The Great Litany
A litany is a series of prayers where the priest will ask God for something, then the people and the choir respond by confirming:
Earlier we learned that we pray in the plural, well the Great Litany is an excellent example. We pray for all that the world needs for a good, happy and peaceful life, not the things that we think we need. We begin the Great Litany by praying for peace.
“In peace let us pray to the Lord.”
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thes. 5:18
When we pray, we first must be at peace with ourselves, content with our lives and be thankful. An open heart and an honest desire to please God.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
After we have pray for peace, we go on to pray for the world’s needs.
Peace in the world
As the priest recites a petition the choir will respond and the people who attend should also respond with:
Lord have mercy
When we pray, we are thanking God and when we ask for His Mercy, we are asking that we be allowed to enter into His Kingdom, that He accept us. God’s mercy and His Kingdom are one in the same.
Blessed are the merciful: for they for they shall obtain mercy. Matt: 5:7
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
After praying for the needs of the world, the priest then asks the faithful to commend themselves to God (commit).
Commemorating our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.
Here we are being asked to place our lives in God’s hands with the help of the Mother of God and all the saints. A unity of faith, an unquestionable faith in God.
We then respond with the choir:
To Thee , 0 Lord