The Divine Liturgy, according to St. John Chrysostom, is a fundamental element for the spiritual life of every orthodox Christian. Through the Divine Liturgy, all -priests, deacons and faithful-proclaim with one heart and re-affirm their faith and belonging to the Lord and His Church.
The Divine Liturgy (like other Divine Services and personal prayer) is an opportunity to be thankful to God, with our brothers and sisters in Christ, for His gifts and His mercy toward us and also unites us to Christ in receiving His most precious Body and Blood offered for the remission of our sins and life everlasting. The Divine Liturgy truly manifests the kingdom of God among us.
PREPARATION – Prior to attending the Liturgy
We must be reconciled with our brothers and sisters; we should spend a quiet evening and read the appointed prayers before Communion; we must fast from midnight on, except for health reasons; finally, we should take advantage of Confession monthly, especially before the feasts of the Nativity of Christ, Easter, Saints Peter and Paul and the Dormition of the Theotokos.
Only Orthodox Christians in good standing with the Church can receive Holy Communion. Through the receiving of Communion from the Cup, one manifests his/her belief and adherence to the teachings of Christ and His Church. However, ALL non-orthodox visitors are invited to come forward after the Liturgy in order to receive blessed bread.“From this day, from this hour, from this minute, let us strive to love God above all, and fulfill His holy will.”
St. Herman of Alaska