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Author Topic: Do Orthodox celebrate Liturgies or say Jesus Prayer on behalf of others?  (Read 1603 times) Average Rating: 0
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prophetessanna
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« on: March 30, 2011, 04:19:39 PM »

As I was saying prayers today, I began to think of certain people who had asked me to pray for them.  At the time, I was counting off the 40 repetitions of the Jesus Prayer of the 6th hour. 

And it came to me: Do we have a practice similar to the Catholics in that they can say a rosary on behalf of someone else.  I also have heard of a Mass *being said* on behalf of a particular person.  Do Orthodox ever intercede for others by saying the  Jesus Prayer or asking for a Liturgy to be celebrated on behalf of another Orthodox person? 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 04:32:31 PM »

As I was saying prayers today, I began to think of certain people who had asked me to pray for them.  At the time, I was counting off the 40 repetitions of the Jesus Prayer of the 6th hour. 

And it came to me: Do we have a practice similar to the Catholics in that they can say a rosary on behalf of someone else.  I also have heard of a Mass *being said* on behalf of a particular person.  Do Orthodox ever intercede for others by saying the  Jesus Prayer or asking for a Liturgy to be celebrated on behalf of another Orthodox person? 



Our "mass" is called a "liturgy" because it means "common work" so it is the prayer service of the whole church  In contrast, the Jesus Prayer is a highly personal one. So. my answer would be "no" and "no." However, there is nothing wrong to add folks to those commemorated during Divine Liturgy and to offer special intercessory prayers. Here is one:

A PRAYER OF PARENTS FOR THEIR CHILDREN, RELATIVES & FRIENDS
O God, our heavenly Father, who loves mankind, and art most merciful and compassionate, have mercy upon thy servants (Name those whom you wish to remember) for whom I humbly pray thee, and commend to thy gracious care and protection. Be thou, O God, their guide and guardian in all their endeavors, lead them in the path of thy truth, and draw them nearer to thee, that they may lead a godly and righteous life in thy love and fear; doing thy will in all things. Give them grace that they may be temperate, industrious, diligent, devout and charitable. Defend them against the assaults of the enemy, and grant them wisdom and strength to resist all temptation and corruption of this life; and direct them in the way of salvation, through the merits of thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, and the intercessions of his Holy Mother and thy blessed Saints. Amen.

There are also problem and situation specific prayers:

A PRAYER FOR THE SICK
O holy Father, heavenly Physician of our souls and bodies, who hast sent thine Only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to heal all our ailments and deliver us from death: do thou visit and heal thy servant N., granting him release from pain and restoration to health and vigor, that he may give thanks unto thee and bless thy holy Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

A PRAYER FOR THE TERMINALLY ILL
Lord, Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for our sins that we may live, if during our life we have sinned in word, deed or thought forgive us in your goodness and love. All our hope we put in you; protect your servant (name) from all evil. We submit to your will and into your hands we commend our souls and bodies. For a Christian end to our lives, peaceful, without shame and suffering, and for a good account before the awesome judgment seat of Christ, we pray to you O Lord. Bless us, be merciful to us and grant us life eternal. Amen.

A PRAYER FOR THE DEAD
Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend the souls of thy servants NN., and beseech thee to grant them rest in the place of thy rest, where all thy blessed Saints repose, and where the light of thy countenance shineth forever. And I beseech thee also to grant that our present lives may be godly, sober, and blameless, that, we too may be made worthy to enter into thy heavenly Kingdom with those we love but see no longer: for thou art the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Repose of thy departed servants, O Christ our God, and unto thee we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

PRAYER FOR OUR ENEMIES
Lord Jesus Christ, in your great mercy you prayed for the forgiveness of those who crucified you, and you taught us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. Lord, I pray that you forgive those who treat me unjustly and speak out against me, and that you bless them and guide them according to your will. Take away any bitterness I may have in my heart against them. Lord, may your forgiveness, goodness and love be revealed in all of us, to your praise and glory. Amen.

A GENERAL INTERCESSION
O Lord Jesus Christ our God, who in thy mercy and all-loving kindness dost regard the prayers of all who call upon thee with their whole heart, incline thine ear and hear my prayer, now humbly offered unto thee:

Be mindful, O Lord, of thy Holy Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church; confirm and strengthen it, increase it and keep it in peace, and preserve it unconquerable forever; Be mindful, O Lord, of our Metropolitan N., and of every Bishop of the Orthodox; of Priests and Deacons and all the Clergy of thy Church, which thou hast established to feed the flock of the Word; and by their prayers have mercy upon me and save me, a sinner.

Be mindful, O Lord, of all civil Authorities, of our Armed Forces, of this city in which we dwell, and of every city and land; grant us peaceful times, that we may lead a calm and tranquil life in all godliness and sanctity.

Be mindful, O Lord, of my parents, my brothers and sisters, my relatives and friends, and all who are near and dear to me, (name those who you wish to remember), and grant them mercy, life, peace, health, salvation and visitation, and pardon and remission of sins; that they may evermore praise and glorifiy thy holy Name.

Be mindful, O Lord, of those who travel by land, and sea, and air; of the young and the old; orphans and widows; the sick and the suffering; the sorrowing and the afflicted, all captives, and the needy poor; upon them all send forth thy mercies, for thou art the Giver of all good things.

Be mindful, O Lord, of me, thy humble servant; grant me thy grace, that I may be diligent and faithful; that I may avoid evil company and influence, and resist all temptation; that I may lead a godly and righteous life, blameless and peaceful, ever serving thee, that I may be accounted worthy at the last to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Be mindful, O Lord, of all those who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection unto life eternal, especially N., NN.; pardon all their transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, whether in word, or deed, or thought. Shelter them in a place of verdure, a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow and sighing have fled away, and where the sight of thy countenance rejoiceth all thy Saints from all the ages. Grant them thy heavenly Kingdom, and a portion in thine ineffable and eternal blessings, and the enjoyment of thine unending Life.

