(3) 東正教是什麼 What Is Orthodox (3) 聖餐聖事 Sacrament: Eucharist 講道 Sermons

聖餐禮 (五):照顧聖體 Liturgy V : Caring for the Body of Jesus Christ

李亮神父, 這主日是眾聖徒主日,我們慶賀眾聖徒,是聖靈所結的果子。延續過去三個主日,今天會繼續談論聖餐,因為舉行聖餐禮是教會很重要的職責。前來領受聖餐,單單只有人到教會是不夠的。首重的是你的態度,心中需要充滿愛、感激與喜樂,因為這是你生活中最重要的時刻。許多神父與神學家談到最後審判,以及那時你如何在神面前懺悔。但是比最後審判更重要的時刻,就是我們將耶穌基督領受到自己裡面的時刻。這對我們來說,就是最後審判。是我們生活中最重要的一刻,並且不只一次,因為我們不是只有來教會參加一次聖禮儀,領受一次聖餐。

 

child eucharist 3

2015.06.07 眾聖徒主日

聖禮儀 (五) 領受基督聖體聖血

講道 :李亮神父, 英文紀錄:貝克教授翻譯:張奉書

這主日是眾聖徒主日,我們慶賀眾聖徒,是聖靈所結的果子。延續過去三個主日,今天會繼續談論聖餐,因為舉行聖餐禮是教會很重要的職責。前來領受聖餐,單單只有人到教會是不夠的。首重的是你的態度,心中需要充滿愛、感激與喜樂,因為這是你生活中最重要的時刻。許多神父與神學家談到最後審判,以及那時你如何在神面前懺悔。但是比最後審判更重要的時刻,就是我們將耶穌基督領受到自己裡面的時刻。這對我們來說,就是最後審判。是我們生活中最重要的一刻,並且不只一次,因為我們不是只有來教會參加一次聖禮儀,領受一次聖餐。

我們絕不能用神話、哲學這種方式看待基督信仰。領受聖餐這一刻,我領受到我裡面的就是耶穌基督,這就是基督信仰的一切。很不幸,許多人在聖餐中看見的是規條,他們認為在禮儀中程序才是要格外注意的事情。但程序並不是重點,真正重要的是當我們領受聖餐,這就是最後的審判,這就是一切。

我將要向你們說明我們是否有合宜的態度,我們要明白我們一舉一動的意義,有些細節需要格外留意。在最初期的教會,餅與酒原是分開領受,但到了第四世紀,教會開始將麵包與酒—也就是耶穌基督的聖體與寶血,一起餵給會眾。因這是很小塊的麵包,很容易掉落,所以祭司會使用紅色的布(靠在領受聖餐者的嘴唇下方,避免任何聖體掉落)。有任何東西不小心從正在領受聖餐者的嘴巴中掉出來,就會掉在布上,而不是地上。如果發生這樣狀況,祭司看見布上面有東西,或是其他人看見應該告訴祭司,祭司就會自己吃下,而他所吃下去的不是世人以為的麵包屑,是耶穌的聖體。接著領受聖餐時,會眾嘴唇上殘留的聖血,他們應用這布擦乾。

 

有些人會告訴我這是因為文化習俗。這無關文化習俗,這是我們對天地中那最貴重事物,所表現的關顧。請允許我這麼說,我也是對我自己說,神明白我有罪、每個人都有罪,這是人類的軟弱。但你必須尊重並且小心地對待耶穌基督的聖體,擦乾你的嘴唇。祂會對你們說:「你可能因為軟弱而犯罪,但難道好好照顧我的聖體,這樣簡單的事都不願意嗎?」

 

你前來領受聖餐時,很簡單的常識,請各位不要把布擋在嘴唇前面,這樣位置會使我無法順利地把聖餐餵給你。

有些人抱著孩子,孩子的腳天性就會踢來踢去,不是出於故意的,但他們有可能會踢到聖爵。如果踢翻聖爵,你要明白這是極大的罪,不只是對祭司而言,對所有會眾都是重罪。然而,可憐的祭司怎膽敢對父母說什麼重話,生怕會讓他們心生反抗。但好幾次都發生嬰兒踢到聖爵的狀況,所以我總是牢牢握緊,甚至在我放下聖爵杯時,我還需要伸展舒緩手指,因為手指已經僵硬。

 

我們領受聖餐後,會領受另一塊祝福過的麵包,這不是在領受另一份祝福,天地中沒有任何其他福分能與聖餐相比擬,聖餐是至高之福。這塊麵包放入口中,是為了確保領受聖餐者將口中一切吞下,千萬別因為噴嚏等任何原因,隨著口水而噴出、掉出任何聖餐。這也同樣是為了紀念愛宴(Agape),早期的基督徒在聖餐後,會共同享用愛宴,我們現在也如此行。

