The Badarak is symbolic of the last days of Christ and culminates in the offering of His body and blood for our salvation in the form of "Soorp Haghortootioon" (Holy Communion). To maintain the solemnity and dignity of the Badarak, certain behavior is obligatory.
1. There should be no talking or gum chewing.
2. Please refrain from looking behind you (away from the altar).
3. Your hands should not be in your pockets and never clasped behind you, as this is a sign of revultion.
4. Entrance into the Sanctuary is restricted from time to time during the Badarak. Please be patient.
5. When you enter the Sanctuary you must cross yourself. The same applies whenever you pass in front of the Main Altar.
6. Your arms should not be over the back of the pew and it is not proper to cross your legs at any time.
7. The Sanctuary is a Holy and solemn place. Any applause by the congregation in the Sanctuary at any time reduces it to a mere function hall, sports arena, auditorium or the like.
8. Confession is the most serious time of the Badarak. The faithful who gather in the Chancel to confess their sins to God should not use this time for socializing, rather to be aware of their transgressions and most humbly seek God's forgiveness.
9. When receiving Communion you will cross yourself, say "megha Asdoodzoh" (I have sinned against God), and allow the Celebrant to place a piece of the body and blood of Christ on your tongue. You should then bow while making the sign of the cross.
The Word Liturgy
The word "Liturgy" is a general term, which means, "service" in Greek. But beginning in Apostolic times the word "Liturgy" meant much more than a mere service to the early Christians. "Liturgy" was the name given to the act of taking part in the solemn corporate worship of God, officially organized by the church and offered by and for all the members of the church. This worship is distinguished sharply from the personal prayers of individual Christians or even from the prayers of certain select groups within a church. In the course of time, however, the term Liturgy came to be applied particularly to the performance of the rite, which did our Lord Jesus Christ institute, Himself. Ever since that time "The Liturgy" has been the core of Christian worship and living as expressed in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
In the Armenian Church the term used to designate the Divine Liturgy is
Eucharist, which means "thanksgiving" in Greek, became the title
for the central act of Christian worship. This may have been because at its
Take, eat; this is my body.
And He took a cup and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, saying,
"Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
Or it may have been called the Eucharist because the service is the supreme act of Christian thanksgiving to God. (Mat. 26: 26-29. See also, Mark 14: 22-25; Luke 22: 17-23; Compare with John 6: 55-58.)
Some scholars think that the Last Supper of our Lord was not the Passover
Meal as mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and [Luke), but that
it was a Jewish religious meal of some kind, which conforms to the type, called
Chaburah. Within the Jewish congregation there existed small groups of
societies of friends bonded together for the purposes of special devotion and
charity who often shared with each other common meals with special ceremonies
of Breaking Bread such as that of the Last Supper. The reason for thinking that
the institution was not at the Passover Meal is the statement made in John
18:28, which places the Passover Day on Friday. "Then they led
After the Lord's Ascension into Heaven, the Disciples stayed in
Soon these corporate meal services became the nucleus of Christian worship.
By participating in these services and receiving the sacramental Body and Blood
of Jesus Christ in the elements of bread and wine, a Christian believed himself
to become incorporated into the living Body of Christ and to be assisted in
rising spiritually with Him to final Salvation. "He who eats my flesh and
drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day. For
my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and
drinks my blood abides in me and I in-him." (
The Church teaches, moreover, that when Christians do this in remembrance of
Therefore, during this service Christians give their thanks and their offerings to the Heavenly Father for the sacrifice made by His Only Begotten Son for their eternal salvation.
The Armenian Liturgy and Its Various Parts
Towards the end of the fourth century AD, there were many Liturgies under
various names, very similar to one another both in content and meaning. In
The Divine Liturgy now used in the Armenian Church is composed of four
different parts: The Preparation,' The Synaxis,' The Sacrifice,' The Last
Blessing and Dismissal. Each of the four parts is connected with significant
events in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, which makes it more meaningful to
the faithful. With the above concept the
Part I - The preparation (Badrasdootioon)
1. Uskesdavoroomun -- The Vesting
2. Luvatzoomun -- The Purification
3. Nakhamood -- The Accession
4. Arachaturootioon -- The Prothesis
As we notice from the above-mentioned headings, this part of the Liturgy is a preparation both on the part of the officiating priest and of the congregation. Because of our human, sinful nature, to engage in a sacred sacrificial service which demands the utmost preparation of body, mind and spirit. The preparations are done,
The Preparation part of the Liturgy seems to be a later
introduction in the Armenian church and to have been borrowed mainly from the
Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom after 950 AD, but before 1177 AD. In the Greek
Church this part is done privately by the priest before the Liturgy starts. The
Armenian church follows the Latin public form of Preparation, so that the
congregation may derive spiritual nourishment from it, since both the
officiating priest and the congregation participate in the same sacred drama of
the life of our Lord,
1. The Vesting -- Lev. 8: 1-9. Ex. 28, 29: 1-10.
While the choir sings the Hymn of Vesting (
PRIES'I': () Jesus Christ, our Lord, you are clothed with light as with a garment, who didst appear upon earth in unspeakable humility and didst walk about with men, who didst become eternal high-priest after the order of Melchizedec and didst adorn thy holy church. O Lord Almighty, who hath vouchsafed unto us to put on the same heavenly garment, make me, thy unprofitable servant, worthy as this hour when I make bold to approach the same spiritual service of thy glory, so that I may divest myself of all ungodliness, which is a garment of defilement, and that I may be adorned with Thy light. Cast away my wickedness from me and shake off my transgressions that I may be made worthy of the light prepared by Thee in the world to come. Grant me to enter with priestly glory upon the ministry of the Holy Things together with them that have kept the commandments innocently, so that I also may be found prepared for the heavenly nuptial chamber with the wise virgins to glorify Thee. O Christ, Thou didst bear the sins of all, Thou art the holiness of our souls, and unto Thee, O Beneficent God, is befitting glory, dominion and honor, now and always and forever and ever. Amen.
