DID YOU KNOW? Presanctified Liturgy March 20


Department of Religious Education (DRE)


March 20

Did you know the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is offered for more frequent reception of Holy Communion during Great Lent?

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (also called the “Presanctified Liturgy”) is a seasonal church service celebrated for praise to God and the distribution of Holy Communion (“Holy Gifts”) on the weekdays of Great Lent. The Presanctified Liturgy takes the place of the Divine Liturgy because the festive, paschal nature of the Divine Liturgy is not in harmony with the more subdued, repentant spirit of Great Lent. It is a Eucharistic “synaxis” (church assembly) where the Body and Blood of Christ are consecrated the Sunday before.

The Presanctified Liturgy is typically celebrated on Wednesdays and Fridays as well as Thursday of the Fifth Week (when the Great Canon of Saint Andrew is read) and can be offered from Monday through Wednesday during Holy Week. It takes place either in the evening or in the morning. When in the evening, some fast completely from midnight while others from noon of that day — be sure to consult your parish priest or spiritual father. During Great Lent, the Divine Liturgy is only celebrated on Saturdays and Sundays, unless the feast of the Annunciation (March 25) falls on a weekday.

This Liturgy consists of Vespers, prayers, prostrations, and Holy Communion. The Communion bread has already been consecrated (“presanctified”) and “intincted” (dipped in) the consecrated wine and reserved at the previous Sunday’s Divine Liturgy. Unconsecrated wine and hot water (zeon) are then added to the chalice.

The Presanctified Liturgy is offered to provide us the opportunity to receive Holy Communion more frequently during this most sacred time of repentance and spiritual transformation.

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