April 10, 2024

Questions and Answers on the Presanctified Liturgy - Part 4 (St. Symeon of Thessaloniki)

By St. Symeon, Archbishop of Thessaloniki
Question 58
At the time of the Presanctified Liturgy, do we offer a portion of the divine bread or the whole?
The bread must not be a portion, but a complete bread, so that after being cut according to custom and broken, it can be given. It remains from the completed liturgy, and zeon is poured into the cup, not to complete anything - this is not why it is poured into the completed liturgy - but so that the dread cup may become lukewarm, and by this is meant, that with the death of Christ His life-giving body was inseparable and undivided from the divinity, as well as from the divine soul, and filled with the energies of the Holy Spirit. The warmth signifies that the life-giving Spirit did not depart from the life-giving body of Christ, nor was His divinity separated. And the water is an image of the Spirit, who is sometimes called water, and the warmth is an image of the fire of divinity, for it is said: "Our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29). That is why is added: “The warmth of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” So the divine gifts, being complete, do not receive more grace, but are intended only for us, so that we can be sanctified by them and by prayers.

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