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Rememberances

The holy eucharist is offered in remem­brance of Christ. “Do this in remem­brance of me.” Remem­ber­ing Christ, and offer­ing all things to God in and through him, the Church is filled with the pres­ence of the Holy Spir­it. At the Divine Litur­gy, the Holy Spir­it comes “upon us and upon the gifts here offered.” Every­thing is filled with the King­dom of God. In God’s King­dom noth­ing is for­got­ten. All is remem­bered, and is there­by made alive. Thus, at this moment in the Divine Litur­gy the faith­ful, remem­ber­ing Christ, remem­ber all men and all things in him, espe­cial­ly Christ’s moth­er, the Holy Theotokos, and all of the saints.

It is impor­tant to note here that as the Divine Litur­gy is the real pres­ence and pow­er of the unique sav­ing event of Christ for his peo­ple in all of its man­i­fold ele­ments and aspects, it is always offered for all who need to be saved. Thus the litur­gi­cal sac­ri­fice is offered for Mary and all of the saints, as well as for the whole Church and the entire uni­verse of God’s creation.

Again we offer unto Thee this rea­son­able wor­ship for those who have fall­en asleep in the faith: ances­tors, fathers, patri­archs, prophets, apos­tles, preach­ers, evan­ge­lists, mar­tyrs, con­fes­sors, ascetics, and every right­eous spir­it made per­fect in faith.

And espe­cial­ly for our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glo­ri­ous Lady, Theotokos and ever-vir­gin Mary.

While the choir sings a hymn to the Theotokos, which often changes dur­ing the Church Year accord­ing to the var­i­ous sea­sons and cel­e­bra­tions, the cel­e­brant incens­es the con­se­crat­ed gifts and con­tin­ues to ask God to remem­ber John the Bap­tist, the saints of the day, the depart­ed faith­ful, the whole Church and the entire world. Fol­low­ing the spe­cif­ic remem­brance of the bish­op of the giv­en church, the peo­ple sum up all of the remem­brances with the words: And all mankind!

There then fol­low even more prayers ask­ing God to remem­ber the city, the coun­try, the trav­el­ers, the sick, the suf­fer­ing, the cap­tives, the bene­fac­tors of the Church, those who them­selves “remem­ber the poor” and all of the peo­ple. There is also the pro­vi­sion made at this point in the litur­gy for remem­ber­ing by name per­sons in need of spe­cial mer­cy from God.

In the Litur­gy of St. Basil, which is gen­er­al­ly much longer and much more detailed than that of St. John Chrysos­tom the remem­brances are very spe­cif­ic and numer­ous, going on for more than three pages in the litur­gi­cal ser­vice book.

It is nec­es­sary to remem­ber once again that remem­brance in the Ortho­dox Church, and par­tic­u­lar­ly the remem­brance of God and by God, has a very spe­cial mean­ing. Accord­ing to the Ortho­dox Faith, expressed and revealed in the Bible and the Litur­gy, divine remem­brance means glo­ry and life, while divine for­get­ful­ness means cor­rup­tion and death. In Christ, God remem­bers man and his world. Remem­ber­ing Christ, man remem­bers God and his King­dom. Thus the remem­brances of the Divine Litur­gy are them­selves a form of liv­ing com­mu­nion between heav­en and earth. (See sec­tion on Funer­als)