The Lenten Prayer of St Ephrem the Syrian Part 1
- The Lenten Prayer of St Ephrem the Syrian Part 1
By Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann
O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth,
faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the
spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Yea,
O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my
brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen
This prayer is read twice at the end of each lenten service Monday
through Friday (not on Saturdays and Sundays for, as we shall see
later, the services of these days do not follow the lenten pattern).
At the first reading, a prostration follows each petition. Then we
all bow twelve times saying: "O God, cleanse me a sinner." The entire
prayer is repeated with one final prostration at the end.
Why does this short and simple prayer occupy such an important
position in the entire lenten worship? Because it enumerates in a
unique way all the "negative" and "positive" elements of repentance
and constitutes, so to speak, a "check list" for our individual
lenten effort. This effort is aimed first at our liberation from some
fundamental spiritual diseases which shape our life and make it
virtually impossible for us even to start turning ourselves to God.
Contd... Part 2