Thursday, June 7, 2007

On receiving the Blessed Sacrament

“When you come up to receive . . . make your left hand a throne for the right for it is about to receive a King, cup your palm, and so receive the body of Christ; then answer ‘Amen.’

Carefully hallow your eyes by the touch of the sacred body, and then partake, taking care to lose no part of it. Such a loss would be like a mutilation of your own body.

Why, if you had been given gold dust, would you not take the utmost care to hold it fast, not letting a grain slip through your fingers, lest you be so much the poorer? How much more carefully, then, will you guard against losing so much as a crumb of that which is more precious than gold or precious stones!

“After partaking of the body of Christ, approach also the chalice of his blood . . . Bowing low in a posture of worship and reverence as you say: ‘Amen,’ sanctify yourself by receiving also the blood of Christ. While it is still warm upon your lips, moisten your fingers with the blood and so sanctify your eyes, your forehead, and your other sense organs. Then wait for the prayer and give thanks to the God who has deigned to admit you to such high mysteries.”

- St. Cyril of Jerusalem, circa 350 A.D.

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