Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Prayer for Adventurers

In Orthodox Christian liturgical practice, we use four different liturgies over the course of the year. Our default is the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. During specified weekdays during Great Lent, we use St. Gregory the Dialogist’s Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. In some places, on October 23 and December 26, the Liturgy of St. James the Brother of our Lord is used. On Sundays during Great Lent, on January 1 and for Vesperal Liturgies of some of the Great Feasts, we use the Liturgy of St. Basil.

Of these, the Anaphora (which means offering and are the prayers surrounding the words of institution —Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you and for the forgiveness of sins) of St. Basil’s is the longest. This length is primarily due to its expansiveness and inclusiveness — two things which, in my opinion, make it the most beautiful of all the Anaphora used by the Orthodox Church.

As an example of this expansiveness and inclusiveness, take a look at this line of prayer:
Remember, Lord, those who are in the deserts, on mountains, in caverns, and in the chambers of the earth.
One might assume that this refers to the various monastics who live in the wilderness; however, take a look at the very next line:
Remember, Lord, those living in chastity and godliness, in asceticism and holiness of life.
Thus, the prayer for those who are in the chambers of the earth, etc. extends beyond to those who live the monastic life.

In context of an FRPG, therefore, this prayer could be understood as an example of the Church praying for (and thus condoning, if not endorsing) adventuring parties exploring the Wilderness, delving the depths of various dungeons and making forays into the Underworld.


  1. Fr. Dave,
    Just wanted to say how much your blog interests and blesses me. (And couldn't find another way to contact you, other than the comments.)
    Thanks for your writings.

  2. I've loved the liturgies of the East for many years, but I had never thought of that line in quite that way.

    Thanks, Fr. Dave.

  3. It's interesting to think of liturgical celebrations in gaming worlds that call attention to adventurers and their activities.