father Almighty, Maker 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 his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, True God of true God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, And was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried: And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And seated on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, The Lord, and 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.
And I believe one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

NOTE: At the discretion of the celebrant, the Prayers of the Church and the General Confession may be offered first and afterwards the Offertory.

The Offertory

An appropriate Scriptural Verse is said or sung. A Hymn may be sung while the celebrant prepares the Offering of bread and wine with the appropriate prayers. At Solemn Mass incense is set, after which the offerings, the altar, the celebrant and the people in the front pews are censed. After all preparations are completed, the celebrant turns to the people and begins the responsorial for the gifts.

Celebrant: Pray everyone, that this my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the Father almighty.
Response: May the Lord receive this sacrifice at your hands, to the praise and glory of his name, both to our benefit, and that of all his holy Church.

The Prayers of the Church

Celebrant/Deacon: The Lord be with you
Response: And with your spirit
Celebrant/Deacon: Let us pray for the whole state of Christ’s Church.

Deacon/Celebrant: Almighty and ever living God, who by your holy Word has taught us to make prayers, and sincere requests, and to give thanks for all people; We humbly ask you most mercifully to accept our [alms and] offerings, and to receive these our prayers, which we offer to your Divine Majesty; asking you to inspire continually the Universal Church with the spirit of truth, unity, and concord: And grant that all those who do confess your holy Name may agree in the truth of your holy Word, and live in unity and godly love.
We ask you also, so to direct and incline the hearts of all Christian Rulers, that they may truly and impartially administer justice, to the punishment of wickedness and vice, and to the maintenance of your true religion, and virtue.
Give grace, O heavenly Father, to all Bishops and other Ministers, especially for __ Names ___ , that they may, both by their life and doctrines, set forth your true and lively Word, and rightly and duly administer your holy Sacraments.
And to all your People give your heavenly grace; and especially to this congregation here present; that, with gentle heart and due reverence, they may hear, and receive your holy Word; truly serving you in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.
And we most humbly ask you, of your goodness, O Lord, to comfort and relieve all those who, in this transitory life, are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity.
And we also bless your holy Name for all your servants departed this life in your faith and fear; asking you to grant them continual growth in your love and service, and to give us grace so to follow their good examples, that with them we may be partakers of your heavenly kingdom. Grant this, O Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our only Mediator and Advocate.

Response: Amen.

The General Confession

Celebrant: You who do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbors, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith, and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God, devoutly kneeling.

Response: Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all people; We acknowledge and bewail our many sins and wickedness, which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against your Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly your wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous to us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please you in newness of life, To the honor and glory of your Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Celebrant: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to all those who with hearty repentance and true faith turn to him; Have mercy upon you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Response: Amen.

Celebrant: Hear what comfortable words our Savior Christ said to all who truly turn to him.

Come to me, all you that labor and are heavy with burdens, and I will refresh you. St. Matt. xi. 28.

God so loved the world, that he gave His only-begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. St. John iii. 16.

Hear also what St. Paul said. This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I Tim. i. 15.

Hear also what St. John said. If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins. I St. John ii. 1, 2.

The Liturgy of the Sacrament.

The Sursum Corda

Celebrant: The Lord be with you.
Response: And with your Spirit.
Celebrant: Lift up your hearts.
Response: We lift them up to the Lord.
Celebrant: Let us give thanks to our Lord God.
Response: It is proper and right so to do.

The Proper Preface

Celebrant: It is very proper, right, and our required duty that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to you, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God (here shall follow the Proper for the Preface, if there be one). Therefore, with Angels and Archangels, and with all the company of heaven, we praise and glorify your glorious name; evermore praising you, and saying,

The Sanctus

Everyone either says or sings the Sanctus Hymn.

Holy, Holy, Holy,
Lord God of hosts,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory:
Glory be to you, O Lord Most High.
Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.


Celebrant: All glory be to you, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that you, of your tender mercy, did give your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death on the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his one offering of himself – once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, offering, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world; and did institute, and in his holy Gospel commands us to continue, a perpetual memory of that of his precious death and sacrifice, until his coming again.

