Divine Liturgy




  1. Students should understand the Scriptural basis for and spiritual significance of the Eucharist.
  2. Students should know the order of worship of the Divine Liturgy and understand the meaning behind the actions.
  3. Students should know the name and purpose of the major liturgical pieces.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Scripture lesson: Luke 22:19-20, Acts 20:7, I Cor. 11:23-30 – Why do we celebrate the Eucharist? Are they truly His body and blood or only a symbol? How do they become His body and blood? (a mystery!) What can happen if they are taken unworthily?


  1. Order of the service (We’ve all gone every week to liturgy; try making some cards and see if the students can put them in order!):




Proskomedia (Preparation): The priest pours the wine and cuts the bread (pros-phora) into small pieces and places them on a golden plate called the diskos, a large piece representing Jesus in the center, a piece for Mary to the right, 9 pieces for the saints to the left and rows below them for those living and dead.

The entire Church is gathered on the plate and prayed for during the preparation.

“Blessed is the Kingdom”: the priest opens the Royal Doors and stands with raised hands before the altar.

We are all invited to a celebration, a journey to God’s kingdom not unlike the journey of the Hebrew people from Egypt to the Promised Land.

Litany: The priest leads us in prayer, saying after each prayer “Let us pray to the Lord” and we respond “Lord, have mercy” or “Grant it, O Lord”.

We pray for all of the world’s needs: for peace, the Church, the nations, good weather, food, travelers, the sick, prisoners, safety, etc.

Antiphons, Troparia, and Kontakia.

We give praise to God in the antiphons, originally sung by 2 choirs antiphonally. The Troparia and Kontakia – the “theme songs” of the day or season. What is our parish’s “theme song”? Beginning with Pascha, we sing Tone 1 the first Sunday, Tone 2 the 2nd, etc. and then repeat.

The Emperor’s Song: “Only begotten Son and immortal Word of God”

Written by the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, he was a good and just ruler who wanted to say in a very few words a summation of what the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ.

The “Little” Entrance: The priest, preceded by altar boys carrying lighted candles, carries the Gospel book, showing it to all the people and then placing it on the altar table.

The Gospel contains the writings of 4 of the apostles about Jesus Christ. Which 4? It guides us in our journey towards the kingdom of God. What are some other times we make a procession?

Trisagion: We prepare to hear the word of God by singing the song that the angels sing, “Holy God!…”

The “three holies” remind us of the Trinity--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Prokimenon (short verses from the Old Testament), Epistle, Gospel readings.

The Old Testament verses remind us that God’s prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Epistle and Gospel follow a theme begun with the Psalm.

Great Entrance: While the choir sings “Let us who mystically represent the cherubim…”, the priest, again preceded by the altar boys with lighted candles, brings our gifts of bread and wine and places them on the altar.

We give gifts to someone we love. Bread and wine are our gifts, which God will give back to us as Holy Communion. The procession symbolizes the Via Dolorosa, the walk of Jesus to the Cross, to which we also are called.

Creed: We all recite the creed together.

We reaffirm our faith in God.

Anaphora: The priest offers our gifts to God and we give thanks to God. We sing the “Angels Hymn” (“Holy, holy, holy…”) just as the angels sing in heaven.

“Anaphora” means “lifting up” in Greek: here we offer not only the bread and wine but all of our lives and the entire world to God, because this is His right. We remember that we are not the only ones who serve God.

Prayer of Thanksgiving: The priest reminds us of all that Jesus has done for us on the cross and asks the Holy Spirit to bless our gifts and make them the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

God sends His Holy Spirit and our simple gifts of bread and wine become Christ’s own body and blood. We praise and thank God for this great mystery.

Megalynarion: We sing a song remembering Mary the Theotokos.

Mary, the Mother of God, was especially close to Jesus and the Bible commands us to honor her. Do we worship her?

Lord’s Prayer: We pray the prayer that Jesus commanded us to pray.

Only through Jesus have we the right to call God “father”.

The Eucharist: We all line up and receive the body and blood of Christ, “in the fear of God with faith and love draw near”.

Jesus invites us to His table in His kingdom. 

Benediction: We sing “We have seen the true light, we have received the heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith” and the priests leaves the Sanctuary and goes to the center of the Church where he thanks God and asks God to give us His peace. The priest then blesses the people with the cross, receiving a piece of bread.

Our journey is at an end. His kingdom now lives in us. What does this mean? How should we conduct our lives as citizens of a heavenly kingdom? How did the apostles conduct their lives?


            4.  In the sanctuary or with pictures, identify these articles:

                        Sanctuary (altar) at the eastern end of the church, why?

                        Iconostasis: icon screen

                        Corporal with Antimins: Altar covering used only during communion and containing relics of the saints

                        Seven-branched candelabra

                        Tabernacle (or Ark), where are kept the Communion for the sick and for the Presanctified liturgy

                        Gospel Book

                        Sacramental Fans, representing the Seraphim

                        Table of Oblation, where the priest prepares the Holy Gifts

                        Diskos (or Paten): a plate for the bread

                        Star Cover: to support the veil so it does not touch the bread

                        Chalice: cup for the wine

                        Spoon and Sponge and Spear: the spear is used to cut the pieces from the Prosphora, the spoon to give Communion, and the Sponge to clean

                        Veils: Covering for chalice and paten

                        Censer, for incense



5.  Discussion questions: Likely the above discussion will take most of the class time.  Most important would be to discuss the various parts of the liturgy and meaning.



  1. Play “Pictionary”: Write the names of the various liturgical pieces listed above on small pieces of paper.  Give one student a piece of paper and have him attempt to get the other students to guess the object as he draws it on a blackboard or large sheet of paper.  Student first to guess gets to be the next contestant.


            7. Close with prayer.