Blessed is the Kingdom
To begin the Divine Liturgy the priest lifts the Holy Gospel book and makes the sign of the cross over the Altar saying,
Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
Those attending should bow their heads deep and low, making the sign of the cross, seeking the blessing of the Trinitarian God.
In the Orthodox faith we worship the Trinitarian God, one in essence but of three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
This is one of the most fundamental dogmas of the Church.
The three distinct persons who are yet one have the
The Father is Unbegotten
The Son is Begotten of the Father
The All-Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father
"The Father is the Decision–Maker, the Son is the One who materializes, and the Holy Spirit perfects all the works," says Saint Athanasios the Great.
In opening the Liturgy, the Priest is acknowledging the great mystery of the triune nature of God. We cannot know God in His essence because He is our creator, so we must accept this mystery. Our worship that we are beginning together is sacred and mystical. It is based on a inheritance that is holy, handed down to us by the Apostles and the Church Fathers.
We are also acknowledging with exclamation the blessing of the Kingdom of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God embraces the entire world, here on earth, and in Heaven. We are in the Church here on earth (the Church Militant) and now joining with the Church in Heaven (the Church Triumphant). We are coming together in our worship, Heaven and earth, Humans and angelic powers, all the saints, joining in communion for the worship of God.
In the Divine Liturgy, the Kingdom of this triune God is revealed in its total splendor. When we join in prayer and hymn, we exclaim in communion with God, one another, earthly and heavenly beings, our gratefulness to God.
How often in our daily lives do we forget about the nature of God's Kingdom. Here in the Liturgy we are reunited all together in His Kingdom.
It is important to make sure you are present at this first exclamation given by the Priest to share in this blessing. As we purposefully prepare to come to the Church, dressed with respect, entering the Church in reverence, lighting a candle and venerating the icons, we then enter into the nave, a sacred space. We humble ourselves to embrace God and His entire Kingdom.
The Divine Liturgy is much more than a service, a presentation, or a performance. We need to make great effort to be on time. We would not think of coming to the theater or to work late, and this is so much more important than either of these.