Etiquette

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.

 


Badarak Book 

 

 


An Interpretation of the Holy Liturgy or Soorp Badarak

(from hayastan.com)

Introduction

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 Soorp Badarak, which means Holy Sacrifice, in reference to the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on Mount Calvary, for the atonement of our sins.

The Story of the Institution of the Holy Eucharist and Its Meaning to Christians

Jesus Christ Himself instituted the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist while eating the Passover Meal with His Disciples in the Upper Room at Jerusalem on the Thursday evening preceding His crucifixion.

Eucharist, which means "thanksgiving" in Greek, became the title for the central act of Christian worship. This may have been because at its institution Christ "gave thanks" as is indicated in the following passage: "Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to the Disciples and said,

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 Jesus from the house of Caiphas to the praetorium. It was early. They, themselves, did not enter the praetorium so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover." Still, the traditional view prevails and the Last Supper is accepted as having been instituted during the Passover Meal eaten by Jesus with His disciples.

After the Lord's Ascension into Heaven, the Disciples stayed in Jerusalem until a severe persecution by the Jews dispersed them. The followers of Christ, according to the Lord's command, came and ate together (broke bread) in His remembrance. Psalm singing, prayers, and readings accompanied these meetings, which were called Agape (Love Feast), from the scripture, modeled on the pattern of contemporary Jewish Synagogue services.

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." (John 6: 54-56)

The Church teaches, moreover, that when Christians do this in remembrance of Christ, they bring into a present reality His sacrificial death in which His Body and Blood were offered to God for the expiation and remission of our sins, a sacrifice made once and for all. Because the faithful plead for God's mercy on the basis of that sacrifice, and because that same Body and Blood are present on the altar in each celebration of the sacrament, the Soorp Badarak is called an unbloody sacrifice presented to God. During the centuries following Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist changed and developed in various ways until the 12th century AD. Then different churches adopted a set pattern, though all of them are based on the scriptural assertion that Jesus Christ died for our salvation.

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 Armenia alone there were five different texts used in the different centers of the country. One of these texts, which is very close to the St. Basil Liturgy, later dominated the others and gradually displaced them during the fifth and following centuries. The other Liturgies translated originally from Greek texts are lost. One of them, as mentioned above, survived and was used in the Armenian Church after undergoing certain modifications and additions. The Armenian Liturgy now in use was influenced during the tenth century by the Byzantine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and during the eleventh century by the Roman Liturgy. We do not observe any change after 1177 AD, the date when Nerses of Lampron wrote his commentary on the Liturgy. Historically, this is the development of the form of the Liturgy, as we know it today.

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 Soorp Badarak depicts Jesus' Immaculate Conception, ministry, crucifixion, death, burial, and His resurrection, as the sacramental life story of our Lord.

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, Jesus Christ. The above mentioned headings will be treated separately so as to reveal the symbolic meaning of every act performed during the Preparation.

1. The Vesting -- Lev. 8: 1-9. Ex. 28, 29: 1-10.

While the choir sings the Hymn of Vesting (Khorhourt Khorccn anhas anusgeespen), the celebrant performs this act privately with the help of a deacon. First, he recites, antiphonally, with the deacon, the Psalm of Vesting, then says twelve Der Voghormiahs (Lord have mercy), and a private prayer as follows:

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, Jesus Christ, unto whom is befitting glory, dominion and honor now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

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, Jesus Christ, unto whom is befitting glory, dominion and honor now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

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, Jesus Christ, unto whom is befitting glory, dominion and honor now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

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. (Luke 12:35).

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, Jesus Christ, unto whom is befitting glory, dominion and honor now and always and forever and ever. Amen. (Ex. 15: 6-7).

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, Jesus Christ, unto whom is befitting glory, dominion and honor now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

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 Satan. It also symbolizes the obedience to Christ, which the celebrant displays by taking Christ's task and cross on his shoulders. (Mat. 11:29-30, Eph. 6: 10-12). It is a constant reminder that we must fight evil all the time. (Eph. 6: 11-17).

