Liturgy: The Meaning and Celebration of the Eucharist – Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald, MA, USA


Liturgy: The Meaning and Celebration of the Eucharist

Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald, USA


Hellenic College Holy Cross,

Brookline, Massachusetts, USA



“We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth, for surely there is no such splendor or beauty anywhere on earth. We cannot describe it to you; we only know that God dwells there among men and that their Service surpasses the worship of all other places…”

In the latter part of the tenth century, Vladimir the Prince of Kiev sent envoys to various Christian centers to study their form of worship. These are the words the envoys uttered when they reported their presence at the celebration of the Eucharist in the Great Church of Holy Wisdom in Constantinople. The profound experience expressed by the Russian envoys has been one shared by many throughout the centuries who have witnessed for the first time the beautiful and inspiring Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church.

The Holy Eucharist is the oldest experience of Christian Worship as well as the most distinctive. Eucharist comes from the Greek word which means thanksgiving. In a particular sense, the word describes the most important form of the Church’s attitude toward all of life. The origin of the Eucharist is traced to the Last Supper at which Christ instructed His disciples to offer bread and wine in His memory. The Eucharist is the most distinctive event of Orthodox worship because in it the Church gathers to remember and celebrate the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ and, thereby, to participate in the mystery of Salvation.

In the Orthodox Church, the Eucharist is also known as the Divine Liturgy. The word liturgy means people’s work; this description serves to emphasize the corporate character of the Eucharist. When an Orthodox attends the Divine Liturgy, it is not as an isolated person who comes simply to hear a sermon.

Rather, he comes as a member of the Community of Faith who participates in the very purpose of the Church, which is the Worship of the Holy Trinity. Therefore, the Eucharist is truly the center of the life of the Church and the principal means of spiritual development, both for the individual Christian and the Church as a whole. Not only does the Eucharist embody and express the Christian faith in a unique way, but it also enhances and deepens our faith in the Trinity. This sacrament-mystery is the experience toward which all the other activities of the Church are directed and from which they receive their direction.

The Eucharist, the principal sacrament mystery of the Orthodox Church, is not so much a text to be studied, but rather an experience of communion with the Living God in which prayer , music, gestures, the material creation, art and architecture come into full orchestration. The Eucharist is a celebration of Continue reading “Liturgy: The Meaning and Celebration of the Eucharist – Fr. Thomas Fitzgerald, MA, USA”

OCA – Find an Orthodox Parish in USA, Canada & Mexico


OCA – Find an Orthodox Parish in USA, Canada & Mexico

The parish is a local community of the Church having at its head a duly appointed priest and consisting of Orthodox Christians who live in accordance with the teachings of the Orthodox Church, comply with the discipline and rules of the Church, and regularly support their parish. Being subordinate to the Diocesan Authority, it is a component part of the Diocese.

Holy Icon of All Saints of Canada & USA




Orthodox Saints of Canada & USA

Δύο Προτεστάντες καθηγητές του Πανεπιστημίου Harvard της Μασαχουσέτης των ΗΠΑ ζητούν να γίνουν Ορθόδοξοι


Δύο Προτεστάντες καθηγητές του Πανεπιστημίου Harvard

της Μασαχουσέτης των ΗΠΑ ζητούν να γίνουν Ορθόδοξοι

Ἄς ἀναγράψουμε ἐδῶ μιά περίπτωσι παρόμοια μ᾽ ἐκείνην τοῦ π. Βill Caldaroni· τήν προσέλευσι στήν Ὀρθοδοξία μέσῳ συγκρίσεων:

Ὁ Δρ. Χ. Γιαμβριᾶς, καθηγητής Ἀνωτάτης Γεωπονικῆς Σχολῆς Ἀθηνῶν, μέ ἐπιστολή του στό περ. Ἀκτίνες γράφει: Ὁ καθηγητής Βιοχημείας στό Harvard Χαράλ. Ἀντωνιάδης σέ ὁμιλία του στήν Ἀκαδημία Ἀθηνῶν «μᾶς εἶπε ὅτι πρό ὀλίγου καιροῦ τόν ἐπισκέφθηκαν δύο καθηγητές τοῦ Πανεπιστημίου Harvard, ὁ ἕνας τῆς Ψυχιατρικῆς καί ὁ ἄλλος τῆς Ἱστορίας καί τοῦ εἶπαν: “Κύριε Ἀντωνιάδη, θέλουμε νά γίνουμε μέλη τῆς Ὀρθοδόξου Ἐκκλησίας”. ῞Οταν τούς ρώτησε ὁ κ. Ἀντωνιάδης, τί εἶναι αὐτό πού τούς κάνει νά πάρουν μία τέτοια σοβαρή ἀπόφασι, τοῦ ἀπάντησαν, ὅτι ἐσεῖς στήν Ὀρθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία ἔχετε διατηρήσει ὅλη τήν παράδοσι τῆς πρώτης Χριστιανικῆς Ἐκκλησίας καί δέν ἔχετε νοθεύσει τό Χριστιανισμό. Μελετήσαμε, προτοῦ λάβουμε αὐτή τήν ἀπόφασι, ὅλες τίς Χριστιανικές Ἐκκλησίες καί καταλήξαμε σ᾽ αὐτό τό συμπέρασμα”. Καί ὁ καθηγητής Ἀντωνιάδης εἶπε, τελειώνοντας, ὅτι μέ αὐτό τό γενονός, θέλω νά σᾶς μεταφέρω τό μήνυμα ὅτι ἔχουμε ἐμεῖς οἱ ῞Ελληνες τό θησαυρό τῆς Ὀρθοδόξου παραδόσεως, γιά τόν ὁποῖο πρέπει νά αἰσθανώμασθε ὑπερήφανοι, συγχρόνως ὅμως καί ὑπεύθυνοι ἀπέναντι τῆς Ὀρθοδόξου πίστεώς μας. Νομίζω ὅτι περιττεύουν τά σχόλια σέ μιά τέτοια ὁμολογία πίστεως, ἀπό ἕνα κορυφαῖο καί διεθνῶς ἀναγνωρισμένο ῞Ελληνα ἐπιστήμονα».


Ἀρχιμ. Ἰωάννου Κωστώφ


Ἀπό τόν Προτεσταντισμό στην Ορθοδοξία

ἐκδ. Ἅγ. Ἰωάννης Δαμασκηνός (2108220542)

Ἀθήνα 2011