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The Position of Bp. Kirykos’ Romanian Counterparts Regarding Re‐Baptism is Extremely Hypocritical The Romanians who are in communion with Bp. Kirykos require all New Calendarists, Florinites, Glicherians, ROCOR faithful, etc, to be re‐ baptized, even if their baptism was performed in the canonical manner, by triple immersion and invocation of the Holy Trinity. They have even begun re‐baptizing people who had already been received into the Matthewite Church by chrismation. Thus, in Cyprus, several laymen who had been received even decades ago by chrismation, are now being rebaptized by the Romanian bishop Parthenios! So then, one might ask, all of these years were they communing or not? If they were communing as members of the Church, then how is it that they are now being regarded as foreign to the Church and in need of baptism? This isn’t Orthodox ecclesiology, it is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, a crime that the Lord has declared to be unforgivable. But this very act of rebaptizing by the Romanians is extremely hypocritical considering their own origins. The truth is that according to their own principles, they themselves are very much in need of being rebaptized. This is because the Romanian bishops derive their Apostolic Succession from Bishop Victor Leu, who was consecrated in 1949 by three bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. The main consecrating hierarch who actually passed the Apostolic Succession (for the other two were mere witnesses, as is the case), was Metropolitan Seraphim (Lyade) of Berlin. Metropolitan Seraphim was actually born into a Protestant family and was “baptized” by sprinkling in the Lutheran Church. When he was received into the Russian Orthodox Church, he was received by mere chrismation, despite not having the correct form of baptism. He was then elevated to the deaconate and priesthood within the Russian Orthodox Church. However, on 1st of September, 1923, he was “consecrated” as a “bishop” by Renovationist hierarchs who had been anathematized a year earlier by Patriarch St. Tikhon. In 1929, the Renovationist “bishop” Seraphim Lade was received into communion by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, but he was not reordained nor was a cheirothesia read on him, but he was received by mere repentance. Thus, according to the strict point of view, Metropolitan Seraphim Lyade was both un‐baptized and un‐consecrated! Yet this Metropolitan Seraphim is the very source of priesthood of the Romanian hierarchs. Thus, if they have their origins from a bishop who was un‐baptized and un‐consecrated, how is their baptism and priesthood valid? If the Romanian hierarchs are so strict that they reject economia, should they not be the first to re‐enter the baptismal font before they dare to re‐baptize others?
ANATHEMA AGAINST ECUMENISM ʺTo those who attack the Church of Christ by teaching that Christʹs Church is divided into so‐called ʺbranchesʺ which differ in doctrine and way of life, or that the Church does not exist visibly, but will be formed in the future when all branches or sects, or denominations, and even religions will be united into one body; and who do not distinguish the priesthood and mysteries of the Church from those of heretics, but say that the baptism and eucharist of heretics is effectual for salvation; therefore, to those who knowingly have communion with these aforementioned heretics or who advocate, disseminate, or defend their new heresy, commonly called ecumenism, under the pretext of brotherly love or the supposed unification of separated Christians, Anathema!ʺ The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia President: + PHILARET, Metropolitan of New York and Eastern America Members: + SERAPHIM, Archbishop of Chicago and Detroit + ATHANASIUS, Archbishop of Buenos Aires and Argentina‐Paraguay + VITALY, Archbishop of Montreal and Canada + ANTHONY, Archbishop of Los Angeles and Texas + ANTHONY, Archbishop of Geneva and Western Europe + ANTHONY, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America + SERAPHIM, Archbishop of Caracas and Venezuela + PAUL, Archbishop of Sydney and Australia‐New Zealand + LAURUS, Archbishop of Syracuse and Holy Trinity Monastery + CONSTANTINE, Bishop of Richmond and Britain + GREGORY, Bishop of Washington and Florida + MARK, Bishop of Berlin and Germany + ALYPY, Bishop of Cleveland and Ohio
Kolumban mit Christa Strambach zieht durch die Stadt (Start Johanneskirche) 18.30 Uhr Feuerschau Seraphim „Wings of Fire“ Marktplatz Buchladen Schupfnudeln Marktgasse Radsportverein Wendlingen Crêpes und Marktgasse Glühwein/Punsch Marquardt Uhren Glühwein und Schmuck Marktgasse Max &
Bm D G Em Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee, Bm D G A Bm (Down) Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.
Anstalt des Bischofs Seraphim zur Erziehung der Töchter von Geist lichen 451.
