How to Set Up a Personal Commemoration Book supplied by Fr. Deacon John
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How to Set Up a Personal Commemoration Book supplied by Fr. Deacon John
What follows is directions on how to set up a private commemoration book for use in one's private prayers (for commemorations at the liturgy, one should either use the slips provided at the candle counter in their parish, or use a book designed for that purpose). I make no claims to this being the way to organize private commemorations, but it is the way I was shown when still a relatively new convert, and it may be of help to others.
First off, one should either use spiral notebook (probably best to use a smaller size than 8 1/2 by 11) or one of those blank books that usually can be found in most bookstores.
At the top of each section, put:
Below the cross, each section begins with a prayer, and then you list those in that category that you wish to pray for. Leave a healthy amount of blank pages between each section for additions.
1) For the Orthodox living:
For the first section, on the first line beneath the Cross, write the prayer: "Grant, O Lord, health and salvation to Thy servants..." And then list your family members, your Heirarchs, those in your parish, your God-children (if you have any), people who have requested prayers, and then any other Orthodox people you wish to pray for.
2) For the Orthodox Reposed:
Begin with the prayer, "Grant, O Lord, repose with the Saints to Thy servants..."
3) For the Catechumens:
Begin with the prayer, "Grant, O Lord, that Thy holy will be done with thy servants..."
4) For the Non-Orthodox living:
Begin with the prayer, "Grant, O Lord, that thy servants will be illumined with the light of the Orthodox Faith, and numbered with Thy one, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church..."
5) For the Non-Orthodox reposed:
Begin with the prayer, "Have mercy, O Lord, if it be possible on the souls of Thy departed servants (names), who have departed into eternal life in separation from Thy Holy Orthodox Church: unsearchable are Thy decrees. Do not account this, my prayer as a sin, but may Thy holy will be done."
For awhile I wondered what the origin of this prayer was, but found out when I read The Soul After Death by Father Seraphim (Rose). It was the response of a Russian Saint (if I recall correctly it was either the New Martyr Metropolitan Joseph or the New Martyr Metropolitan Benjamin) to the question of how one should pray for a non-Orthodox loved one who has reposed.
This prayer is from St. Lev (Leo) of Optina (1768-1841), who is perhaps more commonly known as Elder Leonid of Optina. He was baptized Lev, became Leonid as a monk, and became Lev again as a schemamonk. He is commemorated on Oct. 11/24, the anniversary of his repose and the day after the commemoration of the Elders of Optina (Oct. 10/23).
The English-speaking world knows him best from the biography by Fr. Clement Sederholm translated into English and published by the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood (1990), Elder Leonid of Optina.
The publishing house of the Optina Monastery published in 1994 in Russian Life of the Optina Elder Hieromonk Leonid (in schema Lev), a reprint of a 1917 edition, also from Optina. I got my copy of this by mail from Jordanville.
The prayer is from St. Leo's consolation of his young disciple Pavel Petrovich Tambovtsev, who was in despair over the suicide of his father and seems to have died from the effects of this depression soon after, at age twenty-six. He had seen this suffering-to-come in a dream of his own crucifixion.
The prayer is given in the Platina edition on p. 196: "Seek out, O'Lord, the lost soul of my father, if possible, have mercy! Thy judgements are unfathomable. Do not account this prayer of mine as a sin. May Thy holy will be done."
That first sentence is an example of the importance of proper punctuation, as the Russian original shows that it needs a semi-colon after "possible" for the importantly correct meaning. So it should be:
"Seek out, O Lord, the lost soul of my father; if possible, have mercy! Thy judgements are unfathomable. Do not account this prayer of mine as a sin. May Thy holy will be done."
In the 1994 Russian reprint of the Life from Optina, there is a footnote that Hieroschemamonk Amvrosy in his time suggested this prayer to those Orthodox who asked him whether and how it was possible to pray for reposed Catholics and Protestants who had been close to them.
