23 September 2014

New Skete: Optional Petitions


I have a new appreciation for the 1987 book of Divine Liturgies produced by the Orthodox Church in America's New Skete.  How can one not be grateful for their revival of the Divine Liturgy of Saint James of Jerusalem? Perhaps you would like to listen to the monks and nuns singing Psalm 103 (102) from the Liturgy of St. James: click here.

Again and again, I look at their interpretation and translation and think how much better these liturgies would be for the health and spiritual well-being of the faithful of the Latin rite who must endure the sub-standard celebrations of the Novus Ordo Missae that are to be found in so many Latin rite parishes around the world.

To be clear I do not oppose the Novus Ordo Missae of Pope Paul VI in itself. I think in shape and scope it is well-suited for celebrations of Daily Mass or where saying the Holy Mass must be undertaken in difficult circumstances or even underground. But too frequently the Sunday celebration of Holy Mass at the average Latin rite parish is like unto a fast food meal —it will leave you fat, happy, sick, and starving for real nutrition.  
What we all need, however, is that foretaste of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb that delivers to us the medicine of immortality, that satisfies our deepest hungers, and that slakes our thirst with the wine of genuine joy in Christ.  ...
N’est-ce pas?

At the moment I have been taken with a set of optional petitions which can be added to the litanies in the liturgies in the volume from New Skete. How much better are these prayers than much of what is said at the Prayers of the Faithful at each Ordinary Form Mass:


For all christians who are made to suffer on account of Christ, as well as for those who persecute them, let us pray to the Lord.

For an end to schisms and divisions of all kinds, that we may become perfectly one, let us pray to the Lord.

For all the victims of war and civil strife, of hunger and want, of intolerance and injustice, and of every evil, let us pray to the Lord.

For the blessed repose of the servant[s] of God, and he says the name or names, and that their memory may be eternal, let us pray to the Lord.

For the blessed and ever-memorable founders of this holy temple, and for all our brothers and sisters who have gone before us and who are laid to rest here or through the world, let us pray to the Lord.

For those who are learning the faith, and for those who do not yet believe as well as for those who have lost their faith, that the Lord will have mercy on them and teach them the word of truth, that he will reveal to them the good news of the forgiveness of sins and the path to righteousness, and that he will unite them to his holy, catholic, and apostolic church, let us pray to the Lord.

For the servant[s] of God, and he says the name or names, that he will grant him [or her or them] mercy, peace, life health, salvation, divine visitation, and the remission of all his [or her or their] sins, let us pray to the Lord.

And other such intentions should be formulated in the same way as the foregoing

The Divine Liturgy
The Monks of New Skete
Orthodox Church in America
Cambridge, New York