FROM THE PRAYERS OF PREPARATION FOR COMMUNION REGARDING “WORTHINESS” OF THE HOLY MYSTERIES In the prayers for preparation for Holy Communion, written by several different Holy Fathers, we find the repetition of this belief in utter unworthiness for Holy Communion, whether one has fasted or not. Note also, that among the Fathers who wrote these prayers are St. Basil the Great and St. John Chrysostom, the greatest luminaries among the Anatolian‐Cappadocian Fathers. Yet these most awesome and splendid examples of sanctity, whether they fasted “in the finer and broader sense,” as Metropolitan Kirykos calls it, by no means considered themselves “worthy to commune.” For it is not abstaining from foods that make one worthy, but rather abstaining from sins, and all men have sinned save Christ who alone is perfect, and save Theotokos who is the purest temple of the Lord from her very childhood, but was hallowed, sanctified and consecrated by God at the hour of the Annunciation. The rest of us are sinners, even the saints, but their holiness is owing to God’s mercy upon them due to their purity of life, and their theosis is owing to the grace of God that overshadowed them, as they lived every day in Christ. The fact that the saints were not worthy in and of themselves, but by the grace of God, can be well understood by reading their prayers of preparation for Holy Communion. For these prayers were written by saints who, in their shortcomings, were also sinners; and they wrote these prayers for the sake of sinners who, just like them, strive by God’s grace to become saints. Thus, in the second troparion in the preparation for Holy Communion we read: “How can I, the unworthy one, shamelessly dare to partake of Thy Holy Gifts?” In the last few troparia in the service of preparation for Holy Communion, we read: “Into the splendor of Thy Saints how shall I, the unworthy one, enter?...” and again “O Man‐befriending Master, Lord Jesus my God, let not these holy Gifts be unto me for judgment through mine unworthiness…” St. Basil the Great (+ 1 January, 397), in his first prayer of preparation for Holy Communion, writes: “… For I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned against Heaven and before Thee, and I am not worthy to gaze upon the height of Thy glory… Wherefore, though I am unworthy of both heaven and earth, and even of this transient life…” In his second prayer we read: “I know, O Lord, that I partake of Thine immaculate Body and precious Blood unworthily, and that I am guilty, and eat and drink judgment to myself, not discerning the Body and Blood of Thee, my Christ and God…” St. John Chrysostom (+14 September, 407), in his first prayer of preparation for Holy Communion, writes: “O Lord my God, I know that I am not worthy, nor sufficient, that Thou shouldest come under the roof of the house of my soul, for all is desolate and fallen, and Thou hast not in me a place worthy to lay Thy head…” In his third prayer we read: “O Lord Jesus Christ my God, loose, remit, forgive, and pardon the failings, faults, and offences which I, Thy sinful, unprofitable, and unworthy servant have committed from my youth, up to the present day and hour…” If in any place in the prayers of preparation for Holy Communion there is a statement of worthiness within man, it is claimed that Christ and the Mysteries themselves are the source of that worthiness. By no means are mankind’s own works, such as fasting, considered to make one worthy. Thus, Blessed Chrysostom writes: “I believe, O Lord, and I confess that thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the living God, who didst come into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. And I believe that this is truly Thine own immaculate Body, and that this is truly Thine own precious Blood. Wherefore I pray thee, have mercy upon 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 Thine immaculate Mysteries, unto remission of my sins and unto life everlasting. Amen.” St. Symeon the Translator (+9 November, c. 950) writes: “…O Christ Jesus, Wisdom and Peace and Power of God, Who in Thy assumption of our nature didst suffer Thy life‐giving and saving Passion, the Cross, the Nails, the Spear, and Death, mortify all the deadly passions of my body. Thou Who in Thy burial didst spoil the dominions of hell, bury with good thoughts my evil schemes and scatter the spirits of wickedness. Thou Who by Thy life‐giving Resurrection on the third day didst raise up our fallen first Parent, raise me up who am sunk in sin and suggest to me ways of repentance. Thou Who by Thy glorious Ascension didst deify our nature which Thou hadst assumed and didst honor it by Thy session at the right hand of the Father, make me worthy by partaking of Thy holy Mysteries of a place at Thy right hand among those who are saved. Thou Who by the descent of the Spirit, the Paraclete, didst make Thy holy Disciples worthy vessels, make me also a recipient of His coming. Thou Who art to come again to judge the World with justice, grant me also to meet Thee on the clouds, my Maker and Creator, with all Thy Saints, that I may unendingly glorify and praise Thee with Thy Eternal Father and Thy all‐holy and good and life‐giving Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.” St. Symeon the New Theologian (+12 March, 1022) wrote a poem that clearly explains how a communicant must regard himself as utterly unworthy to receive the Holy Body and Blood of the Lord, and entirely hope in God’s mercy: From sullied lips, From an abominable heart, From an unclean tongue, Out of a polluted soul, Receive my prayer, O my Christ. Reject me not, Nor my words, nor my ways, Nor even my shamelessness, But give me courage to say What I desire, my Christ. And even more, teach me What to do and say. I have sinned more than the harlot… And all my sins Take from me, O God of all, That with a clean heart, Trembling mind And contrite spirit I may partake of Thy pure And all‐holy Mysteries By which all who eat and drink Thee With sincerity of heart Are quickened and deified… Therefore I fall at Thy feet And fervently cry to Thee: As Thou receivedst the Prodigal And the Harlot who drew near to Thee, So have compassion and receive me, The profligate and the prodigal, As with contrite spirit I now draw near to Thee. I know, O Saviour, that no other Has sinned against Thee as I, Nor has done the deeds That I have committed. But this again I know That not the greatness of my offences Nor the multitude of my sins Surpasses the great patience Of my God, And His extreme love for men. But with the oil of compassion Those who fervently repent Thou dost purify and enlighten And makest them children of the light, Sharers of Thy Divine Nature… St. John Damascene (+4 December, 749), in his first prayer of preparation for Holy Communion, thus writes: “O Lord and Master Jesus Christ, our God, who alone hath power to forgive the sins of men, do thou, O Good One who lovest mankind, forgive all the sins that I have committed in knowledge or in ignorance, and make me worthy to receive without condemnation thy divine, glorious, immaculate and life‐giving Mysteries; not unto punishment or unto increase of sin; but unto purification, and sanctification and a promise of thy Kingdom and the Life to come; as a protection and a help to overthrow the adversaries, and to blot out my many sins. For thou art a God of Mercy and compassion and love toward mankind, and unto Thee we ascribe glory together with the Father and the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.” In his second prayer he writes: “I stand before the gates of thy Temple, and yet I refrain not from my evil thoughts. But do thou, O Christ my God, who didst justify the publican, and hadst mercy on the Canaanite woman, and opened the gates of Paradise to the thief; open unto me the compassion of thy love toward mankind, and receive me as I approach and touch thee, like the sinful woman and the woman with the issue of blood; for the one, by embracing thy feet received the forgiveness of her sins, and the other by but touching the hem of thy garment was healed. And I, most sinful, dare to partake of thy whole Body. Let me not be consumed but receive me as thou didst receive them, and enlighten the perceptions of my soul, consuming the accusations of my sins; through the intercessions of Her that without stain gave Thee birth, and of the heavenly Powers; for thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.” While waiting in line to receive Holy Communion, the following verses of the Blessed Translator are read: Behold I approach for Divine Communion. O Creator, let me not be burnt by communicating, For Thou art Fire which burns the unworthy. But purify me from every stain. Tremble, O man, when you see the deifying Blood, For it is coal that burns the unworthy. The Body of God both deifies and nourishes; It deifies the spirit and wondrously nourishes the mind. The following troparion clearly expresses with what mindset and manner one must approach the Mysteries. Let it not be thought that a Christian is meant to state the following simply as an act of false humility. On the contrary, the Christian must truly deny any sense of his self‐worth in the eyes of Christ, and must therefore submit himself entirely to Christ’s judgment, praying that the Lord will judge according to his great mercy and not according to our sins. The troparion reads: “Of thy Mystic Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of thy Mystery to Thine enemies, neither will I give thee a kiss as did Judas; but like the thief will I confess thee: Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom. Remember me, O Master, in Thy Kingdom. Remember me, O Holy One, when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom.” After a few other troparia, the following prayer is read: “Sovereign Lover of men, Lord Jesus my God, let not these Holy Things be to me for judgment through my being unworthy, but for the purification and sanctification of my soul and body, and as a pledge of the life and kingdom to come. For it is good for me to cling to God and to place in the Lord my hope of salvation.” As one approaches the Holy Chalice, one should crosswise fold his hands over his chest, and reflect in his mind the following petition: “Neither unto judgement, nor unto condemnation be my partaking of thy Holy Mysteries, O Lord, but unto the healing of soul and body.” When the priest administers the Holy Communion he announces: “The servant of God, [name], partakes of the precious, most holy and most pure Body and Blood of our Lord, God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins and life everlasting. Amen.” Then, the communicant kisses the bottom of the chalice, thinking of himself as the harlot who kissed the feet of the Lord while anointing them with precious myrrh and her penitent tears, while contemplating the Seraphim who touched a burning coal to the mouth of Isaiah, saying: “Behold, This hath touched thy lips, and will take away thine iniquities, and will purge thy sins (Isaiah 6:7).”
Project Canterbury The Episcopal and Greek Churches Report of an Unofficial Conference on Unity Between Members of the Episcopal Church in America and His Grace, Meletios Metaxakis, Metropolitan of Athens, And His Advisers. October 26, 1918. New York: Department of Missions, 1920 PREFACE THE desire for closer communion between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the various branches of the Anglican Church is by no means confined to the Anglican Communion. Many interesting efforts have been made during the past two centuries, a resume of which may be found in the recent publication of the Department of Missions of the Episcopal Church entitled Historical Contact Between the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches. The most significant approaches of recent times have been those between the Anglican and the Russian and the Greek Churches; and of late the Syrian Church of India which claims foundation by the Apostle Saint Thomas. Evdokim, the last Archbishop sent to America by the Holy Governing Synod of Russia in the year 1915, brought with him instructions that he should work for a closer understanding with the Episcopal Church in America. As a result, a series of conferences were held in the Spring of 1916. At these conferences the question of Anglican Orders, the Apostolical Canons and the Seventh Oecumenical Council were discussed. The Russians were willing to accept the conclusions of Professor Sokoloff, as set forth in his thesis for the degree of Doctor of Divinity, approved by the Holy Governing Synod of Russia. In this thesis he proved the historical continuity of Anglican Orders, and the intention to conform to the practice of the ancient Church. He expressed some suspicion concerning the belief of part of the Anglican Church in the nature of the sacraments, but maintained that this could not be of sufficient magnitude to prevent the free operation of the Holy Spirit. The Russian members of the conference, while accepting this conclusion, pointed out that further steps toward inter‐communion could only be made by an oecumenical council. The following is quoted from the above‐mentioned publication: The Apostolical Canons were considered one by one. With explanations on both sides, the two Churches were found to be in substantial agreement. In connection with canon forty‐six, the Archbishop stated that the Russian Church would accept any Anglican Baptism or any other Catholic Baptism. Difficulties concerning the frequent so‐called ʺperiods of fastingʺ were removed by rendering the word ʺfastingʺ as ʺabstinence.ʺ Both Anglicans and Russians agreed that only two fast‐days were enjoined on their members‐‐ Ash‐Wednesday and Good Friday. The Seventh Oecumenical Council was fully discussed. Satisfactory explanations were given by both sides, but no final decision was reached. Before the conference could be reconvened, the Archbishop was summoned to a General Conference of the Orthodox Church at Moscow. During the past year the Syrian Church and the Anglican Church in India have been giving very full and careful consideration to the question of Reunion and it is hoped that some working basis may be speedily established. As a preliminary to this present conference, the writer addressed, with the approval of the members of the conference representing the Episcopal Church, a letter to the Metropolitan which became the basis of discussion. This letter has been published as one of the pamphlets of this series under the title, An Anglican Programme for Reunion. These conferences were followed by a series of other conferences in England which took up the thoughts contained in the American programme, as is shown in the following quotation from the preface to the above‐mentioned letter: At the first conference the American position was reviewed and it was mutually agreed that the present aim of such conference was not for union in the sense of ʺcorporate solidarityʺ based on the restoration of intercommunion, but through clear understanding of each otherʹs position. The general understanding was that there was no real bar to communion between the two Churches and it was desirable that it should be permitted, but that such permission could only be given through the action of a General Council. The third of these series of conferences was held at Oxford. About forty representatives of the Anglican Church attended. The questions of Baptism and Confirmation were considered by this conference. It was shown that, until the eighteenth century, re‐baptism of non‐Orthodox was never practiced. It was then introduced as a protest against the custom in the Latin Church of baptizing, not only living Orthodox, but in many cases, even the dead. Under order of Patriarch Joachim III, it has become the Greek custom not to re‐baptize Anglicans who have been baptized by English priests. In the matter of Confirmation it was shown that in the cases of the Orthodox, the custom of anointing with oil, called Holy Chrism, differs to some extent from our Confirmation. It is regarded as a seal of orthodoxy and should not be viewed as repetition of Confirmation. Even in the Orthodox Church lapsed communicants must receive Chrism again before restoration. The fourth conference was held in the Jerusalem Chapel of Westminster Abbey, under the presidency of the Bishop of Winchester. This discussion was confined to the consideration of the Seventh Oecumenical Council. It is not felt by the Greeks that the number of differences on this point touch doctrinal or even disciplinary principles. The Metropolitan stated that there was no difficulty tin the subject. From what he had seen of Anglican Churches, he was assured as to our practice. He further stated that he was strongly opposed to the practice of ascribing certain virtues and power to particular icons, and that he himself had written strongly against this practice, and that the Holy Synod of Greece had issued directions against it.