And of course the version you have reprinted is an appropriate adaptation.
That concludes the format I was taught, but I have added two things to the back of my commemoration book:
1) From the Old Rite Prayer Book under the heading, "To pray for someone more diligently":
"Save, O Lord, and have mercy on Thy servant(s)________ [bow], Deliver him (her, them) from every tribulation, wrath and need [bow], From every sickness of soul and body [bow], Forgive him (her, them) every transgression, voluntary and involuntary [bow], And do whatever is profitable for our souls [bow]."
If you wish to pray more diligently for someone who is departed, say this Troparion:
"Grant rest, O Lord, to the soul(s) of Thy departed servant(s) (name(s)). [bow] Forgive and have mercy on him (her, them), for whatever sins he (she) hath (or: they have) humanly committed, as Thou art a God who loveth mankind. [bow] And deliver him (her, them) from eternal torment. [bow] Make him (her, them) a sharer(s) of the Kingdom of heaven. [bow] And do whatever is profitable for our souls. [bow]"
2) From Fr. Anthony Nelson's Moleben for the victims of abortion. It is adapted for private prayers from the additions to the Great Ektenia:
"Grant, O Lord, mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, and visitation for those who strive against the evil of abortion and pardon and remission of their sins. [bow] Have mercy on Thy servants who strive to save the lives of thine innocent children. Fulfill their saving petitions and forgive all their transgressions, whether voluntary or involuntary. Protect them from every visible and invisible enemy; deliver them from all misery, sickness, and affliction; and grant them health and length of days. [bow]
"Have mercy on all those who have fallen into the hands of the Godless civil authority for the sake of Thy Children, and who languish in courts and prisons; look upon them with compassion; comfort, strengthen, and preserve them, deliver them speedily from bondage and oppression. [bow]
"By thine infinite power, O Lord, move to compassion and mercy the hearts of those who hold Thy servants in cruel captivity; restrain them from doing harm or permitting evil to befall Thy servants but rather cause them to relent and to release them; free the captives whole and unharmed, O Lord, and bestow Thy mercy upon them.
"By thy great mercy, O Lord our God, bring to repentance those who contemplate killing their children and those who would aid them in doing so; revive the natural feelings of these mothers and fathers for their children; and prevent them committing this great sin against innocent blood. Render not unto them according to their deeds, but by Thy great mercy convert them, and unite them to Thy Church. [bow]
"Have mercy, O God, on Thy children condemned to death by the unjust judgement of men. Soften the hearts of those that seek their violent destruction and rescue them that are being led forth to the slaughter. [bow]
"Thy vile enemies, O Lord, have annihilated Thy children and persecuted
those that would speak out against their murderous deeds. Look down from
heaven, therefore, and behold, and forsake us not up utterly, but quickly
cleanse this land and the whole world of the wickedness of those that oppose
thee, O God, who art mighty in strength and wondrous in wisdom." [bow]
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If one is not cognizant of the real events happening both locally and in the world, although many are removed from the world... one will not know what to expect or what to do, or how one can or cannot act which might betray one's faith and accrue the wrath of civil authorities as laws change. Yet, we are also reminded that these things must happen and it was for that which there exists many early Christian Martyrs and Saints.
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Remember, it is the Roman jurisdiction which has more outwardly shown that it can be one of the most vicious toward those who are not Roman but are very much "Catholic" - for the sun and moon does not rise and set on the Vatican (Latin or Roman) jurisdiction as to who is or is not "Catholic" for the Roman jurisdiction split (schismed) from the roots of "Catholicism" which is founded in what is termed and called today as "Orthodoxy".
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“I prefer a defeat accompanied by humility to a victory accompanied by pride.”
A Curse or a Blessing? Depending on to whom it may...
