The meaning of Praying and Mentioning of names in the Divine Liturgy

Thu 13 May 2021
The meaning of Praying and Mentioning of names in the Divine Liturgy

Again we pray for mercy...

... for life, peace, health, salvation, visitation, forgiveness, and remission of the sins of the servants of God, all pious and Orthodox Christians, those who reside and visit in this city, the members, council members, contributors, and benefactors of this holy church.

And we pray for our brothers and sisters, for beloved people who are either still alive or have passed and emigrated into the arms of our Lord. And praying is a great need for the Christian, spiritual and mental because it is the way he has to be united with God, to come to Him, and to communicate with Him. And praying must be sincere and heartfelt. Every word we pray must be imbued with His greatest Law, Love. Otherwise, those words are nothing but letters in a row. What meaning could some letters bear?

So the mentioning of names is an act of love and it is a prayer. Perhaps even greater than when we individually pray, either to ask for something or to thank the Lord for the blessings bestowed upon us. Because right there and then, by mentioning our fellow Christians in our prayer, we are reaching for something greater than ourselves. We do not ask for anything for us. Instead, we ask for others, those we mention by name. And no, God does not need a reminder for any of His children, living or not, nor does he ignore their names. But it is for the one who does it a way to show the love for his brothers, that he too belongs or wants to belong to the Body of the Church, to the One Secret Body of Christ in a way. This is how the Christian shows that he is not a unit. That is why we mention the names of our brothers, for our souls.

And could anyone think, "Can't I do this alone, privately, in my prayer?" It is not an awkward question, nor is it wrong. The answer is that it can happen and it is also important and beautiful. But let us also think this: the Divine Liturgy is our greatest, most sacred prayer. The Priest himself concludes the remembrance by asking his Lord for the forgiveness of those mentioned. With your Holy blood, wash away, cleanse the sins of your slaves, my Lord. We pray for our people, and the Priest prays for us all. And so we unite and become one Flock, the one that He expects us to be.

May we love praying and may we pray for the ability to love.

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