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Thursday, April 25, 2013

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XIV

Holy Qurbana or the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the Syriac Orthodox Church traditions.

An explanation of Holy Qurbana- XIV
Invocation of the Holy Spirit

The consecration of the bread and wine is followed by invocation of the Holy Spirit. Here the Holy Spirit is called upon to descend upon the gifts. 

The mystery of the Holy sacrifice is considered to be perfected and completed by the action of the Holy Spirit. The priest waves his hands over the bread and wine, signifying the descent of the Holy Spirit. The deacon warns the congregation to stand in awe as the Holy spirit is descending and hovering over the mysteries. The Holy Spirit here is represented by the dove, flying and hovering over (Mark 1:10). The hands signify the wings of the dove.

The priest then repeats the following prayer three times. 'Answer me, O Lord' to which the congregation responds by saying, 'Kurie-elaison' meaning 'Lord have mercy' three times. 

This is to reminds us of the repeated prayer of Elijah on Mount Carmel to send down fire from heaven upon the sacrifice - 'Hear me, Lord, hear me' (1 Kings 18:36-39). 

The descending of the Holy Spirit upon the offering transforms the offerings into the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus.

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