World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Resources / Prayer cycle / Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania

Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania

Give thanks for: the blending of Christian traditions and practices, from the West and East. the faithful witness of churches amid political changes. those working for more democratic governance in these countries. those who welcome newcomers, and provide for them and others in need.
Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania

Bulgaria, 2008.

09 - 15 April 2017

The history and the future of these three eastern European countries are influenced by the river Danube and the Carpathian and the Balkan Mountains. While the Danube divides Hungary, it is the natural border between Bulgaria and Romania, with many bridges now connecting the two.

Hungary long has been part of the West (Catholic and Protestant), whereas Bulgaria has been part of the Byzantine Empire. The historical parts of today’s Romania have been on the margins of these two major civilizations, which were brought together here in the 19th century. While it is majority Orthodox, the Latin root of its language is evident. Multicultural Transylvania was for 1000 years part of Hungary, and since World War I, part of Romania.

Each of these countries has environmental challenges confronting them today, such pollution of the soil and air. For some (e.g. Bulgaria) there have been slow transitions into a market economy. Those migrating into these countries (e.g. Hungary) are often not welcomed. Government instability (e.g. in Romania) is an on-going problem.

Intercessions

Give thanks for:

  • the blending of Christian traditions and practices, from the West and East.
  • the faithful witness of churches amid political changes.
  • those working for more democratic governance in these countries.
  • those who welcome newcomers, and provide for them and others in need.

Pray for:

  • better relationships among different ethnic groups and traditions.
  • respect for the rights of children, women, the young and the elderly, so they can receive adequate education, jobs and health care.
  • economic developments that serve all people.
  • ending practices that harm the air, soil and forests, and instead protect the environment.

Prayers

Grant us the gift of unity

O, Lord, who give unto each nation its place and time and mission: grant us the
gift of unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, that the ancient church, and all
Christians of this land, each loyal to their confession, culture and nationality,
may discover new forms of common Christian witness, and stand before the
divided world as a united and humble fellowship.
O Lord, who commanded your disciples to pray both for their neighbours and
their enemies: give us such love for one another, that with one voice and one
heart we may glorify your name, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

(Dr Ion Bria, Romanian Orthodox Church. WAGP p. 161)

Rebel God,
who comes into our life with your light and says: ’this should not be’; who did not spare even your most precious treasure to change the stifling order of the world into a life-giving freedom! Give us your Spirit, so that we are able to rise against the apathy, oppression and selfishness in us and in the world! In Jesus Christ we pray:
Lord, hear our prayer!

Immigrant God,
who came into this world as a stranger to redeem us; who was taken in by the Egyptians, when you had to flee from your home in the times of the Herod’s persecution! Give us your Spirit, so that we may act like your followers when we encounter immigrants! In Jesus Christ we pray:
Lord, hear our prayer!

Householder God,
child of Mary, brother of James, cousin of John the Baptist! We give you thank for families and for the togetherness and support of the family! Give us your Spirit, so that we are able to follow Christ when we see our family not as the egoistic source of our own pride and power, but the solid grounding which enables us to be open towards the unknown and support our fellow-creatures. In Jesus Christ we pray:
Lord, hear our prayer!

Jesus Christ,
who entrusted your Church to the apostles -to Peter and Paul, and to John, James, Mary Magdalene and even to Thomas… Give us your Spirit, so that we may spread the Gospel in the world in a multi-coloured unity! We pray for all church leaders, that they might draw strength from the story of the cross; that they could say the words of hope, justice and mercy without hesitation! In Jesus Christ we pray:
Lord, hear our prayer!
Amen.

(29th of August, 2015, on the ordination of the author, Áron Bence, pastor of Alberti Lutheran Congregation, Hungary)

Confession of Sins

L1:       Christ, you said: I am the way!

L2:       We confess that although we should know better, we often stick to our old ways. It is our pursuit of success that determines what we do and the end justifies the means. We prefer the comfortable and easy way and avoid each other. We fail to believe that the goal to which you lead us should even now determine our way. We stand still while you want to continue the journey with us.
We call upon you.

C: Sfinte Dumnezeule


L1:       Christ, you said: I am the truth!

L2:       We confess that again and again we become ensnared by lies and deceit. We carefully hold on to the images and prejudices we have of one another. We are often unwilling to confront the empty words which bolster power, intolerance and greed. We live in one world, but are not prepared to share it in justice and peace.
We call upon you.

C: Sfinte Dumnezeule

L1:       Christ, you said: I am the life!

L2:       We confess that we do not respect the variety and fullness of the life which you prepared for us. The strong deny the rights of the weak, the health of the sick, one generation of the other, the rich of the poor. Violence and aggression destroy life. We do not allow the renewal and healing, which you promise, to develop.
We call upon you.

C: Sfinte Dumnezeule

Words of grace

L:         Let us hear Christ’s promise of pardon:
"Peace I leave with you: my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid."

C: Thanks, praise and glory be to God.

(Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2001, Romania)