Admin: we learn from this story that as Fr Faltaous says here below, we need to be reverent in the liturgy and realize that a lot of heavenly hosts and beings surround us. Hence we must apply extra special effort as much as we can, to control sinful thoughts and feelings; to not be inattentive or have distractive thoughts; to pray fervently using the Jesus Prayer, or to pray for deliverance and comfort for others and ourselves for their current tribulations, problems and spiritual temptations, to pray for the respective prayer requests in the litanies e.g. for our patriarch, bishop, the peace of the one Holy Catholic Apostolic church, etc.; to close our eyes, stand up and raise our hands up as much as we can, and do the sign of the cross consciously in the appropriate times; to arrive at the liturgy as early as possible and stay till the priest gives his blessing of departure; and to be attentive to all the holy biblical readings. The more we are reverent and respectful in the liturgy, pray fervently in it (according to our spiritual ability and strength, without trying to make a public show of piety), and remain attentive to the very end, the more grace we’ll gain from the liturgy.
St John of Kronstadt says, “There is nothing on earth higher, greater or more holy than the Divine Liturgy, nothing more solemn, nothing more life giving.” Bishop Makarios of Qena said “whoever respects the altar and gives it its’ due holiness will see amazing spiritual scenes, and God will uncover for him the hidden mysteries.” Many saintly people saw many visions of heavenly beings during the service and many of them solved serious problems and sicknesses via their reverent, attentive, daily, mindful service of the divine liturgy e.g. Fr Mikhial Ibrahim, Bishop Makarios of Qena and St Kyrillos VI. If we don’t see these holy things in the divine service, it’s because our hearts are not pure enough. Lord Jesus Christ purify our hearts and help us to have fervent, self-sacrificial love for all our brethren!
Fr Faltaous El Sorianni related to a group of monks one time: “During the Holy Liturgy, the church is full of angels, martyrs and saints, and this is something that we need to take into consideration while attending the Holy Liturgy.’ One day while Fr. Faltaous was praying the Holy Liturgy at the church of St. Mary in El Sourian, he was accustomed to praying at a fast pace. However, when he reached the commemoration of the saints, where the names of the martyrs and the saints are mentioned, something very strange happened, and everyone who was present noticed it during that particular Liturgy: As soon as Fr. Faltaous began to recite the commemoration of the saints, he mentioned each name very, very slowly to the point that the time it took for him to complete the names of all the saints was equivalent to the remaining time that it took to complete the rest of the Liturgy! After the conclusion of the Holy Liturgy, one of the fathers who attended the Liturgy asked him about why he mentioned each saint’s name at such a slow pace, and Fr. Faltaous responded, ‘Son, every time I mention the name of one of the saints, I would see him passing around the altar, so I prayed very slowly so that the saint would not run away…’ Indeed, blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God, and they will also be able see to His saints and His martyrs. This is the distinguished spiritual level which our beloved Fr. Faltaous reached, and this is what he experienced.
This is portrayed in the following clip from his movie: