Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


Eucharist as Anaphora

"Let us lift up our hearts," says the celebrant, and the people answer: "We have lifted them up to the Lord." The Eucharist is the anaphora, the "lifting up" of our offering, and of ourselves. It is the ascension of the Church to heaven. "But what do I care about heaven," says St. John Chrysostom, "when I myself have become heaven...?" The Eucharist has so often been explained with reference to the gifts alone: what "happens" to bread and wine, and why, and when it happens! But we must understand that what "happens" to bread and wine happens because something has, first of all, happened to us, happened to the Church. It is because we have "constituted" the Church, and this means we have followed Christ in His ascension; because He has accepted us at His table in His Kingdom; because, in terms of theology, we have entered the Eschaton, and are now standing beyond time and space; it is because all this has first happened to us that something will happen to the bread and wine.

"Let us lift up our hearts," says the celebrant.

"We lift them up unto the Lord," answers the congregation.

"Let us give thanks unto the Lord" (Eucharistisomen) says the celebrant.

Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World


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