Worship Words: What does ‘Kyrie eleison’ mean?

“The word mercy in English is the translation of the Greek word eleos. This word has the same ultimate root as the old Greek word for oil, or more precisely, olive oil; a substance which was used extensively as a soothing agent for bruises and minor wounds. The oil was poured onto the wound and gently massaged in, thus soothing, comforting and making whole the injured part. The Hebrew word which is also translated as eleos and mercy is hesed, and means steadfast love. The Greek words for ‘Lord, have mercy,’ are ‘Kyrie, eleison’  that is to say, ‘Lord, soothe me, comfort me, take away my pain, show me your steadfast love.’ Thus mercy… refer[s]… to the infinite loving-kindness of God, and his compassion for his suffering children! It is in this sense that we pray ‘Lord, have mercy…'”

-from the book Orthodox Worship by Benjamin D. Williams and Harold B. Anstall

Painting “Kyrie Eleison” by Soichi Watanabe

Contemplative Prayer (Fourth Week in Trinitytide 2016)

Contemplative Prayer Form Based on Psalm 32 

(Fourth Sunday of Trinitytide – Year C)  

Note: This is for individual or small group use. It is intended to be a form of contemplative “Lectio Divina” based on the scripture readings for the week and the themes of the liturgical season. Repetition, silence, and intercession are utilized to allow space for focus over a short or long period of time. It may be helpful to use your fingers to count the number of scripture phrases you utter during the times of repetition.

The Scripture prayer section is structured for easy use with Anglican Prayer Beads for those who might find a tactile expression to be helpful ( = Cross = Invitatory bead = Cruciform bead = Weeks bead).

Continue reading Contemplative Prayer (Fourth Week in Trinitytide 2016)