St. Ann continues its weekly Lenten celebrations of the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts on Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m.

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (also referred to as the Presanctified Liturgy) is a liturgical service focused on the distribution to the faithful of Holy Eucharist which has been previously transformed through the gifts of the Holy Spirit during a celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

The Church recognizes two truths of human nature in its offering of the Presanctified Liturgy.

First, the Church recognizes that, regardless of liturgical season, the Divine Liturgy is always celebrated in a festal manner. Because the sobriety of the Lenten season does not lend itself to festal celebration, the Divine Liturgy is not celebrated on weekdays during Lent, except for the Great Feast of Annunciation on March 25. Sundays, however, are always reserved for the festal celebration of the Divine Liturgy, even during Lent. In order to nourish the faithful with the body and blood of Christ on weekdays during the time of the fast, Holy Eucharist sanctified at the previous Sunday’s Divine Liturgy is distributed within an evening prayer closely resembling vespers. This Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is traditionally attributed to Saint Gregory the Dialogus, better known as Saint Pope Gregory the Great, who had served as the papal legate to Constantinople in the late 6th Century.

Second, the Church recognizes that during Great Lent faithful Christians are on a journey of repentance, fasting, and intensified prayer, and therefore it offers us the Presanctified Liturgy to encourage our frequent reception of communion, a practice that is especially helpful to our souls during this time.

Although the Presanctified Liturgy can be celebrated with liturgical correctness on any weekday during Great Lent, the service is usually celebrated on the Wednesdays.

Now the powers of heaven invisibly worship with us; for behold, the King of Glory is coming in. Behold the completed mystical sacrifice in procession! Let us approach with faith and longing that we may become partakers of life everlasting. Alleluia.

Great Entrance hymn, Presanctified Liturgy

You can read more about the Presanctified Liturgy on the website of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton, here.

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