On Thanksgiving and the Anaphora

chaliceThe Divine Liturgy, and especially the Anaphora (the offering) are filled with hymns and prayers that speak directly to thanksgiving and gratitude, from which spring our tithes and offerings.

… [T]hanksgiving (Greek eucharistia) reveals the essence of Christian faith. As Fr. Alexander Schmemann said in his final sermon, “Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy,” for Christians find their fundamental calling in thanksgiving… [A]ny life not built upon the foundation of gratitude to God is not authentic Christian life. Thanksgiving to God proves that we are truly alive: “The dead do not praise the Lord, / Nor any who go down into silence” (Ps. 115:17). We rightly call the Divine Liturgy “the Eucharist” (thanksgiving), for thanksgiving is the sign of the spiritual life, and the Eucharist keeps us alive.

From Let Us Attend: A Journey Through the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, by Fr. Lawrence Farley, Chapter 13, The Anaphora (the offering).

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