Divine Liturgy

Служба Божа

The Divine Liturgy, Служба Божа (Sluzhba Bozha), is the primary worship service in the Church.

It celebrates the Incarnation, Resurrection, Ascension, Enthronement, and Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

The Divine Liturgy is served every Sunday as well as at many other times during the year.

The Divine Liturgy is celebrated in three parts:

I. The Rites of Preparation

II. The Liturgy of the Word

III. The Liturgy of the Faithful

I. The Rites of Preparation

Preparation

Before every Divine Liturgy begins, the priest arrives early to prepare for the coming service.

The priest starts by reading what are called the Entrance Prayers.

Following these prayers, the priest enters the Sanctuary and puts on his liturgical vestments reciting the specific vesting prayers.

Fully vested, he goes to the Table of Oblation to begin the Proskomedia.

Proskomedia - Проскомедія

The Proskomedia—sometimes called the Liturgy of Preparation, commemorates the Nativity of Our Saviour.

The Proskomedia is:

  1. The preparation and the symbolic arrangement of the Eucharistic bread on the Diskos,
  2. The pouring of the wine in the Chalice that will be used for Holy Communion, and
  3. The commemoration of all the orders of saints together with the living and the departed members of the Church.

Its purpose is to manifest that the whole Church is represented on the Diskos with our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, as its centre.

It takes place behind the closed Royal Doors and is not visible to the people.

The Great Censing

Following the Proskomedia, the priest begins censing the Altar, the Iconostas, the entire Church, and all the people.

Censing is an offering made to God and symbolizes our prayer rising up to God.

The Royal Doors are opened now to signify the heavens opened at the Baptism of Lord.

We are ready to begin the Divine Liturgy.

II. The Liturgy of the Word

The first half of the Divine Liturgy is called the Liturgy of the Word because it culminates with the reading of the Holy Scripture, followed by a sermon, or a homily.

This first part is also known as the Liturgy of the Catechumens because the Catechumens in the early Church were only permitted to be present during this part of the Divine Liturgy—the instructional part.

The Catechumens were those people being instructed in the teachings of the Christian Faith and preparing for Holy Baptism.

The main function of this portion of the Divine Liturgy is instructive and educational:

  • We are listening to the Word of God in the Gospels and Epistle readings,
  • There are Psalms, Antiphons and Tropars providing examples from the lives of the Saints that:
    • guide our behaviors,
    • educate us on being Christians, and
    • demonstrate how to conduct ourselves as Christians.

The Liturgy Begins

The priest begins by taking the Holy Gospel, raising it above the Holy Altar in the form of a cross and exclaiming,

“Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.”

Благословенне будь Царство Отця і Сина і Святого Духа , нині і повсяк час і на віки вічні.

(Blahoslovenne budʹ Tsarstvo Ottsya i Syna i Svyatoho Dukha , nyni i povsyak chas i na viky vichni.)

This exclamation reveals the key to the entire Divine Liturgy—that God is the source and the goal of the divine service of the People of God.

This exclamation is a glorification of the Kingdom of the Holy Trinity, which Jesus Christ, the Son of God has come to establish on earth.

Following this, the priest intones the Great Litany.

The Great Litany - Велика Єктенія

This Litany begins every liturgical service.

It is the all-embracing prayer of the Church, which consists of petitions, requests and thanks dealing with our most pressing needs for everyone and everything.

We acknowledge the central role that God’s mercy plays in our life by repeatedly petitioning Him for it through the words,

“Lord, have mercy”

Господи, помилуй

(Hospody, pomyluy)

Our prayers are not demands, but pleas made trusting in the Lord’s mercy towards us.

The Antiphons - Антіфони

Following the Great Litany, there are three Antiphons divided by two smaller Litanies.

The three typical Antiphons are:

  1. Psalm 103,
  2. The Small Litany
  3. Psalm 145,
  4. The Small Litany, which is followed by
  5. The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12).

However, the typical Antiphons are not always sung.

The Great Feast Days have their own special Antiphons, which consist of prophetic verses selected from the Psalms, appropriate to the particular feast being celebrated.

The Small Entrance - Малий Вхід

At the third Antiphon, the priest makes what is known as the Small, or Little Entrance.

