Spiritual Resources and Encouragement During COVID-19 Pandemic

A Special Prayer for Protection and Healing from the New Pandemic

His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East, and His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, have approved use of this “Special Prayer for Protection and Healing from the New Pandemic” by our clergy and faithful.

O Lord, our God, the rich, the merciful, and wise in His care: in Thy wisdom take care of our lives, hear our prayers, accept our repentance for our sins, and stop this rampant pandemic in the same way that Thou didst stop punishing Thy people in the days of David the King. O Physician of our souls and bodies: grant healing to those infected by this pandemic, and let them rise quickly from their pain to glorify Thee, O merciful Savior; as for those who are healthy, protect them from any disease.

Bless, O Lord, and support all those who care with love and sacrifice for the sick wherever they are found, whether they are at home or in hospitals, and keep them with Thy grace. Protect Thy people from all disease and pain, and teach us to value life and health as Thy gifts.

Grant us, O God, Thy peace, and fill our hearts with firm faith in Thy care, and with love towards Thee and our neighbor. Have mercy on us, and save us, O our God, for unto Thee we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages.


(Issued by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Church March 11, 2020)

A Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian

For the withdrawal of the spirit of fear“May the spirit of fear, the spirit of despondency, and the spirit of pride and of all manner of malice withdraw from my soul.  In it may all manner of excitement produced by the workings of the devil be extinguished.  May my spirit, soul, and body be enlightened by the light of Thy knowledge.  May I come to be a perfect man made unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ with the angels and all who have been pleasing to Thee throughout the ages, and I shall glorify Thine all-honorable and venerable name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” –St Ephraim the Syrian, A Spiritual Psalter, Prayer 18  

Studies on Genesis Chapters 1-3

A video Bible Study

Fr. Matthew Howell and his dad, Fr. Stephen Howell, do an introductory study of the first three chapters of Genesis. Along the way, they give definitions of important theological terms as well as tie the beginning of the Old Testament to the last two chapters of the New Testament. 

Episode 1 – April 1, 2020

Episode 2 – April 8, 2020

Episode 3 – April 22, 2020

Episode 4 – April 29, 2020

Episode 5 – May 6, 2020

Episode 6 – May 13, 2020

Episode 7 – May 20, 2020

Episode 8 – May 27, 2020

Episode 9 – June 3, 2020

Episode 10 – June 10, 2020

It is also relevant to Episode 8 for someone to listen to this podcast by Bishop IRENEI about St. Symeon the Theologian’s writings on The Temptation to Cast Blame for Our Sin.

Loving God Without Fear

Audio Lectures by Bishop IRENEI Steenberg

“Loving God Without Fear” is a free three-part lecture series by Bishop Irenei (Steenberg) of London and Western Europe of the Russian Orthodox Church in America. Bishop IRENEI is author of the book The Beginnings of a Life of Prayer and is a onetime fellow of Oxford University and Chair of Theology and Religious Studies at Leeds. He also the founder of the Sts. Cyril and Athanasius Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in San Francisco, and for many years produced a wonderful podcast on Ancient Faith Radio called “A Word from the Holy Fathers.”

These lectures were given at the Antiochian Diocese of Los Angeles and the West Parish Life Conference in San Francisco in 2014. At the time of the lectures, Bishop Irenei was an archimandrite. Also, shortly before the third lecture of this series, our own bishop, Metropolitan JOSEPH, was elected as the new metropolitan and archbishop of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America by the Holy Synod of Antioch. 

These lectures are free courtesy of Patristic Nectar Publications, and can be downloaded here

Liturgy of the Heart

Spirit of St. Tikhon’s Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio

by Archimandrite Sergius Bowyer and Fr. John Parker

Archimandrite Sergius, the Abbot of St Tikhon’s Monastery—the oldest Orthodox monastery in North America—has recently posted a few short reflections on Facebook titled “The Liturgy of the Heart” (see links on page below) Fr. John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, hosted Fr. Sergius on a live show on Thursday, April 2 on Ancient Faith Radio.

From one of Fr. Sergius’ recent videos: “Let us dust off the altar of our heart, place the Gospel back in the center, take what is given to us in this life (both good and bad) and offer it to God in gratitude (εὐχαριστία). When we do so, we will find that we will receive Christ Himself in return, and every encounter with Christ is Pascha.”

Stories That Work: Fr. James and Kh. Linda Ellison

An Interview about the Struggle of Processing Grief

Fr. James and Kh. Linda have spent the last 15 years processing grief from major losses of loved ones. They have both gone through a Clinical Pastoral Education program (CPE) and have helped create bereavement support groups. On Holy Tuesday, April 14, 2020, they shared part of their story with Fr. Matthew Howell and Dn. Adam Roberts. Their story is powerful, but is not one that centers on the pain of loss in this world. Rather, their story encourages all of us to make firm the foundation of our personal faith in Jesus Christ and His Resurrection so that we can all live with hope in the world to come.

The New Abnormal: On Getting Back Together

A Video Reflection by Fr. John Oliver

Click here to watch an encouraging video from Fr. John Oliver, an Antiochian priest and the pastor of St. Elizabeth Orthodox Christian Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Fr. John reminds us that the new “abnormal” caused by this virus should not become the long-term “normal.” 

Series of Lenten Talks with Bishop Irenei (Steenberg)

Video Lectures with the ROCOR Bishop of London and Western Europe

Lenten Spiritual Talk #1 – March 23, 2020

Lenten Spiritual Talk #2 part 1 – March 25, 2020

Lenten Spiritual Talk #2 part 2 – March 25, 2020

Lenten Spiritual Talk #3 – March 27, 2020

Lenten Spiritual Talk #4 – March 30, 2020

Lenten Spiritual Talk #5 – April 2, 2020

Liturgy of the Heart

Video Reflections by Archimandrite Sergius Bowyer, Abbot of St. Tikhon Monastery

Archimandrite Sergius has been the abbot of St. Tikhon Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania since 2010. He is the author of the book Acquiring the Mind of Christ, and is also a professor of spirituality at St. Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary. 

Liturgy of the Heart Part 1 – Archimandrite Sergius gives a brief word on the “liturgy of the heart”—especially important during a time when so many are separated from the Liturgy at church.

Liturgy of the Heart part 2 – Archimandrite Sergius gives a practical word on how to develop a short prayer rule that can help us enter into the “liturgy of the heart” he discussed in his first video.

To learn more, check out this short PDF on getting started with a prayer rule at home.