The Romanian Patriarchate
On 1 August 2012, 17.00 hours, the Paraclis Service of the Birth Giver of God was celebrated at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Bucharest, on the first day of the fasting for the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God. To end with the religious service, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania delivered a sermon in which he emphasised the significance of the Paraclis of the Most Holy Birth Giver of God for the life of the faithful. “Paraclis” means comfort, consolation, spiritual strengthening. This is why unlike Akatistos, the Paraclis is made up of condacs, troparions and complete canon, having been named comfort canon. This Paraclis service urges us to unite prayer with repentance – during the fasting period of the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God – as well as with the request of help, so that we may become obedient to God, just as she is a model of obedience, lowliness, holiness and devotion to God. When the Paraclis is read our people feel spiritual strength, help, joy and peace. Thus, the Paraclis is a source of spiritual power, strength, encouragement and victory over temptation, suffering, disease and trouble. This is why people love this Paraclis very much, which is very spiritually useful.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel showed the reasons why the Orthodox Christians worship the Birth Giver of God: “We worship the Mother of God because it was through her that joy has come to everybody. It was through her that the fallen Adam rose up and Eve’s tears were wiped. This is also because the Mother of God helps us. She is the protector of the pure girls, of the monks and nuns who live in monasteries. She is the protector of the mothers who gave birth to children and grow them up in faith, so the protector of the family. She is the protector of the deacons, priests and hierarchs because her Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord is the eternal High Priest. She is the protector of the orphans, widows and of the aged persons. This is why she is the protector of the wronged ones, guide of the confused, healer of passions and troubles, of trials and hardship. She is very merciful and helps a lot, always praying, namely never overlooked.”
At the same time, the Patriarch of Romania urged the faithful to pray Holy Virgin Mary because she is a fast helper and protector: “The Mother of God knows what every family and person needs. This is why we must spiritually strengthen ourselves, especially during the fasting period for the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God, and increase our devotion, and prayers to the Mother of God. Let us pray Mother of God to protect us, help us, and bring peace to our souls, joy in the family and give us the joy of Saint Elisabeth when Mother of God entered her house. We must always ask for her help in the morning and evening, before every activity and afterwards. The Mother of God is our prayer to God, during our lifetime, at death time and at the last judgement.”
Following the urge of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel the Paraclis service of the Mother of God will be celebrated during this fasting period in all the parishes and monasteries of the Archdiocese of Bucharest, and at the Patriarchal Cathedral every day.