The Small Entrance is the solemn, ceremonial procession of the clergy to the altar led by the Holy Gospel.

In ancient times, during the persecutions of Christians, the Gospel Book was carried in from a secret and hidden place into the Church and then into the Sanctuary.

This custom has been preserved as a memorial of the old usage and as an allusion to Christ’s coming out to meet his people and bringing the preaching of the Gospel into the world.

Today, following a candle-bearer with the priest following behind, he carries the Holy Gospel around the Altar, out the North Deacon’s Door, comes to the center of the Church standing before the Royal Doors.

This Entrance is the movement of the entire Church through Jesus Christ, in the person of the celebrant, to the Altar which symbolises the Kingdom of God.

The priest then raises the Gospel, making the sign of the Cross and exclaims,

“Wisdom. Let us attend.”

Премудрість. Станьмо побожно.

(Premudríst. Stanʹmo pobozhno.)

Then, he enters the Sanctuary through the Royal Doors and places the Gospel back on the Altar.

Tropar - Тропар

Following the Small Entrance, the Tropar and Kondak (Кондак) are sung.

Please refer to the Bulletin you received upon entering the Church.

These are special hymns sung in one of the Eight Tones and are dedicated to the Resurrection or to a specific Feast or Saint(s).

The Tropars and Kondaks express the essence of the Resurrection, Feast or Life of the Saint(s).

Each stresses a different aspect of the essence of the commemoration.

The Tropar provides us with a picture of the external aspect of the commemorated event.

The Kondak draws our attention to the inner aspect, usually reflecting more fully the essence of the sacred event.

The Thrice Holy Hymn - Трисвяте

Following this, the Thrice Holy Hymn is sung beginning:

"Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us." (3 times)

Святий Боже, Святий Кріпкий, Святий Безсмертний, помилуй нас. (3 рази)

(Svyatyy Bozhe, Svyatyy Kripkyy, Svyatyy Bezsmertnyy, pomyluy nas.) (3 razy)

Prokeimen - Прокимен

The Epistle and Gospel lessons are preceded by special Prokeimen, usually verses from the Psalms that serve as an introduction to the lessons to prepare us to comprehend what is about to be read.

Please refer to the Bulletin you received upon entering the Church.

The Epistle Reading - Читання Апостола

Please refer to the Bulletin you received upon entering the Church.

After the Epistle lesson, during the singing of the Alleluia verses, the priest censes the Church.

The Gospel Reading - Читання Євангелія

The priest reads the Gospel standing in front of the Royal Doors, facing the people.

Please refer to the Bulletin you received upon entering the Church.

After the Gospel has been read, the priest blesses the people with it.

Then, the Gospel is placed standing upright on the Altar, revealing the folded Iliton and Antimins.

Following the Gospel reading, the priest gives a sermon, or homily.

The Litany of Fervent Supplication - Єктенія Усердна

Following the sermon, the Litany of Fervent Supplication is intoned.

Here, we offer up prayers for all of the members of the Church, living and departed, and for the things necessary for soul and body.

As the priest is intoning the Litany of Fervent Supplication, the priest also unfolds the Iliton and Antimins.

The Iliton and Antimins are folded into thirds vertically and then in thirds horizontally.

The priest first completely unfolds the Iliton which has the folded Antimins inside.

The priest then unfolds the Antimins leaving the top third folded. This remaining top third will be unfolded later on.

On certain days, such as the Saturday of Souls, it is proper to intone the Litany for the Departed after the Litany of Fervent Supplication.

Litany for the Catechumens - Єктенія За Оголошених

Finally, completing the first part of the Divine Liturgy is the Litany for the Catechumens, in which the Church prays for those Catechumens who are preparing for Holy Baptism.

If this Litany is intoned, then at the petition,

“That He will reveal to them the Gospel of Righteousness,”

Щоб відкрив їм Євангеліє Правди,

(Shchob vidkryv yim Yevanheliye Pravdy,)

The priest unfolds the remaining top third of the Antimins.

If this Litany is omitted, then it is unfolded at the First Litany of the Faithful.

Once this Litany is completed, the Catechumens would be dismissed, according to ancient practice. However, nowadays in the West, this practice of dismissing the Catechumens has fallen into disuse because baptism is now often administered in infancy, and there are seldom any Catechumens in the Church.

