Divine Liturgy Hymn of Praise of the Anaphora


This Hymn is chanted during the Anaphora

[1] at the climax of the Holy Liturgy, in anticipation, during and in response to the consecration of the Holy Gifts into the Divine Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. In most Parishes as the Hymn is chanted, the Priest says the prayers of the Epiclesis (calling down from above), an earnest plea to God the Father to send down the Holy Spirit to change the gifts we offer into the Divine Gifts of Christ’s own Body and Blood.

According to St Germanos, this is a hymn to the Holy Trinity: “Thus becoming eyewitnesses of the mysteries of God, partakers of eternal life, and sharers in divine nature, let us glorify the great, immeasurable and unsearchable mystery of the dispensation of Christ God, and glorifying Him let us cry, “We praise you” – the God and Father, “We bless you” – the Son and Word, “We give thanks to you” – the Holy Spirit, “O Lord…our God” – the Trinity in unity, of the same essence and undivided”[2]

Archimandrite Vasileios of the Monastery of Iveron notes with reverence that: “During the moment of the epiclesis, our offering made to God in every way and for everything, attracts the grace and constitutes the supplication, entreaty and prayer to the Father to send down the Holy Spirit”[3]

At this moment, we are united to one another and to God. It is the true Pentecost because the Holy Spirit makes known to us the Divine Flesh of our Risen Lord. We are in complete awe of God’s Love and can only respond with an almost inexpressible sense of gratitude. St Nicholas Cabasilas tries to express this common gratitude, wondering whether “the perfect communion with God which it (Christ’s Body and Blood) effects, ought to be called worship, or adoption of sons, or both. It makes us more akin to Christ than birth makes us akin to our parents.. It is not, like our parents, the cause of life, but life itself.”[4]

Indeed, at every Divine Liturgy and foremost during the moment of epiclesis, “we learn how to give thanks”.[5]

[1] Eucharistic prayer of the Holy Liturgy.

[2] St Germanus of Constantinople, “On the Divine Liturgy” Crestwood NY, SVSP, 1984, p. 99.

[3] Archimandrite Vasileios,”Hymn of Entrance”, Holy Monastery Iveron, 1996, p. 91.

[4] St Nicholas Cabasilas, “The Life in Christ” , SVSP 1987, p. 165.

[5] Archimandrite Vasileios, op. cit. p. 93.


Source: June-July 2015 Lychnos Edition