Every Hour and Every Day It’s Time to Pray!
Students Learn to Offer Prayers Unceasingly
STATE COLLEGE, PA — Today, the VBS students continued their exploration of what it means to live in an Orthodox world by focusing on the necessity of building a strong prayer life. This was emphasized with the introduction of the Hours services that are celebrated throughout each day.
The daily Hours services correspond to the Old Testament services beginning each of the four “watches” of the day. in New Testament times, these services have been enhanced through their association with various events in the life of our Savior and of the Church.
The First Hour commemorates the bringing of Christ before Pilate, which took place in the early morning hours. The Third Hour commemorates Pilates’s judgment of Christ and His mocking and scourging, and it is also the same hour when the Holy Spirit upon the disciples (Acts 2:3-15). The Sixth Hour remembers Christ’s voluntary Passion and His Crucifixion on Golgotha. Finally, the Ninth Hour commemorates Christ’s death on the Cross and its significance for our salvation.
The Hours all follow the same structure, but within this arrangement each contains different psalms and prayers which relate to the event commemorated in that Hour and which evoke correspondingly different feelings in the heart of the reader or listener.
Christians are to pray to God not just on Sunday mornings, but constantly, sanctifying time by offering prayer throughout the day.
On Having a Prayer Rule
“Yes, it is good to have a prayer rule on account of our weakness so that on the one hand we do not give in to laziness, and on the other hand we restrain our enthusiasm to its proper measure. The greatest practitioners of prayer kept a prayer rule. They would always begin with established prayers, and if during the course of these a prayer started on its own, they would put aside the others and pray that prayer. If this is what the great practitioners of prayer did, all the more reason for us to do so. Without established prayers, we would not know how to pray at all.”
— St. Theophan
What’s the Buzz?
This is not Buzzfeed, but it is still a buzz. Here are a few comments from this year’s VBS students:
- “I’ve never been to Matins but now I want to go.”
- “The food is terrific!”
- “I Ieamed that Jesus is our light.”
- “Fr. Arseny prayed for other people who did not like him.”
FPO — For Parents Only
- Ask your child what time should we pray.
- Tomorrow is our last day of VBS.
For more recaps, pictures, and information, visit the 2017 Vacation Bible School homepage.