Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (Wednesdays)
The Orthodox Church does not celebrate the eucharistic Divine Liturgy
on weekdays during Great Lent. In order for the faithful to sustain
their Lenten effort by receiving Holy Communion, the Liturgy of the
Presanctified Gifts is served on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM, beginning the
second Wednesday in Lent, February 28.
This evening service is a solemn Lenten Vespers with the
administration of Holy Communion from the eucharistic gifts sanctified
on the Divine Liturgy of the previous Sunday. It follows a day of
spiritual preparation and fasting.
As with all preparation for receiving the Eucharist, there is a period
of fasting for some time beforehand. While Sunday mornings are simple:
(endeavor to neither eat nor drink until you break the fast with the
Eucharist), it can be harder to recommend a guideline for the mid week
Eucharist at the Liturgy of the Presanctified gifts, because people's
circumstances are so varied. Here is a simple norm to follow: After
eating a light Lenten lunch at whatever hour your midday meal is taken,
refrain from any eating or drinking until after you have received the
Eucharist in the evening . If this proves difficult for you, consult
with a priest or fellow church member to discern an appropriate rule.
The faithful receive Holy Communion to the chanting of the verse from Psalm 34: "Taste and see how good the Lord is!"
(Approximate time: 1 hour, 10 minutes. The service is followed by a Lenten potluck meal, to which all are invited.)
To learn more about the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, click here