Then he puts on the Shoorchar (Cape), saying,

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, Jesus Christ, unto whom is befitting glory, dominion and honor now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

The Shoorchar or the Cape, which is a full and ample semi-circular vestment used during the Liturgy, the reading of the Gospel, or other ceremonious events, symbolizes the virtue of faith, a shield against the attacks of Satan.

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, Jesus Christ, unto whom is befitting glory, dominion and honor now and always and forever and ever. Amen.

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, Jesus Christ, the celebrant and the congregation participate in it by prayers, repentance and contrition in the likeness of Christ's suffering. St. Cyprian wrote, "The sacrifice which we offer to God is the Passion of our Lord, Himself."

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 coming of Christ to this world is sacramentalized. The occasion of His coming is the sinfulness and the impurity of man. Therefore, the necessity on our part of repentance and holy living is stressed. The act is symbolic and not utilitarian. Some scholars thought in the past that this act was originally performed because the priest's hands were soiled while handling the offerings presented to the church by the parishioners before the services. This act of cleanliness as a symbolic measure was required both of the celebrant and the participants alike in the western churches.

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 performed in Jerusalem (348 AD).

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, Amen.

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 Altus, high, and Ara, elevation. It is the place where the holy sacrifice was offered (Ex. 25). It must be consecrated before its use as a sacramental table and must be built of stone. (Deut. 27: 5-7). (Also, for references to tabernacles, see Ex. 25:9, 40:34; Num. 9:18; II Ch. 8: 13). If it is impossible to build a solid stone altar, a consecrated stone must be placed at the forward edge of the table in the center where the chalice rests. During the early centuries wooden altars, were common, but after 517 A. I), they were prohibited in the West. In the Armenian Church, Catholicos Hovham of Otsoon (717-728) explicitly forbade the use of altars other than those made of stone.

If there are no altar facilities, according to the requirements of the Armenian Apostolic Church, a Vem Kar (a consecrated piece of stone) may be used, just large enough that the chalice may rest upon it.

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 for the Maas (antidoron) and the Neshkhar (wafer) and of wine for the altar. The amount of the Liturgy's oblation was taken from the large quantity offered and the rest was kept to be distributed to the poor and the needy. In Urban areas, a money offering replaced the above mentioned gifts. The offering of the fruit and the other products of the earth, however, had no direct bearing on the Holy Sacrifice. The people donated them as an act of thanksgiving to God with the expectation that God would bestow His blessing on their fields and orchards to make them fruitful, and would spare them from natural calamities such as drought, hail, etc.

The custom of offering bread and wine is mentioned both by Tertullian and Cyprian and the Spanish Council of Elvira, held during the 4~th century, made specific comments about the existing tradition. In the meantime, the Third Canonical Epistles of St. Basil give ample interaction concerning the above-mentioned practice in the East.

During the Prothesis the curtain is drawn, symbolizing the incarnation of Jesus Christ in the womb of the Holy Mother of God. This is the beginning of His life, which later He offered upon the Cross-, a life-giving food for the church. The church, in its turn, through the invocation of the Holy Spirit over the offerings, presented to the Father, asks Him to transform them into the sacramental Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The faithful believe that God will bestow upon the church heavenly blessings, strengthening her in a new life and leading her into eternal life through her partaking of that spiritual food as Holy Communion.

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 instituted by Jesus Christ during the Passover Dinner (Ex. 12:8). The unmixed wine symbolizes the unmixed divine nature of Jesus Christ and the integrity of His sacrificial dedication for the atonement of the sinful world.

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 Jesus Christ. In the Orthodox Churches, leavened bread and mixed wine are used (water is added twice during the Holy Liturgy, once cold water and then warm). The meaning of the cold water is the same as in the Catholic rite. The warm water symbolizes, according to the Orthodox Church, a fervent faith in Jesus Christ, and the water-mixed blood, which came out from the side of Jesus when a Roman soldier pierced His side with a spear. (John 19:31-34).

Until the 10th century both leavened and unleavened bread were used in the West. After the Great Schism of 105at AD between the Roman and the Orthodox Churches, the Orthodox insisted on leavened bread and the Romans on the unleavened; but for the latter, it was not as a dogmatic requirement but as an act of indicating loyalty to the Western position. Some eastern churches followed the example set by the Orthodox Church while the Armenian and the Maronite churches clung to their old tradition. Before the Great Schism, a large wafer was used, as is the custom in the Armenian Church, and the communion was given by fraction, but later this custom was changed and the smaller individual wafers were introduced in the West.

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, Jesus Christ, Who is seated, on the throne not made with hands. He accepted death on the cross for mankind. Bless, praise and exalt Him forever.

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, Jesus Christ, the heavenly bread, the food of the whole world, to be Saviour and redeemer and benefactor, so as to bless and to sanctify us. (Crosses himself) do Thou O Lord, bless now also (makes the sign of the cross over the Prothesis) this presentation and receive this upon Thy heavenly altar. Be mindful, beneficent and ever loving as Thou art both of them that offers it and of them for whom it is offered. Keep us without condemnation in the priestly ministration of Thy divine mysteries; for holy and glorious is the most honorable majesty of the glory of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever, Amen.

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 
3. Moodk Jashoo -- The Lesser Entrance 
4. Untertsvadzk -- The Lections 
5. Hankanag Havadoh -- The Creed 
6. Aghotk Uzgunee Untertsvadzots -- Prayers after 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 Christ for a spiritual fragrance. Receive it as a sweet smelling savour into Thy holy, heavenly and intelligible place of offerings. Send down upon us in return the graces and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We offer glory unto Thee, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever, Amen.

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 Kareenun Asdoodzoh," (Remember us before the Immortal Lamb of God), whereupon the celebrant replies, "Heeshial leecheek arachee anmah Kareenun Asdoodzoh." (Be remembered before the Immortal Lamb of God.) At the end of the processional the priest incenses the processional cross, the congregation, and the choir and then proceeds towards the altar. The priest then censes the cross-held by the deacon three times, gives the censer to the deacon and assumes his original place before the altar.

Blessings bestowed upon the congregation from the altar are a symbol of reconciliation and the renewal of the covenant between God and mankind through Jesus Christ. Thus, the priest turns toward the congregation and says in a solemn voice, "Khaghaghoutioon Amenetsoon" (Peace unto all), because of the above-mentioned act of reconciliation.

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 signifies Christ's ascension into heaven.

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 Roman civil magistrate, who used to walk into court in the same dignified manner.

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 Jesus Christ. It is a proclamation that the church is the Kingdom of God, in which we are participants. It makes us recall the Baptism of Jesus Christ during which the Holy Spirit was revealed, marking the beginning of, Jesus' ministry and presenting a sign of the coming of the Kingdom of God. During the Enarxis the congregation realizes that their baptism in the name of the Lord has made them participants in a sacred purpose--the realization of the Kingdom promised to us by the Gospel. The Gospel, the everlasting light of the world and the Word of God is to be proclaimed and taught throughout the church.

3. The Lesser Entrance - Moodk Jashoo

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, Amen.

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 -- Soorp Asdvadz, Soorp yev hezor Soorp yev anmah. . Lections from the Old Testament books and the Epistles of St. Paul and others precede the Gospels laying a foundation for the teaching of the Gospel.

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 Jesus' teachings. The congregation is a corporate body enlightened by the Holy Spirit, apprehends the truth transmitted by the Gospel.

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, "Aseh Asdvadz," "God speaks." As we notice from the proclamations made by the deacon and the choir, the Gospel is the direct Word of God which we must hear with awe and utmost reverence, taking its message most seriously and with a devoutly penitential spirit.

5. The Creed -- Hankanag Havadoh

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 AD by Peter the Fuller, Patriarch of Antioch. A shorter creed, known as the Apostolic Creed, had previously been recited, but only during baptismal ceremonies as a proclamation of faith. The Nicene Creed accepted by all Christians all over the world is the Orthodox position on the Christian faith. As a Trinitarian religion, namely, a statement of their belief in the Father and the Son (Christ) and the Holy Spirit as one God, from the same substance but revealed in different forms through the history and providence of God.

