Join us tonight for the first Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts beginning at 6:15 pm.
From the service booklet prepared by Fr. Joseph:
Introduction to the Service
The season of Great Lent is a rigorous time of spiritual combat that prepares us for the celebration of Pascha, the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need strength for the Lenten combat, and what greater strength could be given to us than in the reception of Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion? The usual Divine Liturgy, with its joyous character expressed in the great prayer of thanksgiving (Anaphora), is not served on the weekdays of Great Lent. Instead, we are strengthened by Holy Communion in a different context: the Presanctified Liturgy
This service is a solemn Lenten Vespers to which has been added a rite for the distribution of Holy Communion from the reserved Body and Blood of Christ. The Holy Gifts are not offered and consecrated during the service, but were pre-sanctified during the Divine Liturgy of the previous Sunday.
Fr. Thomas Hopko has observed that this service is “one of the great masterpieces of Orthodox piety and creativity. It reveals in its form and content the central Christian doctrine and experience, namely that our entire life must be spent in prayer and fasting in order that we might enter into communion with Christ who comes at the end as ‘a thief in the night.’”
As we celebrate the liturgy and humble approach to receive the great mystery of the Lord’s Body and Blood in Holy Communion, let us strive fervently to ready ourselves for the glory and joy of both this year’s Pascha and of His great and glorious Second Coming.