Liturgy is the first and most important divine service in the Orthodox Church and the highest point of the Orthodox spiritual mysticism. By participating in liturgy, people become one with God in a mysterious, but real way. The assembly at church carries out its idea and purpose of its existence through liturgical service. There are several different divine services: early-morning service, evening-service, hours of Divine Office, etc. Some of them are ministered only in major churches and some only at monasteries. Liturgy is the service ministered at all the churches of the Orthodox world, making the basis of the Christian life. Ideally, all the parishioners of a region participate.
Liturgy is served on Sundays and holidays and in mornings. A church announces its start by chiming bells, which had its practical use in the past, when people did not measure time with clocks. The service lasts a bit more than an hour and consists of several parts which symbolically represent the most significant moments in the Christ’s salvation service. The Orthodox liturgy summons the Holy Ghost, so that the believers in the service are led by God’s grace and experience the announcement of the eternal life. The liturgy culmination is the holy communion, and its general meaning is the expression of gratitude to God, dedicating one’s life to His authority and protection.
The word liturgy comes from Greek, meaning, service, public invitation. Another word for the Mysteries of Liturgy is Eucharist. It means the gratitude (Thanksgiving), pointing to the primary motive of an active relationship with God.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
Regular participation in the liturgy is fundamental to the Orthodox spiritual life and also a way to distinguish the true believers from the non-believers. In order to take the communion, one needs to make some preparations supervised by a priest, (a chaplain), which consists of a confession, prayer and lent. The life of a Christian differs from that of a non-believer, and in ascetic restraint from all sorts of ephemeral pleasures during the lent season and otherwise, the believers prove that nothing else in their lives can replace God.
Liturgy by Stеvаn Моkrаnjac is a supreme creative artistic contribution of a Serbian composer to the Orthodox choir singing.
The ones who made the Divine Liturgy were the holy fathers and teachers of the Church. Today the Orthodox Church uses the liturgy by St John Chrysostom and on some days by St Basil the Great. They extended and improved the liturgical rites, existing from the first day of the church, and through centuries their versions were changed and amended.