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, Jesus Christ, in the Son of God, born of God the Father, Only-Begotten, that is of the substance of God. God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten and not made. Himself of the nature of the Father, by whom all things were made in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Who for us men, and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate, became man, was born perfectly of the Holy Virgin Mary by the Holy Ghost. By whom He took flesh, soul and mind and everything that is in man, verily and not in semblance. He suffered and was crucified and was buried, and the third day He rose again, and ascending into heaven in the same body sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again in the same body and with the glory of the Father, to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end. We believe also in the Holy Spirit, uncreated and perfect who spoke through the Law and through the Prophets and through the Gospels. Who came down upon the Jordan, preached to the Apostles and dwelt in the Saints. We also believe in one Catholic and Apostolic Church. In One Baptism, in repentance, in the expiation and remission of sins. In the resurrection of the dead, in the everlasting judgement of souls and bodies, in the kingdom of heaven, and in the life eternal.

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 Aghotk Uzgunee Untertsvadzots

At this point the Synaxis is almost over and the priest prepares himself to engage in The Holy Eucharist, or Soorp Badarak, in which the reality of Christ's Sacrificial death on our behalf is made present.

The priest, as a sign of humility and unworthiness, takes off his kingly crown and his sandals so that, as Moses approached the burning bush, he may approach the presence of God to perform the Holy Sacrifice. (Ex. 3:5) If the celebrant is a Bishop, he must take off his omophorion, crown (mitre) and all his insignia. The prayers after the lessons are a preparatory step leading to the Third and most sacred part of the Liturgy. They bring into sharp focus the suffering of Christ, which by implication suggests that the faithful must endure sufferings likewise in the world. Supplications are made that the Lord may "hearten us and make us fearless of all evil."

Part III - Holy Sacrifice (Soorp Badarak)

1. Medz Moodk -- The Great Entrance 
2. Madootsoomun Undzaheets -- The Laying of the Gifts (Offertory) 
3. Voghchoin -- Kiss of Peace 
4. Nakherkan -- Prologue 
5. Heeshadagun -- The Anamnesis 
6. Veragochoomun -- The Epiclesis 
7. Heeshadagootioonk -- The Diptychs 
8. Aghotk Deroonagan -- The Lord's Prayer 
9. Khonarhoomun yev Partsratsoomun -- The Inclination and Elevation 
10. Parapanootioon -- The Doxology 
11. Tatakhoomun yev Pegoomun -- The Intinction and Fraction 
12. Aghotk Nakhkan Uzhaghortootioon -- The Prayers Before Communion 
13. Jashagoomun -- The Partaking 
14. Kohapanootioon -- Thanksgiving 

This part of the Liturgy depicts the sacrificial death of our Lord, Jesus Christ, on our behalf.

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. St. Paul, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Ignatius and others represented the Holy Eucharist as a sacrifice and the minister of the Eucharist as a priest or high priest. In a second century document, Didache, the term high priest is used for the officiant. This part of the Liturgy, which was celebrated separately from any other service and only liar the faithful, depicts the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. St. Paul in I Cor. 11:26 says, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes." During this part of the Liturgy, the Bread and the Wine are transformed into the Flesh and the Blood of our Lord through prayers, devotions and the invocation of the Holy Spirit. The priest, aware of the awesome task that he is engaged in, must be at peace with all men, sober and vigilant so that he may conduct the congregation close to the mystery of the heavenly Bread and Wine.

1. The Great Entrance -- Medz Moodk

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.

St. Paul in I Cot. 11:27-30 comments on the unworthy receivers of the Flesh and the Blood of Jesus Christ (Communion) and commands as follows: "Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup." This is why at the start of the Holy Sacrifice the deacon will intone in a commanding voice,

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 St. Paul, stated above.

