Prayers to Read During the Current Coronavirus Pandemic

Elder Parthenius, abbot of St. Paul's Monastery on Mt. Athos. Photo: sobor.by Elder Parthenius, abbot of St. Paul's Monastery on Mt. Athos. Photo: sobor.by     

Abbot Parthenios of St. Paul’s Monastery on Mt. Athos spoke one day at trapeza about a prayer against the coronavirus that he reads at the end of his prayer rule.

Geronda Parthenios one of the most respected spiritual guides on the Holy Mountain today, noted that while the Athonites have the opportunity to serve the Divine Liturgy and partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, many others are not so fortunate, and are “groaning and suffering.”

“After all, the Lord has arranged things that we cannot understand everything that is happening to us,” he reflects. But it is important that we “ask the Lord and Our Lady the Theotokos to grant us to live well in this year.”

While we may not understand everything, God arranges everything for our salvation, Elder Parthenius teaches. We must pray that “this evil, this storm, this disease will pass us by.”

Geronda received a prayer written by a certain Bishop Joel, “a many of holy life,” against the virus. “I got my hands on it too and I made myself a copy,” the Elder says. “When I finish my prayer rule, I recite this prayer: ‘My Christ, Theotokos, protect us; help us!’ That’s where our hope is.”

Here is the prayer by Bishop Joel:

Prayer in Light of the Coronavirus Pandemic

+Metropolitan Joel of Edessa

Lord Jesus Christ, our God, the chief physician of our souls and bodies: Who became man for us, in order to cure the great wound that is mankind; Who did not reject the ten lepers who suffered from an incurable disease, but purified them by Thy salvific grace; Who, being God-Man, passed Thy days on this earth serving and healing all who were sick and suffering; Who served and restored to health the paralytics, the blind, those who had committed grave sins, those who were demon-possessed and dually afflicted by the passions, both in the flesh and in the mind, now amiably accept our supplication, and by Thy grace expel this deadly virus that bears the shape of a crown --- which has instilled fear in us and has even caused death among those who are ailing and wrongfully suffering.

And if, on account of our many sins, Thou hast allowed for this trial to come to pass, we beseech Thee as being merciful, that Thou might lift this disease from us and from the entire world.

But, if Thou hast allowed for this ascendancy as a test of faith, nevertheless, stop the uneasiness of the sick that has resulted from this epidemic.

Yet, if this disease has spread because of the wickedness of the adversary or the indifference of inconsiderate people, extinguish its power, as Thou art God Almighty.

Protect the youth, preserve those who have become ill, and heal the elderly who have been infected by this accursed virus. Also, purge us all from unrest of the heart, and instead of this, grant us health, comfort, and progress through the intercessions of the Lady Theotokos and all of Thy saints. Amen.

***

Meanwhile, the Russian Orthodox Church entreats the Lord at every Liturgy to preserves us from the threat of the novel coronavirus. In March of 2020, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia confirmed the text of the prayer to be read at the litanies during Divine Liturgy:

Prayer read during the Spread of Devastating Pestilence

O Lord our God, enter not into judgement with Thy servants, and compass us about with protection from the devastating pestilence stirred up against us. O kind-hearted Lord Who art inclined toward benevolence, have compassion on us, Thy humble and unworthy servants, who fall down before Thee with broken hearts and hope in Thy mercy.

For Thine it is to show mercy and to save us, O our God, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Petitions offered up at the Augmented Litany of Divine Liturgy, during the Spread of Devastating Pestilence

Again we pray Thee, O Lord our God, that Thou mightest mercifully protect us from the devastating pestilence stirred up against us, and deliver Thy faithful people from spiritual and physical death; grant unto the sick healing and health, and unto all of us Thy divine protection and help; we pray Thee, O kind-hearted Lord, quickly hearken and have mercy.

Again we pray, that Thou mightest pacify the troubles of men and every fearful thing, compass Thy faithful about with firm hope, and instill in our hearts quietude; we pray Thee, O Lord, hearken and have mercy.

1/20/2021

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