My beloved brothers,
In our previous Homily we tried to explain in simple words what happens and what is recited during the Great Entrance of the Holy Gifts from the Table of Oblation to the Holy Table. Now, as is obvious, the time of the Consecration of the Holy Gifts is approaching. This is why the Church invites once again the congregation to complete yet an other series of prayers and requests.
At the beginning of the Divine Liturgy we talked about the series of prayers, which begin with "In peace, let us pray to the Lord" which is why we call it "the Litany of Peace". After the Holy Readings of the Divine Liturgy we spoke of a second series of prayers, which we call "the Litany of Fervent Supplication", because it includes ten prayers (including the request and the prayer). It begins with "Let us all say with all our soul and with all our mind, let us all say...". The third series of prayers, with which the Deacon invites us to pray to God because it begin with the words "Let us complete". We call it “The litany of Completion”. The Deacon urges us in this way to complete our requests before proceeding to the Holy Anaphora.
The request is recited for the offered gifts "For the precious Gifts here presented, let us pray to the Lord" in order for the Lord to accept them and return His Grace to us.
The second "For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God..." is recited because the Church is formed with the consecration of the Mystery of the Eucharist.
The third request "For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger, and necessity..." is recited because the Church is not indifferent towards the daily life of man. We all face many problems and it is impossible to avoid unpleasant situations in our lives. But when the believer enters the holy House of God, by His grace, as he lives in communion with God, he is in a state of spiritual upliftment and thus can better face the daily problems if his.
After these 3 requests, which are also known from the “Litany of Peace”, a new set of requests begin. If we pay attention to the content of these requests, then we saa that everything is limited to the spiritual needs of the soul of each of us:
"That the whole day may be perfect, holy, peaceful, and sinless..."
"That the whole day may be…", that is, that every day and all day we might carry our crosses and become in all ways perfect, as it is the will of God (Matt. 5:48).
"That the whole day may be holy…".
To make sure that we spend the whole day in a holy way, constantly keeping in mind that God sees everything.
"That the whole day may be peaceful... "
Where there is inner peace and a heart that thirsts for peace, there is the Prince of Peace, the God-Man Lord. This is why we need to ask of the Lord to give us His peace every day of our lives.
"That the whole day may be sinless..."
It is true that where there is perfection, sin can not penetrate; where there is holiness, sin escapes, just as darkness dissolves when light appears. But because sinlessness, is an exclusive attribute of God, he wants to help us to always hate sin and avoid it wherever it lingers.
In the above request "That the whole day..." as well as in the following ones, the people respond with "Grant this, O Lord", which means “give us what we ask of you, Lord”. With this humble supplication the people feel the importance of what they are asking for, and at the same time they feel that with their own strength it is impossible to obtain these divine gifts, which are necessary for the fulfillment of man's earthly destiny.
Let's look briefly at the next requests of the "Litany of Completion":
«For an angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies».
We all know that God has appointed a guardian angel for every human being (see Psalm 3:11). The Angel guards us from the attacks of the wicked and protects our souls and bodies. That is why his constant presence with us is absolutely necessary, day and night. To this end we always ask the Lord to ensure the presence of the Angel in our lives.
«For pardon and remission of our sins and transgressions...».
With this request we ask the Lord to mercifully judge our sins. Ti forgive our sins, which we committed voluntarily or in a state of carelessness or temptation, and those we could not avoid and indeed he for he acquits us of all guilt. Yes Lord, Please, do not stop giving us "pardon and remission of our sins and transgressions......"
«For that which is good and beneficial for our souls, and for peace for the world, let us ask the Lord...»
If man is not guided by the Holy Spirit it is impossible to discern what is good and according to the interests of our body and soul. That is why the Church with this request comes to remind the faithful that only the Lord knows what is best for the soul of everyone. Therefore it will be useful for our spiritual life to let the Lord choose with absolute confidence what is best for the souls. How comfortable we would be if we could honestly say, "Lord, let not what I want to be done, but give me what you know is in my best interest."
«That we may complete the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance, let us ask the Lord...».
With this request we ask the Lord for peace and repentance; two issues which are absolutely necessary not only for our participation in the Divine Liturgy, but also for our whole life.
«And let us ask for a Christian end to our life, peaceful, without shame and suffering, and for a good defense before the awesome judgment seat of Christ...».
With this request we ask the Lord to give us a good and peaceful ending, so that we can give a good answer before Christ.
After this request we repeat the last prayer of the "Litany of Peace": "Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God… Αμήν. "