Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hymns and Prayers of the Earthquake


The tragic earthquake in Haiti has struck the hearts of so many throughout the world, as we all grieve for those who continue to suffer from the terrible earthquakes and desvastation there. Though the Haitian people's grief is immense and seems inconsolable, they and we can always turn to Christ the Savior of the world for consolation, healing and deliverance.

On October 26th 740, the city of Constantinople was also struck with great earthquakes. The following is included in the Menaion for that day:

"In the twenty fourth year of the reign of Leo the Isaurian, in the ninth Indiction, on the 26th of October, there was a great and terrible earthquake in Constantinople, so that the upper stories and the more splendid of the other buildings collapsed and many people were buried under the ruins. And so on the day of the Great martyr Demetrios we commemorate that terrible threat of the earthquake, going in procession to the church in Vlachernae of our all-pure, holy and glorious Lady, Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, where we celebrate the divine Liturgy. At her prayers may we be delivered from every threat and attain eternal good things, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and might to the ages of ages. Amen." (

The following are some hymns from this feast that is annually commemorated on October 26th along with St. Demetrios. May Christ save, help, protect, and console those affected by these earthquakes, and the whole world! Amen!

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior (Icon courtesy of used with permission)

At the Aposticha, Idiomel Stichera of the Earthquake.
A composition of St. Symeon of the Wonderful Mountain.
Tone 2.
When the earth was troubled in fear of your rage, hills and mountains were shaken, Lord; but having looked upon us with an eye of compassion, in your anger do not be enraged at us; but with compassion for the creation of your hands free us from the dread threat of earthquake, as you are good and love mankind.

Tone 6.
Verse: You shook the earth and troubled it.
Fearful are you, Lord, and who can stand against your just rage? Or who can entreat you, or who can supplicate you, good Lord, on behalf of a people that has sinned and is in despair? The heavenly armies, Angels, Principalities and Powers, Thrones, Dominions, the Cherubim and the Seraphim cry out to you on our behalf: Holy, Holy, Holy are you, O Lord; do not despise the works of your hands; through your compassionate mercy save a city endangered!

Verse: Who looks upon the earth and it trembles.
The Ninevites by their transgressions heard they would be submerged through the threat of earthquake; but by the mediating sign of the whale, repentance summoned resurrection through Jonas; but as you took pity and accepted them, at the cry of your people with the children and beasts, through your Resurrection on the third day spare us too who are being punished, and have mercy.

Apolytikion of the Earthquake in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
O Thou Who lookest on the earth and makest it tremble, deliver us from the fearful menace of earthquake, O Christ our God, and by the intercessions of the Theotokos, send down upon us Thy mercies in abundance and save us.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Second Tone
Deliver us all from earthquakes, O Lord, and from wounds unbearable on account of our sins, and spare Thy people whom Thou hast purchased with Thy Blood, O master; and deliver not Thy city to destruction by terrible earthquakes, for we know none other God besides Thee. And to those who chant do Thou respond: I am with you, and no one shall prevail against you.

The following are three prayers from the Great Euchologion (in Greek) read by the priest as part of a service for deliverence from earthquakes:

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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