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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted by aramis
Current edition of the celebrant's book, p.77, the introduction to the It is truly proper:

Quote
Cel: Moreover, we offer you this spiritual sacrifice for those departed in faith: the foregathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, ascentics, and for every just spirit brought to perfection in faith.

Especially for out most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
Bolding original.

We offer the sacrifice for all the departed in faith... especially Mary, the Theotokos. For, remember, the DL is "outside of time"...

Do you also agree then that we ought to pray FOR Mary? Do you believe that Mary is in need of prayer from us? ...
This is confusing. My request for clarification has had no reply:
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Originally Posted by StuartK
Do we not, in the Divine Liturgy, offer up our prayers for "most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary"?

Yikes, no! The phrase you have quoted is not a prayer for her. It commences "Calling to remembrance our most holy..." There are NO prayers FOR the Mother of God but only prayers TO her.
I may have the wrong context, but "Calling to remembrance our most holy..." is not the wording at the prayer I have in mind, the "preamble" to "Dostojno jest'..." Am I at the wrong place?

The "introduction to the It is truly proper" is of course 'the "preamble" to "Dostojno jest'..."'. So those two are on the same page. But what about "Calling to remembrance our most holy..." ? An answer would help in addressing the comment:

Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Well, it is a new thing for me to learn that Catholics pray FOR the Mother of God but you seem quite insistent on it and so I accept what you are saying although I confess it seems very odd to me...
rather than going around in circles.


Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
I am hoping that Stuart can show us prayers from Catholic Prayerbooks where prayers for Mary are given.

Sorry to intrude. The liturgicon is a Prayerbook -- even THE Prayerbook.

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So here is another version of the prayer, from the OCF website:

Quote
Priest (in a low voice): So that they may be to those who partake of them for vigilance of soul, forgiveness of sins, communion of Your Holy Spirit, fulfillment of the kingdom of heaven, confidence before You, and not in judgment or condemnation. Again, we offer this spiritual worship for those who repose in the faith, forefathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, ascetics, and for every righteous spirit made perfect in faith.

Priest: Especially for our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary.

And here is the text used by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese:

Quote
Priest: So that they may be to those who partake of them for vigilance of soul, forgiveness of sins, communion of Your Holy Spirit, fulfillment of the kingdom of heaven, confidence before You, and not in judgment or condemnation. Again, we offer this spiritual worship for those who repose in the faith, forefathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, ascetics, and for every righteous spirit made perfect in faith.

Priest: Especially for our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever virgin Mary.

And this rather archaic translation from St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church:

Quote
Priest: That to them that shall partake thereof, they may be unto sobriety of soul, unto the remission of sins, and unto the communion of Thy Holy Spirit, unto the fullness of the kingdom of heaven, unto boldness toward Thee; not unto judgment or condemnation.

Again we offer unto Thee this rational service for them that in faith have gone to their rest before us: the forefathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, ascetics, and for every righteous spirit in faith made perfect.

And taking the censer, the priest exclaimeth:

Priest: Especially for our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary:

And he censeth thrice before the Holy Table.

The Hymn to the Theotokos

People: It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most blameless, and mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the Very Theotokos: thee do we magnify.

All of these say the same thing. And as I noted, the Slavonic and Greek originals admit of no other understanding or translation. Note that we also pray for those "made perfect in faith", who, by Father Ambrose's reasoning, would also find such intercessions redundant.

The text is what it is, and it seems to me that Father Ambrose is uncomfortable with the apparent contradictions or the dynamic tensions that are an inherent aspect of the Orthodox faith and its manner in dealing with divine mysteries.

By that token, does he also have problems with the Paschal hymn, "Having Beheld the Resurrection", which refers to Christ as "the only sinless one", or "who alone is without sin", in light of the Tradition that Mary was preserved from sin throughout her life?

When faced with such apparent contradictions, it is not given to us to say that the liturgical texts are either wrong or anachronistic, but to admit that we are confronted with a mystery that defies our comprehension, to accept the mystery, and to prayerfully contemplate it in hope of enlightenment.

