Christ is our 'East':
see Christ as our East, in that the sun rises from the East.
The sun is the source of our life and so Christ is our salvation,
the source of our life in the spirit. Without Him, we can not see
the light for our path to heaven. He is our heavenly direction to
which we look upon for guidance and support. His light will lead
us to everlasting life if we choose to abide by life through him.
With this thought, we use the East to symbolize who we are
talking to. In church, our prayers are focused to appeal to God
our Savior so that he has mercy on us and dwells in our hearts to
cleanse us from the impurities of this world and bring us to life
Reminds us of the lost paradise:
St. Basil the Great says, "It is according to an unwritten tradition
that we turn to the East to pray. But little do we know that
we are thus seeking the ancient homeland, the Paradise that God
planted in Eden, towards the East."
towards the East, we are facing the garden of Eden which
was the paradise we were thrown out of in order to live up to our
sin which we committed against the Lord. By facing towards this
Paradise, we look towards our destination, to be with God in his
Paradise. We face and pray towards this paradise to symbolize our
need for repentance and to seek the Kingdom of God in all its Glory.
Waiting for the Advent of Christ (Parousia):
As Christians, our main goal is waiting and becoming prepared for
the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. His second coming marks
the beginning of life with him to those who are watchful. In Matthew
24:27 the Lord says, "For as the lightening comes from the East
and shines on the West, so also will the coming of the Son of
Man be," by this we understand that Christ in all his Glory will
come to judge the world from the East. We anticipate this
coming as the end of our journey in order to reach our final destination
of being with him.
Symbol of Rebirth, Hope, and Light:
time we stand up for prayers towards the East, we remember
the beginning of our new life that we have obtained in baptism.
And just as we pray in the Prime prayers:
us enjoy a fresh start…..
May the light of your face shine upon us,
And enlighten us with the light of your divine knowledge
Make us children of light, children of daytime…
Enlighten our minds, hearts and our
understanding, O Lord of all…
this prayer, our hopes are renewed with every sunrise.
Looking towards the Cross:
point brought about by St. Athanasius was that Christ was hung on
the cross facing the West, and by us the sinners looking towards
the East, we meet and speak with the Lord face to face, asking
him to forgive us of our sins for which he died in order to save
Star leading the Wise Men:
as the star coming from the East led the Wise Men to Christ,
so also we face the East in order to allow our hearts to
reach Christ, to be one with him as we anticipate the communion
of His Holy Body and Blood, that through this spiritual direction
we can come to him and worship at his feet, offering our hearts
just as the wise men offered their precious gifts. The wise men
traveled from far away lands, going through much toil and trouble
to reach the Savior. Like these three kings, we also may go through
many hardships and spiritual struggles to meet the Lord.