But, the Litany reminds us of the vows made at Baptism and awakens in the faithful a humble consciousness of sin.

With the dismissal, the Liturgy of the Catechumens ends.

III. The Litany of the Faithful - Єктенія Вірних

The Liturgy of the Faithful is composed of four main parts:

  1. The final preparation of the Holy Gifts and the faithful for the Sacrament of the Eucharist,
  2. The Sacrament of the Eucharist, primarily the Eucharist Prayer - Anaphora,
  3. The preparation for Communion and the partaking of Communion, and
  4. The Thanksgiving for Communion and the conclusion of the Liturgy.


Liturgy of the Faithful

The second half of the Divine Liturgy, called the Liturgy of the Faithful, begins with the command,

“All catechumens, depart. Catechumens, depart.

Let none of the catechumens remain.

Let us, the faithful, again and again, in peace, pray unto the Lord.”

Всі оголошені, вийдіть. Oголошені, вийдіть.

Щоб ніхто з оголошених не залишився.

Тільки вірні, ще й ще в мирі Господеві помолімось.

(Vsi oholosheni, vyyditʹ. Oholosheni, vyyditʹ.

Shchob nikhto z oholoshenykh ne zalyshyvsya.

Tilʹky virni, shche y shche v myri Hospodevi pomolimosʹ.)

In ancient times, only the Faithful—meaning those who were baptized—were permitted to be present for the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the most important part of the Divine Liturgy.

The Cherubic Hymn - Гімн Херувимів

Before the procession of the Great Entrance begins, the choir begins singing the first part of the Cherubic Hymn:

“We who mystically represent the Cherubim and sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life-giving Trinity!

Let us now put all wordly care aside!”

Ми, що Херувимів тайно уявляємо і оживляючій Тройці тричі святую пісню співаємо!

Всякую журбу життєвую відкладімо тепер!

(My, shcho Kheruvymiv tayno uyavlyayemo i ozhyvlyayuchiy Troytsi trychi svyatuyu pisnyu spivayemo!

Vsyakuyu zhurbu zhyttyevuyu vidkladimo teper!)

At this time, the priest, standing before the Altar, recites a silent prayer that prepares him to minister at the Throne of God.

He will then perform a censing of the Sanctuary.

With the choir still singing, the priest turns to the faithful, bows and asks forgiveness of his sins.

The Cherubic Hymn is repeated until such time the Great Entrance procession begins.

1. The Great Entrance - Великий Вхід

The Great Entrance is a solemn procession where the Gifts of bread and wine that were prepared during the Proskomedia are brought from the Table of Oblation to the Altar.

The procession of the Great Entrance also holds great symbolic meaning.

It represents Jesus Christ’s voluntary suffering and death on the cross.

During this procession the faithful stand, bow their heads in reverence and pray that the Lord remember them and all those close to them in His Kingdom.

A set of symbolic liturgical movements takes place:

  1. The priest moves to the Table of Oblation.
  2. The priest censes the covered Gifts on the Table, and passes the censer to the Altar Servant.
  3. The priest removes the large veil and places it on his left shoulder.
  4. Then, the priest takes the Diskos, on which the portions of the prosphora have been cut and arranged during commemorative prayers, and the Chalice, containing the wine.
  5. The altar servant goes first, followed by the priest.
  6. They leave the Sanctuary through the north Deacon’s Door walking slowly in front of the Iconostasis to stand before the Royal Doors, facing the faithful.
  7. The priest recites:
    1. The first petition at the Great Entrance commemorating the Primate, and the hierarch of the Eparchy. In the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, the Metropolitan is commemorated, reciting his full title.
    2. The remaining petitions, which includes commemorations for the clergy, monastics, the country and government, as well as parishioners.
  8. The priest enters the Royal Doors and places the Diskos and the Chalice on the Altar.
  9. The priest first removes both small veils from the Chalice and Diskos and places them on the Altar.
  10. Next, he takes the large veil off of his shoulder and wraps it around the censer briefly before using it to cover the Chalice and Diskos.
  11. The priest censes the Gifts and then censes around the Altar.

The Litany of the Offering - Єктенія Принесення

The priest then recites the Litany of the Offering, thanking the Lord for these precious Gifts.

