Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Commandments of St. Basil the Great to Priests

Study, O Priest, to make yourself a blameless worker, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Never stand at the synaxis having hatred toward anyone so as not to banish the Comforter.

On the day of synaxis do not judge, do not argue, but remain praying and reading in the church until the appointed hour in which you will accomplish the divine and sacred ceremonies; and thus stand with compunction and purity of heart in the holy sanctuary, not looking around here and there, but standing with shuddering and fear before the heavenly King.

Do not, because of human weakness, hasten through or cut short the prayers, neither try to please persons, but look only toward the King who is present and the hosts of angels that surround him.

Make yourself worthy by the holy canons.

Do not concelebrate with whom it is forbidden.

See in whose presence you stand, how you serve and to whom you dispense.

Do not ignore the Master's commandment and those of the holy Apostles: 'Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw pearls before swine.'

See that you do not deliver the Son of God into the hands of the unworthy.

Do not feel ashamed before those who are glorious on earth, neither before him who happens to wear the crown at the time.

To those worthy of communion dispense the gifts freely, as you also have received. Do not dispense unto him who does not observe the divine canons.

See that you do not let moth, mouse, nor any other thing touch the divine mysteries out of negligence, neither allow them to be exposed to dampness or smoke or to be contaminated by the unholy or unworthy.

These things and such things preserve in order to save yourself and those who heed you.

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