ʺ Those brought in contact with the Metropolitan of Athens, and those who followed the work of the Commission on Faith and Order can testify to the evident desire of the authorities of the East for closer union with the Anglican Church as soon as conditions permit. This report is submitted because there is much loose thinking and careless utterance on every side concerning the position of the Orthodox Church and the relation of the Episcopal Church to her sister Churches of the East. It seems not merely wise, but necessary, to place before Church people a document showing how the minds of leading thinkers of both Episcopal and Orthodox Churches are approaching this most momentous problem of Intercommunion and Church Unity. THE CONFERENCE BY common agreement, representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church and delegates from the American Branch of the Anglican and Eastern Association and of the Christian Unity Foundation of the Episcopal Church, met in the Bible Room of the Library of the General Theological Seminary, Saturday, October 26, 1918, at ten oʹclock. There were present as representing the Greek Orthodox Church: His Grace, the Most Reverend Meletios Metaxakis, Metropolitan of Greece; the Very Reverend Chrysostomos Papadopoulos, D.D., Professor of the University of Athens and Director of the Theological Seminary ʺRizariosʺ; Hamilcar Alivisatos, D.D., Director of the Ecclesiastical Department of the Ministry of Religion and Education, Athens, and Mr. Tsolainos, who acted as interpreter. The Episcopal Church was represented by the Right Reverend Frederick Courtney; the Right Reverend Frederick J. Kinsman, Bishop of Delaware; the Right Reverend James H. Darlington, D.D., Bishop of Harrisburg; the Very Reverend Hughell Fosbroke, Dean of the General Theological Seminary; the Reverend Francis J. Hall, D.D., Professor of Dogmatic Theology in the General Theological Seminary; the Reverend Rockland T. Homans, the Reverend William Chauncey Emhardt, Secretary of the American Branch of the Anglican and Eastern Association and of the Christian Unity Foundation; Robert H. Gardiner, Esquire, Secretary of the Commission for a World Conference on Faith and Order; and Seraphim G. Canoutas, Esquire. The Right Reverend Edward M. Parker, D.D., Bishop of New Hampshire, telegraphed his inability to be present. His Grace the Metropolitan presided over the Greek delegation and Dr. Alivisatos acted as secretary. The Right Reverend Frederick Courtney presided over the American delegation and the Reverend W. C. Emhardt acted as secretary. Bishop Courtney opened the conference with prayer and made the following remarks: ʺOur brethren of the Greek Church, as well as the Anglican, have received copies of the letter to His Grace which our secretary has drawn up; and which lies before us this morning. It is clear to all those who have taken active part in efforts to draw together, that it is of no use any longer to congratulate each other upon points on which we agree, so long as we hold back those things on which we differ. The points on which we agree are not those which have caused the separation, but the things concerning which we differ. So long as we assume that the conditions which separate us now are the same as those which have held us apart, we are in line for removing those things which separate us. We are making the valleys to be filled and the mountains to be brought low and making possible a revival of the spirit of unity. It is in the hope of effecting this that we are gathered together. Doctrinal differences underlie the things that differentiate us from each other. The proper way to begin this conference would be to ask the Greeks what they think of some of the propositions laid down in the letter, beginning first with the question of the Validity of Anglican Orders, and then proceeding to the ʺFilioque Clauseʺ in the Creed and other topics suggested. ʺWill His Grace kindly state what is his view concerning the Validity of Anglican Orders?ʺ The Metropolitan: ʺI am greatly moved indeed, and it is with feelings of great emotion that I come to this conference around the table with such learned theologians of the Episcopal Church. Because it is the first time I have been given the opportunity to express, not only my personal desire, but the desire of my Church, that we may all be one. I understand that this conference is unofficial. Neither our Episcopal brethren, nor the Orthodox, officially represent their Churches. The fact, however, that we have come together in the spirit of prayer and love to discuss these questions, is a clear and eloquent proof that we are on the desired road to unity. I would wish, that in discussing these questions of ecclesiastical importance in the presence of such theological experts, that I were as well equipped for the undertaking as you are. Unfortunately, however, from the day that I graduated from the Theological Seminary at Jerusalem, I have been absorbed in the great question of the day, which has been the salvation of Christians from the sword of the invader of the Orient. ʺUnfortunately, because we have been confronted in the Near East with this problem of paramount importance, we leaders have not had the opportunity to think of these equally important questions. The occupants of three of the ancient thrones of Christendom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, the Patriarch of Antioch and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, have been constantly confronted with the question of how to save their own fold from extermination. These patriarchates represent a great number of Orthodox and their influence would be of prime importance in any deliberation. But they have not had time to send their bishops to a round‐table conference to deliberate on the questions of doctrine. A general synod, such as is so profitably held in your Church when you come together every three years, would have the same result, if we could hold the same sort of synod in the Near East. A conference similar to the one held by your Church was planned by the Patriarch of Constantinople in September, 1911, but he did not take place, owing to command of the Sultan that the bishops who attended would be subject to penalty of death. ʺIn 1906, when the Olympic games took place in Athens, the Metropolitan of Drama, now of Smyrna, passed through Athens. That was sufficient to cause an imperative demand of the Patriarch of Constantinople that the Metropolitan be punished, and in consequence he was transferred from Drama to Smyrna. From these facts you can see under what conditions the evolution of the Greek Church has been taking place. ʺAs I have stated in former conversations with my brethren of the Episcopal Church, we hope that, by the Grace of God, freedom and liberty will come to our race, and our bishops will be free to attend such conferences as we desire. I assure you that a great spirit of revival will be inaugurated and give proof of the revival of Grecian life of former times. ʺThe question of the freedom of the territory to be occupied in the Near East is not merely a question of the liberty of the people and the individual, but also
A cult of Gnostic Hermetecism following their inhuman messiah, the Tremere’s central chantry, a cathedral-like mountain temple in the Carpathians, was a mystical wonder, holding magickal relics, a mystic garden of paradise, and even a physical doorway into the Astral Heavens, guarded by seraphim, sphinxes, elementals and golems.
