The Gift of Liturgy

For some, the Liturgy of the Orthodox Church is at best a relic of the ancient world, foreign and mysterious, and at worst, irrelevant and empty. However, for those who have entered into it, the Divine Liturgy both symbolizes and reveals the kingdom of heaven. Even more, Liturgy grants the kingdom, that is communion with God, in the present moment. It transforms us into liturgical beings so that we are able to offer all of our life back to God, realizing the kingdom of Heaven in every moment, place, and circumstance.

In part one, "The Kingdom of Heaven," Maria tells us about her first encounter with the Orthodox Divine Liturgy and why she felt she belonged in it. In part two, "Divine Beauty" our choir director Jesse talks about how the rich content and sound of Byzantine chant reveals to us the goodness of God. In part three, "Incarnation," Charles tells us how the practice of liturgy helped to manifest his faith throughout his life. In part four, "Resurrection," one of our altar servers, Joshua, describes the way that liturgy reveals the way the light of Christ renews all things. In part five, "Union," Laura tells how the experience of liturgy positively reorients her relationship with her neighbor, and Elaine describes her encounter with the expansive community of saints. In the final segment "Life," Campbell describes how the Divine Liturgy drew him into the catechumenate, and Fr. Matthew points to the fullness of life that grows out of becoming liturgical beings.

“Yet, and we know it already, it belongs to the essence of the liturgy, of its every rite and action, that they not only ‘symbolize’ something, but are both the revelation and the gift of that which they symbolize.” -Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Of Water and of Spirit