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Author Topic: Prayer of St. Ephraim  (Read 2796 times) Average Rating: 0
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David Leon
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« on: February 09, 2010, 06:13:07 PM »

During Great Lent in your parish, is this prayer recited by all the people or just by the priest?  I am especially interested in how it is done in the Russian tradition.
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 06:16:11 PM »

By all people.
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 06:16:29 PM »

As I recall, in my OCA parish, the priest recites it loudly as if he was supposed to do it alone, but, to my knowledge, has never told anyone who recites it along with him to not do so.
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 07:29:25 PM »


This is how the prayer went at the Pan-Orthodox Sunday evening Vespers I attended.

The Prayer of St. Ephraim of Syria.

Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of idleness, despondency, ambition and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own transgressions and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

The prayer is read twice.

During the first reading, at the end of each "sentence", after the words "idle talk," "Thy servant," and "Amen" one must prostrate himself once each time.

Then it is necessary to bow at the waist twelve times, saying the prayer "God, cleanse me, a sinner!"   The clergy reach down to the ground each time.  I had never seen this before.

Then the prayer is repeated in its entirety, at the end of which one prostration is performed.

While everyone does the prostrations, only one priest actually read the prayer out loud. 

However, the 12 x "God, cleanse me, a sinner"...was quietly said by each priest as each one bowed down, and reached for the ground.  It took me a few Sundays to actually figure out what they were mumbling, since each priest spoke for himself.

Only a few of the faithful actually murmured the prayer of the 12 repetitions audibly.  I am not sure if that's because they didn't know the prayer, or if that was proper protocol.



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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 08:03:56 PM »

I just talked to my priest about adding it to my prayer rule  and he said that the parish does it also so I assume that means everybody
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2010, 03:43:04 AM »

By the priest.
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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2010, 11:18:11 AM »

Since it is a personal prayer, I would think that each member of the congregation would say it as well as the Priest. Unless of course only the Priest is a sinner, in which case why do we need to go to Church in the first place?  Wink
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2010, 11:44:36 AM »

Priest alone.
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David Leon
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 11:45:54 AM »

Second Chance, I agree, and this has always been the practice in parishes I have attended, but I haven't been to many parishes during Lent.  I was recently told that in some/lots of parishes, this prayer is only read by the priest.  I was wondering how this was done elsewhere.

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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2010, 11:26:22 AM »

During Great Lent in your parish, is this prayer recited by all the people or just by the priest?  I am especially interested in how it is done in the Russian tradition.

In the Greek & OCA parishes I've attended/visited, when the prayer was called for in the service, everyone said it to themselves if they wished, but only the senior priest said it aloud.
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2010, 01:24:49 PM »

During Great Lent in your parish, is this prayer recited by all the people or just by the priest?  I am especially interested in how it is done in the Russian tradition.

The Abbot says it, and we all make the metanias together (Greek Monastery).
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« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2010, 08:52:50 PM »

Here is a nice document I made for the Prayer of St Ephrem.
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2010, 02:03:13 PM »

The whole parish says it together with the priest in our parish, and so far as I know every parish in the OCA Diocese of the South.
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David Leon
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2010, 02:36:29 PM »

Ah, Seraphim 98, that is not the case.  Our parish recently got a new priest from another OCA parish (in the south actually) and he said that he had never been in a parish where the people said the prayer.  He added that this was also the case at seminary and at other parishes where he had served.  So, it's live and learn for me.
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2010, 07:46:14 PM »

In the parishes I regularly attend (two Greek EP parishes in London, and two Russian parishes in Oxford), the prayer is said aloud only by the priest. I also visited the Serbian church in London recently. That was the case there too.
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2010, 08:01:37 PM »

St.Ephraim...an Assyrian Saint, one of the greatest.
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2010, 08:45:37 PM »

St.Ephraim...an Assyrian Saint, one of the greatest.
I'll definitely agree with you on that. I'm working my through "Hymns on Paradise". Absolutely stunning! Of course, it takes several readings of short sections at a time just to grasp a small amount of his meaning. But every moment is worth it!

Last summer, I read Jacob of Serug's "On the Mother of God". He is OO not EO, and most certainly a saint if not a Saint. His poetic descriptions of the Theotokos and her role in our salvation are amazing.
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Seraphim98
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2010, 09:03:47 PM »

Oh...perhaps I misconstrued the content of this thread.  A correction might be in order.  When there is no priest present in our parish we say it together.  When a priest is present he leads it aloud but we all join in the reverences and prostrations.
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2010, 10:29:36 PM »

Read St.Isaac too. Pity that so little of the Assyrian tradition is translated. All of Theodore's commentaries are fragmentary in translation for example.
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