Prayer for Orthodox Christians

“Preserve [Confirm],O God, the Holy Orthodox Faith and Orthodox Christians, unto ages of ages.”

This important prayer has two parts. First it asks for the preservation of the integrity of the Orthodox Faith. That is the basis of the salvation of soul and body and of the unity and good estate of the Church as a whole and of the several Churches of God. Thus the preservation of the Orthodox faith is a necessary precondition for that which is prayed for in the second part of the prayer, namely, the preservation (protection) of the Orthodox Christians. Explicit prayer for the Church as a whole and as a body, and for the clergy, is offered elsewhere, in various expressions in the Great Litany and in many hymns of the Church. Here the prayer is for the faith which preserves and saves the faithful and defines the Church which holds that faith, and for the flock of the faithful who believe and confess that faith and who comprise the Church.

The Prayer for Orthodox Christians is sung at the end of both vespers and matins, the principal prayers of the church at evening and morning. Thus the “liturgy of time,” the part of the Liturgy that is centered around the time of the present age, includes an important prayer for the preservation of the faith and of the faithful at the two chief poles around which the rest of the daily cycle of worship (and that of daily life) revolve.