The Memorial

The bell rings once.

For in the night in which he was betrayed, he took Bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat, this is my Body, which is given for you; Do this in remembrance of me.”

The bell rings thrice for the offering of the bread.

Likewise, after supper, he took the Cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink this, all of you; for this is my Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins; Do this, as often as you shall drink it, in remembrance of me.”

The bell rings thrice for the offering of the chalice.

Wherefore O Lord and heavenly Father, according to the institution of your dearly beloved Son our Savior Jesus Christ, we, your humble servants, do celebrate and make here before your Divine Majesty, with these your holy gifts, which we now offer to you, the memorial your Son has commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed passion and precious death, his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; rendering to you most hearty thanks for the countless benefits procured to us by the same.

The Prayer of Consecration

And we most humbly ask you, O merciful Father, to hear us; and, of your almighty goodness, grant to bless and sanctify, with your Word and Holy Spirit, these your gifts and living elements of bread and wine; that we, receiving them according to your Son our Savior Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body and Blood.

And we earnestly desire your fatherly goodness, mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly asking you to grant that, by the merits and death of your Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we, and all your whole Church, may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. And here we offer and present to you, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice to you; humbly asking you, that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of your Son Jesus Christ, be filled with your grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us, and we in him.
Be mindful also, O Lord, of your servants who are gone before us with the sign of faith, and who rest in the sleep of peace (here, the names of the recently departed are remembered). To them, O Lord, and to all who rest in Christ, grant we pray to you, a place of refreshment, light and peace.
To us sinners also, your servants, confiding in the multitude of your mercies, grant some lot and partnership with your holy Apostles and martyrs, and all your Saints into whose company we pray to you, of your mercy to admit us.
And although we are unworthy, through our many sins, to offer to you any sacrifice; yet we ask you to accept this our required duty and service; not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
By whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory be to you, O Father Almighty, world without end.

The Great Amen

The Great Amen is either a simple response like the following or it is sung like a hymn.
Response: Amen.

The celebrant puts the bread down, covers the chalice and genuflects.

The Lord’s Prayer

Celebrant: And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,

Response: 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

(For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.) Amen.

The Doxology is omitted from the Lord’s Prayer at all low, Nuptial, and Requiem Masses.
The celebrant now says the Libera Nos prayer for the Fracture (also known as the Breaking of the Bread), and afterwards exchanges the Pax (the Peace) with the people of the congregation.

The Libera Nos

The celebrant takes the paten raises it and says,

Deliver us, we ask you, O Lord, from all evils, past, present, and to come; and by the intercession of the blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and of the holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, and of Andrew, and of all the Saints, mercifully grant peace in our days, that through the assistance of your mercy we may be always free from sin, and secure from all disturbance.

The celebrant places the paten on the altar and uncovers the chalice and genuflects. Then the celebrant takes the bread and breaks it down the middle over the chalice and says,

Through the Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord.

The celebrant breaks off a small particle from the bread.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

The celebrant uses the particle to make the sign of the cross over the chalice three times and then gently drops the particle into the chalice. The bells may ring three times signaling the people to be ready to come forward for Communion.

Response: Amen.

The Pax

Celebrant: The peace of the Lord be always with you.
Response: And with your spirit.

The Agnus Dei

Everyone either says or sings the Agnus Dei Hymn.

O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world:
Have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world:
Have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world:
Grant us your peace.

In Masses for the Dead, instead of “Have mercy upon us,” the following is said or sung: grant them rest, grant them rest, grant them rest eternal.

The Prayer of Humble Access

The celebrant says the following prayer aloud and the entire congregation is encouraged to join the celebrant in saying this prayer.

Let not the receiving of your Body, O Lord Jesus Christ, bring judgement upon us. For we do not presume to come to this your Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in your many and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under your Table. But you are the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the body of your dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen.

