Sacrifice of the Mass (Teachings of the Orthodox Church) Christianity. Orthodoxy. Catholicism. Sense of life. Articles for Christians.
If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don't have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal.                If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don't have love, I am nothing.                If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don't have love, it profits me nothing.                Love is patient and is kind; love doesn't envy. Love doesn't brag, is not proud, doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with.               
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Sacrifice of the Mass (Teachings of the Orthodox Church)


What is the Orthodox belief regarding the "Sacrifice of the Mass?" Is it the same as Roman Catholicism or different? Could you please explain the similarities and differences? Thank you.


Thank you for your inquiry.

The Divine, or Eucharistic, Liturgy of the Orthodox Church recalls, as one prayer from the Liturgy states, "all those things which have come to pass for us: the Cross, the Tomb, the Resurrection on the Third Day, the Ascension into Heaven, and the Second and Glorious Coming. ..." The Liturgy is not so much a reenactment of the Mystical Supper or these events as it is a continuation of these events, which are beyond time and space. Unlike many of the Protestant bodies, the Orthodox also see the Eucharistic Liturgy as a bloodless sacrifice, during which the bread and wine we offer to God become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through the descent and operation of the Holy Spirit, Who effects the change.

As far as the order of the Liturgy, it follows the same basic outline as the Roman Mass -- introductory psalms, scripture readings and homily, offering, Eucharistic Kanon and Epiklesis [Consecration], commemorations, the Lord's Prayer, Holy Communion, and closing prayers with final blessing. However, the Liturgy that is generally celebrated is that of Saint John Chrysostom, which is much, much older than the order of the Mass currently in use among Roman Catholics and the Tridentine Mass that had been used prior to Vatican II.

Published in January 2011.

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