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).
The Deacon (or the Priest) exclaims: "Having commemorated all the saints, again and again, in peace, let us pray to the Lord". Thus we call for help all the saints in order to pray again in peace: "For the precious Gifts here presented and consecrated". Not in order to sanctify the Holy Gifts, since they are already sanctified, but for them to be able to transmit sanctification to us. This is the meaning of the following prayer " That our God Who loves mankind, having accepted them… may in return send down upon us the divine grace…". We ask for the Gifts to become active in us fhrough Grace and not to become inactive, as it was in Palestine, when the omnipotent Lord could not do miracles in some cities "because of their unbelief" ( Matt. 13.58).
Having asked for the unity of the faith and for the communion of the Holy Spirit, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God. last prayer of this series of prayers is as follows: "Having asked for the unity of the faith and for the communion of the Holy Spirit, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God". This is another exhortation, before the divine Communion, which means: to hold the unity of the faith and being in constant communion with the Holy Spirit in order to dedicate our whole life to Christ.
We could add here that the Christian can be sure of his salvation as long as he is not carried away by the propaganda of the heretics, avoids schisms and divisions, as well as dogmatic heterodoxy and is interested in keeping the Orthodox faith intact. This ensures the communion of the Holy Spirit, which is "The Spirit of truth". And finally, our constant pursuit is, both for ourselves and for others, to entrust our daily challenges and our whole life, to the Providence of God.
It is marvelous how systematically the Church instructs the believer to prepare, as best he can, for Holy Communion. One would expect, that after so many prayers the consecrated Holy Gifts are ready to be transmitted in the form of Holy Communion to the clergy and people. But she adds three more special prayers in order to prepare us for Holy Communion, as well as the Lord’s Prayer, which the Lord himself taught us.
In the Prayer of preparation: "We entrust to You, loving Master, our whole life and hope", we confirm what we were previously promised, that is, to trust ourselves to Christ. Following this prayer, we ask the Lord to make us worthy to receive the heavenly Mysteries with a clear conscience for the remission of sins and for "the communion of the Holy Spirit, the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven".
At the same time, this prayer aims to teach us not to dare to address the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ as Father, if we do not live as Christ wants us to.
The prayer ends with the exclamation of the Celebrant: " And grant us, Master, with boldness and without condemnation, to dare call You, the heavenly God, Father, and to say". This remarkable wholehearted prayer is said as an exhortation to the clergy and people to recite the Lord’s Prayer, "Our Father".
It is well known that Jesus delivered this prayer to His Disciples when they asked Him to teach them how to pray. Since then, as a model of prayer of every Christian, it is used daily, not only in the common worship of the Church, but also in every other case, whenever the Christian prays.
One of the reasons why the Lord's prayer was instituted on this spot, shortly before the Holy Communion, is that one of its requests says "and give us today our daily bread". The God-fearing Fathers teach us that the Lord with the words "daily bread" means not only the food necessary for our living, but also the Holy Bread of the divine Eucharist, without which we can not have spiritual life.
After all, the other requests in the Lord’s Prayer are not unrelated to the preparation of the believer, as the divine Communion contributes contributes to the request: "deliver us from evil". Saint John Chrysostom says very vividly: "Like lions fed with fire we leave the church after Holy Communion and become fearful to the devil, to the point that he does not dare to bother us."
Another reason why we solemnly recite the Lord’s prayer before the Holy Communion - Clergy and people - is to ask God the Father to accept us as His children, and to give us the courage to dare - despite our unworthiness, our sins and transgressions - to call Him our Father. Since we are recognized as children of God the Father, at the same time we become, by grace, brothers of the Only Begotten Son of God. Thus we feel a warmer connection with Christ, of whose the Holy Body and Blood are preparing to commune. Amen.