Friday, March 25, 2011

Great Lent #20 - 26/03/2011

Holy Qurbana – 7

Anamnesis or the Sacrificial Memorial

The priest and the people together recall the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ which is made present in all its saving power, while they look forward to the second coming of Christ, for which this mystery prepares them.

The spoon and cushion are lifted up and placed on the left side of the Thronos (Altar). The priest lifts them over head in his right hand quickly, signifying the second coming of the Lord on the last day, which will be like a flash of lightning. “For just as lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:27).

Invocation of the Holy Spirit

The consecration is followed by invocation of the Holy Spirit in which the Holy Spirit is called upon to descend upon the gifts. The mystery of the Holy sacrifice is considered to be complete and perfected by the action of the Holy Spirit. The priest waves his hands over the bread and wine with a fluttering motion, signifying the descent of the Holy Spirit. We find the deacon warning the people to stand in awe as the Holy Spirit is descending and hovering over the mysteries. The Holy Spirit is here represented by the dove, flying and hovering over (Mark 1:10). The hands signify the wings of the dove.

This is followed by the thrice repeated earnest prayers of the priest. “Answer me, O Lord” and the people respond with a three fold, “Kurie-elaison” meaning “Lord have mercy”. This reminds us of the repeated prayer of Elijah on Mount Carmel to send down fire from heaven upon the sacrifice - “Hear me, Lord, hear me” (1 Kings 18:36-39). The coming of the Holy Spirit upon the offering is to transform the offerings into the Body and Blood of our Lord.

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