Sunday, January 1, 2012

Preparation for Communion Through the Prayers of the Blessed Mother (St. Ephrem)

Happy New Year, and Holy Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God!  To celebrate today's Solemnity, I decided to post a short writing by St. Ephrem (Ephraim) the Syrian, a Doctor of the Church: a prayer to the Theotokos asking for her prayers in preparing to receive the Sacred Mysteries.  If you have yet to attend Mass today, perhaps you can use this prayer during your preparation for Communion.  If you have attended, perhaps this prayer could help you in the future.  Whatever the case, I hope you find this prayer helpful.  God Bless!

To the Theotokos -- 
A Confession of Her Pepetual Virginity 
and a Prayer to Partake Worthily of the Holy Mysteries

O Mother of God, who surpassest every mind and word!  O Virgin who exceedest all earthly virginity, for even before the Divine birth wast thou a Virgin beyond all virgins -- and such didst thou remain both during and after the birth!

Thee, O Lady do I beg, thee do I entreat, O merciful and man-befriending Mother of the merciful and man-befriending God: defend me at this hour if ever thou wilt do so, for now am I most in need of thy protection and thy help.

I am all a mire of filth and sin, a dwelling place of soul-corrupting passions.  Yet I intend to approach the all-pure and terrifying Mysteries of thy Son and God, and therefore do I suffer fear, and trembling embraces me because of the unbearable multitude of my sins.

But if ever I am to remain without communion on the pretext of my unworthiness, then shall I fall into a great abyss of evil and bring upon myself great chastisement.  I anguish over both the first alternative and the second.

To thee do I run; be kind to me, my all-pure Lady.  Take advantage of thy motherly boldness before thy Son and God, and gain for me forgiveness of my former sins.  Vouchsafe me to be made pure and enlightened by communion of the Mysteries, and show me how to spend the remainder of my life in repentance, purity and humility.  Remain always with me in my thoughts, words and deeds, in all the movements of my soul and body, instructing me, leading and guiding me, deflecting from me all hostile powers, and preserving me and providing thy servant, however worthless, with thy grace in every way.

O Theotokos, Mary, Mother of God, save us!

Nota Bene: This prayer is Psalm 111 of A Spiritual Psalter, or Reflections on God, a collection of writings of St. Ephrem excerpted and arranged in the manner of the Psalms of David by St. Theophan the Recluse, an Orthodox saint from the 19th century.  This translation is by Antonina Janda, published by St. John Kronstadt Press.

No comments:

Post a Comment