We give thanks for:
- the distinctive icons, art, literature and music that have come from this area
- the faithful witness of churches under the reign of Communism, and their revitalization since then, after decades of official atheism
- all those who help to alleviate the suffering of people due to the conflict in Ukraine and who try to counteract and overcome divisions
- those who work for democracy and openness in government.
We pray for:
- guidance, as these nations work to reconfigure political and economic structures
- compassion and integrity for all peoples in these nations with such diverse ethnic histories
- those who suffer from alcoholism, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and other life-threatening diseases
- the large numbers of people who now live in poverty and are unemployed
- those in Belarus and Ukraine who suffer from the continued effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster
- those who struggle for democracy and truthfulness in the media.
Christ our God,
sun of righteousness,
by your divine touch
you gave light to the eyes of the blind man
who had been deprived of light since birth.
Enlighten also the eyes of our souls,
and make us sons and daughters of light
so that we cry out to you in faith:
great and beyond words is your compassion towards us!
Loving Lord, glory to you!
(Vesper Hymn, Sunday of the Blind Man. In: Let us pray to the Lord, A collection of prayers from the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox traditions © 1996 WCC)
Prayer before supper
The poor shall eat and be satisfied,
and those who seek the Lord shall praise him;
their hearts shall live forever!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
now and ever and unto ages of ages.
Lord, have mercy! (3 times)
O Christ God, bless the food and drink of thy servants,
for thou art holy, always, now and ever and unto ages of ages.
(Orthodox tradition. www.stvladimirs.ca)
Lord, let me accept calmly all that this day might bring me,
and let me devote myself completely to your sacred will.
Direct me and help me each hour of this day.
Control my thoughts and feelings in all my deeds and words.
When unpredictable circumstances arise,
do not let me forget that everything comes from you.
Lord Jesus, Son of God, it is better not to live than to live without you. I thank you, God, for the gift of this day and for all the good deeds that you will help me do today. Holy Spirit, help me to dedicate this day to my Lord and Saviour. Teach me to be just towards my brother [and sister], never to provoke wrath or cause sorrow. Control my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to suffer, to forgive and to love.
Merciful God, deliver me from the desire for comfort and make me worthy of denying myself for your sake and for my brother’s [and sister’s] sake at any moment, for that is why you have given me life. Help me to reject anything that does not belong to you, and all that does belong to you to accept with devout faith, hope and love. Give me courage to serve you worthily, to place justice above profit, the realization of noble deeds above momentary pleasures, to put others before myself and to fulfil your commandment of love. Let the light of your beauty, goodness and love shine in my soul.
(Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow, Russia. www.stvladimirs.ca)