Then the deacon presents to the celebrant the ecclesiastical vestments to be used during the Holy Liturgy in the following order, saying for each vestment,
DEACON: Again in peace let us beseech the Lord. Receive, (our prayers), save (us), and have mercy (upon us).
Then the priest blesses them, making the sign of the cross over them saying,
PRIEST: Blessing and glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen.
Thus, after blessing the Saghavard (Helmet), he puts it on his head saying,
PRIEST: Put, O Lord, upon my head the helmet of salvation to fight
against the powers of the enemy, by the grace of our Lord,
The Saghavard or the helmet, which is a highly ornamented crown made of hard material with a small metal cross on the top, symbolizes the virtue of hope which encourages us to defeat the enemy and gain salvation. (The Saghavard is then removed for practical reasons until the end of the Vesting.)
Then the celebrant puts on the Shabeeg (Alb), saying,
PRIEST: Clothe me, O Lord, with the garment of salvation and with a robe of gladness and gird me with this vestment of salvation by the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, unto whom is befitting glory, dominion and honor now and always and forever and ever. Amen.
The Shabeeg, or the Alb, which is made of plain white linen with richly embroidered sleeves and collar, extends to the feet of the celebrant, symbolizing the virtue of innocence or purity. It is a vestment of joyfulness and salvation, illustrating regeneration into a new life as baptism regenerates our inner self.
Then he puts on the Poroorar (Stole), saying,
PRIEST: Clothe my neck, O Lord, with righteousness and cleanse my
heart from all filthiness of sin, by the grace of our Lord,
The Poroorar, or the Stole is made of the same material as the cape and is a sleeveless ventral stole which extends to the feet of the celebrant and symbolizes the Christian virtue of obedience and righteousness.
Then he puts on the Kodee (Girdle), saying,
PRIEST: May the girdle of faith encircle me round about my heart and
mind and quench all vile thoughts in them. May the power of thy grace abides in
them at all times by the grace of our Lord,
The Kodee or the Girdle, which is usually made of the same material as the
cape and has a buckle or attached ribbons to be fastened around the waist of
the celebrant, symbolizes the virtues of chastity, holiness and strength. (
Then he puts on the Pazban (Maniple) on his right hand saying,
PRIEST: Give strength, O Lord, to my right hand and wash away all
my filthiness that I may be able to serve Thee in health of soul and body. By
the grace of our Lord,
The same is repeated while putting it on the left hand. The Pazbans or the Maniples, which are worn by the celebrant on his arms between the elbow and wrist, symbolizes the virtue of penance or sorrow and the labor and hardship awaiting the celebrant before he receives the rewards at the end.
Then he puts on the Vagas (Amice), saying,
PRIEST: Clothe my neck, O Lord, with righteousness and cleanse my
heart from all filthiness of sin by the grace of our Lord,
The Vagas or the Amice is a richly embroidered, stiffened piece of material
which is placed around the neck of the celebrant and symbolizes the virtues of
cleanliness and justice with which to repel the attacks of
Then he puts on the Shoorchar (
PRIEST: In Thy mercy, 0 Lord, clothe me with a radiant garment and
fortify me against the influence of the evil one, that I may be worthy to glorify
Thy glorious name. By the grace of our Lord,
The Shoorchar or the
After being appareled with the Sacred Vestments, the celebrant says,
PRIEST: My soul shall rejoice in the Lord for He hath clothed me with raiment of salvation and with a robe of gladness. He hath put upon me a crown as upon a bridegroom and hath adorned me like a bride with jewels, by the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, unto whom is befitting glory, dominion and honor now and always and forever and ever. Amen.
Then he inserts the Tashgeenag (Handkerchief) beneath the girdle at his left side, saying.
PRIEST: Cleanse my hand, O Lord, from all filthiness of sin, by
the grace of our Lord,
The Tashgeenag or the Handkerchief, which is made of a piece of linen, is used to dry the celebrant's fingers after washing his hands or the chalice to symbolize the virtue of purity as well as the cleanliness of heart and mind expected of the celebrant.
Thus, the priest covers his sinful individuality by the Sacred Vestments, symbolizing the Christian virtues, which make him worthy to appear before the royal presence of God at the Holy Altar and to perform the awful sacrifice for the atonement of our sins. While the celebrant is vesting inside, the members of the congregation should engage themselves with prayers and meditations asking God to vest them also with 'the Christian virtues mentioned above.
2. The Purification -- Luvatsoom
Since the performance of the Holy Eucharist represents the sacrificial death
of our Lord,
The priest who celebrates the Holy Sacrifice and those who participate in it must (a) be at peace with all men, (b) abstain from unchristian behavior and (c) be sober and vigilant.
The officiating priest enters into the church from the south side vestry accompanied by the deacon(s) and the acolytes.
When the celebrant reaches the center chancel, a deacon or a server approach him with a bowl and a cruet previously placed on the edge of the center of the Bema. He washes his hands, antiphonally reciting Ps. 26:6-12, as follows:
PRIEST: I will wash mine hands in innocence; so will I compass thine altar, O Lord:
DEACON: That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
PRIEST: Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house, and the place where thine honor dwelt.
DEACON: Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:
PRIEST: In whose hands are mischief and their right hand is full of bribes.
DEACON: But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.
PRIEST: My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the Lord.
By this ceremony of purification the necessity of incarnation and of the
The priest then says the following prayers of intercession and recites a public confession.
PRIEST: Receive, O Lord, our supplications through the intercession of the Holy Mother of God, the Immaculate Mother of Thine Only Begotten Son, and through the supplications of all Thy Saints. Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, forgive, expiate and remit our sins. And make us worthy to laud and glorify Thee with Thy Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen. Then turning to the congregation says, I confess before God and the Holy Mother of God, and before all Saints and before you, fathers and brethren, all the sins I have committed. For I have sinned in thought, word and deed, and with every sin that men commit. I have sinned, I have sinned, I pray you, entreat God for me to grant forgiveness.