The bringing of the Prothesis (credence) to the altar depicts the Great Entrance (Veraperoom). This symbolizes Christ's victorious entry into Jerusalem as the Son of God going to His voluntary life-giving death. It represents Christ's going toward His death on the cross, which became the altar of His sacrifice for the remission of our sins. The choir, as the representative of the congregation, is fully aware of what is happening on the altar. Therefore, they chant in devotion and awe, saying, "The Body of the Lord, and the Blood of the Saviour are before us. The heavenly hosts invisible, sing and say with unceasing voice, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts'." The Protodeacon takes the Prothesis from the northern niche of the sanctuary after censing nine times toward the altar and nine times toward the Prothesis.

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 Jesus Christ himself, is also thought of as the Ark of Covenant which wits the presence of God amongst the Israelitcs as it was brought into the gates of the Tabernacle. (Num. 10:35-36).

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. (Luke 24: 1).

After the censing of the Prothesis, the priest washes his fingers so that he may handle the Gifts.

2. The Laying of the Gifts -- Madootsoomun Undzaheets

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 Christ, and at the same time, by virtue of the common offering, each of those who make an offering. This corporate offering represents the offering Christ made of Himself; an offering in turn offered by the priest to God the Father. The amount offered is not essential, as we know from the teachings of Christ. The poor widow cast into the treasury of God only two copper coins, but since it was all she had, it was more acceptable to God than the abundance of riches contributed by the wealthy. (Mark 13: 41-44). By worldly offerings the unity of the flesh and the spirit is also proclaimed as in the words of St. Luke: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." The time of the offering was changed at a later date to a more suitable time in the Liturgy. We will comment on that at the appropriate time.

Thus, the laying of the Gifts on the altar symbolizes the offering of Christ on the cross and then His being laid in the Holy Sepulcher. By our own offerings we are involved in that act, dedicating ourselves to the Lord by sharing in His crucifixion and entombment according to his precept as recorded in Matt. 16: 24-25.

3. Kiss of Peace -- Voghchoin

The Kiss of Peace .has its origin in Apostolic times. St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans (16: 16) says, "Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you." (See also, Luke 7: 44-46; I Cor. 16: 20; II Cor. 12: 12). Until the thirteenth century, this custom was practiced in the Roman church. When men and women were no longer segregated during their attendance at church, this practice was discontinued for morality reasons. In the Armenian Church the Kiss of Peace existed from the beginning, symbolizing the fellowship of the faithful and the unity of the church. The faithful who had grudges were not allowed either to give or to receive the Kiss of Peace. At this point, the priest opens the front part of the veil of the chalice and moves the wafer or the Neshkhar forward to the edge of the paten and joins his hands over it. One of the deacons approaches the priest, who proclaims the good news saying,

"Krisdos ee mech mer haidnetsav."

(Christ is manifested amongst us.)

The deacon then kisses the priest's hand saying,

"Orhnial eh haidnootionnuin Krisdosee."

(Blessed is the manifestation of Christ.)

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.

Christ hath been manifested in our midst. He who is God is here seated. The cry of peace hath sounded. Order tin' the holy greeting hath been given. The Church hath become one person. The kiss hath been given as a bond of fullness. Enmity hath disappeared. And love hath spread amongst us all. Now, you ministers, raising your voice, Give blessing, in unison, to Consubstantial Godhead unto whom Seraphims chant songs of praise.

4. The Prologue -- Nakherkan

The Prologue is a preparatory step toward the anamnesis, which will be discussed in the ensuing section. Before the anamnesis, Christ gave thanks; and therefore thanksgiving is the main theme of the Prologue. God gives to man His love, and the very being of a man is the creation of God. For this reason we give thanks to God only as a token of what little we have. Therefore, during the Prologue the faithful must consider God's infinite mercy to mankind and give Him thanks wholeheartedly.

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, Christ blessed it, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to His chosen, holy and seated disciples.

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, "Amen."

Then the priest lifts the chalice which contains the wine (Blood of Christ) above his head and proclaims again, on behalf of Christ, saying,

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: 26-29; Mark 14: 22-25; Luke 22: 17-23;John 6: 55-58.)

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 Christ, Himself, is that the utmost sacrifice is offered, by all of us for all mankinds, for the remission of sins. The congregation acts in behalf of the entire mankind, since all humanity is united in one Lord and God by Whom all are created anl sustained. It is it bloodlcss sacrifice. The reenactment of Christ's crucifixion, which happened once and for all on Goliath, still moves our lives toward unity with one another and with God.