Hear my prayer, O Lord, for thou art merciful and compassionate, and loves mankind, and to thee are due all glory, honor, and worship: to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 04:42:05 PM »

While Orthodox do not have 'masses' said for one's intention, either living or deceased, it is the custom in some parts of the world for a  non-Sunday Divine Liturgy to be celebrated at the request of a family or friend with the  commemoration of one intent or another added by special petition or prayers. This can be for the living or the dead, although the more common practice for remembering the dead is the Trisagion or Panachida service as it is known to the Greeks or the Slavs.

Of course such a special Liturgy would not be permitted when Liturgies are proscribed or on a Sunday or a Holyday. However, one may hear a petition or prayer for one's intention offered by the priest at allmost any service or liturgy from time to time. I suppose the distinction between the Catholic view and the Orthodox one on this subject is partly semantical, partly theological and partly custom and practice.
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 04:44:43 PM »

And it came to me: Do we have a practice similar to the Catholics in that they can say a rosary on behalf of someone else.  

I don't see why you cannot say the Jesus Prayer for someone else.  I've heard of it being done all the time, especially in monasteries (obviously, since the monks do indeed pray the Jesus Prayer more often than the rest of us do).

I also have heard of a Mass *being said* on behalf of a particular person.  Do Orthodox ever intercede for others by saying the  Jesus Prayer or asking for a Liturgy to be celebrated on behalf of another Orthodox person?  

The Divine Liturgy is for all and by all, an act of communion with the Holy Trinity.  As such, it's not able to "be said" for someone specifically - even when we "do Liturgy for a Saint" that Liturgy isn't really for that Saint, but is rather an expression of thanksgiving to the Lord Who glorified that Saint - but you can ask that a person be commemorated during the Liturgy.  The intention is the same: that through the Eucharistic gathering and thanksgiving a special prayer will be offered for the benefit of that person.  You can request that a Liturgy be offered on a day it wasn't originally scheduled for, you can ask that the priest or bishop pray for someone at the Liturgy for a period of time (days, weeks, months, years); but we don't use the language of holding a liturgy "for" someone.
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prophetessanna
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 05:43:48 PM »

And it came to me: Do we have a practice similar to the Catholics in that they can say a rosary on behalf of someone else.  

I don't see why you cannot say the Jesus Prayer for someone else.  I've heard of it being done all the time, especially in monasteries (obviously, since the monks do indeed pray the Jesus Prayer more often than the rest of us do).



I also have heard of a Mass *being said* on behalf of a particular person.  Do Orthodox ever intercede for others by saying the  Jesus Prayer or asking for a Liturgy to be celebrated on behalf of another Orthodox person?  

The Divine Liturgy is for all and by all, an act of communion with the Holy Trinity.  As such, it's not able to "be said" for someone specifically - even when we "do Liturgy for a Saint" that Liturgy isn't really for that Saint, but is rather an expression of thanksgiving to the Lord Who glorified that Saint - but you can ask that a person be commemorated during the Liturgy.  The intention is the same: that through the Eucharistic gathering and thanksgiving a special prayer will be offered for the benefit of that person.  You can request that a Liturgy be offered on a day it wasn't originally scheduled for, you can ask that the priest or bishop pray for someone at the Liturgy for a period of time (days, weeks, months, years); but we don't use the language of holding a liturgy "for" someone.

Thank you, FAther and others, for the information.  I had a feeling that this would be the correct Orthodox practice.  I just had never asked for someone to be  commemorated during the Divine Liturgy and I was not sure that I should be interceding for others during the Jesus Prayer.

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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 08:57:08 PM »

^ Prayer of intercession is one of our most potent weapons as people of faith, which is why it leads off all the major services.  The Great Litany is just that - the intercessory prayer of the people on behalf of others.  The prayers are not offered by the Priest or Deacon, who merely provide direction and call the people to action, but are said by the people with each, "Lord, have mercy."  The world would be a hopeless place if it weren't for the intercessory prayers of others, beginning with the Theotokos and ending with each believer who says, as with one voice and one heart, "Lord, have mercy."
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2011, 11:08:42 AM »

^ Prayer of intercession is one of our most potent weapons as people of faith, which is why it leads off all the major services.  The Great Litany is just that - the intercessory prayer of the people on behalf of others.  The prayers are not offered by the Priest or Deacon, who merely provide direction and call the people to action, but are said by the people with each, "Lord, have mercy."  The world would be a hopeless place if it weren't for the intercessory prayers of others, beginning with the Theotokos and ending with each believer who says, as with one voice and one heart, "Lord, have mercy."

Ah, yes, of course.  Now I see the parallel between the Kyrie response and any other intercessory prayer, including the Jesus Prayer.   So now I can count my beads and ask Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner -- and include those for whom I wish to intercede. 

I had recognized the similarity in the words, but not seen the Liturgical connection between the Deacon's intercession and the faithful's response as being so intimately related, that is, that we are interceding at the same time we are praying for ourselves.

Thanks again.
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2011, 01:15:54 PM »

I was told you can say the Jesus prayer for others.  Normally you would phrase it as:  "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on Thy servant N."
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2011, 01:53:23 PM »

I was told you can say the Jesus prayer for others.  Normally you would phrase it as:  "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on Thy servant N."

Thank you, Father, for providing the proper form.
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