Cyprus, Greece, Turkey
22 January 2017 - 28 January 2017
Give thanks for:
- The uninterrupted 2,000 year presence and continued witness of the Church in Asia Minor, now Turkey, Cyprus, and Greece, the region in which St. Paul and other Apostles first planted the seeds of the Christian faith.
- The ideals of democracy first developed in ancient Athens – a sign of the creativity of the human spirit.
- The region which gave birth to many great Church Fathers and teachers, to countless men and women martyrs of the faith, and in which the seven Ecumenical Councils were convened.
- The magnificent mosaics and icons in churches, old and new, that uphold the doctrine of the incarnation and communicate the scriptures aesthetically through art forms and colour.
- The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for its pioneering work in the quest for Christian unity and groundbreaking efforts for the protection of the environment.
- The important but often ignored examples in the region of Christian and Moslem tolerance, mutual respect, and beneficial interaction through the centuries.
- The healing of the open deep wounds inflicted by the early 20th century genocides of the indigenous Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Christian communities in the Ottoman Empire.
- The greater tolerance toward minorities in Turkey and the just resolution of their unresolved, legitimate claims.
- The return of missing and displaced persons in the aftermath of the invasion and division of Cyprus; the peaceful and just resolution of the Cyprus problem; and the restoration to the Church of Cyprus of the many abandoned churches in occupied northern Cyprus.
- Those who work to bridge the divides among the people of the region, elected officials and local “grassroots” efforts.
- The people of Greece as they struggle to recover from the effects of the financial crisis and the high rate of unemployment as well as the spiritual renewal of all people who are struggling under chronic economic, social, political, and moral weaknesses.
- The hapless migrants and refugees who cross the borders of the region and for those who minister to their needs with charity, compassion, and forbearance, free of prejudice and enmity.
A morning prayer
Our spirit seeks you in the early dawn, O God,
for your commandments are light.
Teach us, O Master, your righteousness
and make us worthy to follow your commandments
with all our strength.
Take away from our hearts every darkness.
Grant to us the Sun of righteousness
and protect our lives from any bad influence
with the seal of your most Holy Spirit.
Direct our steps to the way of peace
and grant to us that this present morning may be peaceful
so that we may send up the morning hymns
to you the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
the only God,
who is more than without beginning
and creator of all. Amen.
(Excerpt from a morning prayer to the Holy Triniy, St. Basil the Great, 4th century, from Let us pray to the Lord, p. 58, WCC Publications)
A prayer to Christ
Christ our God, who at all times and in every hour are worshipped and glorified in heaven and on earth; long-suffering, generous in mercy, and rich in compassion; loving to the righteous and merciful to the sinner; you call all to salvation through the promise of blessings to come: Lord, in this hour accept our prayers and direct our lives in the way of your commandments. Sanctify our souls, purify our bodies, correct our thoughts, cleanse our minds, and deliver us from all affliction, evil, and distress. Encompass us with your holy angels, so that guided and guarded by their company we may reach the unity of faith and in the knowledge your unapproachable glory, for you are blessed unto the ages of ages. Amen.
(From the Office of the Hours)
Priest: Have mercy upon us, O God, according to your great mercy, we pray you, hear and have mercy.
Sung response: Kyrie eleison (3 times - after each petition)
Again we pray for all those responsible for our churches and communities and for all brothers and sisters in Christ, for every Christian soul afflicted and weary, in need of God’s mercies and help.
Again we pray for the protection of this city and those who dwell in it; for the peace of the whole world; for the well-being of the holy churches of God; for the servants of God here present and all those working for the ecumenical movement.
Again we pray for the salvation and help of all who labour and serve; for those who travel; for the healing for the sick; for the deliverance of captives and refugees.
Again we pray for the repose, refreshment and blessed memory of … and forgiveness of sins of all who have gone to rest before and lie here and everywhere.
Again we pray that God will keep this city and every city and country from famine, pestilence, earthquake, flood, fire, pollution, war and civil strife, that our good God who loves humanity will be gracious and merciful and deliver us from his righteous chastisement which impends against us, and have mercy on us.
Again we pray that the Lord God will hear the prayer of us sinners and have mercy on us.
Hear us, O God our Saviour, the hope of all ends of the earth, and of those who are far off upon the sea; and be gracious, be gracious, O Master, unto us sinners and have mercy on us. For you are a merciful God who loves humanity and all your creation, and unto you we give glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.
In: Let us pray to the Lord, p. 89-90; WCC Publications.