The principal service of our church is Holy Eucharist (also known as the “Lord’s Supper,” the “Mass,” the Divine Liturgy”, the “Great Offering,” or “Holy Communion.”). The service is really two parts.
The first part is called “The Liturgy of the Word”. It engages us in
- Listening and responding to Holy Scripture.
- Praying for the Church and the world.
- Greeting one another in the peace we have received from hearing a word from God and receiving the good news of forgiveness and fresh grace.
The second part is called “The Liturgy of the Altar” or “The Liturgy of Holy Communion”. This part of the Eucharist includes
- Offering God the symbols of bread and wine, and whatever else we have to offer with them.
- The blessing and breaking of what we have offered at the altar.
- Receiving what God has to offer back to us and giving thanks.
The Holy Eucharist is the most important prayer of the Church. Our ongoing journey, as apprentices of Jesus, toward our new life requires ongoing grace. Through both the Word and Sacrament of the Eucharist, we receive the basic inner nourishment and strength that supports our apprenticeship as well as our recovery and transformation as human beings into our completed life form. The bread and wine we receive at the altar is somehow the very transformed, resurrected life of Jesus – the wisdom, courage and strength of Christ himself.
It is a mistake to understand the Holy Eucharist as simply, or even primarily, a means of nourishment or grace for the apprentices of Jesus. The table where God intends for us to be nourished is also the altar where we offer the world to God for its recovery and transformation. Our vocation, with God, of restoring all things to their original unity with the Divine Creator and Center of the universe, begins with the “Great Offering” of the Eucharist. The oblations of bread and wine symbolize all that we have to offer – our selves, the hurts and hopes of the world, the brokenness and estrangement of the whole cosmos.
For more information, contact Fr. Ben Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 353-1979.