This present edition of The Divine Liturgy: A Commentary in the Light of the Fathers has been published following the wish expressed by numerous people for an English translation of the Greek edition which has been in circulation for many years. The knowledge that the English text may be read internationally, and possibly will constitute a reference point for other such studies, has made us acutely aware of our responsibility in ensuring the accurate translation of the original, and every attempt has been made to provide a faithful and efficacious rendering of the Greek text. For this reason we express our thanks to the translator Elizabeth Theokritoff as well as to Dionysia Harvey for her valuable contribution to its philological content and final presentation.
When Christ first spoke about the Mystery of the Divine Eucharist, He called Himself the ‘Bread of life’, which came down from heaven to be offered for the life and salvation of the world:1 I am the bread of life…which comes down from heaven…I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever. And the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh (John 6: 48–51). Christ is the ‘Bread of life’ which came down from heaven through the power of the Holy Spirit. It came down on the day of the Annunciation into the most blessed Virgin, and the Virgin became the ‘good earth and blessed’ which brought forth the Bread of life.