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Author Topic: Prayers for non-Orthodox  (Read 2830 times) Average Rating: 0
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David Leon
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« on: May 13, 2010, 03:43:04 PM »

I live in an area of the country where most of the Orthodox are converts, which means that we have many family members and friends who are not Orthodox. How would you best explain to these people that non-Orthodox can not be prayed for by name in the liturgical services of the church, among the living or the departed?  This is a touchy issue that has the potential for great misunderstanding and offense.  What would you say to someone (not EO) who asked to be prayed for?  Or, for that matter, a member of the church who has departed or ill family members?  "Sorry, we can't do that," doesn't seem like an adequate answer for the church of Christ to give to people who request prayers.  Any thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 03:59:39 PM »

Who says the church cannot pray for non-believers?
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 04:04:37 PM »


The priest may not read their names during the Proskomedia or at the Altar table, however, you certainly can pray for them during the Liturgy. 

The deacon (or priest) pray:

     Deacon/Priest:For our country, the president, and all those in public service, let us pray to the Lord.
     People:  Lord, have mercy.
     Deacon/Priest:  For this parish and city, for every city and country, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
     People:  Lord, have mercy....

I am fairly certain that Obama is not Orthodox.

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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2010, 06:03:17 PM »

Keble, I am replying to your question.  I was told by my priest that it is not permitted for the names of non-Orthodox to be spoken at the liturgy or to serve Panikihida or other services for these folks.  What do you do in your parish?  By the way, I attend an OCA parish.
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2010, 06:06:31 PM »

Liza, I don't think Obama is Orthodox either.  But "the president" is his title, not his name.  Does your priest pray for "Barack" by name during the service.  I am asking about pronouncing the names of non-Orthodox.  I know that we remember various categories, such as the sick, but now I am told that we shouldn't say the names of non-EO people aloud in the liturgy.  I was also told that, of course, we could/should pray for these people in private prayers at home or elsewhere.

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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2010, 07:37:51 PM »

We had a Parastos memorial sevice at the Church and grave site for my mom,dad,and sister perka that died in osjak croatia,at the Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery Libertyville Ill,,,that day a italian catholic that was diving by, decided to stop and visit at this time,he followed us from the church to the grave site ,he wanted the Fr.  to mention his departed also at the service Fr. said no it's not allowed... Grin

Have to mention Fr.did present the Hand Blessing Cross for him to venerate with a kiss though, which he kissed...  angel
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2010, 08:34:20 PM »

Liza, I don't think Obama is Orthodox either.  But "the president" is his title, not his name.  Does your priest pray for "Barack" by name during the service.  I am asking about pronouncing the names of non-Orthodox.  I know that we remember various categories, such as the sick, but now I am told that we shouldn't say the names of non-EO people aloud in the liturgy.  I was also told that, of course, we could/should pray for these people in private prayers at home or elsewhere.


Lets look at the situation from the person that you want to pray for and ask yourself if this person wants orthodox christian to pray for them without there approval. I recently watched a show on PBS that stated that "Can't for the life of me remember what protestant sect" Is trying to collect everybody's name and store there names in a nuclear proof vault in the center of a mountain somewhere so the second coming wouldn't affect them. Something along those lines. I was thinking Jee I hope my name isn't written there. Why should anybody be in-charge of anybody eases free will at that point?
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2010, 08:49:33 PM »

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Is trying to collect everybody's name and store there names in a nuclear proof vault in the center of a mountain somewhere so the second coming wouldn't affect them.

If these folks regarded God as omniscient and omnipotent, as is frequently said in scripture, this exercise is truly futile and childish. Does not God know everything? Does He not fill all things? Very sad and misguided.
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2010, 09:01:24 PM »

It sounds a bit like the LDS and their collection of Genealogical records
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2010, 10:16:33 PM »

Liza, I don't think Obama is Orthodox either.  But "the president" is his title, not his name.  Does your priest pray for "Barack" by name during the service.  I am asking about pronouncing the names of non-Orthodox.  I know that we remember various categories, such as the sick, but now I am told that we shouldn't say the names of non-EO people aloud in the liturgy.  I was also told that, of course, we could/should pray for these people in private prayers at home or elsewhere.


