August 2nd, 2014

Dormition Fast for Peace

Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. Sophia,

TheotokosAugust 1st was the beginning of the Dormition Fast. Traditionally, this fast, which lasts until the Feast of the Dormition (August 15) is observed as a special time of prayer and fasting for healing.

Within the past months, our world has seen a dramatic increase in violence – violence that especially threatens our Christian brothers and sisters. The Syrian Civil War has been devastating to the Eastern Christian communities there. ISIS militants in Iraq have undertaken the task of eradicating Christians, Shiite Muslims and other religious minorities from areas under their control. Militants in northern Nigeria, known as Boko Haram, have consistently been targeting the Christian populations within their reach. The war against foreign invasion and terrorists in Ukraine has escalated in a very dangerous way (especially after the attack on the Malaysian Airlines flight by the terrorists). The current war between Israel and Hamas has led to unprecedented suffering for the Palestinian people living in Gaza. And finally, in our own State of Texas, we are witnesses to a tragic refugee crisis affecting children from Central America – sent on a perilous journey by desperate relatives to escape the horrific criminal violence that ravages Central America.

In the face of all of this suffering and unrest, we begin the Dormition Fast. In unity with our sister churches all over the world we will dedicate our fasting and prayers to these intentions.

Attached is a prayer book with selections from the “Paraklesis to the Theotokos” – a service traditionally chanted during this fast – combined with special petitions for peace and an end to injustice. There are also daily scripture readings that will aid in our meditations during this fast. The prayers should take no more than 10 minutes a day, but they will serve as a daily reminder to hold our suffering and terrified brothers and sisters in our thoughts and prayers throughout the day.

Let us pray that, through the prayers of the Theotokos, Christ will quickly bring peace and the end of conflict and suffering.

Please feel free to pass this along to anyone you think may be willing to join us in these prayers.

Fr. Pavlo Popov

Click to Download the Dormition Fast for Peace Daily Prayers and Readings