We will be celebrating the Feast of the Divine Body this Thursday, June 16. The Divine Liturgy begins at 5:30 pm.

This Melkite feast is inspired by the one celebrated by the Latin Church, Corpus Domini or Corpus Christi. For the Melkite Church this feast became popular in the eighteenth century during the time of Patriarch Maximos II Hakeem. By 1737, Patriarch Maximos III Mazloum added it to the Pentecostarion.

Archbishop Joseph Raya offers this teaching for the feast: “The Holy Table is the continuation of Calvary and the Liturgy announces the death of Christ, present as a Victim, under the appearances of bread and wine. His Body nailed to the cross and his Blood drained out of Him, are offered to the Father, by Him, by the priest and by the attendance. If we wish to share in the sacrifice, we should also consume the Victim the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist” (Byzantine Daily Worship).

The Troparion for the Feast recalls the mystery of the Lord’s sacrifice and his gift of the Eucharist which he instituted at the Last Supper:

Christ, having loved his own, loved them until the end and gave then his body and his blood as food and drink. Therefore, let us offer them our own adoration and say with fear: “Glory to your presence, O Christ! Glory to your compassion! Glory to your condescension, for you alone are the Lover of Mankind!