Prayer Surprises I never fail


Prayer Surprises

I never fail to be amazed by the powerful imagery in prayers from the Eastern Churches. There is a freshness and a profound truth to the following Akathist to the Sweetest Lord Jesus Christ. The prayer opens with an invocation of Christ the Warrior. This juxtaposition has almost the effect of a Zen koan, startling us into new understandings of Jesus. Of course, it does seem to grate on my not-to-deeply hidden anabaptist (Mennonite) proclivities--but that is probably all to the good. Thanks to Dylan and to Wayne Olson who has a link to an Orthodox Prayer book on his site.

AKATHIST to our Sweetest Lord Jesus Christ

Kontakion 1
Warrior-Chieftain and Lord, Vanquisher of hell, I Thy creature and servant offer Thee songs of praise, for Thou hast delivered me from eternal death. But as Thou hast unutterable loving-kindness, free me from every danger, as I cry: Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me.

Oikos 1
Creator of Angels and Lord of Hosts! As of old Thou didst open ear and tongue to the deaf and dumb, likewise open now my perplexed mind and tongue to the praise of Thy Most Holy Name, that I may cry to Thee: Jesus All-Wonderful, Angels' Astonishment! Jesus All-Powerful, Forefathers' Deliverance! Jesus All-Sweetest, Patriarchs' Exaltation! Jesus All-Glorious, Kings' Stronghold! Jesus All-Beloved, Prophets' Fulfillment! Jesus All-Marvellous, Martyrs' Strength! Jesus All-Peaceful, Monks' Joy! Jesus All-Gracious, Presbyters' Sweetness! Jesus All-Merciful, Fasters' Abstinence! Jesus All-Tenderest, Saints' Rejoicing! Jesus All-Honorable, Virgins' Chastity! Jesus everlasting, Sinners' Salvation! Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me!

In addition, from a different site, here is a portion of an Akathist to the Theotokos. What we see in this splendid prayer is the wealth and breadth of imagery for the Blessed Virgin. Here is true hyperdulia, blessing us all with the blessing of the Virgin.

Hail, O Space of the Spaceless God! Hail, O Gate of the Sublime Mystery! Hail, O Message unsure to men without faith! Hail, O Glory most certain to those who believe! Hail, O Sacred Chariot of the One above the Cherubim! Hail, Perfect Dwelling of the One above the Seraphim! Hail, O you who reconciled opposites! Hail, O you who combined maidenhood and motherhood! Hail, O you through whom transgression was erased; Hail, O you through whom Paradise was opened! Hail, O Key to the Kingdom of Christ! Hail, O Hope for the Ages of Bliss! Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure!
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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 2, 2002 8:25 AM.

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