Sunday, March 22, 2015

Holy Mother Mary (of Egypt), pray to God for us!

Today is the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt (the 5th Sunday of the Great Fast).  During the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, which we led at the Cathedral in Parma on Thursday (click here for photos), we followed the tradition of reading the story of St. Mary's life. Listening to this story of profound repentance was a powerful experience for us, and others who participated in the Great Canon also expressed that they were moved by this story.

"Once you were filled with all kinds of harlotry; but today, through repentance, you have shown yourself to be a bride of Christ.  Yearning for the angelic life, you crushed the devils with the weapon of the cross.  Therefore, O glorious Mary, you became a bride in the kingdom." --Kontakion of St. Mary of Egypt

Bishop John has asked us to pray today, on the commemoration of this Egyptian saint, in a special way for peace in the world.  Please join us in praying these petitions that were included during the Divine Liturgy at the monastery and in each parish of our eparchy today:

Special Petitions in the Litany of Fervent Supplication (after the Gospel)

Loving Lord, look down with merciful eyes on your servants who, with faith, bow before your great kindness. You are good beyond all measure, and merciful beyond all mercy. You are the abode of calmness, peace and concord. Put an end to the hatred that separates us from one another, and lead all of us to love, mutual respect and tranquility by Your grace, and for your glory.  We pray you, O most powerful King, hear and have mercy.
One of the hundreds of prostrations during the Great Canon

Response:  Lord, have mercy. (Three times)

Lord, you commanded that everything be done for your glory. You spoke peace to a sinful world and brought us the gift of reconciliation by Your suffering, death and Resurrection. Teach us, the people who bear Your name, to follow Your example. May our faith, hope, and charity turn hatred to love, conflict to peace, and death to eternal life by Your grace. We pray you, O generous creator, hear and have mercy.

Response:  Lord, have mercy. (Three times)

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