This part of the Purification was introduced into the Armenian Church
Liturgy during the 13th century, following the Latin tradition. The washing of
hands has its origin in earlier times, and is first mentioned as being
Following the public confession of the officiating priest, a priest or a deacon recites the following absolution in the name of the congregation,
PRIEST: May God Almighty have mercy upon thee, and grant the forgiveness of all thy transgressions, past and present; and may He deliver thee from sins to come, and may He confirm thee in every good work, and give thee rest in life to come, Amen.
In turn then the priest prays and forgives the congregation in the following manner:
PRIEST: May God, who loveth men, deliver you also, and may He remit all your sins. May He give you time for penitence and time to do good work. May He guide your future life, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, the mighty and merciful, and unto Him be glory forever, Amen.
With the above explanation, it becomes evident that the rituals of vesting and purification are the necessary preparations to qualify the celebrant for the sacred office of performing the Holy Liturgy.
3. The Accession (Nakhamood)
The celebrant, accompanied by the deacon(s) and the acolytes then goes to the altar from the northern stairs to prepare the Prothesis or the Oblation (Arachaturootioon), saying Psalm 43 antiphonally with the deacon(s) in the following order:
PRIEST: I will go unto the altar of God, unto God Who giveth joy to my youth.
DEACON: Judge me, () God, and plead my cause.
PRIEST: O, deliver me from an ungodly nation, and from thc unjust and deceitful man.
DEACON: For Thou art thc God of my strength, why hast Thou cast me off? And why do I go sorrowful, whilst my enemy afflicteth me?
PRIEST: Send forth, O Lord, Thy light and Thy truth. Let them lead me; Let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles.
DEACON: Then will I go unto the Altar of God; unto God Who giveth joy to my youth.
PRIEST: To Thee, O God my God, I will confess with praise.
DEACON: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the salvation of my countenance and my God.
PRIEST: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
In the accession the priest approaches the altar to assume his priestly duty, imploring God to make him worthy of the holy office which no man is himself bold enough to assume, chanting the following prayer.
PRIEST: In this abode of holiness and this place of praise, in
this dwelling of angels and this temple of the expiation of men, and before
these resplendent holy symbols agreeable to God, and this Holy Table. We bless
and glorify Thy holy, wondrous and triumphant Resurrection. And together with
the heavenly hosts we offer praise and glory unto Thee with the Father, and
with the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever,
The congregation's preparation should be the same. They should approach the Holy Liturgy with a purified body, mind and spirit, through prayers, contrition and the confession of sins.
4. The Prothesis (Arachaturootioon)
After the above prayer the curtain of the altar closes and the celebrant
starts to prepare the Prothesis on the altar. But before we proceed to explain
the mystery of Prothesis, let us investigate the meaning of the altar. The
Armenian word for the altar is khoran, which means the tent or tabernacle where
the Ark of the Covenant was placed, symbolizing the presence of God. (Ex.
25:8-9). Altar is derived from the Latin words
If there are no altar facilities, according to the requirements of the
In the Prothesis the celebrant does two things. First, he receives in the name of God the offerings made by the faithful and brought to him by the deacon. He then presents them to God the Father as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, who was Himself sacrificed for the sake of the salvation of mankind.
During the early centuries, the people used to offer bread and wine, oil for the sanctuary lamp, incense and the first fruit of their orchards. Bringing an offering was also an indication that the donor would communicate that day.
This custom continued in European countries until the 13th century and in
the Armenian Church it existed until quite recently in the donating of flour
The custom of offering bread and wine is mentioned both by
During the Prothesis the curtain is drawn, symbolizing the incarnation of
The substances used for the Holy Sacrifice in the Armenian Church are
unleavened bread--called Neshkhar (wafer) and unmixed wine. The unleavened
bread represents the bread used during the Last Supper when this sacrament was
It is interesting to note here that in the Roman Catholic Church unleavened
bread is used and a few drops of water are added to the wine to indicate the
divine and human nature of
Until the 10th century both leavened and unleavened bread were used in the
West. After the Great Schism of 105at AD between the
The blessing, or the preparation of the Prothesis, is performed in the following sequence of prayers: a form of pre-consecration of the bread and the wine to become spiritual food through the invocation of the Holy Spirit. Thus, while the choir sings the melody, the deacon takes the chalice from the northern niche of the altar and places it on the table.
Then approaching from the left side of the celebrant, he offers him' three wafers of which one is to be selected, and says,
DEACON: Again in peace let us beseech the Lord, receive (our prayers), save (us), and have mercy (upon us).
Then the celebrant responds with,
PRIEST: Blessing and glory to the Father and to the Son and to the
Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever, Amen. Making the sign of the
cross over the wafer, he then places the wafer on the paten, saying, In
remembrance of our Lord,
Then the deacon will offer the wine from the right side of the celebrant, saying,
DEACON: Again in peace we beseech the Lord. Receive, save, and have mercy.
Again, the celebrant responds with,
PRIEST: Blessing and glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen. (Making the sign of the cross over the wine). Then, taking the wine he shall pour it crosswise into the chalice, saying, In remembrance of the redeeming economy of our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, through the fountain of Whose blood flowing from His side all creatures have been renewed and made immortal. Bless, praise and exalt Him forever.
Then he will say the following prayer of St. John Chrysostom on the Prothesis.
PRIEST: 0 Lord our God, who didst send our Lord,
Then the celebrant will cover the chalice with the veil, reciting Psalm 93. At this point, the deacon will approach the celebrant holding the extreme end of the censer chain in his left hand and with the right hand holding the chain a few inches above the censer, saying
DEACON: Bless Lord (Orhnia Der); censing three times while the celebrant recites the words of annunciation in the following prayer,
PRIEST: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee,
Each time makes the sign of the cross over the gifts. The entire action is repeated three times.
Part II - The Synaxis (Bashdon-jashoo)
1. Khungargootioon -- The Censing
2. Uzgeespun -- The Enarxis
4. Untertsvadzk -- The Lections
As we notice from the headings, this part of the Liturgy in its nature is designed to be instructive.
The earliest texts of the Armenian Liturgy did not contain the Preparation or the Synaxis. As mentioned before, the Preparation was not introduced into the Armenian Liturgy before 450 AD. The Synaxis, however, most probably existed as a separate service, although neither was a part of the Divine Liturgy nor included in the Book of Hours, which contains the different non-liturgical services of the Armenian Church.
