Oldest Liturgical Prayer
The “O Joyful Light” is the oldest non-scriptural liturgical prayer still prayed today. It was composed in the 3rd Century. It is prayed at Vespers just before the sun goes down, and at the conclusion of the lighting of the candles in the church.
-“O Joyful Light of the holy glory of the Father Immortal, the heavenly, holy, blessed One, O Jesus Christ, now that we have reached the setting of the sun, and see the evening light, we sing to God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is fitting at all times to raise a song of praise in measured melody to you, O Son of God, the Giver of Life. Therefore, the universe sings your glory.”
Saint Stories for Children
33 Martyrs of Miletene (MILL-i-teen) – Commemorated November 7th.
The Holy Martyr Hieron (HI-ur-on) lived in Cappadocia (cap-i-DOS-ee-a) about 300 years after Jesus was born. Cappadocia is in the eastern part of modern day Turkey. He lived in a time when being a Christian was illegal, and many people were killed for believing that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were the only true God.
Hieron was very strong and so some of those who were attacking Christians tried to convince him to join their army. When he refused to join an army that was killing his fellow believers, they tried to capture him, but he fought off every single one of them and they ran away embarrassed. Hieron then, along with some of his fellow Christians, hid in a cave. His enemies refused to attack him in the cave because they were too afraid of being embarrassed again.
Hieron was eventually convinced by a friend to leave the cave and accept a way of suffering similar to Christ’s. He also had a dream that he was going to be killed for refusing to break the Commandment “You shall have no other god’s besides Me”. He and 32 other Christians were killed in the city of Miletene that day.
Thursday, October 29 –