Lets look at the situation from the person that you want to pray for and ask yourself if this person wants orthodox christian to pray for them without there approval. I recently watched a show on PBS that stated that "Can't for the life of me remember what protestant sect" Is trying to collect everybody's name and store there names in a nuclear proof vault in the center of a mountain somewhere so the second coming wouldn't affect them. Something along those lines. I was thinking Jee I hope my name isn't written there. Why should anybody be in-charge of anybody eases free will at that point?

I saw that special too.  It's the Mormons, and they baptize people after they are dead.  I'm looking for a way to make it so they won't do this when I die.  They have agreed not to baptize Jewish Holocaust survivors.
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« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2010, 01:26:20 PM »

There's a difference between an Orthodox person praying for non-Orthodox people living or departed whether they consented or not, and Mormons baptizing people posthumously. In the first case, God is moved to pity by the love of those who pray. In the second, well, it's on the cusp of blasphemy. Prayer and weird, posthumous "baptism" (into a non-Christian religion at that) are two different things.
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« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2010, 05:27:26 PM »

Speaking of Mormons, please pray for me as I am in Salt Lake City!!

I don't want them touching my body after I die (or before for that matter)

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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2010, 05:30:46 PM »


The priest may not read their names during the Proskomedia or at the Altar table, however, you certainly can pray for them during the Liturgy. 

The deacon (or priest) pray:

     Deacon/Priest:For our country, the president, and all those in public service, let us pray to the Lord.
     People:  Lord, have mercy.
     Deacon/Priest:  For this parish and city, for every city and country, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
     People:  Lord, have mercy....

I am fairly certain that Obama is not Orthodox.



David, I meant the above statement as a way for you ton tell your family that non-Orthodox are not 100% excluded from prayer.  That the Orthodox do pray for everyone.  However, like I had mentioned....they cannot be listed by name at the Proskomedia, during Divine Liturgy, etc.

I think folks may have misunderstood my meaning.



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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2010, 07:32:58 PM »

I fear that the original meaning of my post has been obscured by all this talk of Mormons, etc., and whether the person has agreed to be prayed for.  My question can perhaps best be asked by giving a couple of examples as follows: 

1.  If your parent (non-Orthodox) dies, would your priest pray for him by name in the liturgy?

2.  If a friend (non-Orthodox) had cancer and had asked for prayer, would your priest pray for him by name during the liturgy?

If the answer is NO, I would like to hear some reasons why this is the case.  What would constrain us from praying for people obviously in need of prayer?

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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2010, 08:01:17 PM »

I fear that the original meaning of my post has been obscured by all this talk of Mormons, etc., and whether the person has agreed to be prayed for.  My question can perhaps best be asked by giving a couple of examples as follows: 

1.  If your parent (non-Orthodox) dies, would your priest pray for him by name in the liturgy?

2.  If a friend (non-Orthodox) had cancer and had asked for prayer, would your priest pray for him by name during the liturgy?

If the answer is NO, I would like to hear some reasons why this is the case.  What would constrain us from praying for people obviously in need of prayer?



No
No

Here's a short explanation:  http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/prayer_nonorth.aspx

However, in speaking about the strictness of the Orthodox Church concerning the commemoration of the non-Orthodox, we do not mean to say that our Holy Orthodox Church commands us, her children, not to pray for them at all. She only forbids us to pray according to our own whims, to pray in whatever manner might come into our heads. Our Mother the Orthodox Church teaches us that everything we do, including prayer itself, must be done decently and in a proper manner (I Cor. 14:40). We pray at all the divine services for all the various nations and races and for the whole world, more often than not without us knowing or understanding this. We pray just as our Lord Jesus Christ taught His Apostles to pray in the prayer He taught them: Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven! This all-embracing petition gathers within itself all the needs of ourselves and of all our brothers in the faith and even those of the non-Orthodox. Here we beg the All-good Lord even for the souls of the deceased non-Orthodox, that He might accomplish with them that which is well-pleasing to His holy will. For the Lord knows immeasurably better than we to whom to show what mercy.