The celebrant now self-communes.
Afterwards, the celebrant turns towards the faithful and says,

Celebrant: Behold the Lamb of God; behold him that takes away the sins of the world.

Celebrant: Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof,
Response: But speak the word only and my soul shall be healed.

Celebrant/Deacon: Let us confess our faith.

Response: I believe, O Lord, and I confess that you are truly the Christ, the son of the living God, who did come into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. And I believe that this is truly your own immaculate Body, and that this is truly your own precious Blood. Therefore, I pray to you, have mercy on me and forgive my transgressions, both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance; and make me worthy to partake without condemnation of your immaculate Mysteries, to the remission of my sins and to life everlasting. Amen.

The Holy Communion

NOTE: In accordance with Orthodox canon law and practice, ONLY ORTHODOX CATHOLICS may receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion in Orthodox Churches.

The celebrant communes the people with the following words:

(For the Bread) The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is given for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your heart by faith, with thanksgiving.

(For the Chalice) The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which was shed for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for you, and be thankful.

(If the Bread and Wine are administered together) The Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given and shed for you, preserve your body and soul to everlasting life.

After communion, the celebrant performs the Ablutions, a cleansing of the sacred vessels.

The Prayers of Thanksgiving

Celebrant: Let us pray.

Response: Almighty and ever living God, we most heartily thank you, for that you do grant to feed us who have properly received these holy mysteries with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; and do assure us thereby of your favor and goodness towards us; and that we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of your Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs through hope of your everlasting kingdom, by the merits of his most precious death and passion. And we humbly ask you, O heavenly Father, so to assist us with your grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all such good works as you have prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with your and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.

The celebrant now sings or says the assigned Communion Antiphon (if it has not already been offered). With this completed, the celebrant says, “Let us pray.” Then the celebrant sings or says the Post Communion Prayer.

The Dismissal

Deacon: The Lord be with you.
Response: And with your spirit.

During regular periods throughout the year, this is said …

Deacon: Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord
Response: Thanks be to God.

During penitential seasons, this may be said …

Deacon: Let us bless the Lord.
Response: Thanks be to God.

At Requiem Masses, this is said …

Deacon: May they rest in peace.
Response: Amen.

The Blessing

Celebrant: The Peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord: And the Blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always.

Response: Amen.

The Final Hymn and Gospel

All stand for the Final Hymn. The celebrant turns off the microphone(s) and the congregation begins to sing the Final Hymn. As the hymn begins, the servers and other ministers gather near the alter. Using a soft voice, the celebrant greets them and then reads the Final Gospel. After the reading the celebrant, the servers, and the other ministers process out as the congregation finishes the Final Hymn.

Celebrant: The Lord be with you.
Servers: And with your spirit.
Celebrant: The beginning of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
Servers: Glory be to you, O Lord.

Celebrant: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him not a thing was made that was created. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, who gives light to every man that comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own did not receive him. But as many as received him, to them he gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Who were born, not of natural descent, nor of human decision, or will of a husband, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Servers: Thanks be to God.
The Pflueger Library 2017


19. A Reflection on Liturgy

Holy Spirit (1)

The Introduction

Send out your Light and your Truth, let them lead us. Let them bring us to your holy hill, and to your tabernacle. Then we will go to the altar of God, to God our exceeding joy. Psalm 43:3-4

Give to LORD, the glory due to his name. Bring an offering, and come into his courts. Worship LORD in the beauty of holiness. Psalm 96:8-9

From a book by Johannes H. Emminghaus called the “The Eucharist” we receive this gem concerning the Jewish Passover celebration, “The festival itself was already, even before Moses, a nomadic celebration connected with the “shifting of pastures.” In a ritual shepherds’ meal, one of the new lambs was sacrificed, roasted on the fire, and eaten …. The original character of a nomadic meal, in contrast to the customs of hunters and farmers, is thus deliberately preserved [in the Jewish Passover] … Unleavened flat bread of the nomads was much older than the customary leavened bread of farmers, which was baked in ovens.”