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 of Jesus Christ. The Eastern churches developed an additional formula which affects both the congregation and the Bread and Wine.

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 Jesus Christ. The first prayer of the Epiclesis is recited by the priest secretly, as follows: "We bow down, ask and beseech thee, beneficent God, send upon us and upon these Gifts here set forth, thy co-eternal and consubstantial Holy Spirit." After the first prayer of Epiclesis, the deacon approaches the celebrant from the right side, the censer in his hand and says, "Bless Lord."

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 Saviour, Jesus Christ.

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, Jesus Christ.

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, Jesus Christ, transforming them by Thy Holy Spirit.

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 Christ's sacrifice. This is revealed in the following prayer said by the priest:

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

According to St. Paul, participation in the Eucharist can never be forgetful of God's judgment (I Cor. 11: 29-32). By extension, the church as a corporate body remembers the deceased who are going to face judgment; therefore the church prays for them and mentions them during the Holy Sacrifice. The souls of those who died in Christ and the souls of the saints that belong to the corporate body of Christ, the Church, cannot be left out of our remembrance. Thus, the Diptychs symbolize the fact that both the church triumphant (the dead) and the church militant (the living) are part of the corporate body of Christ.

At this point the deacons are assembled together at the northern side of the altar asking the intercession of the Christian Apostles, saints, martyrs, kings, and princes for those are deceased in the name of Christ. During these intercessions, the faithful should pray for their loved ones who are deceased and for all those who died in Christ, because their teachings and faith have helped the church become a spiritual family under the Fatherhood of God. This practice during the Liturgy has its roots in earlier Christian centuries. During subsequent centuries it was enriched to encompass even the leaders of the church, an addition inserted by Catholicos Simon in the second half of the eighteenth century.

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 in Christ with faith and holiness. To be mindful of these in this holy sacrifice we beseech the Lord.

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 -- Aghotk Deroonagan

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 Christ's humiliation and resurrection. It was alter His humiliation that He rose from death and attested His victory over the evil in this world. Therefore, the faithful at this point are to remember that, as privileged sons of God, they too must suffer humiliation and difficulties before they can rise into a victorious life and salvation. Humility is the greatest of all virtues, and the Prayer of Inclination is addressed to the Holy Spirit asking Him to protect and preserve this virtue in all of God's humble servants. While the faithful, with bowed heads, dedicate themselves to the service of God, the priest prays inaudibly to the Holy Spirit in the following manner,

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 Christ and by their repentance before God.

10. The Doxology -- Parapanootioon

The Doxology is the conclusion of the Eucharistic prayers. The Doxology indicates the fact that Christ, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, has ascended into the Heavens and is seated at the right hand of God. The priest, by elevating the Body of Christ in a manner symbolizing the Ascension, demonstrates the victory of Jesus Christ. During the Doxology the priest proclaims,

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 Christ. Thus, when the Doxology is sung, the faithful should join the priest and the clerks in bestowing glory, blessing and thanks to the Holy Trinity, both the Creator and the Sustainer of our lives and of the universe.

11. Intinction and Fraction -- Tatakhoomun yev Pegoomun

Blood is considered the symbol of life, and through the shedding of Christ's Blood, the Church, His mystical Body, was saved. Immersing the water in the wine suggests a kind of mysterious spiritual baptism symbolizing what takes place in baptism as regeneration into a new life and salvation. At this time the priest takes the wafer in his hand, immerses it in the cup, secretly reciting the following prayer:

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 benefits of Christ's death, entombment, and resurrection. "So that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life," says St. Paul. (Rom. 6: 4).

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 Jesus Christ, Who descended from heaven and is distributed amongst us."

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, Hope, Resurrection, Expiation and Remission of sins. Sing Psalms unto the Lord, our God; sing Psalms unto our heavenly King Immortal Who is riding in the chariots of the Cherubim."