There are unscrupulous people on the internet these days. Some of them are not who they claim to be and in order to disrupt honest spiritual pursuits, they are known to send out e-mail under someone else's name or the name of another church or jurisdiction with attachments. Anyone can do this, if they want. Some of them exist in Toledo, Ohio... Some in Texas... Others in Michigan, California and many other places... Some are "haters of truth" who follow (whether they are willing to admit it) those who have sway over less educated or ignorant people... as their are also those who do not even know what they are doing because they seek glory to satisfy their own vanity and selfish pride to take over a church or jurisdiction of another, or to wreck havoc over those whom they hate without considering the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ.
If you should ever receive an e-mail with an attachment purporting to be from anyone at "apostle1.com" - "apostle1.org" or even "apostle1.net" - - - know that our policy is to not send out e-mail from any of our domain names with an attachment. Therefore, don't open it! If you receive any e-mail from apostle1.com, apostle1.org or apostle1.net and have never before communicated with us... even if you have communicated with us... verify, verify and again, verify.
Unless we know exactly from whom an e-mail comes... nothing is clicked on or opened, not even attachments! You would be surprised from whom 'hate' e-mail arrives and what attempts and extremes they go to make their e-mails "look" official when it is a lone person or persons who hate TRUTH and love lies, hate anything from being posted that involves TRUTH because they may be affected with exposure to the LIVING TRUTH of Jesus Christ's Love.
Also: Hang Up Telephone Calls constantly get to you?
We get them all the time. But one thing we do that many are unaware of... We keep an automatic telephone log and then we turn them over to the same group who monitors and interacts with the hackers, etc.
It no longer matters if the caller calls once in a day, every other day or every day or several times a week, once a week for several months... All get logged, even those who think they have escaped notice by using the actual I.D. Caller number of "000-000-0000" which is being used of late.
It is known that a telephone number showing up may actually be a telephone service provider phone number, yet... they too keep logs and information as to each individual cellular or local (their locale) phone usage...
In the not-to-distant future, we intend to post some of those telephone numbers which constantly show up as "harassing hang-up" callers. May be, you too have the same? If so, may be we can assist in interacting to go further in bringing them to justice...
Contact us by E-Mail... provide us with your telephone number (U.S. residents only)... so that we may telephone you and assess the information.
Those who do such unscrupulous things, HATE some of the news, quotes, and such as to inform the general public. Some of them pose as clergy, while a few are actually clergy from various "other" offshoot AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH or other jurisdiction(s) of the same or similar name of which we are, in some instances, their former MOTHER CHURCH (as is the same named Toledo, Ohio based, an offshoot, who had once been a part of us and unknowingly to our unworthy selves, were once a part of the clergy but they did not obtain permission to leave the jurisdiction they were under, according to Canon, and thus obtained for themselves re-ordination and consecrations, several times... and then using a variety of church names, including our own after they were defrocked and excommunicated, having more than three (3) times being excommunicated by other legitimate apostles/bishops); having joined in and with "Independent" churches who have nothing to do with us or even true Orthodoxy.
They seek to go out of their way to character assassinate and disparage religious web sites who do not meet their own brand of standardization which is evidence of their being not "Orthodox" "Christian" or even "Catholic" no matter what their nomenclature corporate name may be. The Toldeo, Ohio based same name group under their so-called leader has been deposed, defrocked and excommunicated more than three different times by various bishops/apostles. He, and several others, have become just as bad as the modern day Ecumenists of the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, the World Council of Bishops and more. Their ultimate aim and goal is destruction to those from whom they had either originated from or gone through to obtain the same named "church" they claim to hold to by the state's civil law in which they reside alone. They are not a "Schema-monk" or even a true "monk" for they were deposed and excommunicated for violations of the Holy Rule they claim to subscribe to, giving and openly providing false misleading and inaccurate information about other more honorable clergy. These 'wolves in sheep's clothing attract other nefarious and questionable persons whose aims are similar: for fame, image, power and glory.
Remember, anything that is a HALF TRUTH is not truth but a lie! Many there are that you may know who fit those descriptions... pray for them. Pray that God will send his Spirit of Truth upon them and lead them to Salvation through tears of Repentance, conversion of their cold and calculating hearts toward seeking forgiveness from God and those whom they attempt to harm.
