“Holiness becometh Thy House o Lord, unto length of days”
The Psalmist hath declared this in His love for the beauty of the Lord’s House. The Lord’s House is adorned with holiness, arrayed with sanctity. The presence of God is felt in the divine hymnody, the smell of the incense, the sound of bells, the majesty of the icons, the reverential spirit of the faithful.
The Church is no ordinary structure, it is unique, it is separate. As our Lord has called us to separate, to be a peculiar people, so must the Church be.
In the Church we stand before the Altar, the mercy seat, the Throne of God and are present with the Angels “that we may receive the King of all, escorted invisibly by the Angelic orders”. The mood, the setting lead us into prayer and towards a communion with our Lord and God. The pinnacle occurs in the Eucharist, the partaking of the very Body and Blood of our Lord, God, and Saviour. We are mystically united, as one body, the Bride of Christ.
In the Church our thoughts and minds are focused intently on the worship of our God, Who became man in an unfathomable condescension, raising up what had fallen aforetime. The Lord himself came down, neither as an angel, nor an ambassador as the hymn says, but the Lord Himself came to sanctify fallen man.
Our flesh is weak, our minds fickle, our spirit rebellious. For this reason our worship employs all of the senses. The incense raises our prayers noetically. Our ears are filled with angelic hymns, giving glory to our God and focusing our thoughts intently on prayer. The icons show us the path to holiness and that it Is possible to become godlike. We are become sons through adoption, from newly baptized infant to aged elder. The relics, the miracles, and the wonders attest to this. Centuries-old bones still give forth myrh and are fragrant. This new manna feeds our souls and offers healings. These wonders fill our for need constant reminders that our Saviour has given us the path to eternal life.
Such joy it is to see the little ones, worshipping in the Lord’s house. They are filled with awe and wonder at the majesty of the Lord’s presence amongst His people. We are taught that the angels server noetically with us during the Liturgy and the children hear their heavenly chants. Let us become like unto these tender ones, pure in heart, for blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
The Liturgy is the work of the people yet what can we worthily offer unto our Lord but thanks, for we give thanks to Thee o Lord, because of all and for all. What is it that we offer, Thine Own of thine Own do we offer into Thee.
O most merciful Lord, lead us on the path of Salvation and shelter the Holy Church from all temptation and distress.
So be it, so be it.