Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE TWELFTH OF MARCH, 2018

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, we are humbled as we wonder at your greatness and power, your gentleness and love. Help us to worship you in our words, in our thoughts and in our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

CANTICLE

Lo! now is our accepted day, the time for purging sins away,
the sins of thought, and deed, and word, that we have done against the Lord.
For he the merciful and true has spared his people hitherto;
not willing that the soul should die, though great its past iniquity.

Then let us all with earnest care, and contrite fast, and tear and prayer,
and works of mercy and of love, entreat for pardon from above;
that he may all our sins efface, adorn us with the gifts of grace,
and join us to the angel band, forever in the heavenly land.

Blessed Three in One and One in Three, almighty God, our prayer will be
that you would now vouchsafe to bless our fast with fruits of righteousness.

( Gregory I )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Theophanes the Confessor, Chronicler of the Past

Today in the Orthodox Church, Theophanes is remembered.

He was born into a wealthy and influential family somewhere near 760 AD. His father was the imperial governor of the islands in the Black Sea. But when his father died, Theophanes was taken into the Byzantine emperor’s own household and was raised and educated there.

This was the time of the iconoclast controversy. The iconoclasts held that the sacred pictures and images used in worship were idolatrous, and should be removed from the churches. Many felt this was a direct result of the spread of Islam, which used no depictions of God in worship. Theophanes held to the traditional Christian position that icons were windows into heaven and had a proper use in worship.

He entered monastic life and with his wealth founded new monasteries. He was present at the Second Council of Nicea in 787 AD which held that use of icons in worship was completely legitimate.

This settled the controversy for about twenty-five years but in 813 AD a new Byzantine emperor again took up the cause of iconoclasm. He had Theophanes brought to Constantinople and when Theophanes refused to denounce the use of idols, the emperor had him imprisoned, tortured, and finally, exiled. He died in exile on the eleventh of March in 818 AD.

One of the lasting gifts of Theophanes to the future was his chronicle, which traced the history of the Church from the reign of Diocletian in 284 AD through 813 AD. Like the Venerable Bede in Britain and Bishop Eusebius in the fourth century, these chroniclers are responsible for much of what we know about the church of the early centuries.

Scripture: In the twelfth chapter of "Isaiah," verse two, we read:

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the LORD GOD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us now call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father, have mercy upon us.
God the Son, have mercy upon us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy;
in the hour of death, and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins; and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy word.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
Make our hearts clean, O God; and renew a right spirit within us.

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for writers of icons; for sculptors and painters of church art; for all who help us to worship through visual stimuli.

... for church historians.

... for those whose eyesight is affected by glaucoma and for the surgeons who work to restore their sight. DETAILS

... for the people of Mauritius who celebrate their national day today.

... for those killed or injured when a plane crashed on landing at Nepal's Kathmandu airport; for all involved in accidents whilst travelling recently. DETAILS

... for those who have been killed or injured by a forest fire in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu; for all affected by wildfires and for those who risk their lives to control the fires. DETAILS

... for people throughout the world whose homes and/or livelihoods are threatened by redevelopments that will favour the rich.

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

READING

From “Apologia of Saint John of Damascus Against Those Who Decry Holy Images":

Of old, God the incorporeal and uncircumscribed was never depicted. Now, however, when God is seen clothed in flesh, and conversing with men, I make an image of the God whom I see. I do not worship matter, I worship the God of matter, who became matter for my sake, and deigned to inhabit matter, who worked out my salvation through matter. I will not cease from honouring that matter which works my salvation. I venerate it, though not as God. How could God be born out of lifeless things? And if God's body is God by union, it is immutable. The nature of God remains the same as before, the flesh created in time is quickened by a logical and reasoning soul. I honour all matter besides, and venerate it. Through it, filled, as it were, with a divine power and grace, my salvation has come to me. Was not the thrice happy and thrice blessed wood of the Cross matter? Was not the sacred and holy mountain of Calvary matter? What of the life-giving rock, the Holy Sepulchre, the source of our resurrection: was it not matter? Is not the most holy book of the Gospels matter? Is not the blessed table matter which gives us the Bread of Life? Are not the gold and silver matter, out of which crosses and altar-plate and chalices are made? And before all these things, is not the body and blood of our Lord matter? Either do away with the veneration and worship due to all these things, or submit to the tradition of the Church in the worship of images, honouring God and his friends, and following in this the grace of the Holy Spirit. Do not despise matter, for it is not despicable. Nothing is that which God has made. This is the Manichean heresy. That alone is despicable which does not come from God, but is our own invention, the spontaneous choice of will to disregard the natural law, that is to say, sin.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, you gave to your servant Theophanes, the grace to make the good confession of his faith in the midst of imprisonment and torture. Help us always to be prepared to make our good confession, and let our lives bear witness, as his life did, to our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, our saviour and lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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