Public worship of God, is we have said, is subject to conditions of place, time, and mode. As for where and when we ought to worship God in congregation, this matter has been sufficiently dealt with already. We now have to discuss the mode.
God is to be worshiped in the mode which the Son of God, who acted as our great high-priset, prescribed to His Church, and in the mode in which the Holy Church of Christ formulated the divine tradition. The mode of divine worship is comprised in these words of Paul the Apostle: “For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.” From these words it becomes evident that common prayer and public worship of God consists in celebrating the sacrament of the Eucharist, which the divine Apostles received from the Lord, who celebrated it in the night in which He was betrayed, and which we received from the Apostles of the Lord; and we keep it, and shall keep it until the coming of the Lord. What we must now consider is the reason why the celebration of the sacrament of the Eucharist is the only worship pleasing to God.
Our Lord Jesus Christ having become for us a pattern and paragon of virtue, and an example of the perfect man worthy of imitation, loved His God and Father with all His heart. The fruit of perfect love is perfect obedience, or, in other words, the execution of the perfect will of God through complete self-abnegation; for it is impossible for one to execute the will of God until one abjures his own. Our Lord Jesus Christ, loving His God and Father, became obedient to Him unto death, death on a cross, that man, who came by death through the deception of sin, might come into life everlasting. This act of Christ is called an offering, a sacrifice, a worship: an offering, because He willingly offered Himself to the service of God’s will, saying, “Lo, I am come to do thy will, O God;” a sacrifice, because He sacrificed Himself by becoming obedient to God unto death, even death on a cross; a worship, because He did God’s will out of love and devotion. There is, and there can be, nothing more pleasing to God than Christ’s offering, sacrifice, and worship; and the sacrament of the Eucharist, as Paul says, proclaims the Lord’s death, or, in other words, Christ’s offering, sacrifice, and worship in His capacity of our supreme high-priest. Therefore the only worship pleasing to God is that performed through the sacrament of the Eucharist, because this sacrament proclaims the sacrifice on the cross, than which nothing is, nor can anything be, more pleasing to God. Through this sacrifice we were reconciled to God. Through this sacrifice we present ourselves before Him, and by performing this sacrifice we supplicate, thank, and glorify God, giving thanks unto Him because He is good, because His mercy endureth for ever.
After celebrating the sacrament of the Eucharist in the night in which He was betrayed, the Lord delivered it to His disciples and Apostles with the commandment, “This do in remembrance of me.” In these words the Lord affirmed that the sacrament so delivered is a reminder of His life and death, through which latter we are made alive; that it is a representation of His offering, sacrifice, and worship, through which He greatly pleased His God and Father, and through which we too greatly please Him. The act of Christ is an act of perfect virtue, of perfect morality, of perfect righteousness. So, of course, we can do nothing more pleasing to God than imitate the act of Christ and represent it through the sacrament of the Eucharist, than which nothing is, nor can anything be, better and more pleasing to God. The act of Christ, as perpetuated through the sacrament of the Eucharist out of love and devotion to God, I call worship; and since three is nothing more pleasing to God than worship of God, all other virtues and good works are of no avail if separated from worship of God. No matter how many virtues you may possess, no matter how many good works you may perform, inasmuch as you lack the virtue of piety, inasmuch as you cannot worship God, as the Son of God taught, and inasmuch as you have no communion and relation with God, what is the benefit of your virtues and of your good works? Besides, when you lack the first virtue, how can you have the others? When you lack the principle, how can you have the consequences? When you lack the head, how can you have the rest of the body? There is no pure and genuine virtue without worship of God. All the apparent virtues and good works of the impious an atheists, when analyzed, are found to be nothing but vainglory, self-interest, egoism.
For the sake of making this truth which greatly concerns us clearer and more comprehensible, we must prove it logically. Worship of God is nothing but imitation of the perfect virtue of Christ. The perfect virtue of Christ is that of offering, obedience, sacrifice, in a word, execution of the will of God, who desires all human beings to be saved and to come to full knowledge and understanding of the truth. In the celebration of the sacrament of the Eucharist we see that Christ sacrificed Himself for the sake of the will of the heavenly Father, for the sake of the salvation of man. Man naturally imitates what he sees, and praises, and admires. Hence it follows that Christianity, imitating Christ, offers itself, denies itself, sacrifices itself, for the sake of God’s will, which aims at the salvation and benefit of others. A Christian, like Christ, has no motive of egoism or self-interest. He is actuated by love of God to bestir himself for the benefit of others. His effective cause is the superior will of God, and his final the benefit of his neighbor; a Christian consequently has pure and genuine virtue, because the motives actuating him, both the effective and the final, are unsophisticated and pure. As a result, the Christian who worships God is the possessor of all virtues, because all virtues are consequences of the worship of God, which is the principle and basis of pure and genuine virtue. But he who has no immediate knowledge of the true God, and is not initiated into the worship of the true God, cannot become virtuous, because he has not the example of virtue before his eyes. The beginning and the end of his acts are his ego and all his egoistic desires, in order to fulfill which he employs at times what passes as virtue, and at other times what is censured as vice. Accordingly, even egoists make much of social virtues, such as honesty, justice, philanthropy, and the like, but behind these respectable names is concealed their own advantage, or self-interest.
When an egoist is able to accomplish his own will by means of main strength, every consideration of virtue and justice is condemned as foolish and silly. In sum, ego-worship is the mother of all vices, just as worship of God is the mother of all benignity and virtue. If, moreover, the logical conclusion must be accompanied by an example, we have not far to seek, seeing that we ourselves have become and are an example of vice and corruption due to egoism, having lost our ancestral piety and having forgotten our duties to God. For everyone has assumed the ego to be the beginning and end of his acts, and consequently patriotism has been supplanted by faction, unity by division and dissension, concord by discord, sincerity by deceit, honesty by falsehood and fraud; in a word, our present sickliness and wretchedness in every respect is due to nothing else than foul egoism, which has supplanted piety. This ruinous malady has been communicated to us from western pseudo-civilization, whose law and principle of action is the interest of egoism, as opposed to the interest of piety, to the interest resulting from true worship of the true God. For this reason, if we wish to be cured, if we wish to recover, if we wish to wash away our dishonor and reproach, we must swallow this truth as medicine, namely, that the worship of God carried out by means of the sacrament of the Eucharist is the mother of all virtue, and the source of happiness for each and every one of us. This truth is the only efficacious remedy true science has to offer as medicine to those ailing. But the sick are often visited by unscientific physicians called charlatans, who offer deadly poison pretending that it is a curative remedy. So-called Free Masons are such charlatans in regard to Greek society. These men of deception pretend to improve Greek society by means of the infernal system of Masonry, which boasts of having an efficacious remedy for society – equality, brotherhood, and freedom; and under these respectable words is concealed every vice and malignancy of impiety and egoism. Beware, then, of these charlatans, who offer no remedy to cure the disease, but poison that hastens death to keep the patient from being cured by drinking the medicine of salvation. The medicine of salvation is the worship of the true God carried out by means of the sacrament of the Eucharist, and we must point out the use of this medicine so that we may effect a cure by using it. Charlatans shun and traduce this medicine. But as they are charlatans, they cannot scientifically prove that their own alleged remedies are right (we ought rather to call them poisons) and repute what has been scientifically proved.