Thus, the Synaxis and the Eucharistic rite (or the Badarak) originally were two distinct rites, either of which could be celebrated without the other. They had different origins and purposes and to some extent were attended by different segments of the faithful. While the Eucharist or the Badarak proper was attended by the faithful only, casual enquirers or enrolled catechumens could attend only the Synaxis. Thus, the Synaxis also had a dismissal part, which was eliminated later when these two distinct services were joined together. The Synaxis served a double purpose, namely, a propaganda meeting for outsiders and an instructive service for the faithful and catechumens through the Lections and sermon. After the Synaxis was over, if the Liturgy followed it, the outsiders were dismissed by the deacon, intoning loudly the following order:
DEACON: Let none of the catechumens, none of the nonbelievers and none of the penitents or of the impure draw nigh this Divine Mystery.
The Armenian name given the Synaxis, Bashdon Jashoo or Meal Service, suggests its affinity to the Agape Meals practiced in early centuries among Christians as a meal of brotherhood, corresponding to the, Jewish corporate ceremonial meal of Chabourah. As early as the second Century, this Agape Meal was conjoined with the Eucharist proper and the combination served its purpose both to the outsiders and insiders alike as an instructive service as mentioned above. In this usage, the sermon was delivered after the reading of the lection and the Gospel; a dismissal prayer then followed it. The Creed, which was used only during Baptismal Services, was introduced into the Liturgy later, probably near the end of the fourth century.
1. The Censing -- Khungargootioon
At this point the deacon brings the incense, saying,
DEACON: Again in peace let us beseech the Lord. Receive (our prayers), save (us), and have mercy (upon us).
The celebrant blesses the incense, making the sign of the cross over it, saying,
PRIEST: Blessing and glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen.
While the deacon is still holding the censer, the celebrant puts incense into it with a small spoon. Then the priest takes the censer from the deacon, (while the deacon is still holding it by the very end of its chain), partly lifts the veil of the chalice and censes the gifts, saying the following prayer:
PRIEST: I offer incense before Thee, O
Following the prayer, the deacon will bow, kiss the chalice and give it to
the deacon who will replace it in the northern niche of the sanctuary. The
celebrant will then take the censer in his right hand; a cross in his left hand
while the deacon holds a cross in his right hand and a candle in his left. The
priest will circle behind the altar preceded by the deacon. On the northern
steps the acolytes will join them. At this time the curtain is withdrawn and
the Processional begins. The choir goes first, then the deacon, acolytes. Celebrant
and fan bearers follow, in that order. The celebrant incenses the church and
the members of the congregation. When the celebrant approaches the believers
they must say, "Heeshestzeer yev uzmez arachee anmah
Blessings bestowed upon the congregation from the altar are a symbol of
reconciliation and the renewal of the covenant between God and mankind through
The incense symbolizes the offering for the atonement of the sins. It is also an act-expressing honor when it is done before the pictures of the saints, at holy places or toward the dignitaries of the church. The incense is the perceptible fragrance of intelligible prayer, says Nerses of Lambron. In one word, the incense is the visible form Of the invisible prayer combined with the peoples' devotion, in order to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit.
The coming down of the priest into the church symbolizes his readiness to
serve the people by descending from his kingly place at the altar to minister
to his flock. It also symbolizes the teaching ministry of Christ when he came
down from heaven, humiliating Himself for the sake of sinful mankind, motivated
by the love and compassion of God toward man. The priest's return to the altar
The use of torches (candles) and incense during the Processional follows the
Western tradition and was introduced into the church after the example of the
2. The Enarxis m Uzgeespun
The Enarxis is the beginning of the Synaxis during which the congregation,
both the faithful and the seekers, constitutes one body in the name of
3. The Lesser Entrance -
The priest, raising the Gospel with both hands, gives it to the Protodeacon saying,
PRIEST: For thine is the power, the might and the glory, forever,
Then the Protodcacon, turning clockwise, walks behind the altar led by two
acolytes and the censer bearer. When he reaches the center of the bema, one of
the clerks or the reader of the Lessons kisses the Gospel book, and retires to
his position. The priest turns and gives the "Khaghaghootioon," while
the clerks sing the Trisagion --
The Lections are read from the chancel while the Gospel, as the fulfillment of all teachings, is read from the altar. The lessons of the day are set according to our liturgical calendar and express the significance of the day.
It is interesting to note that since the Gospel manuscripts were rare books, in earlier centuries they were not placed on the altar but were kept in a hidden niche to protect them from confiscation by the government. That is why the Gospel is brought forward from behind the altar just before it is read. Then it was taken back to the hidden niche. When Christianity became a free religion, there was no longer any need to be cautious, but the tradition remained with only a minor change, namely, leaving the Gospel on the altar after the reading is over.
The Lesser Entrance symbolizes the heavenly light, which are
4. The Lections -- Untertsvadzk
As mentioned previously, the Lections are taken both from the Old and the
New Testaments according to the meaning of the day, following the Liturgical
calendar of the Armenian Church. These lessons are preceded by verses from the
Psalms, which have some bearing on the main theme of the lessons. There is
always a lesson from the Prophets, but some readings from the other books of
the Old Testament may also be included. In a similar way there may be one or
more readings from the Apostolic writings, but only one Gospel reading is
selected from any of the four evangelists. While the Lections are being read
the congregation remains seated as they listen, but the members of the
congregation stand when the Gospel is read. When the deacon intones,
"Alleluia, Orthee," which means "Praise the Lord, Stand
up," the congregation rises. Then the deacon says "Yergughadzootiamp
luvarook," "Let us hearken with awe," and afterward
"Broskhoomeh," "Listen attentively." Then the choir will
conclude, saying, "
5. The Creed --
The Creed is recited after the Lections and the Gospel is read, as a solemn
proclamation of the Christian faith. At this point it is appropriate to mention
that in early Liturgies the Creed was not confessed; instead the sermon of the
presiding Bishop or officiating priest followed the Lessons of the Day. It was
only after the formulation of the Nicene Greed (325 AD) and due to heretical
eruptions within the church that the Creed was brought into the Liturgy in 473
DEACON: The Nicene Creed: We believe in one God, The Father
Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. And
in one Lord,
Through the proclamation of the Creed the oneness of the congregation is emphasized whose members believe in the same dogmas and share with one another the belief of the same religion. Consequently, the dismissal of the catechumens after the reciting of the Creed was delayed until an Anathema had been spoken, a curse against anyone who would alter or misinterpret the meaning of the Creed.