And so, O Orthodox Christian, whoever you may be, either a laymen or a priest of God, if during some service of the Church there comes upon you the zeal to pray for some non-Orthodox close to you, then during the reading or chanting of the Lord's Prayer, sigh for him before the Lord and say: "Thy holy will be done in him, O Lord!" and limit yourself to this prayer. For thus you are taught to pray by the Lord Himself. Thus, to pray for the non-Orthodox in the Public prayers of the Church on an equal basis with Orthodox Christian, i.e. to commemorate their names in churches just as the names of Orthodox Christians are commemorated, is not in accord the traditions of our One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Thus do we speak and so do we act. And this is in no wise out of hatred for the non-Orthodox or because we do not wish them well, but because our willful prayer for them will not be pleasing to God, will be without benefit for their souls and will become a sin for those who pray thus.


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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2010, 11:23:58 PM »

David:

It should be perfectly acceptable for the priest to pray for non Orthodox family members during the Litany of Fervent Supplication if they are sick and/or are suffering.

See a very similar thread on this at http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27212.0/topicseen.html
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2010, 12:43:45 AM »

So it would seem to me too, David, as my former priest has done for the last 30 years, but recently I have been told that this is wrong and that a letter has been written to the bishop for a "ruling" on this issue.  I want to hear the reasons that this is not allowed. 
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2010, 12:21:32 AM »

I have to say that the reason give (that of "scandal") is one of the lamer dismissals of, oh I don't know, six or seven different parables I have seen. It might also be considered that the refusal of such prayers might present a greater scandal.
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« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2010, 12:38:08 AM »

I live in an area of the country where most of the Orthodox are converts, which means that we have many family members and friends who are not Orthodox. How would you best explain to these people that non-Orthodox can not be prayed for by name in the liturgical services of the church, among the living or the departed?  This is a touchy issue that has the potential for great misunderstanding and offense.  What would you say to someone (not EO) who asked to be prayed for?  Or, for that matter, a member of the church who has departed or ill family members?  "Sorry, we can't do that," doesn't seem like an adequate answer for the church of Christ to give to people who request prayers.  Any thoughts?

I'd just like to add that in my parish, I put names on little cards to recieve prosphora, and the priest prays for my frirnds listed and then gives me the prosphora, and I share it with them.  I have asked him to pray for my grandmother (a devout Roman Catholic), my mother's sick friend (also RC), and my mother, a liberal, fallen-away Protestant "Christian". 
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« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2010, 12:41:36 AM »

I live in an area of the country where most of the Orthodox are converts, which means that we have many family members and friends who are not Orthodox. How would you best explain to these people that non-Orthodox can not be prayed for by name in the liturgical services of the church, among the living or the departed?  This is a touchy issue that has the potential for great misunderstanding and offense.  What would you say to someone (not EO) who asked to be prayed for?  Or, for that matter, a member of the church who has departed or ill family members?  "Sorry, we can't do that," doesn't seem like an adequate answer for the church of Christ to give to people who request prayers.  Any thoughts?

Say a personal prayer. We say a prayer for the president and maybe the army, and so we do say prayers for non EO's. But yeah, I know what you mean.
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« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2010, 12:56:24 AM »

Liza, I don't think Obama is Orthodox either.  But "the president" is his title, not his name.  Does your priest pray for "Barack" by name during the service.  I am asking about pronouncing the names of non-Orthodox.  I know that we remember various categories, such as the sick, but now I am told that we shouldn't say the names of non-EO people aloud in the liturgy.  I was also told that, of course, we could/should pray for these people in private prayers at home or elsewhere.



So as long as we don't mention their name we can pray for them. For example we could pray for "the doctor who lives on maple street' since that would just be a title.
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« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2010, 04:05:48 PM »

Liza, I don't think Obama is Orthodox either.  But "the president" is his title, not his name.  Does your priest pray for "Barack" by name during the service.  I am asking about pronouncing the names of non-Orthodox.

For our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth and all her royal house, her government, and armed forces; for this land and for all who in faith and piety dwell herein, and for every land, let us pray to the Lord.

Her Majesty the Queen is not Orthodox, yet we pray for her at every Liturgy.

We certainly do not commemorate the non-Orthodox at the Prokomede because this has a meaning over and above simply praying for people.  However, on the subject of praying for the non-Orthodox at the Liturgy, it is new to me that this is something that we may not do, and I shall have to read and digest the articles linked upthread.

