A Commentary on the Divine Liturgy

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Nicholas Cabasilas
Translated by J. M. Husey and P. A. McNulty
With an Introduction by R. M. French
Publication Data: Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1998
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: xii + 120
Dimensions (l × w × h): 21.5 cm × 13.6 cm × 0.9 cm
ISBN: 0‒913836‒37‒0

Nicholas Cabasilas
Translated by J. M. Husey and P. A. McNulty
With an Introduction by R. M. French

“The essential act in the celebration of the holy mysteries is the transformation of the elements into the Divine Body and Blood; its aim is the sanctification of the faithful, who through these mysteries receive the remission of their sins and the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. As a preparation for, and contribution to, this act and this purpose we have prayers, psalms, and readings from Holy Scripture; in short, all the sacred acts and forms which are said and done before and after the consecration of the elements. While it is true that God freely gives us all holy things and that we bring him nothing, but that they are absolute graces, he does nevertheless require that we should be fit to receive and preserve them; and he would not permit those who were not so disposed to be thus sanctified.”


Bibliographical Note (1978)
Commentary on the Divine Liturgy
   I Introduction and the Prothesis
      1. The general significance of the sacrifice
      2. Why the offerings are not placed upon the altar at once
      3. The oblations are dedicated to God as first fruits of human life
      4. Why should we offer the first fruits of human life?
      5. Why all the beard is not offered, but only a part of it
      6. Why the priest marks the bread with the symbols of Christ’s Passion
      7. The commemoration of the Lord
      8. Ceremonies performed with the bread
      9. Why did the Lord command us to do this in memory of him?
      10. The words of the offering after the commemoration. The offering of the gifts is both in thanksgiving and in supplication
      11. The reason why the gifts are covered, and the words which are said
   II The Liturgy of the Catechumens
      12. The opening doxology
      13. The meaning of the prayer for God’s mercy after every petition
      14. The commendation
      15. Of the antiphonary chants and their accompanying prayers
      16. A summary of the general significance of the sacrifice
      17. The meaning of the first antiphon
      18. The meaning of the singing of the prophecies at the beginning of the liturgy
      19. The meaning of the third antiphon
      20. The showing of the Gospel, and the Trisagion
      21. The prayer which accompanies the Trisagion, and the sacred acclamations
      22. The readings from Scripture, their order and meaning
      23. The prayers which follow the Gospel
   III The Liturgy of the Faithful (1)
      24. The bearing of the offerings to the altar
      25. The prayers which follow the transference of the offerings, and the exhortations of the priest to the congregation
      26. The confession of faith, the exhortations of the priest to the faithful, and their responses
      27. The consecration of the offerings, and the thanksgiving which precedes it
      28. The origin of our faith concerning these mysteries
      29. The criticisms certain Latins made of us, and a refutation of these
      30. That in the Latin Church the consecration is performed in the same way as by us
      31. Why, during the consecration, the priest invokes not the Son but the Father
      32. Of the sacrifice itself, and what is sacrificed
   IV The Liturgy of the Faithful (2)
      33. The prayers after the sacrifice. Why the priest commemorates the saints and especially the all-holy Virgin here
      34. What the priest asks for himself and for the holy offerings, and the intentions for which he asks the faithful to pray
      35. The Lord’s Prayer and the bowing of the head; the accompanying prayer and doxology
      36. The proclamation of the priest to the people when he elevates the holy offerings, and their reply
      37. The meaning of the pouring of warm water into the wine
      38. How the holy mysteries represent the Church
      39. Of the summoning of the faithful to Communion, and their acclamation of the Sacred Gifts when they are shown to them
      40. The priest’s prayer for the faithful who have communicated
      41. Thanksgiving and doxology
   V A Theological Parenthesis
      42. Whether the faithful departed are sanctified by the holy offerings as the living are
      43. That sanctification is wrought chiefly in the soul of the communicant
      44. The mediation of Christ
      45. That sanctification works more perfectly for the departed
      46. Why the holy offerings are always acceptable to God
      47. The measure in which the holy offerings are accepted
      48. Why we venerate and honour the saints by these gifts
      49. Against those who maintain that the commemoration of the saints in the liturgy is a prayer to God on their behalf
      50. How many times the commemoration of the saints takes place, and the difference between these commemorations
      51. Why the priest calls the sacrifice a “reasonable service”
      52. Why the sacrifice is called the Eucharist
   IV Thanksgiving and Closing Prayers
      53. Thanksgiving after the communion, and the closing prayers
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