Your iniquity is taken away

slika_22Another quote from Fr. Andrew Louth’s wonderful book Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology. He dedicates an entire chapter to sacraments, holy mysteries, and their symbolism. He writes at one place about communion:

“The holy gifts are given to the laity on a spoon, called in Greek lavis – a word which does not really mean a spoon, but rather a pair of tongs. The reference is to the vision of Isaias in Isaias 6, when the prophet saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and raised up, the whole house being full of his glory. Around him were standing the seraphim, crying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Sabaoth, the whole earth is full of his glory!’ Isaias is filled with a sense of sin and unworthiness. One of the seraphim takes a burning coal from the altar with a pair of tongs, a lavis, and touches the prophet’s lips with it, saying, ‘Behold, this has touched your lips, your iniquity is taken away and your sin purged’.”

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