“BLESSED IS THE KINGDOM
OF THE FATHER SON AND HOLY SPIRIT
NOW AND FOR EVER AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN.”
This priestly proclamation heralds the most important event ever to occur in the history of the human race/ With great glory and majesty the Orthodox faithful are introduced to their homeland, which is the blessed kingdom of God. We must firmly believe the truth about our kingdom for basically there are but two kingdoms in existence. The first is the kingdom of God and the second is the kingdom of this world, headed by the ruler of this world. Those who belong to the Kingdom of God are duty bound, to be true to the heavenly kingdom and not be overly-involved with the kingdom of this world, for the world is not our kingdom, and we must use it for the needs of our sustenance and maintenance.
When separated from the Church, we are also separated from our destination. Union with the Church is our great hope. In the Church we are churched as infants, baptized and chrismated, married and eventually are buried. The Church indeed is the central part of our kingdom.
Few are those who comprehend the beauty and glory of the Divine Liturgy, which is the Kingdom of God acting in this world. When the Church is celebrating, there are angelic hosts everywhere although invisible to our eyes. There are also the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. Supporting the Priests are many angels and the whole area of the Church is now the kingdom of God, hence the proclamation:”Blessed is the Kingdom . . .”
The Divine Liturgy is not about something new or old but about something always present. It is the continuation of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross an event to which we offer thanksgiving and glorify continuously. Every Divine Liturgy is not the remembrance but the continuation of that which Jesus Christ established as confirmed by St. Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews.
“And every priest stands daily ministering and offering often the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins, but He (Christ), after He had offered one continuous sacrifice sat down at the right hand of the God, from henceforth expecting till His enemies are made the footstool of His feet. For by one offering He has perfected, continuously sanctifying then that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:12 - 10:14). Special note: These verses are badly mistranslated in Protestant and Roman Catholic Bible. They translate the word continuous as forever (Greek di-inekes or continuous) These correct words properly identify the sacrifice as being continuous.
The Divine Liturgy is filled with rare and divine beauty, and is the communion of believers, with the smell of incense and we see on the icons the Living Lord and His Mother, John the Forerunner and many other Saints, who are the best company we can ever find.
The Divine Liturgy is a sacrifice, but bloodless, for Christ established it on the night when He was betrayed when He took bread and blessed it and gave it to them, saying: Take, eat this is my body . . . He told us: “Do this in remembrance of me.”
Respect for the Church is respect and reverence for the Kingdom of God, which should inspire very good church behavior on our part. We should stand with fear and trembling before the awesome God who we often have sinned against us, and obtained forgiveness, from His great mercy;
Bad habits are difficult to change and good ones are difficult to acquire, but we can certainly make an effort. Why arrive at Church any old time, when we do not do this for school, college, business, or a job. Let us get to the Church before the service begins and we will feel much better and help to restore better order. What can be our excuse for being late, but only for Church?
We should avoid sitting in Church after the consecration of the divine gifts, which is shortly after the Cherubic Hymn. This also hold true especially during the time when people are communicating., and, giving it some thought this practice approaches rudeness. We should avoid unnecessary talking in Church. We are receiving through Communion the Creator of heaven and earth, the King of glory, the Immortal Logos of God. Let us honor Him by standing at attention bowing reverently in prayer
Let us remember who we are the very next time we hear: “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.