Those who receive e-mail from us, know who we are and from where we send mail. There are also many who know that they can send e-mail under another group or person's e-mail address, which has been happening. If you receive e-mail that purports itself to be from us, verify first by hitting your "reply" button and ask, "I received this e-mail but would like verification if it is from you."
If you are of another jurisdiction, you too could find that your parishioners, clergy and faithful might become subject to the same as we have recently found.
Let this be a warning to visitors so as to be safeguarded against unscrupulous e-mails which contain viruses, worms and unsavory material from person(s) organizations or institutions that are more self-serving than uplifting and informatively news worthy.
For ourselves, we have, as in the past, so once again, acquired the assistance of those who are able and capable of tracing e-mails back to their source and taking appropriate action in North America.
We have learned that the organization we subscribe to, whose members come from various legal and law enforcement backgrounds amongst other areas of society, are committed to the faith even though they may hold different theologies. Yet, in their monitoring of electronic communications of various persons or people, they do not always make haste to bring perpetrators to justice until after enough evidence has been gained in order to build a solid case. We do not always know what information they have gained, but we do know the organization, whom we've been asked not to name, has had a 97% success rate in bringing to justice and obtaining a conviction against individuals, people, and sometimes even religious organizations of a persona that gives the appearance of both secular and religious bearing but who abuse and misuse technology. The organization views those who abuse and misuse the internet and other technologies as nothing more than a form of "domestic terrorism" - - - - and, it would seem to appear that the courts are in agreement!
Those kinds of people, organizations, etc. who misuse and abuse communication technologies are no different than those who attempt to use coercive measures, and in some instance, even blackmail for the same idea is involved... to cause havoc and wreckage, to destroy the spirit and activity of those who struggle in the faith out of pain of heart for the Orthodox Church which is TRUTH. The degree that some have been known to go to, as seen by other jurisdictions, is to take advantage of questionably mentally challenged or those who have a lack of education and understanding to get them to make statements, even outright lies, in writing, in order to destroy. Such persons or groups are spiritual terrorists for unholy and un-Orthodox causes, aims and goals.
Yes, our Metropolitan Archbishop, +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D. strongly defends the Seals of the Confessional for such leads to true Repentance in thought, word and deed whereby the penitent is required to make amends, where possible, to seek forgiveness of those harmed by his actions whether real or imagined, and to give his forgiveness to those who have harmed him before taking the Holy Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Jesus the Christ. The reality of this understanding is bound up in and with the findings for which cause he, himself, had been character assassinated by his detractors who claim the courts prevented him from breaking the Seals of the Confessional which is not the truth at all.... Click here to see what another bishop's findings are...
The workings of Holy Spirit will not be daunted by those who attempt to cause disruption! It is for these and other reasons that you are urged to read what true repentance and forgiveness means for real "Christians".
"It would be better to have ten (10) true repentant X-felons who ask for and give true forgiveness than it would be to have one (1) non-x-felon or common person whose self-righteousness exceeds even the Pharisees, Sadducees, the gossip mongers, slanderers and un-repentant; for the repentant x-felon understands the true meaning of the Church's purpose as being the spiritual hospital." (siq) +Joseph Thaddeus, OSB, SSJt., Ph.D., Metropolitan Archbishop, Archabbot, Primate
Yes... "Prejudice Makes Prisoners of the Hated and the Hater..." (1992-Fr. Alan Stanford)
One can ask, "What part of 'Prejudice' and 'hate' do you not understand? Are you a complacent person? In light of the saying, examine yourself! You may be surprised if you are honest with yourself for your soul may convict you before Jesus Christ convicts you in the times to come!
tested by some trial you should try to find out not why or through whom it came,
but only how to endure it gratefully, without distress or rancor."
St. Mark the Ascetic.
"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit." Psalms 32:1-2
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