A New Year/Salutations

St. Ephrem
Glory to Jesus Christ!

God willing, this site will be a place to share my thoughts about living a life of peace and repentance. It will include thoughts about many issues that the Eastern Christian lives on an individual level, as well as more broader matters that pertain to Christianity. But the title was chosen to stress prayer, the heart of our spiritual life. The title that I’ve chosen is taken from one of my favorite prayers that express peace and repentance. St. Ephrem (pictured above) is an Eastern Christian saint whose most famous prayer is used during the Great Fast that precedes the Feast of Feasts, Pascha. My hope and prayer is that these postings will speak of the truth and life that comes through living such a life, a life that I aspire to live with each new day. On the Byzantine calendar, September 1st is the New Year. So I venture this evening to start a new blog by giving it a title that expresses this life captured so well by this prayer of St. Ephrem. This prayer is accompanied with prostrations, and while the image below is taken from Good Friday prostrations before the holy sepulcher that adorns most Byzantine Christian temples, I could not resist posting this image. It captures the spirit of the prostrations that are used in this prayer so beautifully.

What are the words to this prayer?

One ancient translation is as follows:

Господи и владыко живота моегω, духъ оунынїѧ, небрежεнїѧ, любоначалїѧ и празднословїѧ ѿжεни ѿ мεнε.
Духъ же цѣломѹдрїѧ, смиреномѹдрїѧ, терпѣнїѧ и любве, дарѹй ми рабѹ твоемѹ.
Ей Господи Царю, даждь ми зрѣти моѧ согрѣшенїѧ, и не ωсуждати брата моегω, якω благословенъ еси во вѣки вѣковъ. Аминь

In my home church, the words that we use are a bit more modern, and they are surely also English. We say:

Lord and master of my life, spare me from the spirit of indifference, despair, lust for power, and idle chatter.
Instead, bestow on me your servant the spirit of integrity, humility, patience, and love.
Yes, O Lord and King, let me see my own sins, and not judge my brothers and sisters, for You are Blessed, forever and ever. Amen.

I wanted to start things on the right “foot”, and the key for that beginning is to start with what matters most. May the words of this prayer guide us all into a life of love, which is a life of peace and repentance.


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