The Nativity of the Lord Metropolitan Cathedral opened this morning its doors to welcome numerous church-goers, arrived to participate in the Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts, officiated by Metropolitan Vladimir in order to experience in prayer and fasting this first week of the Great Lent that precedes the Feast of the Resurrection of Christ.
The Metropolitan was assisted at the service by Metropolitan Vicars, Bishop Ioan of Soroca and Bishop Siluan of Orhei, Archpriest Vadim Cheibas, Metropolitan Secretary and Cathedral Dean, and the priests and deacons of the Nativity of the Lord Cathedral.
The service known as the Liturgy of Pre-sanctified Gifts is specific to the Great Lent, and was introduced in the very early centuries of Christianity, expressing the natural need of the faithful to commune in the Body and Blood of Christ. According to church rules, ordinary Liturgy cannot be celebrated during weekdays of the Great Lent, except Saturdays and Sundays, and the Feast of the Annunciation. Early Church tradition introduced the rite of communion with the Gifts sanctified at the previous Sunday’s Liturgy. This rite was unified with the Vespers service of Wednesdays and Fridays of the Great Lent, to make communion possible on these days. The rite was unified later in the church history, and is known today as the Liturgy of Pre-sanctified Gifts, or Liturgy of St. Gregory Dialogos, by the name of the Archbishop of Rome who revived this apostolic service in the diocese of Rome.
After the Communion, the church-goers were called to participate in all divine services of this period of ascetic doing, being advised to live sober lives, in contemplation and profound and sincere prayer.
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