In response to the priest's call, the Choir sings the short confession of the Holy Trinity,

“The Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, One-in-Essence, and Undivided.”

Отця, і Сина, і Святого Духа, Тройцю Єдиносущную і Нероздільную.

(Ottsya,i Syna,i Svyatoho Dukha,Troytsyu Yedynosushchnuyu i Nerozdilʹnuyu.)

The priest then exclaims,

“The doors! The doors! In wisdom, let us be attentive.”

Двері! Двері! В премудрості будьмо уважні.

(Dveri! Dveri! V premudrosti budʹmo uvazhni.)

In ancient times, the doors to the Church were guarded so that no unworthy person could enter during the celebration of the Eucharist.

While the Church is no longer guarded, the declaration itself serves as a symbolic reminder to guard the doors of our souls against all evil thoughts as we prepare to confess our faith and to take part in the Holy Mysteries.

The Creed - Вірую

The priest proclaims, “The Doors, the Doors…” which is followed by the singing of the Creed, or the Symbol of Faith.

The Creed contains the fundamental beliefs and is the confession of Faith of the Orthodox Church.

The recitation of the Symbol of Faith stands as the official acknowledgement and formal acceptance by each individual member of the Church of their own baptism, chrismation and membership in the Body of Christ.

It is the place in the Divine Liturgy, along with the very similar pre-communion confession of faith, where the first person pronoun “I” is used.

All throughout the Liturgy, the community prays in the plural “we”, and it is only here that each person confesses for themselves, their own personal faith.

Therefore, we say “I believe.”

The priest lifts the veil which covers the gifts and fans them with it from above. This is to symbolize the breath of grace of the Holy Spirit, the earthquake occurring at the time of Christ’s Resurrection and the truth of the doctrines embodied in the Creed.

It was incorporated as an act of veneration toward the “presences” of the Heavenly King in the midst of His people, namely towards the book of the Gospels and the Eucharistic Gifts.

2. Eucharist Prayer - Анафора

Following the Creed, the Eucharistic Prayer begins. The Eucharistic Prayer is also called the Anaphora, which means the lifting-up or the elevation.

At this time, the gifts of bread and wine which have been offered on the altar are lifted up from the altar to God the Father, and receive divine sanctification by the Holy Spirit, who comes to change them into the very Body and Blood of Christ.

The priest intones, to begin the most sacred part of the Divine Liturgy.

“Let us stand aright. Let us stand in fear. Let us be attentive, that we may offer the Holy Oblation in peace.”

Станьмо побожнo, cтаньмо зо страхом. Будьмо уважні, щоб у мирі святу Жертву приносити.

(Stanʹmo pobozhno, ctanʹmo zo strakhom. Budʹmo uvazhni, shchob u myri svyatu Zhertvu prynosyty.)

The Holy Oblation (Жертву) refers to Christ, the Son of God who has become the Son of Man in order to offer Himself to His Father the life of the world. In His own person Jesus is the perfect peace offering who alone brings God’s reconciling mercy.

The priest's words summon the faithful to inner spiritual concentration, to become respectful and to turn their attention towards the Sacrament about to be celebrated so that they may worthily offer the sacrifice to the Lord.

The choir responds for the faithful, explaining their sacrifice.

"A mercy of peace, a sacrifice of praise."

Милість миру, жертву хваління.

(Mylistʹ myru zhertvu khvalinnya.)

The priest blesses their intentions, saying:

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”

Благодать Господа нашого Ісуса Христа, і любов Бога i Отця, і причастя Святого Духа, нехай буде зо всіма вами.

(Blahodatʹ Hospoda nashoho Isusa Khrysta, i lyubov Boha i Ottsya, i prychastya Svyatoho Dukha, nekhay bude zo vsima vamy.)

During this blessing, the faithful bow their heads as a sign of reverence, and respond,

“And with your spirit.”

І з духом твоїм.

(I z dukhom tvoyim.)

The priest once more invites the faithful to focus their attention and to keep free of all earthly things:

“Let us lift up our hearts!”

До неба піднесімо серця.

(Do neba pidnesimo sertsya.)

The faithful respond,

“We lift them up to the Lord.”

Маємо до Господа

(Mayemo do Hospoda)

The faithful are called to attention during this very important point in the Liturgy.

