Addition to the Third Kneeling Prayer
This is a vocal prayer, which is added in after the reading of the Third Kneeling Prayer on Pentecost. It, too, gives us some passages on which to meditate (the bold type is added to assist you in choosing a meditation), though fewer than the other Kneeling Prayers. As such, it is possible to say that this prayer is more catechetical and confessional than theological, meaning there is a basic education within it, which seeks to keep us on track, so to speak, not allowing us to fall into the potential traps of solipsism in Catharsis and heresy in Theoria.
Notice that this prayer is dedicated to God generally, though it makes explicit references to the Creator and the Redeemer. While there is no specific mention of the Holy Spirit, there is a refernce to the angels who are under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Make note of the reference to certain Old Testament prophets. When you read it, try to inculcate the attitude of confession throughout.
"O God great and eternal, who is holy and loves mankind; who has bestowed to us at this present hour to stand before your ineffable glory, and to sing and to praise your wonders: Purify us, your unworthy servants, and grant us grace that, with a contrite heart, and without presumption, we may offer unto you the Thrice-Holy hymn of praise and thanksgiving for your great gifts, which you have bestowed and always do bestow on us.
"Remember, O Lord, our weakness, and destroy us not in our iniquity, but show great mercy upon our humility; that, fleeing from the darkness of sin, we may walk in the daylight of righteousness; and that, putting on the armor of life, we may remain unassailed by any despiteful attack of the Evil One, and with boldness may glorify you in all things, the only true God, who also loves mankind.
"For you, O Lord and Creator of all people, are that great and veritable mystery, the dissolution of your creatures for a season, and thereafter their restoration and their rest forever. We acknowledge your grace in all things; for our coming into this world and our going out of it; for our hopes of resurrection and of the life immortal faithfully pledged unto us through your unfailing promises, which we will receive in your Second Coming. For you are the Chieftain of our Resurrection, and the Judge impartial and benign of the dead, and the Master and Lord of recompense, who became a partaker, on equal terms, of our flesh and blood, because of your exceeding great condescension; and when, of your own will, that you, almighty, placed yourself under temptation, you did accept our congenital passions, because your compassion, and suffered through them, being yourself tempted, you did become for us who are tempted, the helper, which you yourself had promised; and thereby led us to your passionlessness.
"Wherefore, O Master, receive our prayers and supplications, and give rest unto the fathers, mothers, children, brothers, and sisters, blood-relations and kinsfolk of each and all of us, and unto all souls, which have fallen asleep before us; and establish their spirits in the hope of Resurrection unto the eternal, and inscribe their names in the Book of Life, in the bosom of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, and in the land of the living, in the kingdom of heaven, in the Paradise of sweetness; by they radiant Angels guiding all into your holy and faithful promise.
"Because there is no death, O Lord, for your servants when we depart from the body and come unto you, our God, but a change from things very sorrowful unto things most benign and most sweet, and unto repose and gladness. If, therefore, we have transgressed before you, be merciful unto us and unto them; because there is no one pure from stain in your sight, even for a single day of his life, except for you, who manifested yourself upon earth, O, our Lord Jesus Christ; through whom also we all trust to receive mercy and the remission of our sins.
"Wherefore, in that you are a gracious God and love mankind, do you, both to them and to us, pardon, remit, forgive our sins, both voluntary and involuntary, which we have committed whether willfully or through ignorance; whether those who are manifest or those which have escaped our notice; whether of deed, or of thought, or of word, whatsoever they may be, in all our acts and lives. An unto the departed also grant your release and pardon; and bless us who are here present, granting unto us, and to all they people, a good and peaceful ending, and opening to the tenderness of your mercy and love toward mankind at your dread and terrible Coming-again; and make us worthy of your kingdom.
- This prayer can be found in the Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church; compiled, translated, and arranged by Isabel Florence Hapgood; printed by the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, 6th ed., 1983, p. 255.
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