Within this light we once again see that nothing is new, just reformatted to fit the need of whoever was borrowing it and this reformatted shepherd’s ritual has served the Jewish community for many centuries now – with very little change. The focus of the Jewish Passover is freedom from bondage, enslavement, and injustice.

When the Christians were removed from the Jewish synagogues, they simply did what their forefathers did, reformed the style of worship. In all likelihood their worship had the appearance of the style of worship found in a synagogue with a community meal attach to the end of it. For both Jewish and Gentile Christians worship was a celebration that was a time for the people to gather for reflection, guidance from the Scriptures, and the celebration of the sacred mystery of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit of Christ in the bread and wine.

First Point: Development through the Years

As the years passed, the different Christian communities evolved and so did their worship. In the Latin speaking communities worship was a Roman “work of the people (Mass)” and celebrated with reverence. During this time, the Roman community had a preference for simplicity of worship, as seen in the works of Justin Martyr and Hippolytus. However, as the years turned into centuries, different cultures and communities would add their own ideas to the Roman Mass. With these additions, the Roman Mass also received new names to reflect the additions. Such as the Ambrosian liturgy, the Gallic liturgy, and the Frankish liturgy to name a few. By the Middle Ages there was one Roman Church, but it had many different liturgical expressions of the same Mass.

In time, these liturgical expressions evolved into a variety of worship styles that was very different than the format and structure of the early Roman church. By the time the Reformation hit the Roman Church, the liturgical experience had all the appearance of a theatrical program. The downside to this elaborate style of liturgy was the limited participation of the laity.

Under Pope Pius, V the Council of Trent did a little house cleaning and standardize the rubrics and the liturgy. Furthermore, any liturgical expression with less than a two-hundred year history was suppressed. While the work of the Pope and the council did little for incorporating the congregation into the celebration of the Mass, it did go a long way in giving the Roman Church a common universal form of worship. This meant that an individual could go into any given Roman parish in any given country and experience the same liturgy spoken or sung in the Latin language.

Now let us turn our attention the revised Mass of 1969. This Mass was conceived during the second Vatican Council. I believe this revised form of worship has done three major things: it has returned the Roman liturgy to a simple and dignified form of worship, it has incorporated the entire congregation into the celebration of the liturgy, and it has embrace both the language and customs of the local congregation. So in many ways this revised Mass is not necessarily new, but a return to a much order style of Roman Catholic worship.

The Second Point: The Liturgy of the Word

From the Mass: Opening Prayer, First Reading, Responsorial Psalm, Second Reading, Alleluia Song or Gospel Acclamation, Gospel Responsorial, Gospel Lesson, Homily, Profession of Faith, Prayers of the Faithful or Special Rite

The Liturgy of the Word begins with music and after an introduction it moves to a general confession. This is a non-specific form of a personal confession. The Eastern liturgies do not begin with a confessional, but it is very common for liturgies of the West to have a confessional during the beginning section of the Mass. After the confessional a prayer of the day (celebration) is offered, this prayer sets the tone for the reminder of the Mass. With the prayer done, the liturgy moves to its primary function, which is the instruction of the gathered assembly. Through the appointed Scripture readings and the homily (sermon) the people receive instruction on living a Christian life.

After being instructed in the Christian faith, the congregations affirm their faith through a Creed, like the Apostles’ Creed, and offer their intercessory prayers. While reciting a creed is nothing new, the intercessory prayers are something new for the modern Christian. What was ancient is new again, the collective prayers of the gathered assembly are offered during the Mass. For over a thousand years the intercessory prayers of the entire community had been removed from the gathered assembly and neatly inserted into parts of the Eucharist Prayer. The liturgical reforms of the second Vatican Council brought these prayers from the altar to the pews and by doing so restored an ancient practice.

