The Divine Liturgy is a process. It is a process which has as its purpose and end the encounter with God and the union of man with God. As we said in our previous Homilies, this goal has been achieved. We have reached the end of our course. We saw the true Light, Christ. We followed in the footsteps of His holy life. We worshiped him in the Cave of Bethlehem, as he was born of a Virgin, during the proskomide. With the Small Entrance of the Holy Gospel we saw Jesus enter into the world to begin His world-saving work. By listening to the Gospel, we hear each time His authentic teaching and we witness His Miracles and the details of His life. With the Great Entrance of the Holy Gifts we accompanied the Lord on His way to Golgotha. We became friends with Jesus and His twelve disciples at the Last Supper. We witnessed His bloodless sacrifice and Him changing our humble Gifts into the Holy Body and Blood of Christ through the action of the Holy Spirit.We saw His Resurrection and proclaimed it with the prayer: "Seeing the Resurrection of Christ ..." We shared His holy Body and His Most Valuable Blood. And now the Mother Church comes to remind us that the end of our liturgical process must be the starting point of our witness.

When the Celebrant places into the Holy Chalice all the portions of the Saints, the Deacon reminds him: "Exalt, Master." At the Royal Doors the Holy Chalice is raised towards the people, who reverently bow down praising God: "Blessed is our God always...". He then transfers it to the Table of Oblation, where it is not visible to the faithful and in such a way brings to mind the glorious Ascension of our Lord to the heavens, and thus also the incense represents the cloud of Angels who accompanied Him to Heaven

After the reading of the last prayers of the the Service before the divine Communion, the Celebrants come to commune in the prescribed hierarchical order. Each one bows first to his co-Celebrants and then to the people, asking and giving forgiveness. If there is a Bishop, he communes first and then he communes his fellow priests and deacons. First they partake of the Holy Body. The way in which the Priest communes even when he is serving alone has deep symbolism. After venerating the Holy Table, he extends his right palm over the holy Disc, and he takes a small piece of the Holy Body and places it in his open left palm saying: "Unto me, (Name), the unworthy presbyter, is imparted the precious and all-holy Body of our Lord… for the remission of my sins and life eternal." He addresses the given of the Gifts to a third person, from whom it is transmitted to him; and this person is Christ. Christ Himself receives the Priest, as well as then Christ communicates the faithful with the hand of the priest. That is why the priest, when he communicates with every believer, says: "The servant of God receives (name) ...". We also see from these expressions that our Lord Jesus Christ is, as a prayer says, "the Offered and the one who Offers"; that is, He does all things, using us to honor us.

After the Lord's prayer, which we recite in the Divine Liturgy, the Celebrant blesses the people with the words: "Peace be with all". Truly, how much the Church wishes that the peace of God would guard the hearts of the faithful! After the answer of the people "and with your spirit", the Deacon urges the people: "Let us bow our heads to the Lord.". After the "To You, O Lord", pronounced by the people, while everyone bows before the Holy Gifts, the Celebrant recites the ”Prayer which is read when bowing our heads”. At this moment we bow as a gesture of deep humility and submission to our Almighty and glorious Lord and in honor of the sanctified Bread, which will soon be raised and transmitted to the faithful who have prepared to receive it.

After the last blessing of the Celebrant at the end of the Holy Anaphora: "And the mercies of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, be with you all", the Deacon recites a series of prayers (some of which we have already interpreted in the series of Homilies on the Litanies recited after the Great Entrance).


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