DEACON: But those who say that there was a time when the Son was not or there was a time when the Holy Ghost was not, or that they came into being out of nothing; or who say that the Son of God or the Holy Ghost are of a different nature or that they are changeable and mutable; such doth the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematize.
6. The Prayers After the Lections
At this point the Synaxis is almost over and the priest prepares himself to
engage in The Holy Eucharist, or
The priest, as a sign of humility and unworthiness, takes off his kingly
crown and his sandals so that, as
Part III - Holy Sacrifice (
3. Voghchoin -- Kiss of Peace
4. Nakherkan -- Prologue
5. Heeshadagun -- The Anamnesis
6. Veragochoomun -- The Epiclesis
7. Heeshadagootioonk -- The Diptychs
9. Khonarhoomun yev Partsratsoomun -- The Inclination and Elevation
10. Parapanootioon -- The Doxology
11. Tatakhoomun yev Pegoomun -- The Intinction and Fraction
13. Jashagoomun -- The Partaking
14. Kohapanootioon -- Thanksgiving
This part of the Liturgy depicts the sacrificial death of
It is the main and the most important part of the Holy Liturgy, called
Eucharist in the West and Holy Sacrifice in the Armenian and other Eastern
churches. The Eucharist was regarded as a sacrifice in the early centuries.
1. The Great Entrance --
As we pointed out in our introduction to the Holy Sacrifice, this service was a separate unit performed only for the sake of the faithful. Later, when the Synaxis was joined to the Holy Sacrifice to serve as an instructive service for the sake of catechumens, unbelievers and faithful alike, the dismissal of the non-believers became essential before the beginning of the Holy Sacrifice.
Let none of the catechumens, none of the non-believers and none of the pentitents nor of the impure draw nigh unto this Divine Mystery.
This fact, that is the exclusion of the catechumens, the nonbelievers, the
penitents and the impure, is mentioned in the works of St. Basil the Great, St.
John Chrysostom and other Fathers of the Eastern Church. The dismissal of
penitents and Catechumens alike survived until 530 AD but was later dropped as
a practice while continuing to retain its place within the Liturgy. After the
sixth century, since every participant was evangelized, there was no need for
exclusions. The practice continued as individuals refrained from taking
Communion if they felt they were not worthy of it according to the commands of
The bringing of the Prothesis (credence) to the altar depicts the Great
Entrance (Veraperoom). This symbolizes
Then the Protodeacon gives the censer to the deacon, takes the chalice with
both hands and follows the acolytes and deacon, passing behind the altar, to
present the Gilt to the priest. The Gift, representing
The deacon and the priest recite antiphonally Psalm 24:7-10. The deacon asks to be admitted, but the guardian priest of the Holy of Holies questions him, since only the Ark of the Covenant or God, Himself', can enter into the Holy of Holies. The deacon says,
Lift up your gates, O, you princes, and be you lifted up O, eternal gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in.
The priest then questions the deacon saying,
Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and powerful. The Lord mighty in battle.
The deacon again asks to be admitted as the bearer of the Ark of Covenant, but the priest asks again,
Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts.
The deacon then proclaims,
He is the King of Glory, Himself.
The priest then takes the chalice, turns toward the congregation, blesses them with the Holy Gift and says,
"Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord."
The priest places the chalice on the altar, lifts one side of the veil
censes it in a gesture of utmost honor, recalling the incense brought by the
women to the Holy Sepulcher. (
After the censing of the Prothesis, the priest washes his fingers so that he may handle the Gifts.
2. The Laying of the Gifts --
The offering of the Gifts (now substituted by offering of money) was also an
indication that the donor wished to communicate that day. This custom, in its
various forms, continued both in the West and the East until the Middle Ages.
The amount of oblation was taken from the large quantity offered and the rest
was distributed among the poor. After the Middle Ages, the system was changed
and the money offering was adopted as a more practical method. The offering, in
any case, is an integral part of the Holy Sacrifice, an action which denotes
the donor's intention of participation, and thereby his oneness with the other
communicants, in the sacrificial meal of our Lord. Here the dimensions are at
once vertical and horizontal, as each one who offers communicates with
Thus, the laying of the Gifts on the altar symbolizes the offering of
3. Kiss of Peace -- Voghchoin
The Kiss of Peace .has its origin in Apostolic times.
"Krisdos ee mech mer haidnetsav."
The deacon then kisses the priest's hand saying,
"Orhnial eh haidnootionnuin Krisdosee."
(Blessed is the manifestation of
The deacon then intones in a commanding voice, directed to the congregation,
Greet you one another with a holy kiss. And you who are not able to partake of this divine mystery go outside the gates and pray.
As mentioned before, this part of the Liturgy was for the communicants and therefore everyone who participated was expected to communicate. If anyone was not worthy of taking communion because of an unrevealed grudge, he did not have the right to stay within the assembly of the faithful, for such enmity brings about schism and disruption, endangering the wholeness and the unity of the congregation. It is said in l John 4: 11, "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another," and also I John 4: 20-21, "Ira man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."
The deacon then descends from the northern steps into the chancel and transmits the Kiss of Peace to one of the faithful. It will then be transmitted to the entire congregation, each member in turn sharing the Kiss of Peace by repeating the above-mentioned formula. The parishioners greet each other by putting the 'right hand with an open palm on the left side of the chest. They lean forward, first toward the left shoulder of the person receiving the greeting and then toward the right, symbolizing the kissing of both cheeks as a sign of unity and reconciliation with each other and with God through the manifestation of Jesus Christ. This is the time when each member of the congregation must re-examine himself, purging out from his soul vices such as pride, envy, hatred, impure thought, greed, etc., which bring about discord and disruption within the sacred Body of Christ, the Church. The following hymn sung by the clerks' reveals the full meaning of the Kiss of Peace.
