For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy by Alexander Schmemann

By Alexander Schmemann

In For the lifetime of the area Alexander Schmemann indicates an method of the area and existence inside of it, which stems from the liturgical adventure of the Orthodox Church. He knows matters similar to secularism and Christian tradition from the point of view of the unbroken event of the Church, as published and communicated in her worship, in her liturgy - the sacrament of the area, the sacrament of the dominion.

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Extra resources for For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy

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But the liturgy of the Church is always an anaphora, a lifting up, an ascension. The Church fulfills itself in heaven in that new eon which Christ has inaugurated in His death, resurrection and ascen­ sion, and which was given to the Church on the day of Pentecost as its life, as the "end" toward which it moves. In this world Christ is crucified, His body broken, and His blood shed. And we must go out of this world, we must ascend to heaven in Christ in order to become partakers of the world to come.

It is from this idea that grew the Christian Sunday. Christ rose from the dead on the first day after Sabbath . The life that shone forth from the grave was beyond the inescapable limitations of "seven," of time that leads to death . It was thus the beginning of a new life and of a new time. It was truly the eighth and the first day and it became the day of the Church. The risen Christ, according to the fourth Gospel, appeared to His disciples on the first d ay (Jn. 20 : 1 9 ) and then " after eight days" ( 2 0 : 2 6 ) .

And what is the cause? No answer seems to be satisfactory. Symbol? But what is a symbol? Substance, accidents ? " Something is lacking because the theologian thinks of the sacrament and forgets the liturgy. As a good scientist he first isolates the object of his study, reduces it to one mo­ ment, to one "phenomenon" -and then, proceeding from the general to the particular, from the known to the un­ known, he gives a definition, which in fact raises more ques­ tions than it answers. But throughout our study the main point has been that the whole liturgy is sacramental, that is, one transforming act and one ascending movement.

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