Sunday, March 9, 2008
PRAYER FOR THE BEGINNING OF GREAT LENT
As found in Slavonic Trebnyks:
O Lord Jesus Christ our God, hope of all on land and of those far away at sea, you have established these holy days of fasting by Your law and the prophets, as a way for our mortification and repentance. At the proper time, You manifested Yourself in the flesh on this earth, and by Your fast of forty days and nights, You sanctified the practice of fasting and commanded us to follow Your example. As a merciful and gracious God, enable us to begin these holy days of the Great Fast with perfect repentance, with humility instead of hypocrisy, with fervent prayer, with hunger and thirst, with frequent prostrations, and with a contrite heart. Enable us also to complete this time of the Great Fast without fault and with a pure conscience, keeping our faith intact and achieving victory over sin. Send us an angel of peace to watch over our lives, to protect us from all snares of our enemies, and to assist us in the performance of good deeds. Strengthen us by Your power so that we may accomplish the spiritual works of the Great Fast. Then, with our passions in control and our souls and bodies properly cleansed, we will be worthy to partake, without condemnation, of Your most pure Body and Your most precious and life-giving Blood. For You are the merciful and gracious Lover of Humankind, who came down to earth to save all; and we give glory to You and Your Eternal Father and Your all-holy gracious, and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen.