Monday, April 12, 2010

Prayed by Deaconesses

The website for the Order of Deaconesses in the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) includes a couple of beautiful prayers appropriate for the personal prayer life of a deaconess:

O GRACIOUS FATHER, we here dedicate both our souls and our bodies to thee and thy service, in a sober, righteous, and godly life: in which resolution, do thou, O merciful God, confirm and strengthen us; that, as we grow in age, we may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy handmaidens who call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Anglican Deaconess Association (ADA) which is affiliated with the REC describes itself as "an organization for the promotion and support of the traditional Order of Deaconesses." Interestingly, this association also includes a prayer for deaconesses on the back of its publicity tract:

O LORD of souls, who hast chosen and called us to service in thy Church; all our trust is in thee, for in thee are the springs of our life. Abundantly give us of thy blessed Spirit, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy, and use us as it shall please thee for the glory of thy Name. Empty us of self and fill us with the meekness of wisdom. Increase our faith, mellow our judgment, stir our zeal, deepen our affections. Do thou choose for us the work we do and the place in which we do it, the success we win and the harvest we reap. Preserve us from jealously and impatience, from self-will and depression. Make us faithful unto death, and give us at last the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I have emailed the deaconess listed on the REC website to ask for the sources for these prayers, and will add that information when it is received!

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