The Divine Liturgy and Our Worship of God — 20160814

Holy Eucharist IconWhere we left off in looking at our Divine Liturgy, was the prayer/hymn of the Seraphim and Cherubim: Holy, Holy, Holy. What immediately follows this hymn/prayer is the prayer to the Father which is said by the priest on behalf of the community. This prayer begins with these words: With these blessed powers, O loving and kind Master, we too cry out and say. The beginning of this prayer connects us with the angelic host and captures in slightly different words what the prayer of the angelic hosts says. The priest prays: Holy are you and all holy You, and Your only-begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit.

The Hebrew word for holy is qodesh and means apartness, set-apartness, sacredness, separateness and, it can also mean otherness, transcendent and totally other. Why? Because when predicated of God, it signifies that He is totally above His creation and His creatures. Holy has the idea of heaviness or weight of glory. In the New Testament, the word for holy is hagios and means set apart, reverend, sacred, and worthy of veneration. This word applies to God because God Himself is totally other, separate, sacred, transcendent, reverend, and set apart from every created thing. Since God is spirit this is why the Third Person of the Trinity is called the Holy Spirit. He too is fully God and all three Persons of the Trinity are holy and have the weight of glory abounding in them.

So we begin our remembrance of what Jesus did on the night before He died, by recognizing our Triune God. We also add to this that we recognize that His holiness gives Him great glory. To have glory is to be of great value and importance. We profess, when we pray this, that God has great value and great importance to us.

In order to make these prayers our own prayers, we have to recognize, when this is prayed, that this is what is meant. So we must immediately ask ourselves: Does God truly have great value and importance in my life? (By the way, we begin to make our worship our own by asking ourselves such an important question).

We begin to see, as we reflect upon the prayers that we use, that it is characteristic of our prayers to God that we first recognize his greatness. Remember, this is exactly how the emperor was approached: the fact that he was greater than his people was first recognized!


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