The angels are the most perfect spirits, currently superior to man in their mental and spiritual powers, the angels worship God before the Holy Altar and through their ministry to God’s highest creation— mankind. Elder Iakovos of Evia recalled one Liturgy saying, “I suddenly felt someone pushing me by my shoulder and guiding me. I thought it was the chanter. I turned around and saw a huge wing that the archangel had laid on my shoulder, and that he was guiding me to make the Great Entrance. What amazing things take place in the altar during the Divine Liturgy! Sometimes I can’t handle it, and so I pass-out in a chair, and so some conclude that I’ve got something wrong with my health, but they don’t realize what I see and hear.”
If we open the eyes of our soul, we will see that truly the entirety of the angelic orders is present among us at the Divine Liturgy. The Divine Liturgy remembers the whole mystery of the incarnation of Christ, from His divine birth to His ascension to the throne at the right hand of the Father. All these things are represented in material and visible signs through the Divine Liturgy.
For example, the Holy Bread represents the Virgin Mary who, like the bread, was brought to the temple of the Lord by her parents. Imitating Zachariah, the priest takes it and places it in the “Holy of Holies,” representing the years which the Virgin spent in the temple. All throughout our divine services, the mystical/scriptural foundation of our Church is exposed, the fullness of our Theology is preached!
Ultimately, during the Divine Liturgy, we are being held by God in an all-embracing hug of true Love. Mystically, the Love of the Holy Trinity, the same Love that was poured out for man as blood on the Holy Cross, is expressed to all of creation. Saint Basil the Great says, “through marvelous deeds and prophetical words God prepared man to participate once again in His Love and True Life.”
This true love of God to mankind is expressed in every Holy Sacrament in the Orthodox Church. Through the Holy Sacrament of the Divine Eucharist, Christ offers to mankind His precious Body and Blood so that man can become not only of one mind, but also one body with his Savior. No longer are there any obstacles between Christ and man. St. Symeon the New Theologian teaches us that we become parts of the Body of Christ and Christ becomes part of our bodies. When the Holy Spirit descends upon the Holy Gifts, the Holy Spirit sanctifies and renews all Creation and all mankind, and so man becomes son of God by adoption. In the celebration of the Holy Eucharist we relive the Resurrection of our Lord. The world once again receives God’s blessing as a new Eden, a new paradise.