2a. Consummation

The consummation of the Sacrament begins with the priest’s exclamation:

“Let us give thanks unto the Lord.”

Приносимо подяку Господеві.

(Prynosymo podyaku Hospodevi)

As we in Christ lift up the Eucharistic gifts, we lift up our hearts as well.

In the Bible, the heart of man stands for his whole being and life.

So, in the Anaphora, as Apostle Paul states, the whole man is taken up into that realm where Christ is now seated at the right hand of God.

The manner of lifting up oneself to God is through thanksgiving.

The word Eucharist in Greek means thanksgiving.

The Eucharistic Divine Liturgy preeminently involves the action of lifting up one’s heart and giving thanks to God for all that he has done for us and the world in Christ and the Holy Spirit.

The faithful are not simply watching or waiting.

They have been called on to actively participate by focusing their inner selves—mind and heart, affirming their attitude through their responses.

The faithful, in response to this invitation, worship the Lord, and mindful of all His mercies, sing the hymn,

“It is proper and right to worship the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the Trinity, One-in-Essence and Undivided.”

Достойно і праведно є поклонятися Отцю, і Сину, і Святому Духові, Тройці Єдиносущній і Нероздільній.

(Dostoyno i pravedno ye poklonyatysya Ottsyu, i Synu, i Svyatomu Dukhovi, Troytsi Yedynosushchniy i Nerozdilʹniy.)

After worshipping the Holy Trinity, the priest then lifts the star from the Diskos, and makes the sign of the cross over the Diskos with the star.

Then, he chants the words in which Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which is the greatest testament of God’s supreme love for us:

Take, eat this is My Body which is broken for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

Прийміть, споживайте це є Тіло Моє, що за вас ламається відпущення гріхів.

(Pryymitʹ, spozhyvayte tse ye Tilo Moye, shcho za vas lamayetʹsya vidpushchennya hrikhiv.)

He adds,

Drink of this, all of you: this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins.”

Пийте з неї всі -це є Кров Моя Нового Завіту, що за вас і за многих проливається на відпущення гріхів.

(Pyyte z neyi vsi -tse ye Krov Moya Novoho Zavitu, shcho za vas i za mnohykh prolyvayetʹsya na vidpushchennya hrikhiv.)

These words remind the faithful of the Mystical Supper, the Passion and death of Christ.

To fulfill Christ’s instruction to do this in memory of Him, the priest, after silently praying, raises the Diskos and the Chalice, saying:

Yours of Your own, we offer unto You, on behalf of all and for all.”

Твоє від Твоїх Тобі приносимо за всіх і за все.

(Tvoye vid Tvoyikh Tobi prynosymo za vsikh i za vse.)

The faithful, taking up the priest’s words chanting,

We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks unto You, O Lord, and we pray unto You, O our God.

Тебе оспівуємо, Тебе благословимо, Тобі Дякуємо, Господи, і молимось Тобі, Боже наш.

(Tebe ospivuyemo, Tebe blahoslovymo, Tobi Dyakuyemo, Hospody, i molymosʹ Tobi, Bozhe nash.)

While the congregation sings, the priest prays that the Lord may send down His Holy Spirit on the offered Gifts, consecrating and changing the bread into His true Body, and the Wine into His true Blood, then blesses the Gifts.

This is a very sacred moment.

To be clear, this when the bread and wine change becoming the body and blood of Christ.

The prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit is considered by the Orthodox to be an essential part of the Divine Liturgy.

It is called the Epiclesis, which means literally the calling upon, or the invocation.

2b. Consecration

Continuing with the epiclesis, which literally means the calling upon, or the invocation,

Now, the priest prays for the Holy Spirit to come upon the bread and wine, and upon all the people, and to change, the bread and wine offered in remembrance of Christ to be the very Body and Blood of the Lord.

The prayer for the coming of the Holy Spirit is considered by the Orthodox to be an essential part of the Divine Liturgy as the Holy Church believes that, as it prays, the Holy Spirit is always “everywhere and fills all things.”

The invocation of the Holy Spirit at the Divine Liturgy is the solemn affirmation that everything in life which is positive and good is accomplished by the Spirit of God.

2c. Commemorations

After the consecration of the elements, the priest commemorates the members of the Church, in whose behalf they have been offered.

The priest says in his prayer that this sacrifice is offered for all the Saints who have gone to their rest, more especially for the Mother of God.

The priest also prays that the Lord would hear their prayers, and remember all those who have died in the hope of a resurrection.

After praying for the reposed, the priest prays for the living.

He asks that the Lord remember the bishops, the priests, and all Christian people.

The priest quietly begins this commemoration of the members of the Church, at the same time as the choir is singing,

We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks unto You, O Lord, and we pray unto You, O our God.

Тебе оспівуємо, Тебе благословимо, Тобі Дякуємо, Господи, і молимось Тобі, Боже наш.

(Tebe ospivuyemo, Tebe blahoslovymo, Tobi Dyakuyemo, Hospody, i molymosʹ Tobi, Bozhe nash.)

When this prayer has ended, he commemorates aloud the Mother of God,

Especially for our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious "Lady Theotokos and Ever- Virgin Mary."

Особливо за Пресвяту, Пречисту, Преблагословенну, Славну Владичицю нашу Бого родицю й Приснодiву Марію.

(Osoblyvo za Presvyatu, Prechystu, Preblahoslovennu, Slavnu Vladychytsyu nashu Boho rodytsyu y Prysnodivu Mariyu.)

The faithful responds with the hymn of praise in honour of the Mother of God,

It is truly worthy to bless you.”


Next, the priest commemorates aloud the living bishops of the Church,

Among the first remember, O Lord, His Eminence, Yurij, Archbishop of Winnipeg and the Central Eparchy, Metropolitan of Canada.”


Each Eparchy will also commemorate the bishop of their Eparchy as well, that the Lord will

grant them for His holy churches in peace, safety, honour, health, and length of days rightly to define the word of His truth.”


He ends the commemoration of the members of the Church with the prayer,

And grant that with one mouth and one heart we may praise Your most honourable and majestic name…


The word ‘we’ refers to all those who have been commemorated together with the Saints and all who have died in the hope of resurrection.

The worshippers respond with

Amen.

as a sign of their participation in offering the Sacrifice and in commemorating members of the Church.

This part of the Liturgy of the Faithful also concludes with the priest’s blessing,

And may the mercies of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ be with all of you.

І нехай будуть милості Великого Бога і Спаса нашого Ісуса Христа з усіма вами.

(I nekhay budutʹ mylosti Velykoho Boha i Spasa nashoho Isusa Khrysta z usima vamy.)

Litany before the Lord’s Prayer - Єктенія Перед Отче Наш

Once these commemorations have been completed, the preparation of the faithful for Communion begins.

The priest recites the Litany of Supplication, also called the Litany before the Lord’s Prayer, which begins with the invitation,

Having remembered all the saints, again and again in peace, let us pray to the Lord.”

Всіх святих пом'янувши, ще і ще в мирі Господеві помолімось.

(Vsikh svyatykh pom'yanuvshy, shche i shche v myri Hospodevi pomolimosʹ.)

The petitions are important reminders about our preparations for Communion,

For the precious Gifts offered and consecrated, let us pray to the Lord.”

За принесені й освячені чесні дари, Господеві помолімось.

(Za pryneseni y osvyacheni chesni dary, Hospodevi pomolimosʹ.)

and

"That our God, Who loves mankind, having received them on His holy, heavenly, and ideal altar as an offering of spiritual fragrance, may in return send upon us divine grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Щоб Чоловіколюбний Бог наш, прийнявши їх у святий і наднебесний, і мислений Свій жертовник, як пахощі духовні, послав нам Божественну благодать і дар Святого Духа, помолімось.

(Shchob Cholovikolyubnyy Boh nash, pryynyavshy yikh u svyatyy i nadnebesnyy, i myslenyy Sviy zhertovnyk, yak pakhoshchi dukhovni, poslav nam Bozhestvennu blahodatʹ i dar Svyatoho Dukha, pomolimosʹ.)

This litany concludes with the priest praying that the Lord may grant to let us address Him, without condemnation, as our Father in the Lord’s prayer.

The Lord's Prayer - Отче Наш

In response to a request to teach them to pray, the Lord gives his disciples this prayer.

