By St Maximus the Confessor
Translated by Jonathan Armstrong
St Maximus the Confessor (c. 580-662) beautifully expounds the meaning of the Divine Liturgy in On the Ecclesiastical Mystagogy, which had a profound influence on the subsequent tradition, beginning with St Germanus of Constantinople (PPS 8). Maximus' vision of the liturgy contemplates the interpenetrating relationships of all things with each other and with Christ, In whom all things cohere. The church building and the human being and the cosmos are all mutually related and symbolically reflect each other. Further, In the liturgy we enter into the mystery of Christ. As St Maximus puts it, "Let us not be absent from the holy Church of God because she contains such great mysteries of our salvation according to... and she reveals the gift of adoption that is given through holy baptism in the Holy Spirit and that perfects each one into the image of Christ."