Great Litany

After the opening proclamation, the Great Litany is chanted. This litany begins every liturgical service of the Orthodox Church, as well as virtually all sacraments and special services. It is the all-embracing prayer of the Church for everyone and everything. It consists of petitions to which the people respond: Lord have mercy.

The Great Litany begins with prayers “in peace” and “for peace.” The people then proceed in the litany to pray for their eternal salvation; for the welfare of God’s churches and for the union of all; for the faithful and God-fearing of the particular community; for the bishops, priests, deacons and all the people of the Church; for the nation and its institutions for which all are responsible: the president, civil authorities and armed forces; for the given city and country and for all cities and countries; for good weather and abundant crops; for travelers, for the sick, the suffering and those in captivity.

Finally, after asking God for the deliverance from everything harmful and negative and for his divine help, salvation, mercy and protection, the people remember the Theotokos and all the saints and commend themselves and each other and all their life to Christ their God.

The Great Litany then ends with a doxology proper to the Holy Trinity to whom are due all glory, honor and worship forever. Once more the prayer is completed by the Amen of the people.