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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2010, 09:33:10 PM »

Re $6:  The vault you speak of belongs to the LDS and is a repository for all its records of persons living or dead whom they have baptized.
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2010, 10:42:11 PM »

There is that one place in the liturgy of John Chrysostom where the priest bids us to pray for all whom we call to mind. Would that not be a proper place?
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« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2010, 09:58:19 AM »

The Divine Liturgy is a Sacrament and is for the purpose of allowing the People of the Orthodox Church to offer praise and worship of the Most Holy Trinity. It is a time to commune with the Most Holy Trinity. As it is a Sacarment reserved for the Orthodox Christian, we do not pray by name for the non-orthodox. Catechumen are part of the Church ( and are buried as Orthdox Christians if they repose prior to Baptism) are prayed for by name during the Liturgy. Orthodox Christians during the Ektanias pray for the world in general --- "those who travel by sea and by air" ," the sick and dying", "the prisoners",  "the Armed Forces". national leaders ("President" "King" "Queen" etc), and the people and clergy.

As Orthodox Christians we say private daily prayers that are for  anyone we wish to pray for.
1) We pray for our dead (Heterodox and Orthodox) by using the Akathist for the Repose of Those Who Have Fallen Asleep located at: http://users.sisqtel.net/williams/akathist-repose.html
2) For Orthodox Christians who have died we expand ourt prayers to include the Trisagion for the Dead located at: http://goarch.org/chapel/liturgical_texts/trisagion  

The Sacraments of the Orthodox Church are composed of prayers, hymns, scripture lessons, gestures and processions---these are reserved for Orthodox Christians. "The funeral service in the Orthodox Church, although not considered as specifically sacramental, belongs among the special liturgical rites of the People of God."(The Faith, By Father Thomas Hopko)

Individually we are empowered by the Church to interface with the world through prayer, alms, fasting, and other actions. The Church on the otherhand is established primarily to serve the Kingdom of God and its Citizens (the laity and clergy of the Church). Who are the Churches citizens? Those who are catechumen (who have made the step of becoming a catechumen and are learning to be Orthodox Christians) and those who have become citizens of the Kingdom through the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation. The Church serves those who have made these commitments from birth thru death and continues to pray for its citizens even after death.
 
I hope this explains it in some small manner.
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« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2010, 05:02:51 PM »

Quote
As it is a Sacarment reserved for the Orthodox Christian, we do not pray by name for the non-orthodox.

Actually, that's just not true. As has been pointed out above, in England (and other countries with a monarchy), Orthodox Christians pray by name for the monarch. I think maybe the various nameless formulae we use in America to pray for the civil authorities here has to do with the fact that the Orthodox Church (especially the Russian Church) has not yet quite figured out how to deal with Republican gov'ts.
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« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2010, 05:13:31 PM »

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As it is a Sacarment reserved for the Orthodox Christian, we do not pray by name for the non-orthodox.

Actually, that's just not true. As has been pointed out above, in England (and other countries with a monarchy), Orthodox Christians pray by name for the monarch. I think maybe the various nameless formulae we use in America to pray for the civil authorities here has to do with the fact that the Orthodox Church (especially the Russian Church) has not yet quite figured out how to deal with Republican gov'ts.

Quite possibly.  I should add that, while the exact formula differs slightly between jurisdictions in the UK, the Queen is customarily commemorated in the Great Litany, (and in some churches, in the Prayer below the Ambo), in the Russian Church Abroad, the Sourozh Diocese, the stavropegial parishes of the Russian church, the Greek Archdiocese, and the Antiochian Deanery.  I have twice served at a Ukrainian parish (under the Constantinople Patriarchate) but confess to not having noticed, and I have never been to any of our Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, or Georgian parishes so I do not know about their practice.  In any case, it is certainly not a peculiarity of one or two parishes but seems widespread.

M
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« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2010, 05:19:42 PM »

I found a good response to this over at monachos.net

Quote
Keep in mind also that the general practice is to commemorate only those who are Orthodox. This is because for the names read a portion or particles of the prosphora will be placed onto the Discos. Then after the communion of the people, the clergy wipe these particles into the Cup, which is a kind of communion.

In some parishes however the people write the names of the non-Orthodox in a separate section of the commemorative sheets usually after the Orthodox names. If so the priest would read these names without placing particles of the prosphora on the Discos for them. But you really have to ask the priest about this as the practice for this varies from parish to parish.

