In praise of the Enlighteners of the Christian West
With all of the discussions we have been having, I thought it most appropriate to offer a prayer of praise for those who brought the Gospel to the lands of Western Europe. Additionally, my friend Tim alerted to me of a meeting of the joint Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation happening next week. So I’m asking you if you are willing to commit in prayer for this meeting that the schisms may cease in a way that is done decently and in good order to bring us together, so we may again worship together in spirit and truth. Are you in?
And now for the praises:
The Holy Apostles made themselves enlighteners of the West through their untiring labours. For they put at naught the dark powers of the enemy and fearlessly spread the light of Christ in all places. And therefore they confessed the truth even unto blood and became worthy to hear from the mouths of all songs of praise like these:
Rejoice, Apostles of Christ, that strove to bring the Gospel to the lands of the West!
Rejoice, for ye above all others are the fathers and protectors of these places!
Rejoice, therefore, Holy Peter and Paul, Princes of the Apostles, for ye founded the first Church in the West!
Rejoice, for through you pagan Rome began to offer pure sacrifice to the True God!
Rejoice, for ye were shown to be fearless before all the terrors and persecutions of the unbelievers!
Rejoice, for at the end ye sealed your faith in Christ even with your own blood!
Rejoice, Holy Apostle James, son of Zebedee, who hast enlightened the Spanish lands!
Rejoice, for thy relics rest in these parts to this day, bringing great comfort to all!
Rejoice, thou too, Holy Apostle Simon the Zealot, who brought the faith in the Risen Christ to Britain!
Rejoice, for like all the other Apostles thou too didst receive death for eternal life!
Rejoice, Holy Aristobulus, who followed Saint Simon in preaching!
Rejoice, for thou didst become the first bishop of Britain and witness of Christ!
Rejoice, all ye Saints, that in the lands of the West confessed the true faith!
And the prayer:
O ye saints of the West, that in times of old confessed the true faith of our Saviour Christ and for it fought even unto death, thus making yourselves worthy of heavenly glory and heirs of everlasting life! Now do we, your unworthy successors, fall to our knees before you, and humbly beg you: as ye have boldly interceded for us before the throne of God unto this day, so from this time on do ye pray, O our beloved saints, for all the lands of the West! Pray that the Merciful and Long-Suffering God grant them forgiveness of sins and correction of life, and turn them, through His judgements, to repentance and the true faith for which ye sacrificed yourselves.
Again we pray unto you, O saints, for all the right believing faithful of the West who have need of your help and mercy: protect us with your prayers from all the temptations that befall us; strengthen us in the true faith and grant us zeal to preach it; guard us from all the wickedness of enemies seen and unseen; and show us victorious before the unfaithful, for the glory of God and for your honour. That through you, O saints of the West, the true faith may once again shine forth in the West with power, as it shone forth in times of old, and that the light of Christ may enlighten all.
And thus, O ye saints, who through Divine Providence have shown yourselves to us in these latter days, receive us also, as the workers of the eleventh hour, for your veneration. And pray for us, who unworthily sing unto you songs of praise, that our God, Who easily forgiveth, make us also partakers of heavenly bliss, granting us salvation, as the God Who is Good and loveth mankind. That thus, together with you, beloved saints of the West, we may sing unto Him and worship Him as the All-Merciful God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Holy saints of God, pray unto God for us.
Again and again, in peace let us pray unto the Lord.