Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In the evening

New Testament Challenge – Day 15
Mark 12-16

I am currently at my desk in the afternoon preparing, among other things than this blog, to celebrate the Holy and Divine Mystery of the Eucharist this evening in memory of Saint Andrew the First-Called Apostle. It occurred to me that, as many parishes are beginning to celebrate evening Liturgies, and that while our Faith and Holy Tradition are VERY ancient, some dating beyond the Holy Apostles such as 40 infant blessings, we have not always celebrated the Eucharist as we do today in 2011.

Saint Mark write, “In the evening He came with the twelve,” (Mark 14.17) when introducing the Eucharist, or Last Supper of Jesus. Indeed the Eucharist was celebrated as an evening celebration early on in the Church and only later became a morning event, first on Sunday.

So as we begin to see more and more evening Liturgies in America, let’s not think we are inventing something new. The ancient Church understood the need to tend the fields and animals and business of the day and expressed that need in the evening worship of the Church.


Having said that, we must always strive especially when we are able, to attend services more frequently in our Churches. It is one ministry that I believe we have forgotten in our American context – the Hours or Prayer. Worship was a constant thing in the ancient Church. The Eucharist was not the only community worship that existed. The Hours of Prayer, as confirmed in Acts 3, were maintained by the Apostolic Church.

We are 1/3 of the way through our Christmas Fast. Why not take a moment and evaluate your Church participation. Do you go to Church “almost” every Sunday? Could you attend Divine Liturgy more often than you already do? Does your local Orthodox Church offer opportunities to come and worship as a family during the week – and do you attend?

Christmas is more than just about giving gifts you purchased on sale during “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday.” Christmas is about welcoming the Lord God into your life. Don’t you think the time has come to prepare for Church with, at least, as much planning as your trip to the mall?

No comments: