Prayer service for those suffering from alcoholism and addiction

On a sorrowful holy day of Beheading of St. John the Forerunner, a prayer service for those suffering from alcoholism and addiction was held after late-morning Divine Liturgy at the Diveyevo’s Transfiguration Cathedral.

The first Day of Sobriety was held over a hundred years ago in 1911 in St. Petersburg. It became an annual holiday beginning in 1914. It is no coincidence that it is held on September 11, for on this day we commemorate the Beheading of St. John the Forerunner executed by King Herod during a drunken feast. It is marked by a strict fast. Formerly, Russia’s wine stores were closed on this day and the sale of alcohol was prohibited.

On July 25, 2014, the Holy Synod restored the tradition of holding Days of Sobriety annually on September 11.

The Holy Synod approved the following texts of petitions about those suffering from alcoholism and addiction on the day of Beheading of St. John the Forerunner for their inclusion in the church services:

  • That Thou are merciful to Thy servants who suffer from afflictions of drunkenness and addiction in body and spirit and free them from chains of deathly passions, let us pray to the Lord.
  • That Thou free Thy suffering servants from evil passions of drunkenness and addiction and keep them in saving fear and purity, abstinence and truth, let us pray to the Lord.
  • That they may cling to God in repentance and conquer their harmful passions, so that they will be the partakers of eternal gifts, let us pray to the Lord.
  • That Thou accept prayers and lamentations of their relatives who suffer, let us pray to the Lord.
  • That they and all of us are set free from any sorrow, wrath, and need, let us pray to the Lord.
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