Christ crucified before our eyes

O FOOLISH Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? (Gal 3:1)


THERE is another way besides these, in which we are sanctified by all the things that take place in the sacred liturgy: for we see Christ, and his deeds and sufferings for our sakes, figured in them.

For in the psalms and readings and in everything done by the priest throughout the celebration, the Saviour’s course is signified, the things in it which happened first being displayed first in the sacred liturgy, and the things which happened second being displayed second; and the actions of the closing stages display the things which happened last of all.

So it is possible for those who see these things to have all of them before their eyes: for example, the sanctification of the gifts, that is the sacrifice, “proclaiming his death”, and his resurrection and ascension, because these precious gifts are converted into the Lord’s body, which underwent all these things – to be crucified, to rise again, to be taken up into heaven; the actions before the sacrifice, the things that took place before his death, his advent, his public commission, his perfect manifestation; and the things after the sacrifice, “the promise of his Father” (as he himself said), the descent of the holy Spirit upon the Apostles, the conversion and fellowship of the nations through him.

St Nicholas Cabasilas (?1322-?1391), “A Commentary On The Divine Liturgy” §6. Greek text here, partial English translation at Google Books. More on St Nicholas at OrthodoxWiki.


DRINK ye all of this: for this is my blood, of the New Covenant, which is poured forth for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins.

(Secretly) MINDFUL then of this thy saving commandment, and of all that was perfectly done on our behalf: the cross, the grave, the resurrection after three days, the return unto the heavens, the sitting at the right hand of the Father, and of the second and most glorious coming again,

(Aloud) Thine own, of thine own, upon all things, and for the sake of all things, do we offer unto thee.

(Choir) We sing hymns unto thee, we bless thee, we give thee thanks, O Lord, and we make our prayers unto thee, our God.

Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom.