Cleveland Prayer Group Website

The Holy Qurbana or Liturgy
Why Do We Go to Church?

by Saju C.Varghese, New Delhi

Why do we go to Church? This is a question asked by many people. Believers and atheists alike. God is everywhere, He is omnipresent and He could be worshipped in any way and at any place.

But the importance of Church is unquestionable. Because it is the place of sacrifice. God said to Solomon when he dedicated the temple of Jerusalem. “My eyes and my heart will be there for ever.” (I king. 9:3). Every time when we come together to attend at the Holy Qurbana, we rededicate our lives.

Holy Qurbana is not merely a remembrance of what Jesus did for the mankind, it is a real and live thing in all its aspects. Jesus becomes part of the believer, the believer becomes part of Jesus’ body. In the Holy Qurbana, we see what happened in Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus, what Jesus had done for us in the upper room in Jerusalem that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and given His body and blood through the bread and wine. We see what happened on the heights of Calvary and at the tomb on the daybreak of the third day. And what happened on the 40th day on the Mount of Olives. Also we are repeating our confession that we are awaiting the Second Coming of our Lord. There we receive the divine peace from the heavenly Altar.

It is a worship in which the living and the departed assemble together. The angels of the heaven sing with the earthly men. There is the Mother of God and all the saints. There the heaven opens and all the heavenly hosts descends unto the earth.

Holy Qurbana is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Himself. It is the crown of all sacraments and the sacrament of sacraments. Every sacrament is sanctified by this sacrament.

The understanding and teaching about Holy Eucharist makes the Orthodox Church unique among the Christian world. While some non-orthodox churches use the word “Mass”, it is Eucharist for us. This is the same term used from the very early church fathers. The Greek word “Eucharistia” means “Thanksgiving”, same term used to refer both the rite and the consecrated elements. St. Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, who was martyred in Rome in about 110 AD, and Justin Martyr wrote around 150 AD. Both used the same for the Holy Qurbana.

Holy Eucharist is the fulfillment of God’s plan for the salvation of mankind from sin, a commemoration and making present of Jesus’ crucifixion on Calvary and His Resurrection, the means for Christians to unite with God and with each other, and the giving of thanks for all these things.

Please come, let us worship together. We are the temple, we are the sacrifice. It is much stronger and effective when we worship and pray together.

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