Metropolitan Nathanael requests prayers and support for fire victims

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July 26, 2018 Feast of St. Paraskeve

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
[Psalm 45(46):1-3]

Beloved in the Lord,

We again find ourselves in a spirit of lamentation, this time in response to the horrible fires in Attica, Greece, which have tragically claimed the lives of over 80 people, injured many more, and destroyed the homes and livelihoods of countless Greek brothers and sisters. We stand as one with all the victims and their loved ones–offering our loving support and praying for strength and healing, for comfort and hope.

Attached below is an encyclical of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, which asks our parishes to offer a Memorial Service this Sunday, July 29, 2018 for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in these fires. The statement also invites all our parishes to request a special collection on July 29th and August 5th, and for these donations—and any additional donations from individuals—to be sent directly to the Archdiocese. Checks should be payable to “Greek Orthodox Archdiocese,” designated for “Attica fires Relief Fund,” and mailed to 8 East 79th St. NY, NY 10075.

In the wake of this and other devastating events, we request that all parishes of this Holy Metropolis include the following two petitions during the Great Litany of all divine services, and to remember the victims during the upcoming Fast for the Dormition of the Theotokos:

Petitions for the Great Litany:

For the injured, for the loved ones of those who perished, and for all who are struggling to recover from the devastating fires in Greece, let us pray to the Lord.

Again we pray for the victims of the tornadoes in Iowa, and for all those suffering in the wake of natural disasters, that they may receive help and strength from above, that their wellbeing may be restored, and for their salvation.

Petition for the Memorial Service:

Again we pray for the blessed memory and eternal repose of the souls of the victims of the devastating fires in Greece, and for those who died working to rescue others during this tragedy.

May the Holy Trinity comfort, guide, and bless us during this time of lamentation.

+ Metropolitan NATHANAEL of Chicago