4. The Prologue -- Nakherkan
The Prologue is a preparatory step toward the anamnesis, which will be
discussed in the ensuing section. Before the anamnesis,
5. The Anamnesis -- Heeshadagun
When the clerks sing the Sanctus,
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Hosts,
Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.
Blssing in the highest.
Blessed art Thou, who didst come, and art to come in the name' of the Lord.
Hosanna to the highest.
The priest says the Prayer of Anamnesis with open arms. He then unveils the chalice, takes the Host reverently in his hands, slightly breaks the Host at the rim on all four sides and says in secret,
PRIEST: "Taking the Bread in his holy, divine, immortal,
spotless and creative hands,
At this point the Sanctus is over and the priest, raising his voice and lifting the Host over his head with both hands, says,
Take, you, and eat. This is my body, which is given for you and for many for the expiation and remission of sins.
The choir responds, "
Then the priest lifts the chalice which contains the wine (Blood of Christ)
above his head and proclaims again, on behalf of
All of you, drink of this. This is my Blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for you and for many, for the expiation and remission of sins.
This portion of the Liturgy represents the institution of the Holy Eucharist
during the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with His disciples. (See Matt. 26:
The words of institution became the core of the Liturgy in the West after the fourth century AD The repeating of those words was held sufficient to affect the transforming of the Bread and the Wine into the Flesh and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. While this theory prevailed in the West, the Eastern churches, including the; Armenian Church, maintained that the institutional words were not all that was required to transform the Bread and Wine into the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ. Those churches therefore developed an addition to the Anamnesis, which is called the Epiclesis, or invocation of the Holy Spirit, which we will discuss in the ensuing section.
At this time the faithful must realize that our Lord, for the sake of sinful mankind, descended from heaven, assumed human nature and lived among us so that we might be one with Him and imitate Him in our lives. In response to the sacrifice that He made for our sake through His earthly life and passion, we give in return spiritual offerings to God as a sacrifice for the expiation and remission of our sins.
Toward the end of Anamnesis, the priest raises the covered chalice slightly, offers it to God the Father, as an offering received from Him, and says,
And Thine of Thine unto Thee we offer from all and for all.
An added significance of this offering, which is
6. The Epiclesis -- Veragochumun
As mentioned above, according to the Roman Catholic or Western tradition,
the institutional words transform the Bread and Wine into the Flesh and Blood
The formula consists of two distinct parts: First, the invocation of the
Holy Spirit, asking that He descend both on the congregation and the Gifts, and
second, that the Holy Spirit change the Gifts into the Flesh and Blood of
Whereupon the priest steps aside, leaving the chalice in full view, takes the wafer in his hand, makes the sign of the cross over it, invokes the Holy Spirit, and says,
Whereby, blessing this bread, make it truly the Body of our Lord and
The deacon censes the wafer three times. This and the following acts are repeated three times. Then, blessing the cup, he says,
And blessing this cup, make it verily the Blood of our Lord and Saviour,
Then he replaces the paten on the chalice and blesses both bread and wine, invoking the Holy Spirit and continuing the above prayer, saying ,
Whereby, blessing this bread and this wine, make them truly the body and
blood of our Lord and Saviour,
As we note from the above prayers, the transformation of both the congregation
and of the elements of the Holy Eucharist is sought by the invocation of the
Holy Spirit. The congregation becomes holy and united in one Lord, and the
bread and wine are transformed into the living Body and Blood of our Lord,
resurrected from the Tomb. The first is essential, because without holiness of
heart and mind the faithful cannot be worthy to share in the Lord's
resurrection and victory over death, the death that corresponds to our sins. At
this point the Armenian and other Eastern churches believe the bread and wine
become truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and thereby an element which
affects our communion with Him. During the Epiclesis, therefore, the bread and
wine change in nature and become communion, reconciliation with God through
Before Thee, O Lord, Son of God, Who art sacrificed to the Father for (our) reconciliation bread of Life broken among us, we implore Thee, through the shedding of Thy Holy Blood, have mercy upon the flock saved by Thy Blood.
The different understanding in various Christian denominations concerning the transformation of the bread and wine are expressed in terms such as real presence, transubstantiation and consubstantiation, which will be discussed under Section 11, where the meaning and effect of the Holy Communion in the lives of Christians are also explained.
7. The Diptychs - Heeshadagootioonk
At this point the deacons are assembled together at the northern side of the
altar asking the intercession of the
The following hymn sung by the choir at the start of the Diptychs is sell-explanatory.
Spirit of God, who didst descend from heaven and dost perform by our hands the Mystery, we beseech Thee, through the shedding of Christ's Blood, grant rest to the souls of our departed.
The second part of the Diptychs is the latter addition mentioned above, dedicated to the leaders of the church, asking that they may reveal the word of truth to the faithful. At this point the names of the Catholicos and the Primate are mentioned as the leaders of the Church who have both the authority and the office to transmit Christian truth to successive generations, and the celebrant who officiates the Liturgy.
At the end of the Diptychs the servers, one by one, approach the Holy Table, kiss it and assume their position on the southern side of the altar, intoning the following doxology,
Grace and glory we offer unto Thee, O Lord our God, for this Holy and Immortal Sacrifice which is offered on this Holy Table, because Thou didst grant it to us, to be the holiness of our life. Through it grant us Love, stability and the desirable peace to the whole world. To Thy Holy Church and to all Orthodox Bishops; to our Supreme Bishop and the venerable Patriarch of all Armenians of the Great House of Cilicia, to the Lord, Lord His Holiness (Catholicos' name), His Grace, (name of Prelate), and to the Priest who offers this sacrifice.
