On the participation of the faithful in the Eucharist

February 3, 2015

Document  approved  at  the  Hierarchal  Consultation  of  the Russian  Orthodox  Church,  February 2–3, 2015 in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow…

Participation of the faithful at the holy eucharist

The eucharist is the main Sacrament of the Church, instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ on the eve of his saving Passion, death upon the Cross, and resurrection. To participate in the eucharist and to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ is commanded by our Saviour who through his disciples said to all Christians: “Take, eat: this is My Body,” and “Drink of it, all of you: for this is My Blood of the New Testament” (Matt 26:26-­‐28). The Church herself is the
Body of Christ and, therefore, the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ visibly manifests the mystical nature of the Church, building up the ecclesial community. The spiritual life of an Orthodox Christian is inconceivable without the communion of the Holy Mysteries. Receiving the Holy Gifts, the faithful are sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit and are united with Christ our Saviour and with each other, making one Body of Christ. The Sacrament of the Eucharist requires special preparation. In the Church, the time itself – be it the span of a human life or the entire history of mankind – is an expectation and preparation for
the encounter with Christ, while the entire rhythm of liturgical life is an expectation and preparation for the Divine Liturgy and, accordingly, for communion, for which sake the Liturgy is celebrated [in the first place].


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