Let us Attend: A Journey Through the Orthodox Divine Liturgy
By Fr. Lawrence Farley, Conciliar Press, 2007
The Orthodox Divine Liturgy is the heart of Orthodox spiritual practice. While many books have been written on the Liturgy, this book is unique. In 98 pages, Fr Farley analyses the structure, content and historical context of the Orthodox Liturgy, all the while developing the spiritual mystery of the Liturgy.
Each chapter deals step by step with a section of the Divine Liturgy, beginning with “Blessed is the Kingdom” and ending with the Final Rites. The role of the priest, worshipers and chanters are explained for each section of the Liturgy. Where relevant, Fr Farley explains how different practices entered the Liturgy at different points in history, such as the Small Entrance echoing the ancient practice of the priest bringing the Holy Bible from his home and placing it on the Holy Altar.
The book is full of practical information. There are footnotes explaining terms such as antiphon, epiclesis and typika. A particularly interesting aspect of the book is the appendix, which compares the form of the Liturgy at different historical time points. It is fascinating to read that around AD 400, Holy Communion was received in the hand. The current practice of receiving Holy Communion with a spoon, as well as the priest reading the prayers of the Anaphora silently, developed around AD 1300.
This book is brief and easy to read. It appeals to all ages: to those at the beginning of their spiritual journey and those well advanced. The reader will gain insights that will fundamentally help them in the journey to the Kingdom of God.