 

一般來說我們也會給一小杯摻雜水的酒,這也是為了進一步清潔你口中的聖體,確保將所有的聖餐都吞下去。但因為教會其中部分的人誤以為我們在教會飲酒,為了避免謠言,目前主日並未如此行。日後待大家觀念清楚、態度改善後,希望我們能夠恢復這項程序。但在週間其他時候,舉行聖禮儀時,這部分是保留的。

 

如果現在不管任何原因聖餐掉到地上,你會怎麼做呢?你一定要明白聖餐的責任不只屬於祭司一個人的。我因注意力都在祭壇上,沒有辦法看到每個人的一舉一動。所以你現在有責任制止別人不當的舉動,或是告訴祭司,制止那個人踩到聖體。接著我會走過去,跪在地上,舔食乾淨,因為那就是耶穌基督的身體,不是掉落的殘渣。我的雙手在碰過聖餐後,也不能隨便用水沖洗,因為我碰的是耶穌的寶血。

 

接著我會在掉落聖體的地方倒一點酒精,並且點火焚燒。在座有些人可能記得以前我這樣做過,火將所有東西燒盡,因此就不可能有人踩到耶穌基督的聖體了。

 

你一定要明白當下你會有說和不說的決定。你如果出於一般禮節,當場什麼都不做不說,讓所有人在耶穌基督的聖體上走來走去。事後才對祭司說明,這比鞭打祭司還要殘忍,就像是祭司被他的會眾槍決一樣。禮貌保留在人際交往中就可以了,對於神,則做神要我們所行的。

 

在我們回家後、在領完聖餐後的整天,我們當思想我們懷抱著誰,我們所懷抱的是耶穌基督,是天地中最至尊的榮耀。至少我們能做的,就是我們尊榮耶穌基督。我無法要求你去做我自己也做不到的事,但至少離開教會後,心中感到喜悅,因我們不只有耶穌,也有天國。天國就在我們裡面,再也沒有比這更盛大更快樂的事了。

 

人們在聖餐後,唸完禱文感謝神後離開。你一定要記得,你領受聖餐不只是為了你自己,也是為了你所愛的人。這很容易明白,你抹上濃烈的香水坐在我旁邊,我起身後可能會沾到香水味,回到家有人會以為我擦了香水。或是去到抽菸的場所,衣服上面都是菸味,回家後家人會以為你抽過菸。聖餐就像是這樣,神的恩典透過我們散佈、傳播到別人身上。

 

要明白我們是全體一起領受聖餐、進行聖禮儀,這不是獨善其身個人的事情,而是耶穌基督的身體、是所有的肢體、所有的信徒共同聚集完成聖禮儀,並成為一體。當有些人重病住在醫院無法前來教會,或是住在遠方需要我前往時,會有些特別的例外,可能只有一位信徒領受聖餐。但儘管如此,這人仍會知道這是在耶穌基督的身體中,身為肢體之一,而領受聖餐。

 

講到這裡我要告一段落,你們都要好好思想,領受聖餐時,如同是你生命的最後一刻,最後且重要的一刻。下個主日我會說明我們如何與其他人合一。願聖三一保守我們眾人。

 

 

 

 

2015.06.07 Sunday of All Saints

 

Liturgy V : Receiving the Body of Jesus Christ

Sermon: Fr. Jonah

Transcript: Prof. Baker

 

This Sunday we celebrate all the saints and what are the fruits of the Holy Spirit, but I will say a few things about the Holy Communion, continuing what I have been talking about for the past three weeks since this is the great beauty [duty?] of the Church.

First of all, I want to speak to you about some practical things regarding the Holy Communion. When you come to receive the Holy Communion, it is not enough to just come. First of all it is our attitude, and our attitude is to be full of love and to be happy because this is the greatest moment in our lives. Many priests and theologians talk about the Last Judgement and how you will apologize in front of God and things like that. But much more important than that moment is the time we receive Jesus Christ Himself inside us. So this is the Last Judgment for us. This is the most important moment of our lives, and it does not happen only once because we don’t come to the Holy Liturgy and receive the Holy Communion only one time.

So we must not see the Christian faith in a mythical, philosophical or some other way; the Christian faith is this: everything is in this moment that I receive Jesus Christ inside myself. Unfortunately, many people want to see some sort of order, and they say the sequence with which they go through the Liturgy is what matters. But that is not what is important. What is important is that this is the Last Judgement; this is everything.

