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Prayer for Washing Hands,

from our Metropolitan Joseph

March 13, 2020

Prayer for Washing Hands During the Coronavirus

“Let us wash and lift up our hands and hearts!”
“We wash and lift them up unto the Lord!”

Dearest Beloved Fathers, Brethren and Sisters in the Lord,

As your Vladyka, I ask you very kindly to refer to the commandment to wash our hands during the Coronavirus and to assume our responsibility by washing and lifting our hands and  hearts in dedication to God, in the hope that we live a life of goodness, kindness, giving and giving to others, especially those in need.

During these COVID-19 challenging days, when the Coronavirus continues to spread globally, we are instructed by health officials to often wash our hands, because washing our hands regularly is a win for everyone, except the germs. I suggest that this is also a time to sing the words from the Divine Liturgies of St. Basil the Great and St. John Chrysostom: “Let us lift up our hearts!” answering: “We lift them up unto the Lord!” Then we’ll know that when we wash our hands for a sufficient length of time, we clean hands, but save lives.

My suggestion: sing a short prayer - everyone in their own way - expressing how we can use our hands to remind us of our responsibilities as citizens of this planet which we are privileged to live on together. An example:

As I wash my hands, I'm thinking of those affected by the Coronavirus, praying the “Jesus prayer” for their recovery. I commit myself to dedicate my hands to doing good for the world. So, let us lift our hands and hearts in prayer to God. Let us give charity. Let us pledge to use our hands and hearts to help others in physical need. Let us say prayers that can make a difference. The whole world is in our hands.

The virus goes beyond any specific faith and nationality. It impacts all of us in our Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia. It is a reminder that we share this world with everyone around us.

Therefore, I beseech you to chant to the Holy Mother of God the Sixth song of the general Kathabasias “Open my mouth”: “Come ye of divine minds, let us clap our (washed) hands, celebrating the most honorable Feast of the Theotokos, and glorify God Who was born of her” - as a personal prayer each time you wash your hands.
Also, in the words of the Psalmist: "Lift your (washed) hands in holiness, and bless the Lord." (133:2).

 With love in Christ,                                   
+ Metropolitan JOSEPH