Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts
On March 13, Metropolitan of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas Georgiy served first Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts at the monastery.
The biggest Lenten limitation is not about abstaining from food or entertainment. True fasting lies in limited consecration of the Holy Gifts. The Ecumenical Councils ruled that full Divine Liturgy is not allowed on weekdays during Great Lent. Canon 49 of the Laodicean Council (4th century) ruled, “the Divine Liturgy is not to be celebrated during the Holy Forty Days, except on Saturday and Sunday.”
Desiring the faithful to continue receiving the Holy Communion, the Church serves the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts each Wednesday and Friday during Great Lent. It is also served on Thursday of the fifth week of Lent, the day of Finding of the Honorable Head of St. John the Baptist, and the day of remembrance of 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste. It is also served on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Passion Week.
It differs from the traditional Liturgy in that the Bloodless Sacrifice is not offered to God in it. The Sacrifice is offered and the Gifts are consecrated in advance, and one can Commune of these. The entire service is a preparation for Communing of the Gifts prepared in advance.
It is one of the most beautiful Lenten services. Its main theme is repentance and prayerful worship of Christ, Who is invisibly present with His Pre-Sanctified Gifts.
After the service, the faithful, led by His Grace and Mother Hegumenia, walked along the Holy Kanavka.