Prayer & Praise

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22 Responses

  1. Xenia says:

    CHRIST IS RISEN

    Some impressions from last night’s Pascha Service which started at 11:30 in the night and ended at 3:30 in the morning:

    -Church packed to probably 3 times the legal capacity,
    -All the brass and glass sparkling clean
    -People wearing bright colors and white after Lenten drab/ black
    -Priest, deacon, altar servers wearing white vestments
    -Little girls in their Easter dresses
    -Everyone holding a candle, even the toddlers
    -Heady smell of flowers, incense and beeswax candles
    -Procession around the outside of the church with banners flying & choir singing
    -Glorious and familiar Pascha hymns, choir at their very best!
    -Father S. reading the Pascha sermon with gusto (see below)
    -Everyone shouting “Christ is Risen” in several languages
    -Hugs and kisses, Russian triple-smooch style, everyone happy
    -First chapter of John read in Slavonic, English, Greek and Chinese
    -Father G. passing out red eggs, some from my own hens 🙂
    -Little kids falling asleep on the floor
    -Crowd thinning out as night progesses
    -Feet aching big time
    -Babies getting cranky, dads holding heavy sleepy toddlers
    -Communion at 3 AM, the Medicine of Immortality!
    -Breaking the Lenten fast in the church hall w/ meat, cheese and eggs
    -Eating with our friends, telling jokes, happy and tired
    -Little children sleepily nibbling chocolate bunnies from their Easter baskets
    -At home, almost asleep before head hits the pillow!

    CHRIST IS RISEN!
    —–

    If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let them enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.
    If anyone is a grateful servant, let them, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.
    If anyone has wearied themselves in fasting, let them now receive recompense.
    If anyone has labored from the first hour, let them today receive the just reward.
    If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let them feast.
    If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let them have no misgivings; for they shall suffer no loss.
    If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let them draw near without hesitation.
    If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let them not fear on account of tardiness.
    For the Master is gracious and receives the last even as the first; He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has labored from the first.
    He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one He gives, and to the other He is gracious.
    He both honors the work and praises the intention.
    Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward.
    O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy!
    O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day!
    You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today!
    The table is rich-laden: feast royally, all of you!
    The calf is fatted: let no one go forth hungry!
    Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness.
    Let no one lament their poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
    Let no one mourn their transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grave.
    Let no one fear death, for the Saviour’s death has set us free.
    He that was taken by death has annihilated it!
    He descended into Hades and took Hades captive!
    He embittered it when it tasted His flesh! And anticipating this, Isaiah exclaimed: “Hades was embittered when it encountered Thee in the lower regions”.
    It was embittered, for it was abolished!
    It was embittered, for it was mocked!
    It was embittered, for it was purged!
    It was embittered, for it was despoiled!
    It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!
    It took a body and came upon God!
    It took earth and encountered Ηeaven!
    It took what it saw, but crumbled before what it had not seen!
    O death, where is thy sting?
    O Hades, where is thy victory?
    Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!
    Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
    Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
    Christ is risen, and life reigns!
    Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!
    For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the first-fruits of them that have slept.
    To Him be glory and might unto the ages of ages.
    Amen.

  2. mrtundraman says:

    Today Hades tearfully sighs: “Would that I had not received him who was born of Mary, for he came to me and destroyed my power; he broke my bronze gates, and being God, delivered the souls I had been holding captive.”

    O Lord, glory to your cross and to your holy resurrection!

    Today Hades groans: “My power has vanished. I received one who died as mortals die, but I could not hold him; with him and through him I lost those over which I had ruled. I had held control over the dead since the world began, and lo, he raises them all up with him!”

    O Lord, glory to your cross and to your holy resurrection!

  3. catherine says:

    Xenia..thank you for sharing…what a beautiful picture you paint, and the prayer is one I will copy and read often. I especially love how the very young children participate, and how the generations, old and young, bring the ancient ceremony to life. How rich is this tradition!

  4. Nonnie says:

    My husband just lost his sister, Paula, yesterday. She died from stomach cancer and had suffered so terribly. He will not be able to attend the funeral as we are 5000 miles away and he already has a ticket to the states in June. It is just not possible to go now. He is now the last remaining from his family. It is sad and difficult to lose a sibling, and yet we are so thankful that we know she is in the presence of the Lord and there is fullness of joy in His presence. As Christians we live in a paradox of sorrow and grief…. and yet, at the same time, we know that Jesus is Victor. Please pray for my my hubby, Chuck and also Tom, Paula’s husband, who is also battling cancer of the mouth and jaw.

  5. Xenia says:

    Beloved of God Paula, memory eternal

  6. jlo says:

    Nonnie, praying for Chuck and Tom.

  7. Linnea says:

    Nonnie…. You’ve got mail on Facebook

  8. Linnea says:

    Praying for your precious family, Nonnie

  9. Frosted Flake says:

    Nonnie,
    I am so sorry for pain that touches so closely.

  10. Paigemom says:

    Prayers for you and Chuck, dear Nonnie…… (no wonder your back hurt today…. )…. Lord bless and comfort you both…..

    May I ask you dear saints to pray for my very ungodly sons? Aaron, Jonathan and Peter (all in their 30s). yep, Bible names…… so far (yet only one step) away from Jesus….. grievous to this mom. I do have faith for God’s work in their lives….. but it’s so sad to see wasted lives…. and the detritus of sin. Thank you saints.

  11. gomergirl says:

    Praying for you all.

  12. Nonnie says:

    Thank you all for praying. The love on this site is overwhelming.

    Paigemom, I am praying for your sons. I’m thankful that our gracious Lord can and will redeem those “wasted” years. One day they will rise up and call you blessed, knowing you stood in the gap, praying for and loving them throughout their wilderness years. He will be faithful to you for your boys. Praying with you.

  13. jlo says:

    paigemom, praying.

  14. sarahkwolfe says:

    Nonnie…praying this morning for Chuck and Tom, and for you as you walk through the grief with Chuck.

    Paigemom…praying for your boys. Praying for God’s great affection to seize them….

  15. Becky says:

    Ed Taylor’s Son Eddie had a heart attack on Saturday. Neighbor found him. He had been without oxygen for 35-45 min.

    Doctors cooled his temp down to try and stop further brain damage. Unresponsive still.
    He has a wife and an little boy. Prayers for Gods will all around.

    Eddie is a great guy. Knew him as a youth. He is only 26yrs old. This is heart breaking.

  16. Babylon's Dread says:

    Online reports are that Dallas Willard has died.

  17. Happy for Dallas, sad for those who loved him.

  18. erunner says:

    Our son has been sick for some time, losing 8 pounds. Every time he eats he gets abdominal pains. An endoscopy today ruled out an ulcer so they are setting up a colonoscopy. He is finishing college in the next week with finals so it’s a stressful time for all of us. Please pray for things to go well.

  19. erunner says:

    I’m sorry Nonnie. It has to be difficult being separated by so many miles. Praying for your family.

  20. Dear Father always near us,
    may your name be treasured and loved,
    may your rule be completed in us-
    may your will be done here on earth in
    just the way it is done in heaven.
    Give us today the things we need today,
    and forgive us our sins and impositions on you
    as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
    Please don’t put us through trials,
    but deliver us from everything bad.
    Because you are the one is charge,
    and you have all the power, and the glory too is all yours-forever-
    which is just the way we want it!
    Dallas Willard paraphrase

    For all the requests above.

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