In medieval angelology, angels constituted the lowest of the nine celestial orders (seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations or dominions, virtues, powers, principalities or princedoms, archangels, and angels).
FROM THE ANAPHORAE OF THE ANCIENT CHURCH REGARDING “WORTHINESS” OF HOLY COMMUNION This can also be demonstrated by the secret prayers within Divine Liturgy. From the early Apostolic Liturgies, right down to the various Liturgies of the Local Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, Rome, Gallia, Hispania, Britannia, Cappadocia, Armenia, Persia, India and Ethiopia, in Liturgies that were once vibrant in the Orthodox Church, prior to the Nestorian, Monophysite and Papist schisms, as well as those Liturgies still in common use today among the Orthodox Christians (namely, the Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great and the Presanctified Liturgy of St. Gregory the Dialogist), the message is quite clear in all the mystic prayers that the clergy and the laity are referred to as entirely unworthy, and truly they are to believe they are unworthy, and that no action of their own can make them worthy (i.e. not even fasting), but that only the Lord’s mercy and grace through the Gifts themselves will allow them to receive communion without condemnation. To demonstrate this, let us begin with the early Apostolic Liturgies, and from there work our way through as many of the oblations used throughout history, as have been found in ancient manuscripts, among them those still offered within Orthodoxy today. St. James the Brother‐of‐God (+23 October, 62), First Bishop of Jerusalem, begins his anaphora as follows: “O Sovereign Lord our God, condemn me not, defiled with a multitude of sins: for, behold, I have come to this Thy divine and heavenly mystery, not as being worthy; but looking only to Thy goodness, I direct my voice to Thee: God be merciful to me, a sinner; I have sinned against Heaven, and before Thee, and am unworthy to come into the presence of this Thy holy and spiritual table, upon which Thy only‐begotten Son, and our Lord Jesus Christ, is mystically set forth as a sacrifice for me, a sinner, and stained with every spot.” Following the creed, the following prayer is read: “God and Sovereign of all, make us, who are unworthy, worthy of this hour, lover of mankind; that being pure from all deceit and all hypocrisy, we may be united with one another by the bond of peace and love, being confirmed by the sanctification of Thy divine knowledge through Thine only‐begotten Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy all‐holy, and good, and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.” Then right before the clergy are to partake of Communion, the following is recited: “O Lord our God, the heavenly bread, the life of the universe, I have sinned against Heaven, and before Thee, and am not worthy to partake of Thy pure Mysteries; but as a merciful God, make me worthy by Thy grace, without condemnation to partake of Thy holy body and precious blood, for the remission of sins, and life everlasting.” After all the clergy and laity have received Communion, this prayer is read: “O God, who through Thy great and unspeakable love didst condescend to the weakness of Thy servants, and hast counted us worthy to partake of this heavenly table, condemn not us sinners for the participation of Thy pure Mysteries; but keep us, O good One, in the sanctification of Thy Holy Spirit, that being made holy, we may find part and inheritance with all Thy saints that have been well‐pleasing to Thee since the world began, in the light of Thy countenance, through the mercy of Thy only‐begotten Son, our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thy all‐holy, and good, and quickening Spirit: for blessed and glorified is Thy all‐precious and glorious name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.” From these prayers is it not clear that no one is worthy of Holy Communion, whether they have fasted or not, but that it is God’s mercy that bestows worthiness upon mankind through participation in the Mystery of Confession and receiving Holy Communion? This was most certainly the belief of the early Christians of Jerusalem, quite contrary to Bp. Kirykos’ ideology of early Christians supposedly being “worthy of communion” because they supposedly “fasted in the finer and broader sense.” St. Mark the Evangelist (+25 April, 63), First Bishop of Alexandria, in his Divine Liturgy, writes: “O Sovereign and Almighty Lord, look down from heaven on Thy Church, on all Thy people, and on all Thy flock. Save us all, Thine unworthy servants, the sheep of Thy fold. Give us Thy peace, Thy help, and Thy love, and send to us the gift of Thy Holy Spirit, that with a pure heart and a good conscience we may salute one another with an holy kiss, without hypocrisy, and with no hostile purpose, but guileless and pure in one spirit, in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one faith, even as we have been called in one hope of