LitBit Feature – Lift up your Hearts

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Lift Up Your Hearts” (The Sursum Corda). A cry of faith introduces the Prayer of Great Thanksgiving. It has many scriptural resonances. Lamentations 3:41, has the exact words, while Psalm 24:7 & 9 are a similar dialogue. Then there is Christ’s command to “Love God with all your heart.” (Mark 12:30) while Paul speaks of Christians as being raised with Christ to see the things that are above (Colossians 3:1). These words, and the response “We lift them to the Lord”, can be found in the earliest liturgies we have. In the Latin West, Cyprian (250 CE) includes it. In the Greek East, Cyril of Jerusalem (350 CE) quotes it. Similarly it can be found in the earliest services in Syriac, Coptic and Armenian. In prayer, the faithful unite their hearts and minds with the Lord. Immediately worshippers are one with the faithful of both Old and New Testaments, and with Christians through all ages and around the whole world. In this is a cause to rejoice. But more: lifting our hearts to the Lord contains an element of living in the end time, when Christ is all and in all. Around the Lord’s table Christians dwell in time of a different kind. It is as if a liturgical Tardis has deposited worshippers at the heavenly banquet, when heaven and earth have passed away: a second cause for elation. This versicle, with the response “We lift them to the Lord”, is a profound act of faith and commitment.

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