The Divine Liturgy

The most celebrated Liturgy in the Orthodox Church is the one attributed to St. John Chrysostom, and is celebrated on Sundays and weekdays. There are three other forms of Liturgy used in the Orthodox Church:

1. The Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is celebrated 10 times a year, mainly during the Sundays of Lent. Its similar to St. John Chrysostom except for the private prayers by the priest making the liturgy longer.

2. The Liturgy of St. James is celebrated once a year by a Bishop in cathedrals on the Feast of St. James on October 23.

3. The Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts is used on Wednesdays and Fridays of Lent and first three days of Holy Week. No consecration takes place and the communion elements used are kept from the Eucharist of the previous Sunday. This liturgy is called a Vesper Service that distributes the pre-consecrated elements of Holy Communion. Its use during Lent since it is considered inappropriate to use the joyful _expression of the Resurrection in the normal liturgy during the penitential Lental season.

Man uses various means in his effort to draw nearer to God using prayer or study of the Holy Bible and offerings, but his participation in the Divine Liturgy is the unique way of uniting God's Divinity with man's humanity.

The Orthodox Church has celebrated the Divine Liturgy from the time of the Apostles to the present day.

There are many ways of expression in the Orthodox church to observe the liturgical journey. Bright and colorful vestments are worn by the Clergy to symbolize the beauty of Heaven. The censing of the icons and congregation spread throughout the Church signifying the elevation of their prayers to God's throne (Revelation 8: 3-5). Candles are lit by the Faithful in front of the icons, as a remembrance of Christ's light and to let the light of Christ shine in us. They burn in the private prayer of the Faithful when lit. They then venerate the icon of the season, say their own private prayers, and join the congregation in worship. The sign of the cross is frequently made during prayer, to remind themselves both of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross and of their own cross in life. They usually stand or kneel rather than sit in prayer to express their deep respect for God and people, seeking forgiveness for their sins and pray for the salvation of the world around them. And they seek to discover the presence of God everywhere. The Divine Liturgy is the principle act of Greek Orthodox public worship.

The Divine Liturgy can be considered as consisting of three main sections:
1. The Proskomide Service (Preparation)
2. The Liturgy of the Catechumens
3. The Liturgy of the Faithful