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 Jesus Christ. The four parts also symbolize the four parts of the cross on which Christ was sacrificed for the sake of mankind. One of these four parts of the Sacrament is left in the chalice to be preserved for future use, one part is used for distribution to the communicants, one part the priest uses as he communes, and one part is reserved for the sick who were not able to attend the Liturgy.

The Roman church utilizes a triple fraction which some interpret as denoting the Trinity or the three crosses on Golgatha. Reservation of some of the bread of the Eucharist for future use and for the sick is practiced in the Western tradition just as in the Armenian church. We will discuss the details of the Holy Communion under Section 13.

12. The Prayers Before Communion -- Aghotk Nakhkan Uzhaghortootioon

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 Angels, Alleluia. Praise Him, all ye, His Hosts, Alleluia.

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, 
O Christ, my God, Jesus, for the remission of my sins. 
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 Jesus Christ.

The blessing of the Maas or Antidoron takes place after the priest communicates. The deacon approaches from the left side so that he may bless the Maas to be distributed later among the faithful who are present but do not intend to communicate.

'Maas is blessed bread taken from the same substance from which the wafer (Neshkhar) is prepared and serves as a symbol of participation in the offertory or oblation. "Maas" means, "share," and by taking the Maas, the faithful demonstrate the sharing of their devotional life, with the rest of the congregation.

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 Holy Church, so that whatsoever good thou mayest do, may be accounted to thee for goodness and for the glory of the life to come, Amen."

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, Jesus Christ. Communion is an act in which the communicant receives the remission of his sins. It is a mystical avenue through which the communicant receives the Holy Spirit which denotes the entire operation of the Holy Trinity, the forgiveness of the Father, the event of Pentecost (the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles) and the fulfillment of the work of Christ.

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 Soorp Badarak. An expression of thanks and gratitude is directed to God Almighty, since He has bestowed on us the privilege of sharing in the precious Flesh and Blood of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who cleansed our sins and gave us new life and hope in resurrection and eternal life. As a sign of the utmost thanks and gratitude, the choir sings the following hymn, directed to Christ:

"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 Christ the King, Who didst grant unto us life by Thy life-giving and holy Body and Blood; Vouchsafe unto us forgiveness and Thy great mercy, Alleluia. We thank Thee, O Spirit of Truth, Who hast renewed the holy Church. Keep her without blemish by faith in the Trinity, from henceforth forevermore, Alleluia."

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 Christ's Sacrificial Body and Blood in the Church. Christ's presence on the altar is in a way equivalent to the presence of the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple of Jerusalem. In the Temple a perpetual fire burned in a lamp before the Ark of the Covenant. In the Armenian Church a perpetual light burns on the altar so that Christ, through His burning heart, may give light to the paths of our lives. At the end of the Holy Sacrifice the priest eats and drinks the remnants of the precious Bread and Wine and cleanses the chalice before the deacon places it again in the Northern niche of the altar. The priest then puts on his crown and sandals, takes the Holy Gospel in his hands, and is ready to descend into the chancel to dismiss the congregation.

Part IV - The prayer and dismissal (Orhnootioonun yev artsagoomun)

1. Aghotk ee Mech Yegeghetsvoh -- The Prayer Amid the Church 
2. Vercheen Avedaran -- The Last Gospel 
3. Orhnootioon yev Artsagoomun -- The Blessing and Dismissal 

1. The Prayer Amid the Church -- Aghotk ee Mech Yegeghetsvoh

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 -- Vercheen Avedaran

The Last Gospel, John 1, follows the prayer of the priest: 1-14, which represents the theological foundation of the Christian Church. The phrase that "the Word was made flesh" is the basic dogma of the Christian Church concerning the incarnation of Jesus Christ through the act of the Holy Spirit. At this point the faithful should realize that the Word of God dwells among them through the Holy Spirit, God's moving and motivating power in their lives.

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, Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen."

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 Maas, distributed to them by the ushers or other officials of the church. The giver of the Maas says, "Masun yev pajheen yegheetsce Soorp Badarakees." (May this be your share and portion of this Holy Sacrifice.) The recipient of the Maas responds, "Pajheen eem Asdvadz haveedian." (My portion is God forever).