Dear Beloved in Christ,
God is with us!
Today we are going to have a worldwide spiritual huddle. Our courageous spiritual warriors, the monks on Mount Athos, will celebrate an all-night vigil dedicated to the Panagia and to St. Haralambos, specifically for the coronavirus pandemic.
Join the entire Orthodox world in vigil, beginning at 12:00 pm today. The vigil will last until early Saturday morning on Mount Athos, which is around the time of our Salutations service tonight. During these six to eight hours, I encourage you to be especially prayerful, and to beseech the Panagia and St. Haralambos for their fervent intercession. You can…
- Pray the Small Paraklesis to the Theotokos.
- Use your prayer rope to say the Jesus Prayer or “Most Holy Theotokos, save us” or “O Saint of God, intercede for us,” especially in front your icon corner.
- Chant or read some of the hymns dedicated to St. Haralambos.
- Pray the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos.
- Read about St. Haralambos’ life and his miracles.
- Have your children participate in any of these.
In this time of feeling increasingly isolated, it is a breath of fresh air when we can pray together as Orthodox Christians: The monks, the nuns, the faithful laity and clergy, St. Haralambos, and God’s Mother—all in prayer together, for one united cause!
The Most Holy Theotokos is our great intercessor. She is, in the words of the Small Paraklesis service, “a steadfast shelter and refuge,” “our support,” “a tower of safety,” “a safe harbor,” “an unshakable wall and our protection,” “a sheltered cover,” “a wall of refuge,” “our hope and foundation,” “a place of joy,”
St. Haralambos (pronounced Ha-RA-lam-bos, and sometimes spelled “Charalampus”) was a priest in Magnesia, Greece. He was more than 100 years old when he was perfected in martyrdom. His icons always depict a very long beard to signify both his spiritual wisdom and his age. His name means “Glowing With Joy.”
Join in prayer today!
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O Theotokos, we shall never be silent.
Of your mighty acts, all we the unworthy;
Had you not stood to intercede for us
Who would have delivered us,
From the numerous perils?
Who would have preserved us all
Until now with our freedom?
O Lady, we shall not depart from you;
For you always save your servants,
From all tribulation.
~ Hymn from the Small Paraklesis
O wise Haralambos,
you were proven an unshakable pillar of the Church of Christ;
an ever-shining lamp of the universe.
You shone in the world by your martyrdom.
You delivered us from the moonless night of idolatry O blessed one.
Wherefore, boldly intercede to Christ that we may be saved.
~ Apolytikion Hymn to St. Haralambos