Let us pray for the armies and for the victory of all-Christian kings and
pious princes. Let us, also, beseech and entreat the Lord for the souls of them
that are at rest, and moreover for our Prelates that are at rest and for the
founders of this holy church and for them that are at rest under the shadow
thereof. Let us ask deliverance for those of our brethren that are captive and
grace upon the congregation here present and the rest for them that have died
Thus, the Diptychs encompass the entire Christian church, with past and present generations. While the deacons chant the above hymn, the priest engages himself secretly in prayer for those who offered the oblations, those who are at rest in Christ and for those, dead or alive, whose names he was requested to mention in petition so that God might show His countenance to them.
8. The Lord's Prayer --
The insertion of the Lord's Prayer in the Liturgy is attested by Cyril of Jerusalcm (348 AD). It soon found its way into every Liturgy as the culmination of the Holy Sacrifice, asserting our sonship to God and His Fatherhood to mankind. At this point the faithful should rejoice in the privilege of being the children of the heavenly Father, bearing in mind the precept of the Lord's Prayer, "that He may forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." It is the custom of the Armenian Church that the sermon is delivered before the Lord's Prayer. Originally it was done at the end of the Synaxis. The sermon is usually based on the lessons of the day or of the Feast, which may occur during the week, or on that Sunday. It is spiritual food for the faithful so that they may follow the light of the Gospel and live their lives according to the precepts of the Bible and of the Fathers of the Church.
9. The Inclination and Elevation -- Khonarhoomun yev Partsratsoomun
The Inclination and the Elevation exemplify
O Holy Spirit, who art the fountain of Life and the source of Mercy, have mercy upon this people who bow down and worship Thy Godhead. Keep them whole, and stamp upon their souls the form signified by their bodily posture, so that they may inherit and enter into the possession of the benefits to come.
The Elevation signifies the elevation of the humble faithful into a new life
by the virtue of our Lord's resurrection. Holiness and sanctity come to the
members of the church through their faith in
10. The Doxology -- Parapanootioon
The Doxology is the conclusion of the Eucharistic prayers. The Doxology
indicates the fact that
Blessed art Thou, Holy Father, True God.
The congregation gives heartfelt assent by saying, "Amen,"
which means, "Let it be as you said." Then the priest intones, "Blessed
art Thou, Holy Son, True God," and after the "Amen" from the
congregation, the priest intones again, "Blessed art Thou, Holy Spirit,
True God." This is a final statement of the Trinitarian formula under
which the church operates as the true body of
11. Intinction and Fraction -- Tatakhoomun yev Pegoomun
Blood is considered the symbol of life, and through the shedding of
PRIEST: O, Lord our God, Who hath called us Christians after the name of Thine only begotten Son, and hath made us worthy to partake of the Holy Body and Blood of Thine only begotten. We do now beseech Thee, Lord, make us worthy to receive this holy mystery for the remission of our sins, and giving Thee thanks, to glorify Thee together with the Son and thc Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever, Amen.
The Intinction symbolizes a spiritual baptism of the faithful in the
Then the priest says the following prayer,
"Let us, in holiness, partake of the Holy and Precious Body and
Blood of our Lord and Saviour
Then the priest raises the wafer, a symbol of the resurrected Body of Christ, over the cup, turns toward the congregation and intones in a loud voice,
"This is Life,
The priest then turns toward the altar in order to communicate. The curtain closes. The choir kneels and sings, antiphonally with the deacons, the following hymn of supplication:
CHOIR: Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.
DEACON: Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy;
CHOIR: Thc Most Holy Trinity, give peace to thc world.
DEACON: And health and comfort to thc sick, love and unity to thc Armenian people. (Or the heavenly Kingdom to our deceased, whenever there is Requiem Mass)
CHOIR: Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy. Jesus, Saviour, have mercy on us,
DEACON: Through the mediation of this Holy and Immortal Sacrifice.
Behind the closed curtain, the priest, in awe and reverence, confesses the Sonship of Christ to God, then breaks the wafer into four parts, puts it in the cup and says, "This is the fulfillment of the Holy Spirit." The Fraction symbolizes the unity of the Body of Christ in that the multiplicities of the members who form the church are united in the Blood of Christ. A second century Christian document, Didache or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, refers to that unity, as it relates to the broken Bread in the following magnificent manner: "We give Thee thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge which Thou didst make known to us through Jesus, Thy Child. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains, but was brought together and became one, so let Thy church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy Kingdom." The one wafer, which was brought together from different fields, is broken and distributed among the different members of the congregation. This also corresponds to the Lord's action during the Last Supper, when He broke the Bread, gave thanks and distributed it among the Apostles.
Breaking the bread into four parts became a general practice in the Armenian
church around the tenth century. The two elements, Bread and Wine, were
distributed to all communicants in earlier centuries. The four parts symbolize
the four corners of the world, which encompass all humanity, brought into life
through the vicarious sacrifice of
12. The Prayers Before Communion --
The Prayers before Communion are joyful expressions of gratitude for our being accounted worthy to receive the life giving Flesh and Blood of our Lord. The choir, as representatives of the full congregation, sings the following hymn, in a joyful manner while the priest asks forgiveness for himself, for the congregation, and for the entire world, even for those who are enemies and for those who hate the church.
CHOIR: Blessed is the Lord. Christ sacrificed, is distributed
amongst us, Alleluia. He gives us His Body as food, and sprinkles us with His
Holy Blood, Alleluia. Come ye to Him and be enlightened, Alleluia. O, taste ye,
and see that the Lord is sweet, Alleluia. Praise the Lord in Heaven, Alleluia.
Praise Him in the heights, Alleluia. Praise Him, all ye, His
The priest before taking the Communion, as a profession of faith in the Holy Trinity and the Sacrificial Body and Blood of Christ, recites secretly the following prayer,
In faith I believe in the All-Holy Trinity, in the Father and in the Son
and in the Holy Spirit.
In faith I taste Thy holy and life giving and saving Body,
In faith I drink Thy sanctifying and cleansing Blood.
O Christ, my God, Jesus, for the remission of my sins.
Let Thy incorruptible body serve me to gain (eternal) life and Thy holy blood for expiation and remission of my sins.