our calling, that we may all meet in the divine and boundless love, in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom Thou art blessed, with Thine all‐holy, good, and life‐creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.” Later in the Liturgy the following is read: “Be mindful also of us, O Lord, Thy sinful and unworthy servants, and blot out our sins in Thy goodness and mercy.” Again we read: “O holy, highest, awe‐inspiring God, who dwellest among the saints, sanctify us by the word of Thy grace and by the inspiration of Thy all‐ holy Spirit; for Thou hast said, O Lord our God, Be ye holy; for I am holy. O Word of God, past finding out, consubstantial and co‐eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and sharer of their sovereignty, accept the pure song which cherubim and seraphim, and the unworthy lips of Thy sinful and unworthy servant, sing aloud.” Thus it is clear that whether he had fasted or not, St. Mark and his clergy and flock still considered themselves unworthy. By no means did they ever entertain the theory that “they fasted in the finer and broader sense, that is, they were worthy of communion,” as Bp. Kirykos dares to say. On the contrary, St. Mark and the early Christians of Alexandria believed any worthiness they could achieve would be through partaking of the Holy Mysteries themselves. Thus, St. Mark wrote the following prayer to be read immediately after Communion: “O Sovereign Lord our God, we thank Thee that we have partaken of Thy holy, pure, immortal, and heavenly Mysteries, which Thou hast given for our good, and for the sanctification and salvation of our souls and bodies. We pray and beseech Thee, O Lord, to grant in Thy good mercy, that by partaking of the holy body and precious blood of Thine only‐begotten Son, we may have faith that is not ashamed, love that is unfeigned, fullness of holiness, power to eschew evil and keep Thy commandments, provision for eternal life, and an acceptable defense before the awful tribunal of Thy Christ: Through whom and with whom be glory and power to Thee, with Thine all‐holy, good, and life‐creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.” St. Peter the Apostle (+29 June, 67), First Bishop of Antioch, and later Bishop of Old Rome, in his Divine Liturgy, writes: “For unto Thee do I draw nigh, and, bowing my neck, I pray Thee: Turn not Thy countenance away from me, neither cast me out from among Thy children, but graciously vouchsafe that I, Thy sinful and unworthy servant, may offer unto Thee these Holy Gifts.” Again we read: “With soul defiled and lips unclean, with base hands and earthen tongue, wholly in sins, mean and unrepentant, I beseech Thee, O Lover of mankind, Saviour of the hopeless and Haven of those in danger, Who callest sinners to repentance, O Lord God, loose, remit, forgive me a sinner my transgressions, whether deliberate or unintentional, whether of word or deed, whether committed in knowledge or in ignorance.” St. Thomas the Apostle (+6 October, 72), Enlightener of Edessa, Mesopotamia, Persia, Bactria, Parthia and India, and First Bishop of Maliapor in India, in his Divine Liturgy, conveyed through his disciples, St. Thaddeus (+21 August, 66), St. Haggai (+23 December, 87), and St. Maris (+5 August, 120), delivered the following prayer in the anaphora which is to be read while kneeling: “O our Lord and God, look not on the multitude of our sins, and let not Thy dignity be turned away on account of the heinousness of our iniquities; but through Thine unspeakable grace sanctify this sacrifice of Thine, and grant through it power and capability, so that Thou mayest forget our many sins, and be merciful when Thou shalt appear at the end of time, in the man whom Thou hast assumed from among us, and we may find before Thee grace and mercy, and be rendered worthy to praise Thee with spiritual assemblies.” Upon standing, the following is read: “We thank Thee, O our Lord and God, for the abundant riches of Thy grace to us: we who were sinful and degraded, on account of the multitude of Thy clemency, Thou hast made worthy to celebrate the holy Mysteries of the body and blood of Thy Christ. We beg aid from Thee for the strengthening of our souls, that in perfect love and true faith we may administer Thy gift to us.” And again: “O our Lord and God, restrain our thoughts, that they wander not amid the vanities of this world. O Lord our God, grant that I may be united to the affection of Thy love, unworthy though I be. Glory to Thee, O Christ.” The priest then reads this prayer on behalf of the faithful: “O Lord God Almighty, accept this oblation for the whole Holy Catholic Church, and for all the pious and righteous fathers who have been pleasing to Thee, and for all the prophets and apostles, and for all the martyrs and confessors, and for all that mourn, that are in straits, and are sick, and for all that are under difficulties and trials, and for all the weak and the oppressed, and for all the dead that have gone from amongst us; then for all that ask a prayer from our weakness, and for me, a degraded and feeble sinner. O Lord our God, according to Thy mercies and the multitude of Thy favours, look upon Thy people, and on me, a feeble man, not according to my sins and my follies, but that they may become worthy of the forgiveness of their sins through this holy body, which they receive with faith, through the grace of Thy mercy, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.” The following prayer also indicates that the officiators consider themselves unworthy but look for the reception of the Holy Mysteries to give them remission of sins: “We, Thy degraded, weak, and feeble servants who are congregated in Thy name, and now stand before Thee, and have received with joy the form which is from Thee, praising, glorifying, and exalting, commemorate and celebrate this great, awful, holy, and divine mystery of the passion, death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And may Thy Holy Spirit come, O Lord, and rest upon this oblation of Thy servants which they offer, and bless and sanctify it; and may it be unto us, O Lord, for the propitiation of our offences and the forgiveness of our sins, and for a grand hope of resurrection from the dead, and for a new life in the Kingdom of the heavens, with all who have been pleasing before Him. And on account of the whole of Thy wonderful dispensation towards us, we shall render thanks unto Thee, and glorify Thee without ceasing in Thy Church, redeemed by the precious blood of Thy Christ, with open mouths and joyful countenances: Ascribing praise, honour, thanksgiving, and adoration to Thy holy, loving, and life‐creating name, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.” Finally, the following petition indicates quite clearly the belief that the officiators and entire congregation are unworthy of receiving the Mysteries: “The clemency of Thy grace, O our Lord and God, gives us access to these renowned, holy, life‐creating, and Divine Mysteries, unworthy though we be.” St. Luke the Evangelist (+18 October, 86), Bishop of Thebes in Greece, in his Divine Liturgy, writes: “Bless, O Lord, Thy faithful people who are bowed down before Thee; deliver us from injuries and temptations; make us worthy to receive these Holy Mysteries in purity and virtue, and may we be absolved and sanctified by them. We offer Thee praise and thanksgiving and to Thine Only‐ begotten Son and to Thy Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.” St. Dionysius the Areopagite (+3 October, 96), Bishop of Athens, in his Divine Liturgy, writes: “Giver of Holiness, and distributor of every good, O Lord, Who sanctifiest every rational creature with sanctification, which is from Thee; sanctify, through Thy Holy Spirit, us Thy servants, who bow before Thee; free us from all servile passions of sin, from envy, treachery, deceit, hatred, enmities, and from him, who works the same, that we may be worthy, holily to complete the ministry of these life‐giving Mysteries, through the heavenly Master, Jesus Christ, Thine Only‐begotten Son, through Whom, and with Whom, is due to Thee, glory and honour, together with Thine All‐holy, Good and Life‐creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.” Thus, it is God that offers sanctification to mankind, purifies mankind from sins, and makes mankind worthy of the Mysteries. This worthiness is not achieved by fasting. In the same Anaphora we read: “Essentially existing, and from all ages; Whose nature is incomprehensible, Who art near and present to all, without any change of Thy sublimity; Whose goodness every existing thing longs for and desires; the intelligible indeed, and creature endowed with intelligence, through intelligence; those endowed with sense, through their senses; Who, although Thou art One essentially, nevertheless art present with us, and amongst us, in this hour, in which Thou hast called and led us to these Thy holy Mysteries; and hast made us worthy to stand before the sublime throne of Thy majesty, and to handle the sacred vessels of Thy ministry with our impure hands: take away from us, O Lord, the cloak of iniquity in which we are enfolded, as from Jesus, the son of Josedec the High Priest, thou didst take away the filthy garments, and adorn us with piety and justice, as Thou didst adorn him with a vestment of glory; that clothed with Thee alone, as it were with a garment, and being like temples crowned with glory, we may see Thee unveiled with a mind divinely illuminated, and may feast, whilst we, by communicating therein, enjoy this sacrifice set before us; and that we may render to Thee glory and praise, together with Thine Only‐begotten Son, and Thine All‐holy, Good and Life‐creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.” Once again, worthiness derives from God and not from fasting. In the same Liturgy we read: “I invoke Thee, O God the Father, have mercy upon us, and wash away, through Thy grace, the uncleanness of my evil deeds; destroy, through Thy mercy, what I have done, worthy of wrath; for I do not