Eastern Orthodoxy
Greek Orthodoxy

What is an Orthodox Mass?


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In the Orthodox Church, this rite is usually called the Divine Liturgy, rather than the Mass. It is the most important sacrament (or mystery) of the Church, celebrated every Sunday and on feast days throughout the year (in some communities, particularly in monasteries, it is celebrated every day, except on the weekdays of Great Lent). The Divine Liturgy, which is always sung throughout, consists of two parts: the Liturgy of the Catechumens, and the Liturgy of the Faithful. The first conists of psalms, hymns, and an Epistle and Gospel reading. The second is focused on the rite of Holy Communion. Orthodox believe, as do Roman Catholics, that the bread and wine offered are changed truly and substantially into Christ's Body and Blood, although the Orthodox have not developed a technical explanation of this along the lines of the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. Orthodox also believe that the Eucharist is a sacrifice, albeit an unbloody one; it is the selfsame Sacrifice offered by Christ on the Cross. The Holy Gifts are distributed in both kinds. The faithful receive a portion of the Body of Christ, together with a portion of the Precious Blood, from a spoon.