Throughout the service, we have called upon God with many names (“Lord”, “Master”, “Holy Mighty and Immortal One”).

Now, for the first time, we call upon God as our Father.

This shows that, as we draw closer to God in the Liturgy, we also enter into an ever-deepening intimacy with Him.

This intimacy will be consummated in our reception of Christ into our lives through receiving His Body and Blood in Holy Communion.

3. Communion Preparation

At the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, Otche Nash, the priest gives his blessing of

Peace be unto all.

Мир усім.

(Myr usim.)

and the priest invites the faithful to bow down their heads before the Lord.

At this moment, the Royal Doors are closed. The curtain is drawn closed, and the faithful no longer see the Altar.

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This part of the service is not visible to the congregants and is for informational purposes.

The priest also prepares for Communion. The priest washes his hands and prays, makes the liturgical bows in veneraVeneration, and says silently,

O God, cleanse me, a sinner, and have mercy on me.”

As he does at many important points during the Liturgy, the priest calls the faithful to attention, chanting,

Let us be attentive.”


The priest lifts the Diskos with the consecrated Lamb, saying,

The Holy things for the holy.”


This means that the Holy Gifts can be offered only to those who are holy. This is why we have prepared ourselves with prayer, fasting, confession and repentance.

The faithful with profound veneration worship the Holy Lamb by making a prostration, and say in the consciousness of their unworthiness,

One is Holy, One is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.”


The choir then sings the Communion or Feast Day verse.

After the faithful have been prepared for receiving Holy Communion, the priest breaks the Lamb into four parts on the Diskos, saying:

Divided and distributed is the Lamb of God, who is divided, yet not disunited; who is ever eaten, yet never consumed, but sanctifies those who partake thereof.”

He places these parts on the Diskos in the shape of a Cross.

Then, taking the portion with the “IC” stamped on it, the priest places it in the Chalice saying,

The fullness of the Holy Spirit.”

This means that the Sacrament is fulfilled through the action of the Holy Spirit.

Next, warm water is blessed.

The priest says,

Blessed is the warmth of Your saints always, now and ever unto the ages of ages. Amen.”

He pours the warm water into the Chalice saying,

The warmth of faith, full of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

After all these actions have been completed, the priest takes Communion.

He does so differently than the faithful. The priest will first partake of the Body and then of the Blood of Christ.

Afterwards, the remaining portions of the Lamb are placed into the Chalice.

If there are no communicants—those who have duly prepared to receive Holy Communion—all the portions taken during Proskomedia—in honour of the Theotokos and the Saints, as well as in memory of the departed and the living, are transferred into the Chalice as the priest prays,

Cleanse, O Lord, the sins of those here commemorated, by Your precious Blood and through the prayers of Your Saints.”

If there are communicants, these portions remain on the Diskos until after the Communion of the faithful.

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The Communion of the Clergy

While the clergy is breaking the Lamb and taking Communion, the choir sings

"One is Holy, One is Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen."

Єдин Свят, Єдин Господь, Ісус Христос на славу Бога Отця. Амінь.

(Yedyn Svyat, Yedyn Hospodʹ, Isus Khrystos na slavu Boha Ottsya. Aminʹ.)

After the Communion of the priest, the curtain is drawn open.

The Royal Doors are opened, the priest brings out the Chalice with the Sacrament, and stands facing the faithful.

He says,

With fear of God, with faith and love, draw near.

Зі страхом Божим, вірою і любов'ю приступіть.

(Zi strakhom Bozhym, viroyu i lyubov'yu prystupitʹ.)

The choir responds,

“Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord. God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us.”

Благословен, хто йде в Ім'я Господнє. Бог Господь і з'явився нам.

(Blahosloven, khto yde v Im'ya Hospodnye. Boh Hospodʹ i z'yavyvsya nam.)

Holy Communion - Святе Причастя

Those faithful who have prepared themselves to receive Holy Communion approach the Chalice.

The priest leads them in the pre-Communion prayer, recited together,

I Believe, O Lord…”.

The faithful communicants approach one by one.

Liturgical gestures carry great importance and meaning.

At this time, each person raises their arms to cross them right over left across their heart with fingertips touching their shoulders.

It is with this sign of the cross that they reverently receive the Body and Blood of Christ out of the spoon from the priest.

