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For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy by Alexander Schmemann

By Alexander Schmemann

In For the lifetime of the area Alexander Schmemann indicates an method of the area and lifestyles inside of it, which stems from the liturgical event of the Orthodox Church. He knows concerns comparable to secularism and Christian tradition from the viewpoint of the unbroken event of the Church, as printed and communicated in her worship, in her liturgy - the sacrament of the area, the sacrament of the dominion.

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They realized also that this ascension was the very condition of their mission in the world, of their ministry to the world. For there-in heaven-they were immersed in the new life of the Kingdom ; and when, after this "liturgy of ascension," they returned into the world, their faces reflected the light, the "joy and peace" of that Kingdom and they were truly its witnesses. They brought no programs and no theories ; but wherever they went, tlte seeds of the Kingdom sprouted, faith was kindled, life was transfigured, things impossible were made possible.

Ch atzd the Catholic, atzd the Spirit of the Liturgy ( New York, 1950 ) , 180-181 . 32 For the Life of the World comprehensible above and beyond of which we know only one thing: that it eternally resounds with the praise of di­ vine glory and holiness. "Holy" is the real name of God, of the God "not of scholars and philosophers," but of the living God of faith . The knowledge about God results in definitions and distinctions. The knowledge of God leads to this one, incomprehensible, yet obvious and inescapable word : holy.

It is His- prayer, and He gave it to us, made it our prayer, as He made his Father our Father. No one has been "worthy" to receive communion, no one has been prepared for it. At this point all merits, all righteousness, all devotions dis­ appear and dissolve. Life comes again to us as Gift, a free and divine gift. This is why in the Orthodox Church we call the eucharistic elements Holy Gifts. Adam is again in­ troduced into Paradise, taken out of nothingness and crowned king of creation. Everything is free, nothing is due and yet all is given.

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