As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Prayer for those in Hell

What do you think of this prayer, offered by Orthodox Christians for those in Hell on the Feast of Pentecost:
Master of all things, our God and Saviour,
the hope of all the ends of the earth and of those far off upon the sea,
who on this final, great and saving day of Pentecost revealed to us
the mystery of the holy, consubstantial, co-eternal,
undivided and uncompounded Trinity

and the coming and presence of your holy and life-giving Spirit
poured out in the form of tongues of fire on your holy Apostles,
setting them as Evangelists of our true faith,
revealing them as confessors and heralds of true theology;
who have also been pleased on this most perfect and saving Feast
to receive suppliant prayers of atonement
for those who are immured in Hell
granting us great hopes that repose and comfort will be sent down
from you to the departed from the pains which hold them,
hear us, lowly and wretched, who entreat you,
and give rest to the souls of your servants who have fallen asleep before us
in a place of light, a place of green pasture, a place of refreshment,
from which all grief, sorrow and sighing have fled away,
and establish their spirits in the tents of the Just
and count them worthy of peace and repose.
Because the dead will not praise you, O Lord,
nor do those in Hell have the freedom to offer you thanksgiving,
but we the living bless you and implore you
and bring before you atoning prayers and sacrifices on behalf of their souls.


Blogger fra edwin said...

It was my understanding from our mutual friend, Fr. A, that "Atonement" was a strictly Roman Catholic theme first introduced by the Englishman, Anshelm, in his treatese, Cur Deus Homo. However, it would be a foriegn concept for a Roman Catholic to pray for those in Hell, because from Hell there is no hope of redemption. Perhaps, if this is a truly Orthodox prayer, the Orthodox believe in a Purgatorial place, but call it Hell. I don't know what to make of this prayer. Do you have any historical background on it?

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Daddy said...

Waste of breath.


12:19 PM  
Anonymous Daddy said...

Actually, that was a bit hasty. I pray backwards in time. God is not a captive of time and dwells in the past, present and future all at once. I have a lot to regret in my life. Just last night, for some reason, I thought of my college voice teacher Radiana Pazmor. She was a tremendous influence on me and to her I owe the fact that I am a good musician, because she taught--enabled me to feel music and bring it out as I perform and now as I direct. She was a wonderful person, premired a lot of Charles Ive's solo songs and earlier studied under and sang songs in France of a French composer whose name I have forgotten but who was a member of "The Six" a group of famous French Impressionistic composers. She taught voice for many years at Converse and when she had to retire there went to Boston and got a Master's under Blair McClosky (JF Kennedy's voice coach on his Presidential campaign) in voice therapy. She began teaching at St Andrews at 72 and that is when I knew her. She was a wonderful person. Unfortunately she was Unitarian and really didn't seem to care very much about God. She retired to Sonoma California where Pam and I would go to visit her as I was stationed in Sacramento at the time. She loved to dandle Josh on her knee and sing cradle songs to him. I never witnessed to her as a pretty nominal Christian myself at the time and if she died a Unitarian then she is in hell. I feel terrible about that and cannot imagine that that is the case, but intellectually I understand sin and its unconfessed results. So I pray backwards in time that someone touched her life and that she accepted Christ before she died. So that is how I respond to the prayer for those in hell.


12:39 PM  

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