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Quote
The liturgicon is a Prayerbook -- even THE Prayerbook.

Quite so--as I said. Liturgy takes priority over all paraliturgical and private devotions.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
The liturgicon is a Prayerbook -- even THE Prayerbook.

Quite so--as I said. Liturgy takes priority over all paraliturgical and private devotions.

Gentlemen,

I concede your point. Eastern Catholics pray FOR the Mother of God and for all the departed "indifferently" (to use Archimandrite Taft's term.)

I am surprised that you cannot offer us examples of prayers which demonstrate this in the life of the Eastern Catholic faithful but you would not insist on it so strongly if the faithful were not so praying and if they were not so taught by their bishops and spiritual fathers.

It is an interesting departure from Latin and Eastern Orthodox tradition where prayer is offered TO the Mother of God but not FOR her.

Thank you for this illuminating discussion. I am sorry that I have been so doubting of the concept of prayers for Mary but the concept was just so novel to me. It would be great to throw the discussion open now to other Eastern Catholic clergy and laity on the Forum, and ask them how they pray for Mary -and also for the Saints I presume. I am still keen to see any actual prayers. I am still keen to learn what is being prayed for on behalf of the Virgin Mary.

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Quote
And this rather archaic translation from St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church:

smile You made me laugh. Thanks! This "archaic" form is what I have used for 30 years whenever I have served Liturgy in English! LOL!

Quote
Priest: That to them that shall partake thereof, they may be unto sobriety of soul, unto the remission of sins, and unto the communion of Thy Holy Spirit, unto the fullness of the kingdom of heaven, unto boldness toward Thee; not unto judgment or condemnation.

Again we offer unto Thee this rational service for them that in faith have gone to their rest before us: the forefathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, ascetics, and for every righteous spirit in faith made perfect.

And taking the censer, the priest exclaimeth:

Priest: Especially for our most holy, most pure, most blessed, glorious Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary:

And he censeth thrice before the Holy Table.

The Hymn to the Theotokos

People: It is truly meet to bless thee, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most blameless, and mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, the Very Theotokos: thee do we magnify.


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I don't know if I have misunderstood, but I thought what some members were trying to point out is that there are prayers "for" Our Blessed Lady in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. If so, then all who use this Liturgy (and not just Eastern Catholics) are praying "for" Our Blessed Lady, aren't they?

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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
I don't know if I have misunderstood, but I thought what some members were trying to point out is that there are prayers "for" Our Blessed Lady in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. If so, then all who use this Liturgy (and not just Eastern Catholics) are praying "for" Our Blessed Lady, aren't they?

Yes, I have conceded that Eastern Catholics, to my great surprise, pray FOR the blessed Virgin. In an earlier message I gave an interpretation of that particular prayer. But, as I pointed out earlier, if my parishioners were praying FOR her I would forbid it and if they persisted I would lay the matter before the bishop.

The later prayer in the Chrysostom Liturgy "Wash away O Lord the sins of all those commemorated here..." raises an interesting question about the sinfulness of Mary for those using this prayer.

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Yes, I have conceded that Eastern Catholics, to my great surprise, pray FOR the blessed Virgin.

So do the Orthodox, unless, of course, they have unilaterally amended the Divine Liturgy. I suppose Father Ambrose is slightly scandalized that he has been praying for the Theotokos for all these years, and never realized it.

Quote
The later prayer in the Chrysostom Liturgy "Wash away O Lord the sins of all those commemorated here..." raises an interesting question about the sinfulness of Mary for those using this prayer.

Not necessarily. If one of the persons commemorated has no sins to wash away--and we really have no way of knowing that--then it's all moot, a matter of inclusivity and nothing more. Again, I think it is a great mystery, and we should leave it at that.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Yes, I have conceded that Eastern Catholics, to my great surprise, pray FOR the blessed Virgin.

So do the Orthodox, unless, of course, they have unilaterally amended the Divine Liturgy. I suppose Father Ambrose is slightly scandalized that he has been praying for the Theotokos for all these years, and never realized it.

