NEW YORK: September 2, 2011
Message from the Chancery of the Primate of the Russian Church Abroad
Brother Archpastors, Reverend Fathers, Brothers and Sisters:
We hereby bring to the attention of the archpastors and clergymen of our dioceses that the feast day of the Beheading of St John the Baptist, which this year falls on a Sunday, is also the tenth anniversary of the terrorist acts in the United States, which tore away from this vale of tears thousands of peaceful citizens. On this day, blessing is given to raise the following petitions during Divine Liturgy, and during a commemorative litany that should follow, to prayerfully remember all the victims of this terrible act of wickedness, preceding it with words of edification.
May our fervent prayers to God warm our hearts! May it warm and console both those who died, and those who survived!
With love in the Lord and a request for your prayers,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
During the litany of peace:
That there may be kindled in us the fervent love of God and our neighbor by the grace of His Most-holy Spirit, and thus burn out to the very roots the passions of all our souls and bodies, let us pray to the Lord.
That there may be uprooted in us hatred, envy and jealousy and all other passions which destroy brotherly love, and that there may be planted unfeigned love, fervently let us pray to the Lord.
During the augmented litany:
O Lord our God, as Thou art good, mercifully regard the ground of our heart, the love whereof hath dried up, and which hath been rendered grievously barren by the thorns of hatred, self-love and countless transgressions; and letting a drop of the grace of Thine all-holy Spirit fall, do Thou richly irrigate it, that it may be fruitful and, out of ardent love for Thee, bring forth the root of all the virtues—the fear of Thee, constant care for the salvation of our neighbor, and the uprooting of hypocrisy, divers evils, and all the passions. We earnestly entreat Thee, as the Benefactor of all: hearken swiftly and, in that Thou lovest mankind, have mercy.
O Master, Who gavest Thy disciples the new commandment to love one another, actively renew this within our souls through the grace of Thine all-holy Spirit, that we may in nowise take care for our own benefit, but ever for that which is pleasing unto Thee and for the salvation and good of our neighbor. We pray Thee, O merciful Benefactor, hearken and mercifully have mercy.
Thus do Thou cause Thy love to dwell within us, through the grace of Thine all-holy Spirit, O most compassionate Lord, that, in accordance with Thy commandment, we may truly love not only our brethren and friends, but also our enemies, may do good to those who hate us, and may earnestly strive for their salvation. We pray Thee, O Source of goodness and Abyss of love for mankind: hearken swiftly and, as Thou art compassionate, have mercy.
O our God, move us, through the grace of Thy Spirit, to have unfeigned love for our neighbor, that we may be made perfect in Thy Love, O Master. For he who thinketh that he hath love for Thee, yet hateth his brother, is a liar, and walketh in darkness. Wherefore, O Merciful One, enkindle our souls and hearts with love for Thee and our brethren. We pray Thee, in that Thou art merciful: hearken swiftly and, as Thou art compassionate, have mercy.
Translated from the Church Slavonic by the reader Isaac E. Lambertsen, from The Supplemental Euchologion (=Vol, III) (Jordanville, NY: St. Job of Pochaev Press, 1961), pp. 306b-313a. Copyright © 1980. All rights reserved by the translator.