Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

The final doxology is the praise of God for the works done by Him in Christ.

Through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, to you, O God, Almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory for ever and ever. By lifting the paten with the Host and the chalice with the Blood of Christ – this is a “small lifting” as opposed to the (large) lifting while saying the words of the institution of the Eucharist – the priest ends the Eucharistic prayer. This is the so-called final doxology. In all Eucharistic prayers it is always the same and unchanging. Like many other liturgical texts, it has its roots in Saint. Paul: “I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for you all” (Rom 1:8); “Do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col 3:17).

The final doxology is the praise of God for the works done by Him in Christ. How should we understand the individual expressions of this prayer? “Through Christ” means Christ’s mediation between God the Father and man. Through Him, man can reach God the Father. Through Christ God speaks to man and through Christ man speaks to God. “With Christ” means that with God the Father is also the glorified Son of God, who is equal with the Father. “In Christ” means that God the Father receives glorification in the Son, so this term also indicates the consubstance of the Son with the Father. The glorification of God the Father takes place “in the unity of the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is the creator of the unity of the Church, which is the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit lives in the Church, sanctifies it and makes us feel his closeness through the gifts he gives us. The glorification of God in the final doxology is therefore the glorification of the Holy Trinity, i.e. God the Father through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

It was in the 4th century. Bishop of Constantinople St. John Chrysostom struggled with the heresy of Arianism. The Arians proclaimed that Christ was not God, but His creation, a unique man. This teaching spread very quickly. The bishop of Antioch was expelled. The Arians took over the churches in this city. Orthodox Christians gathered at the racetrack and sang songs and hymns to the Triune God. These meetings aroused the interest of the Arians, who invited them to the cathedral they had taken over to sing their songs and possibly teach them to the Arians. The Arians were surprised when, after the first psalm, instead of “Glory to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit” – as was the custom so far – they sang “Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit”, thus putting the Son on an equal footing with the Father. and thereby confessing that He too is God.

Christians changed this text to emphasize the equality of the Persons in the Holy Trinity, contrary to the teachings of the Arians. After this event, Arians’ attacks on Christians increased. Saint John Chrysostom suffered a lot fighting for the unity of faith. The Council of Constantinople in 381 condemned the teachings of the Arians, and Emperor Theodosius ordered their clergy – there were also many bishops – to renounce their offices and church dignities. The unity of faith in God the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit, in the three divine persons, equal in essence, has been restored.

The faithful respond to the words of the doxology: “Amen.” This word has a special meaning here because it is the response of the faithful to the entire Eucharistic prayer, and therefore it should be solemnly sung by the people. There are voices of liturgists asking composers to write richer melodies for this response of the faithful – when singing, one could repeat the word “Amen” – which would express the solemnity of God’s praise. Through their “Amen”, the people praise God for His saving works, but also express their readiness to fulfill His will.

It is worth considering the comment of St. Anselm of Canterbury to the word “Amen”:

“Amen, O God of the Hebrews! You wanted me to know that Amen is neither Greek nor Latin, but Hebrew, and because of its sublimity it was not translated or changed to signify Your Name worthy of admiration and love.

That is why You also wanted this word to have three meanings: because Amen means first – taken as a noun – Your Holy Name (Rev 3:14).

Secondly, Amen, taken adverbially: You, God, visible on earth and speaking to people, have repeated many times: I tell you the truth, that is: I tell you truly, infallibly, just as I told you […].

In the third place, Amen is understood verbally and it is a word like all wishes. Amen, that is, let it be done, is the response of all who wish and desire what is commanded […].

Amen is a word that commands and asks, it is a word that affirms the command given and the thing received.

Amen is the breath of the lips of the Power of God at the moment when He wills, it is the look of His eyes at the things accomplished at the moment when He wills […].

Amen is the end […].

Other voices resound above the human voices. The Amen of the earth is the accompaniment of the Amen of heaven. O God, consuming Fire. Amen, Amen, Amen” (Liber meditationem et orationem, PL 158, 801). Sister Faustina’s prayer (after Holy Communion): “My Creator and Lord […] hidden in the Most Holy Sacrament […], Your goodness has emboldened me to speak to You – Your mercy makes the gap between us disappear that divides the Creator from the creature. Talking to You, O Lord, is a delight for my heart, in You I find everything that my heart can desire. Here, Your light illuminates my mind and makes it capable of getting to know You more and more deeply. Here streams of grace flow down to my heart, here my soul draws eternal life” (Diary 1692).