Armodoxy for today
Worship to Celebration
The act of giving thanks, we have learned, is the greatest expression of humility and love. Gratitude becomes the first step on the path toward selflessness and true love. Worship is the formal act of thanksgiving. The Divine Liturgy, or Badarak of the Armenian Church is the main act of worship which is celebrated every week. It is the oldest community worship in all of Christianity. Each celebration of the Divine Liturgy is an opportunity to travel back to the time of Christ himself and an chance to add to the celebration.
Often the word “Eucharist” is used to express the act of the Divine Liturgy namely the preparation and transformation of the wine and bread into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The word, eucharist, comes from the Greek word meaning grateful or thankful. The Holy Eucharist, the Holy Divine Liturgy, is the central act of worship of the Church and is the ultimate act of thanksgiving. It is the acknowledgement of God so loving the world that He gives His Only-begotten for the salvation of the world. (John 3:16). After acknowledging God’s love, we thank God, or worship Him, and then partake in the celebration, that is, we receive the Holy Body and Blood, the Holy Eucharist, the Holy “Thanksgiving.” For this reason, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated, and never performed. Performance is reserved to scripted plays, concerts, ballets, operas and the like. The Divine Liturgy, the Holy Badarak, is worship and each celebration is unique and brings in new elements from the participants, the priests, deacons, singers, congregants, adults and children, each adding to the celebration with a unique whisper or a shout. And Armodoxy is the assurance that everyone brings his or her own flavor to the mix, their own gestures of thankfulness, so that each Liturgy is a celebration and never a performance.
Is it any wonder that we celebrate Thanksgiving and wish one another, a “Happy” Thanksgiving?
We pray from the hymn of thanksgiving in our Divine Liturgy, “We have been filled with your good things, O Lord, by tasting of your Body and Blood. You who continually feed us, send down upon us your spiritual blessing. Glory in the highest to you who have fed us at your table of immortal life; distributing your Body and your Blood for the salvation of the world and for life to our souls.” Amen.