Sunday, September 7, 2008

Pray for us

Mel writes: "Still trying to work through the "pray for us" part of the Hail Mary. I've read quite a bit and have even started another blog as a place for "book reports." Any suggestions? It may all boil down to a matter of faith in the Marian doctrines, which I do not have." in the comments of the post below this one. Thought I would just try to answer this a tiny bit.

First, I think you can separate this idea of praying for us from other Marian teachings like her perpetual virginity, immaculate conception, assumption, coronation, etc. This one really has little to do with that, although those might all be reasons why we might choose to ask Mary for her intercessions. This idea revolves directly around the idea of "communion of the Saints".

We believe that those who are Saints are with God. That being said, we ask them for their prayers on our behalf. The best example that I think helps someone understand is how we ask our friends and neighbors to pray for us. I might ask Mel to pray for me, and likewise she might ask me. But, because of their being in Heaven with God and the nature of their lives, they are especially close to us all (being in communion with the whole Church includes those saints who have passed out of this life and into the next) and because of that special relationship we ask them for their prayers on our behalf. All this, of course, works through God's grace. Our Lady, as the Mother of Christ, has a special position where of course he would want to listen to her requests - we can see this in the wedding feast at Cana. That makes her often beseeched by those in need.

During the Easter Vigil (and hopefully as individuals we pray this more often), we pray the Litany of the Saints (responses in black, and this can differ a tiny bit):

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary,
pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins,
pray for us.
St. Michael,
pray for us.
St. Gabriel,
pray for us.
St. Raphael,
pray for us.
All you holy Angels and Archangels,
pray for us.
All you holy orders of blessed Spirits,
pray for us.
St. John the Baptist,
pray for us.
St. Joseph,
pray for us.
All you holy Patriarchs and Prophets,
pray for us.
St. Peter,
pray for us.
St. Paul,
pray for us.
St. Andrew,
pray for us.
St. James,
pray for us.
St. John,
pray for us. .
St. Thomas,
pray for us.
St. James,
pray for us.
St. Philip,
pray for us. .
St. Bartholomew,
pray for us.
St. Matthew,
pray for us.
St. Simon,
pray for us.
St. Thaddeus,
pray for us.
St. Matthias,
pray for us.
St. Barnabas,
pray for us.
St. Luke,
pray for us.
St. Mark,
pray for us.
All you holy Apostles and Evangelists,
pray for us.
All you holy Disciples of the Lord,
pray for us.
All you holy Innocents,
pray for us.
St. Stephen,
pray for us.
St. Lawrence,
pray for us.
St. Vincent,
pray for us.
Sts. Fabian and Sebastian,
pray for us. .
Sts. John and Paul,
pray for us. .
Sts. Cosmas and Damian,
pray for us.
Sts. Gervase and Protase,
pray for us.
All you holy Martyrs,
pray for us.
St. Sylvester,
pray for us.
St. Gregory,
pray for us. .
St. Ambrose,
pray for us.
St. Augustine,
pray for us.
St. Jerome,
pray for us.
St. Martin,
pray for us.
St. Nicholas,
pray for us.
All you holy Bishops and Confessors,
pray for us.
All you holy Doctors,
pray for us.
St. Anthony,
pray for us.
St. Benedict,
pray for us.
St. Bernard,
pray for us.
St. Dominic,
pray for us.
St. Francis,
pray for us.
All you holy Priests and Levites,
pray for us.
All you holy Monks and Hermits,
pray for us.
St. Mary Magdalen,
pray for us.
St. Agatha,
pray for us.
St. Lucy,
pray for us.
St. Agnes,
pray for us.
St. Cecilia,
pray for us.
St. Catherine,
pray for us.
St. Anastasia,
pray for us.
All you holy Virgins and Widows,
pray for us.
All you Holy Men and Women, Saints of God,
make intercession for us.
Be merciful,
spare us, O Lord. .
Be merciful,
graciously hear us, O Lord. .
From all evil, O Lord,
deliver us.
From all sin,
deliver us.
From your wrath,
deliver us.
From sudden and unprovided death,
deliver us.
From the snares of the devil,
deliver us.
From anger, and hatred, and all ill-will,
deliver us.
From the spirit of fornication,
deliver us.
From lightning and tempest,
deliver us.
From the scourge of earthquake,
deliver us.
From plague, famine and war,
deliver us.
From everlasting death,
deliver us.
Through the mystery of your holy Incarnation,
deliver us.
Through your Coming,
deliver us.
Through your Nativity,
deliver us.
Through your Baptism and holy Fasting,
deliver us.
Through your Cross and Passion,
deliver us.
Through your Death and Burial,
deliver us.
Through your holy Resurrection,
deliver us.
Through your admirable Ascension,
deliver us.
Through the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete,
In the day of judgment,
deliver us.
We sinners,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would spare us,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would pardon us,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would bring us to true penance,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deign to govern and preserve your holy Church,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deign to preserve our Apostolic Prelate, and all orders of the Church in holy religion,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deign to humble the enemies of Holy Church,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deign to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deign to grant peace and unity to all Christian people,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deign to call back to the unity of the Church all who have strayed from the truth and lead all unbelievers to the light of the Gospel,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deign to confirm and preserve us in your holy service,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would lift up our minds to heavenly desires,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would render eternal blessings to all our benefactors,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deliver our souls and the souls of our brethren, relations and benefactors, from eternal damnation,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deign to give and preserve the fruits of the earth,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deign to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed,
we beseech you, hear us.
That you would deign graciously to hear us,
we beseech you, hear us.
Son of God,
we beseech you, hear us.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord. .
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord. .
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us. .
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

3 comments:

God Fanboy said...

I love the Litany!

mel said...

Good answer; this makes sense.
While I have believed the Apostles and Nicene Creeds most of my life, it wasn't until a few years ago that I started questioning who all was in that Communion of Saints (as in Hebrews 11 and 12...). Love it!

So. Um. How do I say this? I think I have one. A saint, that is. I do believe in the doctrines of the Priesthood of Believers, but those that are already in Heaven are alive in Christ, right? So one day last year, I realized that my lifelong calling to foreign missions was in alignment with the life and ministry of St. Francis Xavier. And so now I've said that publicly, whew. It's not something that typically comes up in conversations with Prot friends, especially as I'm in leadership in Protestant ministries. But, it makes sense to me and has given me direction and comfort. So anyway. I have a saint. I haven't done much with "praying to or talking to" him, but I've just read biographies for now. And I have a card. And a medal. Whew again. Too much disclosure for one day.

Have a blessed one!

~Joseph the Worker said...

Revisiting this, I just noticed that we had this conversation before my wife got pregnant, and now we are naming our son after St. Francis Xavier! Partially because my wife is Korean and my son will be half-asian (noting how much involvement St. Francis Xavier had in Asia), but also because he is such a wonderful example to us all.