LORD, your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Luke 11:28

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. John 6:68

Teaching and preaching the Word of the Lord. Acts 15:35

We have looked upon, and our hands have touched, the Word of Life. 1 John 1:1

His name is called The Word of God. Revelation 19:13

The Third Point: The Mystery of the Bread and Wine

From the Mass: Preface Dialogue, Preface Prayer, Holy, Holy, Holy Song (Sanctus), Eucharistic Prayer, Doxology, Great Amen Song, Lord’s Prayer

God takes away the first sacrifice that he may establish the second. By which we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 10:9

I will begin with a question that was once was asked of me, is the presence of Christ in the bread an idea the Christians created? I pointed out to the individual that holy bread as the host for the Presence of God was an ancient Jews practice that Jesus and his disciple knew very well. Before walking away, I gave the individual something else to further think about. I said, the third cup of wine of the Passover is the cup of redemption, which reminds us of the shedding blood of an innocent Lamb which brought redemption. Who is the innocent Lamb of God?    

Now let us explore the presence of Christ among us. There is diversity among Christians on “how” the manifestation of Jesus happens. Most would agree that a presence of some kind takes place, but they have tendencies of disagreeing on many of the key points of how this presence happens. For me personally, I favor the position of the Eastern Orthodox Church. They teach that this a is a great mystery that is beyond human understanding, it is enough for humankind to know that through the Holy Spirit the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ becomes present in the bread and wine. Through the Holy Spirit Jesus fulfills his promise, when two are more gathered in my name I will be in their midst.

When Jesus held the bread and said this is my body, he was making a connection between himself and the bread of the presence in the temple in Jerusalem. From the time of Moses God choose bread to be the host in which LORD would reside in the presence of the Jewish people and humanity. The Jewish disciples of Jesus were very aware of the bread of the presence and what it meant. Therefore, the concept of the universal and living God dwelling within bread was already known to them. When Jesus said my body is in this bread, he was saying he is the God who dwells in the sacred bread found in the holy of holies, since the time of Moses and beyond. If the presence (spirit) of LORD can be found in bread, then it is realistic that the holy anointed one (Jesus) can be found in bread, since the two are one in the same. As the Creed says, there are not one or three masters, but one Master. There are not one, two, even three spirits, but only one Spirit. Therefore, the Logos of God (Jesus) was as present in the bread that Moses placed in the Tent of the Meeting as he was in the midst of the disciples. Jesus was now informing his disciples that the bread of the presence will no long be confined only to the holy of holies, but will be brought to all nations and be among humanity. Like the days of Moses and the Prophet Isaiah, he will be present in the bread and in the wine.

From a review of the worship manuals from Justin Martyr, Hippolytus, and others we can see that this memorial celebration of Jesus was simple and dignified, a style of Christian worship that would become known as Roman. Through the book Apostolic Tradition written by the Hippolytus around 225 A.D. we have one of the earliest recordings of a Roman Eucharistic Prayer. To this day, this Eucharistic Prayer recorded by Hippolytus serves as the basic blueprint for all Eucharistic Prayers.

The Bread of the Presence and the Cup of Salvation is without question the bread and wine that serve as the hosts for the manifestation of the Spirit of Christ among all humanity. As the hosts they are interwoven with the Spirit of Christ and they are the source of spiritual strength and the Holy Food for the eternal soul. The entire body of Christ (blood, words, body, and spirit) are a reminder of the depth and greatness of the love of God to each and every one of us. Therefore, we should never forget that the mystery of the Body and Blood of Jesus is a sacred act of love and a sign of unity. An Easter meal in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and the soul is nourished.

You shall set upon the table the Bread of Presence before me always. Exodus 25:30

The priest gave him holy bread: for there was no other bread there but the Bread of the Presence; that was taken from before LORD. 1st Samuel 21:6

For the life of the body is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. Leviticus 17:11

We shall take the Cup of Salvation, and call on the name of LORD. Psalm 116:13

Daily bread and wine, these are the labor of human hands and the offerings of the faithful assembly gathered to worship the Almighty God. These are also the primary forms of substance for those of poverty throughout the world. In fellowship with the poor and the heavenly company, the Spirit of Christ has chosen these simple and common elements to serve as its hosts. These everyday items become the dwelling place for the Spirit of God, a visual means to offer general devotion and a means of renewal for the souls of the faithful. Therefore, in solidarity and of great love for humankind the Spirit of Christ comes to us and dwells within the most common everyday items, so that we may honor God and receive spiritual enrichment.

