THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name, Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. Amen.
THE NICENE CREED
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, the only-begotten, born of the Father before all ages. Light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in essence with the Father; through whom all things were made. For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven and was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried. He rose on the third day according to the scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he is coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of Life, who proceeds from the Father. Together with the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified; he spoke through the prophets. In one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I profess one baptism for the remission of sins. I expect the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
HYMN OF THE INCARNATION
O only begotten Son and Word of God, Who, being immortal, deigned for our salvation to become incarnate of the holy Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary, and became man without change; You were also crucified, O Christ our God, and by death have trampled Death, being One of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit – save us.
Hail, Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
REJOICE, O VIRGIN THEOTOKOS (translated from Church Slavonic)
Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
for thou hast borne Christ the Saviour, the Deliverer of our souls. Amen.
HOLY MYSTERIES (SACRAMENTS)
The Mysteries of Initiation
As was the ancient Christian practice, infants who are entering into the fullness of the Byzantine Catholic Church receive all three Mysteries of Initiation at the same Divine Liturgy. Baptism is given first, usually with full immersion of the infant in the waters of Baptism, then the Mystery of Chrysmation is given, sealing the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, followed by reception of the Holy Eucharist later in the Liturgy. The baby receives a drop or two of the Precious Blood from a golden spoon, and will continue to receive our Lord this way until they grow old enough to be able to consume the Particle, which is the Body of Christ.
- Baptism – the first sacrament or Mystery. Baptism is our personal participation in the death and resurrection of Christ. In the Byzantine tradition, Baptism is administered by total immersion into blessed water in order to emphasize the washing of rebirth that takes place.
- Chrysmation (Confirmation) – Baptism is immediately followed by the second sacrament, “Chrismation” or Confirmation. In Holy Chrismation, we are anointed with the Holy Myron, with the gift of the Holy Spirit being bestowed upon each of us individually. Chrismation is our personal participation in the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
- Holy Eucharist – The Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is the sacrament of Christ’s true Body and Blood. Following the command of the Lord to ‘let the little children come to me’ (Mt 19:14), the Church administers the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation and Eucharist to infants on the same day, so that they become full members of the Body of Christ, fully integrated into the Church, and full participants in the gift of New Life in Christ.
In the Mystery of Reconciliation, we repent of our sins, and receive forgiveness and absolution, and the grace to persevere in this world to live the New Life in Christ, in spite of our failures and shortcomings. It is a Byzantine tradition to confess our sins in the presence of a priest while facing an icon of Christ.
In the Sacrament of Marriage, or the Mystery of Holy Matrimony, a man and a woman are called together to live as one through mutual self-giving and selfless love. In the Mystery of Holy Matrimony, the couple is crowned with the divine grace and strength to grow together in love and holiness, and live the New Life of Christ more abundantly.
Holy Orders (Ordination)
The Church is a universal priesthood of believers. Yet among this universal priesthood, some are called to serve the Church in a particular way in the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church. The Mystery of Holy Orders calls men to serve the Body of Christ as deacons, priests and bishops through the laying on of hands, in which Christ Himself gives them the grace and power to perform this service in His name for the sake of His Body.
The Sacrament of the Sick is more commonly referred to as the Mystery of Holy Anointing with Oil, where we are anointed with blessed oil for our illnesses, both bodily and spiritually. The entire Church celebrates this Mystery on Holy and Great Wednesday in anticipation of the Holy Pascha, the Feast of the Resurrection.
Interpretation of the Divine Liturgy presentation A thorough summary of the Divine Liturgy.
Leaflet Series An extensive series from the Melkite Byzantine Catholic Church Eparchy of Newton.