Family Study of the Divine Liturgy: Spiritual Litany & Kiss of Peace

The next litany we hear after the Great Entrance  is truly a continuation of the first litany. This time, however, we have moved beyond basic needs to those of spiritual. Additionally, rather than continually asking for God’s Mercy, we now as Him to grant our pleas.

We can compare and contrast these two Litanies to see the similarities:

Litany of Peace

Spiritual Litany

Clergy and people

Perfect, holy, peaceful and sinless day

Civil authorities, armed forces

Guardian Angel

Cities and Towns

Live in peace and repentance

And those living in them

The rest of our lives

Good weather and good crops

Good end to our life and a good defense

Travelers, sick suffering captives

Forgiveness and remission of sins.

If we read the petitions across the rows we can easily see how they could be one plea.

Together with your child

Talk about each petition and the meaning behind the words:

What would a perfect, holy, peaceful and sinless day look like?

Why do we ask for our guardian angel 
To help protect us

How can we live in peace and repentance?
Not angering our siblings/friends/parents and knowing when to say sorry and ask for forgiveness when we do make someone upset. Going to confession as often as needed.

What is a Christian End to our lives?
Look at some of the lives of the Saints. St. Anthony the Great spent his entire life in repentance and was told by the Lord, “well done good and faithful servant” St. Mary of Egypt also spent her entire life in repentance. The Theotokos’s last days were spent surrounded by the Apostles offering them counsel and consolation before she saw the Lord and her soul was taken up. The martyrs died valiantly defending the True Faith. 

The Kiss of Peace

kiss-of-peace01

We hear from the priest: Peace with you all,

and the response, “and with your spirit”

Then,

“Let us love one another that with one mind we may confess…”

and the response “…Father Son and Holy Spirit the Trinity One in Essence and undivided”

Firstly, it should be noted that at this point in the Liturgy, and for the remainder of the Liturgy, the priest or deacon says many portions in the service as half-sentences and the chanter/choir/congregation finishes the sentence. We are one Body in Christ.

The Kiss of Peace follows. In many churches this is reserved for the clergy. In the early history of the church this was a literal kiss on the lips and was exchanged amongst the same sex since the churches still kept the sexes separate, and so as not to cause temptation and sin within the house of the church.

It is this same kiss of peace, on the lips, which Judas gave Christ as his kiss of betrayal. Understanding this adds depth to that betrayal.

The kiss, dating to early Jewish tradition, was considered a sacred rite of love, uniting worshipers to one another. It is also a kiss of reconciliation, one of repentance, which allows worshippers to ask forgiveness from one another before the Holy Consecration and Communion.

Due to abuse, the kiss of peace has been removed almost completely. Some churches place a handshake in its place, however many individuals do not understand the deep meaning behind the tradition and often times this moment becomes almost as if it was a social hour in the church.

Together with your child

Ask why we kiss each other. Discuss how it is a way of showing love. You can also talk about repentance, often times we exchange hugs with our children or between siblings when exchanging “I’m sorries”. 

If the kiss of peace is done in the church, remind your children that it is a moment to show love within the service. By example, demonstrate that this is still a holy moment in the church and refrain from exchanging small talk amongst other parishioners. 

<- The Great Entrance

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