The entire thread can be viewed here:

http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?4105-List-of-names-at-Divine-Liturgy

It was the practice at my old parish when reading the names for the Proskomide, to say "save O Lord and have mercy on thy servants" (or something similar) and then read the Orthodox names, then "illumine with the light of the Orthodox Faith" or simply "we pray for the non Orthodox" (or, again, something along those lines) and then their names. The priest takes out particles only for the Orthodox.
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« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2010, 05:23:29 PM »

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As it is a Sacarment reserved for the Orthodox Christian, we do not pray by name for the non-orthodox.

Actually, that's just not true. As has been pointed out above, in England (and other countries with a monarchy), Orthodox Christians pray by name for the monarch. I think maybe the various nameless formulae we use in America to pray for the civil authorities here has to do with the fact that the Orthodox Church (especially the Russian Church) has not yet quite figured out how to deal with Republican gov'ts.

Quite possibly.  I should add that, while the exact formula differs slightly between jurisdictions in the UK, the Queen is customarily commemorated in the Great Litany, (and in some churches, in the Prayer below the Ambo), in the Russian Church Abroad, the Sourozh Diocese, the stavropegial parishes of the Russian church, the Greek Archdiocese, and the Antiochian Deanery.  I have twice served at a Ukrainian parish (under the Constantinople Patriarchate) but confess to not having noticed, and I have never been to any of our Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, or Georgian parishes so I do not know about their practice.  In any case, it is certainly not a peculiarity of one or two parishes but seems widespread.

M

And it's a continuation of the ancient practice of praying by name for the emperor, which I think it's not unreasonable to assume, began before Constantine the Great, i.e., when the emperor was a pagan.

Does anyone know whether the Church prayed by name for Julian the apostate in the litany?
« Last Edit: July 23, 2010, 05:24:35 PM by JLatimer » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2010, 06:02:26 PM »

I know at St. Tikhon's (i.e. Seminary and Monastery), there were thousands upon thousands of names commemorated during the Proskomedia on Last Judgment Saturday.  I asked "how do we know which is Orthodox and which are not," as many priests continued to read off the names one by one as the Proskomedia priest took particles out.   I was told by a very saintly priest:  "You don't, just read the names, that is the way it has always been done--God sorts out which prayers he will receive and which he will not." 
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« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2010, 10:47:53 PM »

I know at St. Tikhon's (i.e. Seminary and Monastery), there were thousands upon thousands of names commemorated during the Proskomedia on Last Judgment Saturday.  I asked "how do we know which is Orthodox and which are not," as many priests continued to read off the names one by one as the Proskomedia priest took particles out.   I was told by a very saintly priest:  "You don't, just read the names, that is the way it has always been done--God sorts out which prayers he will receive and which he will not." 

Names should be marked whether the person is Orthodox or not. Not everyone does it, but they should.

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« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2010, 06:49:29 AM »

Liza, I don't think Obama is Orthodox either.  But "the president" is his title, not his name.  Does your priest pray for "Barack" by name during the service.  I am asking about pronouncing the names of non-Orthodox.  I know that we remember various categories, such as the sick, but now I am told that we shouldn't say the names of non-EO people aloud in the liturgy.  I was also told that, of course, we could/should pray for these people in private prayers at home or elsewhere.



I have heard priests pray for 'Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth' during the Great Petition in the Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2010, 09:35:42 AM »

I know at St. Tikhon's (i.e. Seminary and Monastery), there were thousands upon thousands of names commemorated during the Proskomedia on Last Judgment Saturday.  I asked "how do we know which is Orthodox and which are not," as many priests continued to read off the names one by one as the Proskomedia priest took particles out.   I was told by a very saintly priest:  "You don't, just read the names, that is the way it has always been done--God sorts out which prayers he will receive and which he will not." 

Names should be marked whether the person is Orthodox or not. Not everyone does it, but they should.



Our parish gives to allmembers a commemoration book for them to use if they like, it has separate pages for Orthodox and non-orthodox. We advise members to use their own commemoration books during their daily prayers and turn them into with their altar breads when they wish to be commemorated (people in our parish sign up to provide the Holy Bread). father then turns to the correct pages and does what is allowable under church canons and his directions from his bishop.The personal use of the commemoration book is very helpful to remember to pray for everyone you have been asked to pray for, it helps one develop an intercessory prayer-life that enables one to reach out to others making their prayers more selfless and their witness and mission to others much stronger. I believe.

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