Illumine our hearts, O Master Who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open the eyes of our mind to the understanding of Thy gospel teachings. Implant also in us the fear of Thy blessed commandments, that trampling down all carnal desires, we may enter upon a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well-pleasing unto Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, Who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
I’m currently reading The Eucharist by Alexander Schmemann. Father Schmemann was a priest in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The book was finished shortly before his death in 1983. My mentor has been recommending it for a while and I’ve finally started.
It can only be summed up as a tour de force of Eucharistic Theology. My western sensibilities scream a bit as I read it (I’ve just started chapter 4). The Eastern Church hardly acknowledges an individual approach to Christ and His Church. However, the explanations of liturgy and the arc of the entire ancient service are eye opening. A modern American low church, nondenominational experience seems like a bland saltine cracker compared to the majestic cake of ancient rites and liturgy.
I anticipate having to read this a second time before I can write something sensible on it.
Soli Deo Gloria
Maundy Thursday – the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
The English word “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, which means “commandment.” In John’s gospel (13:34-35), on the night before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and then gave a new commandment:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV)
Therefore in accordance with ancient traditions established by the early church fathers, Anglicans have in our liturgy both foot-washing and the Eucharist.