Today we will talk about the most central, holy and mysterious part of the Divine Liturgy, during which the Mystery of the Divine Eucharist will take place. Christ offers Himself as a sacrifice for our salvation and the gifts we offered at the Holy Table will be changed into the Holy Body and Blood of Christ. This part of the Divine Liturgy is called "THE ANAPHORA".

My beloved brothers,

after the Great Entrance, the deacon completes a series of prayers (the Litany of Completion), during which the Priest says in a low voice the Offertory Prayer, in which he asks God to be pleased to accept the Holy Gifts offered for his own sins and for the failings of the people; and for God to reveal the Grace of the Holy Spirit to all of us, and to sanctify the gifts and all the people present. The prayer ends with the exclamation: "Through the mercies of Your only-begotten Son, with Whom You are blessed...".

My beloved brothers,

In our previous Homily we tried to explain in simple words what happens and what is recited during the Great Entrance of the Holy Gifts from the Table of Oblation to the Holy Table. Now, as is obvious, the time of the Consecration of the Holy Gifts is approaching. This is why the Church invites once again the congregation to complete yet an other series of prayers and requests.

After the doxology of the Priest at the end of the first litanies, we address prayers for the Catechumens. The Deacon first exhorts the Catechumens to pray for themselves and then exhorts the faithful to pray for the Catechumens.

After the Epistle and Gospel is read, and the Sermon is concluded, the Church is compelled to pray for all those devout Orthodox Christians who wholeheartedly accept the word of God. Those who keep the commandments of the Gospel and strive to follow the footsteps of Christ in their daily lives. As the Deacon exhorts the faithful to pray, they respond with the usual "Lord have mercy". The Priest, praying in a low voice in front of the Holy Table, asks God to accept him with a clean conscience to offer the Sacred Mysteries. The Priest is also bound to pray for his fellow believers to partake of the Holy Mysteries without guilt and condemnation, and for them to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.


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