So I will say to you that if we come with this proper attitude – and we want to understand what we are doing – then there are some small details that you must know. In the first Church, from the very beginning, at least after the Fourth Century, we give people both the bread and the wine – the body and blood of Jesus Christ. But because it is only a small piece of bread and can easily fall down, so that is why the priest is holding this [holds up the red cloth that is held under the mouth of a Communicant]. If something falls from the mouth of the person receiving the Communion, it will fall on the cloth, not on the floor. If that happens, if the priest sees something on the cloth, or somebody else sees it they should tell the priest, and he will eat it himself because it is not just a bread crumb. Then, when people have received the Communion, they should wipe their mouths. Since something wet could remain on their lips, they should wipe them with the cloth.

Somebody told me that this is a cultural thing. It is not a cultural thing; it is the care of the most valuable thing on the heavens and the earth. And permit me to say – and I say to myself, “God understands I have sins, and everybody has, and this is human weakness.” But you should be careful and respect the body of Jesus Christ and wipe your lips. He could say to you, “You may have sinned because of your weakness, but could you not have taken care of my Body; that is so simple.”

And when you come to receive the Holy Communion, do not put the cloth high, in front of your mouth because how could I give you the Communion? You must have some common sense.

Some people hold up their babies and the babies kick. It is not on purpose, but it is the babies’ nature and they can kick the Chalice. And if the Chalice falls down with the Holy Communion, you must understand that that is a big sin, not only for the priest, but for the all the community. And what would the poor priest dare to say to the parents? He is afraid of them because he knows their attitude against him. And this is why I hold the Chalice so strongly [holding his hand in a fist as if around the stem of the Chalice], and when I put it down I have to stretch out my fingers – because many times a baby can kick the Chalice.

Now, you can see that when we have received the Holy Communion, we take another piece of bread. It is not to receive another blessing; there is no higher blessing than the Holy Communion in the Heavens or on the Earth – nothing higher than this. But you take this bread to put something in your mouth to be sure everything goes down and is not accidently spewed out if you sneeze when your mouth is wet with the Holy Communion. And it is also in memory of the ancient agape [Love Feast], where the early Christians were eating together after they did the Liturgy, as we do here.

Normally, we would also give a little bit of ordinary wine mixed with water to further help clean your mouths, but I don’t do this on Sundays because there are many people here and some could misunderstand to be that we were drinking in church. So, to avoid a scandal I don’t do it now. I hope that in the future, when the attitude of the people becomes better, we could do it. But even now I do this when I do Liturgy on other days of the week.

Now, if you see that for any reason, some of the Holy Communion falls on the floor, what should you do? You must understand that the responsibility for the Holy Communion is not just for the priest. I have responsibility for the altar, and I cannot see what everybody does. So you have now the responsibility to tell that person to stop, to call the priest, and not allow the person to go and step on the Holy Communion. Then I will go and lick up the piece because it is Jesus Christ’s Body, not simple waste. I would not take my hand after touching the Communion and go wash it; it has touched the Blood of Jesus Christ.

Later I will put some alcohol on the place where something fell and then light it to burn – some people here may remember that I have done this – and so everything will be gone and there is no chance left that people could step on the Body of Jesus Christ.

You must understand that we have a choice. We can try to follow ordinary politeness and not do anything then, and after all the people have passed over the body of Jesus Christ, only then say something to the priest. It would be better to beat the priest. But if the priest dares to cry out, “Waah, what happened?” then it is as if the priest would be executed by his people. No! Keep you politeness for your relationships; and for God, do what God wants.

So all the day, after we go home after taking the Holy Communion, we must remember who we carry. We carry Jesus Christ, Right? This is the greatest honor in the Heavens and on the Earth. And we must honor Jesus Christ, at least as we can. I cannot ask you to do things that I cannot do myself, but at least to leave from the church, happy that we have the Kingdom of Heaven, not just Jesus. There can be no bigger or greater happiness, but the Kingdom of Heaven, inside us.

Some people know and they leave with the prayers after the Holy Communion thanking God, but this is not a big problem. But you must remember that you never receive the Holy Communion only for yourself, but it is also for the people that you love. This is easy to explain, as if you were wearing a very strong perfume and you sat next to me, then when I got up the perfume would be on my clothes and when I went home, someone might think i had put on perfume. Or if you go somewhere that people are smoking and the smell gets on your clothes, then when you go home people may think you were smoking. The Holy Communion is like that: through us the Grace of God goes out to others.

It is very important that we receive the Holy Communion and do the Liturgy together as a group. It is not an individualistic thing, where one person does not care what others do. It is done in the gathering of the Body of Jesus Christ, the Members of Jesus Christ, to become one. Now, there are some exceptions of course, when somebody is in the hospital or I go far away. But even then, the person should know that it is in the context of the Body of Jesus Christ that he receives the Holy Community.

I will stop here and I want you think, it as if this is the last moment of your life, the last great moment when we receive the Holy Communion. Next Sunday I will say how I am united with the others. May the Holy Trinity protect all of us.

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