This phrase is well known and often comes up in seminary and also on clergy lists which have convert clergy who have not been through seminary. It is taught that we are not praying for the Mother of God. Please refer to my earlier message as to how we understand it - namely, that the Mother of God needed redemption from sin as did any of the "patriarchs, prophets...." Her redemption was wrought by the death and resurrection of her Son. Without these holy events she, like the rest of us, would not be redeemed. But she does not need ongoing prayer as if she has to be redeemed constantly.

I think that trying to force the issue of the timelessness of the Liturgy to "prove" that we must pray FOR her until the end of time is untenable.

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Thank you, Father Ambrose,

your remarks clarify the issue. One cannot take a few words or phrases from the Liturgy and interpret them without reference to the rest of the teaching and liturgical tradition of the Church.

As I understand you, then, we agree that Our Blessed Lady needed redemption from sin through the death and resurrection of Christ. (In her case, we Latins believe that the fruits of Christ's redemption were applied to his Mother immediately at her conception.) And, since the Holy Eucharist solemnly commemorates His death and resurrection, making these events, as it were, present here and now, it is only fitting that Our Blessed Lady should also be mentioned among those for whom Christ died and rose again.

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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Thank you, Father Ambrose,

your remarks clarify the issue. One cannot take a few words or phrases from the Liturgy and interpret them without reference to the rest of the teaching and liturgical tradition of the Church.

As I understand you, then, we agree that Our Blessed Lady needed redemption from sin through the death and resurrection of Christ. (In her case, we Latins believe that the fruits of Christ's redemption were applied to his Mother immediately at her conception.) And, since the Holy Eucharist solemnly commemorates His death and resurrection, making these events, as it were, present here and now, it is only fitting that Our Blessed Lady should also be mentioned among those for whom Christ died and rose again.

Your words are balm to my soul. Yes, that is what is believed among the Orthodox.

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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
But she does not need ongoing prayer as if she has to be redeemed constantly.

I think that trying to force the issue of the timelessness of the Liturgy to "prove" that we must pray FOR her until the end of time is untenable.

But the Litrugy is Kairos, and God is Infinite. To say that: "We offer to You this spiritual sacrifice for those departed in the faith:... Especially for our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary." Is at once an acknowledgement that indeed our spotless Lady does not need our prayers from a redemption standpoint but benefits from them anyways from a Theosis standpoint because the sacrifice offered is infintely effacious and Theosis is eternal.


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Deacon Lance says well what I have insisted from the beginning. Theosis is infinite, a journey that is never completed.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Deacon Lance says well what I have insisted from the beginning. Theosis is infinite, a journey that is never completed.

Nobody disputes that among the Orthodox, but some Eastern Catholic theologians have stated that theosis is finite and that Purgatory is the final stage of theosis. For example, this is taught by Dr Anthony Dragani, an Eastern Catholic theologian writing on EWTN.

http://tinyurl.com/kwpr8v

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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
But she does not need ongoing prayer as if she has to be redeemed constantly.

I think that trying to force the issue of the timelessness of the Liturgy to "prove" that we must pray FOR her until the end of time is untenable.

But the Litrugy is Kairos, and God is Infinite. To say that: "We offer to You this spiritual sacrifice for those departed in the faith:... Especially for our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary." Is at once an acknowledgement that indeed our spotless Lady does not need our prayers from a redemption standpoint but benefits from them anyways from a Theosis standpoint because the sacrifice offered is infintely effacious and Theosis is eternal.

The offering of the Liturgy has the aim, in this particular prayer, of asking that Mary the Mother of God may attain a greater share in theosis? Are there other prayers, either Latin or Eastern, which pray for Mary to increase in deification?

I have not encountered this teaching or this way of praying among the theologians or liturgical commentators of my own Church. Just a thought - has anybody had a look to see what Kucharek says in his opus "The Byzantine-Slav Liturgy"? Father, from what source did you learn this understanding?

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