The communicant then venerates the edge of the Chalice, as if it were Christ Himself.

During this time, the choir sings,

Receive the Body of Christ; taste the Fountain of Immortality. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia

Тіло Христове прийміте, джерело безсмертне споживайте! Алилуя, алилуя, алилуя.

(Tilo Khrystove pryymite, dzherelo bezsmertne spozhyvayte! Alyluya, alyluya, alyluya.)

Having administered the Sacrament, the priest carries the Chalice back to the Altar.

He adds the remaining portions of the Diskos to the Chalice.

This part of the Liturgy ends with a blessing,

Save, Your people, O God, and bless Your inheritance.

Спаси, Боже, людей Твоїх і благослови насліддя Твоє.

(Spasy, Bozhe, lyudey Tvoyikh i blahoslovy nasliddya Tvoye.)

The choir responds with the hymn

We have seen the true Light, we have received the Heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith, worshipping the Undivided Trinity, Who saved us.”

Ми бачили Світло істинне, прийняли Духа Небесного, знайшли віру істинну, Нероздільній Тройці поклоняємось, бо Вона спасла нас.

(My bachyly Svitlo istynne, pryynyaly Dukha Nebesnoho, znayshly viru istynnu, Nerozdilʹniy Troytsi poklonyayemosʹ, bo Vona spasla nas.)

The priest censes the Chalice and the Diskos.

The priest takes the Chalice, faces the people and says:

“Always, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.”

Завжди, нині і повсякчас, і на віки віків.

(Zavzhdy, nyni i povsyakchas, i na viky vikiv.)

He then places the Chalice back on the Table of Oblation with the Diskos.


4. Litany of Thanksgiving - Єктенія Подяки

The choir sings,

“Let our mouths be filled with Your praise, O Lord, that we may sing of Your glory; for You have made us worthy to partake of Your Holy Divine, Immortal and Lifegiving Mysteries. Keep us in Your holiness, that all day long we may meditate upon Your righteousness. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.”


Following this, the priest intones the last small litany, called the Litany of Thanksgiving, which differs from the other small litanies.

Instead of chanting, “again and again in peace,” the priest says,

“Let us stand aright. Having partaken of the Divine, Holy, Most-pure, Immortal, Heavenly, Life-giving and Awesome Mysteries of Christ, let us worthily give thanks unto the Lord.”

Станьмо побожно, прийнявши Божественні, Святі, Пречисті, Безсмертні, Небесні і Животворчі Страшні Христові Тайни, достойно подякуймо Господеві.

(Stanʹmo pobozhno, pryynyavshy Bozhestvenni, Svyati, Prechysti, Bezsmertni, Nebesni i Zhyvotvorchi Strashni Khrystovi Tayny, dostoyno podyakuymo Hospodevi.)

The Prayer behind the Ambon - Молитва за Амбоном

Then, the priest leaves the Altar area and stands in front of the Ambon, facing the Royal Doors to chant the Prayer Behind the Ambon, which summarizes the essence of the entire service.

The choir, speaking for everyone, expresses the desire to go forth with the blessing of God,

“Amen. Blessed be the Name of the Lord, henceforth and forevermore.”

Амінь. Нехай буде благословенне Ім'я Господнє віднині і довіку.

(Aminʹ. Nekhay bude blahoslovenne Im'ya Hospodnye vidnyni i doviku.)

Following this, the priest blesses the faithful for the last time, saying,

“May the blessing of the Lord be upon you through His Grace and Love for mankind, always, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.”

Благословення Господнє на вас Його благодаттю і чоловіколюбством завжди, нині, і повсякчас, і на віки віків.

(Blahoslovennya Hospodnye na vas Yoho blahodattyu i cholovikolyubstvom zavzhdy, nyni, i povsyakchas, i na viky vikiv.)

The Dismissal - Відпуст

The priest then blesses the faithful, who will be departing the Church soon, reminding them that they should go forth and live outside of the Church in the same peace with which they entered it.

The service ends with a closing prayer that the Lord may have mercy on us and that the Mother of God and His Saints would intercede on our behalf.

Following the dismissal, the priest comes to the Ambon and distributes the antidoron to the faithful and offers the Holy Cross for veneration.

Those who received the Holy Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ are exempt.