The Conclusion

The first time the Jesus came to us was through the Holy Spirit and the womb of Mary. Other than Mary, the humble servant, humanity played no role in this manifestation of God. Today, Christ comes to us through the Holy Spirit when an assembly offers their invitation through a presbyter.

The Roman work of the people is a celebration of worship and praise. It is a labor of love by an assembly of Christians who want to offer their devotion to the Living God. The Roman work of the people is also an ancient form of worship that goes back to the early Christian communities. In closing, I encourage all those who want to study Christian worship to read and research the history of the Roman work of the people.

== Written by Dave Pflueger February 2, 2009 © copyrighted by Pflueger


The Priest: Therefore, most merciful Father, we humbly ask of You and request of You through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, that You would grant to accept and bless these gifts, these presents, these holy and pure Sacrifices which, in the first place we offer You for Your Holy Catholic Church, to which grant it peace as also to preserve, unite, and govern it, throughout the world, together with Your servant __ (name of the individual who leads the denomination ) __ , our __ (formal title of leader) __ , and __ (name of the local Bishop ) __ , our Bishop; and all faithful believers and confessors of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

Remember, O Lord, Your servant(s) __ (names may be offered for those whom we wish to remember ) __ , and all here present, whose faith and devotion are known to You, for whom we offer You, this sacrifice of praise for themselves, their families and friends, for the redemption of their souls, for the health and salvation they hope for; and who now offer their promises to You, the everlasting, living and true God.

In communion with and honoring in the first place the memory of the glorious and ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord – Jesus Christ. Then Your blessed Apostles, Martyrs, and all Your Saints, through whose merits and prayers, grant that we may be always be defended by the help of Your protection.
[Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.]

We therefore humbly ask You, O Lord, to graciously accept this offering of our service, as also of Your entire family; and guide our days through Your peace, preserve us from eternal damnation, and count us in the number in Your chosen.
[Through Christ our Lord. Amen.]

The Prayer of Consecration

We humbly ask you, O God, to bless, approve, ratify, make reasonable and acceptable in every way; that these may become for us the Body and Blood of your most beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Send now your Holy Spirit upon these offerings, so that the Spirit would make this bread the precious Body of your Christ, and that which is in this Cup the precious Blood of your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, transforming them by your Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Remembrance

On the day before He suffered, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread (take hold and raise a little) into His holy and venerable hands, and having raised His eyes to heaven, to You, O God, His Almighty Father, giving thanks to You, blessed it broke it and gave it to His disciples saying: (hands upon additional bread) Take and eat all of you.
THIS IS HIS BODY. (elevate high, return it to its proper place, and then a personal sign of reverence)

In like manner, after He had the meal, taking also the excellent chalice (take hold and raise a little) into His holy and venerable hands, and giving thanks to You, He blessed it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: (hands upon additional wine) Take and drink all of you.
THIS IS HIS BLOOD, THE CHALICE OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING TESTAMENT. THE MYSTERY OF FAITH, WHICH FOR YOU AND FOR MANY WILL BE SHED FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS. As often as you shall do these things, do them in memory of Me. (elevate high, return it to its proper place, and then a personal sign of reverence)

The Offertory

Mindful, therefore, O God, we, Your servants and Your holy people of Christ, Your Son, our Lord, remember His blessed Passion, and also of His Resurrection from the dead, and finally of His glorious Ascension into heaven, offer to Your most excellent Majesty of Your Own gifts, bestowed upon us, perfect, holy, and a victim without sin.

The holy Bread of eternal Life and the Chalice of eternal Salvation, be pleased to regard them with Your gracious and tranquil countenance, and to accept them as it pleased You to graciously accept the gifts of Your just servant Able, and the sacrifice of Abraham our Patriarch, and those which Your chief priest Melchizedek offered to You, a holy Sacrifice.

