There are three main petitions that are addressed to God during the Divine Liturgy: a) that the Lord gives us the grace to worship the Triune God with complete faith and love; b) that we may come to Holy Communion with purity and repentance, receiving the Body and Blood of Christ; and c) that we will be found worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven (see the ending of the Second Prayer of the Faithful).

One of the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith (as stated in our Creed) is that the Lord will one day return "in glory to judge the living and the dead.” This teaching is rooted in the Scriptures (like all Church teachings), and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself spoke of His return. What He did not reveal was when this would happen, so we must be careful to ignore the false “prophets” who appear from time to time, announcing the day of the Second Coming of Christ. These “prophecies” bring only strife and turmoil.

"For the completion of the remainder of our lives … in repentance…" 

One of the most important petitions that are addressed to God during the Divine Liturgy (and in all other holy Services), is for repentance and forgiveness of our sins. These prayers of the Church are modeled on the prayer the Lord Himself gave us: Our Father … and forgive our trespasses” (Matthew 6:9&12). What is being asked for here is to be freed from our sins. Other examples of this are beautifully expressed in Psalm 50 (51), which is recited at least four times a day, along with such prayers and supplications as: For the completion of the remainder of our lives in peace and repentance, let us ask the Lord”; We also pray for …the forgiveness and the remission of sins …” We also have the period of Triodion and Holy Great Lent, which includes the hymn Oh You Giver of life, open up the gates of repentance …” The chanting of this hymn, following Psalm 50 (51) during Sunday Matins, calls our souls to repentance.

"A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles"

Righteous Symeon, while holding the Infant Christ, concluded his praise to God with a prophecy: "my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles" (Luke 2:30-32). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Symeon prophesied, as Isaiah once did (see Isaiah 49:6), that Jesus Christ is the light and Savior of the whole world. It is this light that will shine on all the pagan nations, freeing them from the darkness of ignorance of the true God.

Now You are letting Your Servant Depart in Peace”

When the righteous Symeon held the Holy Infant in his arms at the Temple of Jerusalem, he prostrated his soul before Almighty God, glorifying the majesty of His Divinity with these words:

Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,

According to Your word;

For my eyes have seen Your salvation …”

In the previous Homily, we began our examination of the Song (Praise) of Symeon by highlighting two major themes that can be found in the text. We continue now with a third, which is the desire to peacefully end our earthly journey, allowing our souls to enter the heavenly kingdom.


Schedule of services on May 2021

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