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On The Greek Origin Of Litanies (p 153)





Litany comes from the Greek litaneia.

lite means a prayer; whence (litanos) one who prays; litaneuo to
be a person who prays; litaneia a continued prayer. Thus Litany
has the meaning of "prolonged prayers."


In the (Greek) Liturgy of S. James, there are three Bidding Prayers
(besides the "Diptychs"), which have something of the Litany Form. The
following suffrages are selected from the one to which we have referred:

"The Deacon. Let us beseech the Lord in peace.

The Laity. Lord, have mercy.

The Deacon. O God, by thy love grant us safety, mercy, compassion,
and protection. The Laity. Lord, have mercy.

The Deacon. For the peace that is from above, for the love of God
towards man, and for the safety of our souls, let us beseech the Lord.
The Laity (after each suffrage). Lord, have mercy.

The Deacon. For the peace of the whole world, and the unity of all
the holy churches of God, let us &c.

For those who bear fruit and do good in the holy churches of God, those
who remember the poor, the widows, and fatherless, strangers and needy
persons, and for those who have bidden us to remember them in our
prayers, let us &c.

For those who are in old age and weakness, by disease or illness, for
those who are oppressed by unclean spirits, for their speedy recovery
and safety through God's help, let us &c.

For those who pass their lives in singleness, devotion, or meditation,
for those in holy matrimony, those engaged in life's battle in
mountains, and caves, and pits of the earth, our holy fathers and
brothers, let us &c.

For Christian sailors, travellers, strangers, and those in captivity,
in exile, those in prisons, and bitter slavery, being our brethren, for
their return in peace, let us &c.

For the remission of our sins, and pardon of our faults, and for our
deliverance from all tribulation, anger, danger, and necessity, and
from the rising-up of enemies, let us &c.

For a mild season, gentle rains, and kindly dews, for plenteous crops,
and a perfect year crowned (with His goodness), let us &c.

For those who are present and pray with us at this sacred hour and at
any time, our fathers and brothers, for their earnestness, toil, and
readiness of heart, let us beseech the Lord.

That our prayer may be heard, and may be acceptable before God; and
that his mercies and compassions may be poured abundantly upon us, let
us beseech the Lord."

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Next: Dates

Previous: On The Addition Of Filioque To The Creed



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