Emotions and the Litany of “Fervent” Supplication

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During Vespers, Matins, and the Divine Liturgy, we pray the Litany of Fervent Supplication, also called the Augmented Litany. The main feature of this Litany calls upon us to pray for the particular needs of the local church community. We respond to these petitions by singing “Lord have mercy” three times. This Litany is done usually after the Gospel Reading … Read More

Emotions and Worship

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If there is any criticism we get from non-Orthodox Christians (and on occasion from some Orthodox Christians as well), it is that we seem so stoic in worship; there is no spontaneity in our liturgy. We read from a book when we celebrate a service and we read from the same book, week after week. We sing from prepared texts … Read More

Family Prayer: One Other Option

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As I looked at the outlines in last week’s reflection, I realized that some families may want to observe morning and evening prayers as an individual rule. Therefore, I am offering another option that could be offered daily before or after dinner. Begin with “Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers…” Trisagion Prayers, the Lord’s Prayer Short reading of Saint … Read More

Dealing with Death and Your Children

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Last week, the Diocese of the Midwest had to deal with the sad and tragic repose of one of our Protodeacons and his Matushka. They were found murdered in their home last Sunday, November 11. What do we do when something like this happens? For that matter, what do we do when our children have to deal with a tragic … Read More

Acts of Growth, Dependence, and Independence: How do you know your child is ready to choose to go to church without parental dictate?

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In the past few weeks, I have attempted to demonstrate that decision-making, skill mastery, and the freedom to act is a process that begins early in life and continues throughout childhood and into adolescence. So at what point should one allow one’s child to decide whether or not to go to church on his or her own? I think it … Read More