Most humbly we ask of You, Almighty God, command these offerings to be borne by the hands of Your holy Angels to Your altar on high, in the sight of Your divine Majesty, that as many as shall partake of the most holy Body and Blood of Your Son at this altar, may be filled with every heavenly grace and blessing.
[Through Christ our Lord. Amen.]

Remember also, Lord, Your servant(s) __ (the names of those who have recently died may now be mentioned ) __ , who have gone before us with the sign of faith and rest in the sleep of peace. To these, O Lord, and to all who rest in Christ, we ask You to grant of Your goodness a place of comfort, light, and peace.
[Through Christ our Lord. Amen.]

To us also, Your sinful servants, confiding in the depth of Your mercy, be pleased to grant us some part and fellowship with Your Holy Apostles, Martyrs, and with all Your Saints, into whose company we humbly ask You to admit us, not weighing our merits, but forgiving our offenses. Through Christ our Lord, by Whom, O God, You always create, sanctify fill with life, bless, and bestow upon us all good things.

Though Him and with Him and in Him
is to You, God the Father Almighty, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory, one world without end.

The Great Amen Hymn

After the celebrant has concluded the Eucharistic Prayer with a Doxology, the people of the congregation either sing a version of the Great Amen Hymn or they say one of the following.

The People : Amen.


15. Eucharistic Prayer: Psalm 72


The Litany

Celebrant: The Lord be with you.
Assembly: And also with you.

Celebrant: Lift up your hearts.
Assembly: We lift them up to the Lord.
Celebrant: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
Assembly: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

The Preface Prayer

Celebrant: It is a good and joyful thing for us to always and everywhere honor you our God and offer you praise. You are our God, and we will glorify you. Give thanks to LORD; for he is good, and his mercy endures forever. Therefore we praise him forever singing/saying this hymn to proclaim the glory of his name:

The Sanctus Hymn

Opening Reflection

Celebrant: O God, give to your Son, who is our King, your judgments and your righteousness. Thus he shall judge your people with righteousness and your poor with justice. With fairness and equality, he shall judge those who live in poverty, save the children of the needy, and be victorious over anyone who oppresses humanity. During his days the righteous shall flourish; and as long as the moon endures, an abundance of peace. And he shall also have dominion throughout the earth.

The Prayer of Consecration

Celebrant: The Word of God told his disciples, where two or more are gathered together in his name, he will be in the midst of them.

Celebrant: Come Holy Spirit, fill these gifts with your presence; make this bread the body of Jesus and this wine the blood of Jesus. Most Holy God, we are thankful for these gifts, because everything you have created is to be received with thanksgiving by them who believe and know the truth. For everything created by you is good, if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer. Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

The Remembrance

The Celebrant extends the hands and then says:

On the night of his last Passover with his disciples, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread; (take hold and raise a little) and when he had given thanks to God, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, and said, take and eat.
This is his body, which is given for us, we do this in memory of his sacrifice.

The Celebrant elevates the plate. Then the Celebrant returns the plate to its place on the linen and offers a sign of respect.

After the meal Jesus took a cup of wine; (take hold and raise a little) and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, drink this all of you.
This is his blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for us and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever we drink it, we do it in memory of him.

The Celebrant elevates the cup. Then the Celebrant returns the cup to its place on the linen and offers a sign of respect.

After the Remembrance a brief silence, then the Celebrant extends both hands and says:

For as often we eat this bread, and drink this cup; we do present the life and death of the Lord until he comes again. Therefore, may we present ourselves as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service.

The Concluding Reflection

Celebrant: O God, give to your Son, who is our King of Peace, your judgments and your righteousness. All those who govern the nations shall bow down before him; all nations shall serve him.

He shall deliver the needy and the poor when they cry; he will assist those who do not have an advocate; he shall be merciful to the poor, he shall save the souls of those in need and redeem their life from all deceit and harm; and in his sight the life of these shall be precious.

Our King shall live, and to him shall be given the [wealth of all nations]; prayers shall also be made to him continually; and daily he shall be given praise.

His name shall endure forever and his name shall continue as long as the sun is bright. Mankind shall be blessed through him and he shall be called blessed by all nations.

Blessed be God, LORD, the God of Israel and of all nations, who only does wonderful things. And blessed be his glorious name forever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen.

The Doxology

Celebrant: The Bread of the Presence and the Cup of Salvation.
By him, and with, and in him,
are all things:
to whom be glory forever.

The Great Amen Hymn

[1] Assembly: Amen.
[2] Assembly: Amen, Amen, Amen.
[3] A version of the Amen Hymn from a hymnal.

The liturgy now continues with the Lord’s Prayer.



The Sanctus Hymn: One of the following Sanctus Hymns or a very similar one is now sung or recited.

Option 1: The Sanctus Hymn. This liturgical hymn can be found in Anglican Hymnals, Catholic Missals, Lutheran books of worship, and Methodist books of worships.

Option 2: The Sanctus Hymn. Franz Schubert.

Option 3: Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty. Reginald Heber, 1826.

Option 4: We Sing Holy, Holy, Holy. Words and Music by Cheryl Lundberg & Cristy Lundberg Performed by Matt Lowery & Fresh Fire


Developed and Written by Dave Pflueger March 2005 © copyrighted by Pflueger


8. My Sense of the Sacraments

First of all, I believe that all sacraments, known and unknown, are sacred Mysteries; manifestation of the Holy among humankind.  The Mysteries are means in which God, through the Holy Spirit, reminds humanity of the love and redemptive power of the Eternal God. Furthermore, I believe that we must also remind ourselves that God and the actions of God are ultimately beyond our human ability to comprehended, therefore we must never forget that God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit (John 4:24).

Today I am not held to the Lutheranism of my youth and have expanded my sacramental horizons, and expansion might be an understatement.  Why? Because it was Byzantine Christianity that awaken me to the broader horizons of the sacred Mysteries.

This happened when I read a book from the church library at St. Nectarios, it was called “Common Ground” by Jordan Bajis, and these words from the book have stuck with me, “From the Eastern Christian point of view, the Mysteries of the faith (the sacraments) reflect the whole Mystery of what it means to be in Christ.  Given this broader conception, Christians of Eastern attitudes refuse to limit the Mysteries to either two or seven.  Anything which reveals God’s redemptive Mystery (words, acts, symbols, Christian relations, etc.) qualifies as a Mystery of the Church.”  The Byzantines taught me to see sacraments beyond human explanation and logic, and see them in the context of the Holy Spirit, and through the Spirit they are manifestations of the love and redemptive power of the Living God.  Anthony M. Coniaris wrote a summary in his book “These Are the Sacraments” that confirms this broader idea of the sacraments, “To place a limitation on the number of sacraments is to view them from a very narrow perspective.  If a sacred act happens whenever the grace of God is mediated to humanity through matter, then there is no limit to the number of sacred acts.  Indeed the whole of creation becomes a sacred act, the presence of God, through which we are aware of God.”

I also enjoy what American Anglicans wrote in the 1979 edition of their Book of Common Prayer about sacred acts and it echoes what Anthony Coniaris wrote, “God does not limit himself to these [seven] rites; they are patterns of countless ways by which God uses material things to reach out to us.” With this more open and wider understanding of the Holy, we can experience God reaching out to us through a warm spring breeze, fellowship with loved ones, and the beauty of nature. Within experiences like these the Spirit strengthens and blesses our individual lives. Through water, bread, wine, and oil the presence of the Spirit strengthens and blesses our communal lives when we occupy ourselves with Scripture and focus on spiritual exercises. Through the spiritual exercises of clergy and a gathered assembly the Spirit is invited to reside in these everyday items and through this Mystery they become sacred. Through these and many other means the loving and redemptive God becomes known to us.


Written by Dave Pflueger April 2009 © copyrighted by Pflueger