13. The Partaking -- Jashagoomun
When the prayers of preparations for Holy Communion are complete, the priest
communicates, first partaking of the Bread, then drinking the Wine, as the real
Flesh and Blood of
The blessing of the
Upon the deacon's call, the communicants approach the bema, kneel, recite the confession, and ask forgiveness, so that they may be worthy of the precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The communicants recite the following confession,
"I have sinned against the most Holy Trinity, The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I have sinned against God. I confess before God and before the Holy Mother of God; and before Thee, Holy Father, all the sins I have committed. For I have sinned in thought, word and deed, willingly and unwillingly, knowingly and unknowingly. I have sinned against God. Woe to me, woe to me, woe to me. Which of my misdeeds can I recount and which can I confess? For countless are my transgressions, unutterable are my iniquities, intolerable are my afflictions and incurable are my wounds. Holy Father, I hold thee to be mediator for peace and intercessor with the Only Begotten Son of God, so that, by the authority vested in thee, thou mayest release me from the bonds of my sins, I beseech thee."
Then the priest gives absolution to the faithful according to his priestly authority and says,
"Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy. May the ever-loving God have mercy upon thee, and grant thee forgiveness of all thy transgressions--of those, which thou hast confessed, and of those, which thou hast forgotten. With the priestly authority vested in me, and by the divine command 'Whatsoever thou shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven',
I, by the same word, absolve thee of all participation in thy sins by
thought, word and deed, in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit. I reinstate thee in the Sacraments of
After the recitation of the absolution, the communicants rise, while the priest kneels on the bema, as the humble servant of God and the administrator of the sacrament, and puts a small piece of the precious Body and Blood in the mouth of every communicant. Two clerks will hold a veil under the chin of the communicant to avoid the dropping of the sacred host on the ground. During the communion, the choir joyfully sings the communion hymn:
"0 Thou, who hast prepared the table of mystery, and didst give Thy holy apostles to drink of the cup of immortality this clay in the Upper Room, we beseech Thee, 0 Saviour, have mercy upon us. Cleanse our minds and our thoughts that we also with holiness may partake with Thy holy apostles this clay as in the holy Upper Room. We beseech 'thee, O Saviour, have mercy upon us.
When the communion is over the priest stands up and, blessing the congregation with the sacrament, says,
Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thine inheritance. Feed them and lilt them up from henceforth for evermore.
Communion is the culmination of "The Holy Sacrifice." It is the
sacramental union of the believer with the Lord,
In the Armenian Church anyone who is baptized, whatever his age, may receive communion. In the morning before communion, the communicant is not to eat or drink anything so that, by abstinence and self-sacrifice, he may be worthy of the Holy Communion. It is apparent in the arrangement of the Liturgy that every one of the faithful is expected to communicate every Sunday. If that is not possible, a faithful Christian must communicate as often as possible t~>r his spiritual sustenance and tier unity with our Lord Jesus Christ.
14. The Thanksgiving -- Kohapanootioon
The Thanksgiving is the last act of the Holy Sacrifice, or
"We have been filled, O Lord, with Thy goodness, tasting Thy Body and Thy Blood. Glory in the highest unto Thee Who hast ti2d us. Thou, who always dost feed us, send down upon us Thy spiritual blessings. Glory in the highest unto Thee Who hast tied us. We thank Thee, O Lord, Who hast fed us at Thy Immortal 'Fable, distributing Thy Body and Thy Blood for the salvation of the world, and for the life of our souls."
Meantime, the priest, inaudibly, gives thanks to the Holy Trinity saying,
"We thank Thee, O Father Almighty, Who didst prepare for us the holy
church for a haven, a temple of holiness, wherein the name of the Holy Trinity
is glorified, Alleluia. We thank Thee, 0
At this point the congregation was dismissed in earlier times. The fourth part of the Liturgy, upon which we will comment in the next chapter, was a later development, as stated before, following the Latin form of Liturgy. But before we close this chapter certain comments might be necessary to enlighten the reader further concerning Communion.
After the completion of the Thanksgiving Prayers, the priest puts the
reserved part of the Sacrament in the Pyx, a small container that holds
Communion for the sick. A part of the Sacrament is also kept for future use in
a tabernacle-shaped container, which is placed on the altar. This also
symbolizes the presence of
Part IV - The prayer and dismissal (Orhnootioonun yev artsagoomun)
1. Aghotk ee
3. Orhnootioon yev Artsagoomun -- The Blessing and Dismissal
1. The Prayer Amid the Church -- Aghotk ee
This prayer, according to the rubrics of the Liturgy of the Armenian Church, must be said from the chancel, but present custom allows the priest to say it from the altar. It is a closing prayer during which the priest asks Almighty God to bless those who put their trust in Him, to bless the church and the secular leaders of the Christian faith and concludes, saying,
"For every good gift and every perfect bounty cometh down from above, from Thee, Who art the Father of light, and to Thee is titling glory, dominion and honor, now and always, forever and ever, Amen."
The priest descends into the chancel and recites the following prayer,
"Thou art the fulfillment of the Law and the prophets, O Christ, God, our Saviour, Who hast discharged all the dispensation ordained by Thy Father, fill us also with Thy Holy Spirit."
2. The Last Gospel --
The Last Gospel, John 1, follows the prayer of the priest: 1-14, which
represents the theological foundation of the
3. The Blessing and Dismissal -- Orhnootioon yev Artsagoomun
The blessing and the dismissal of the congregation is done by the priest with the following prayers,
"Guardian and hope of the faithful, 0 Christ our God, keep and
preserve in peace Thy faithful people under the protection of Thy Holy and
venerable Cross. Save us from our visible and invisible enemies, and make us
worthy to laud and glorify Thee with joy along with the Father, and the Holy
Spirit, now and always, forever and ever, Amen. Be ye blessed by the grace of
the Holy Spirit. Go in peace, and the Lord,
At the end of the Liturgy, the faithful approach and kiss the Gospel, the source of spiritual nourishment. The Word of God gives guidance and shapes their lives according to the precepts of the Gospel during the next days so that they may be worthy again to participate in the Holy Sacrifice.
Filled with spiritual joy and nourishment the faithful leave the church
after receiving the