Many Thanks for Prayers and a Request

I awoke feeling much better today and am deeply grateful for the many prayers. In my experience, rising from a bed of sickness is among the greatest joys we know in our earthly life. I think it is a foreshadowing of the resurrection when we shall all rise from our beds of sickness (and death) and join in the chorus of heaven. I am baptizing a child this afternoon, no better way to celebrate resurrection! I share again the wonderful song of resurrection by St. Nicolai of Zicha, because I do not know of a happier sound!

On a very sorrowful note – pray for our brothers in Russia, Georgia and Ossetia where the threat of war has broken out. How deeply grevious it is for Orthodox brothers to go to war. May God bring a swift and just end to their conflict!

Translation of lyrics:

People rejoice, nations hear:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Stars dance, mounts sing:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Forests murmur, winds hum:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Seas bow*, animals roar:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Bees swarm, and the birds sing:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!

Angels stand, triple the song:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Sky humble yourself, and elevate the earth:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Bells chime, and tell to all:
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!
Glory to You God, everything is possible to You,
Christ is risen, and brings the joy!

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.


10 responses to “Many Thanks for Prayers and a Request”

  1. Justin Farr Avatar

    I am very glad that you are feeling better, Father!

    Thank you for sharing one of my favorite songs. I haven’t heard it for awhile, and I needed to hear such joyous singing today! 🙂

  2. ConfesSword Avatar

    Father Stephen, it’s good to know you are well.

    I have never heard that beautiful song before…what is it called?

  3. Charlie Peterson Avatar

    Father Stephen,

    You’ve helped me choose another “category” for my website!

    Thank you!

  4. Rick Bowling Avatar

    Father Stephen,

    I’m sorry to learn of your illness but glad that you are better now. I’ve been reading your blog for some time and have been greatly enriched by your writing. God bless you and please pray for us sinners.

  5. Alice C. Linsley Avatar

    God is good. Even in our personal trials and suffering Christ calls us to remember others. In this case we are reminded to pray for those who are enduring terrors in Georgia. May God grant them strength and every grace to remember others also.

  6. shevaberakhot Avatar

    Truly He is Father Stephen, truly He is!

  7. Seraphima Avatar


    That song — as well as many other of St Nikolaj’s songs — are available in English (and Serbian) on the CD called “Spiritual Songs” by the sisters at St Paisius Monastery in Arizona. It’s very good!


  8. Theophan Avatar

    We indeed need to pray for the Russians and the Georgians. It would, be a great thing to call both Russia and Georgia “Orthodox” countries (I suppose that is true from the historical point of view), but when only 5-10 percent of the populations in both countries are actual consistent church goers, activily participating in the life in Christ, might it be a stretch, therefore, to say this is an Orthodox on Orthodox war? From my perspective, I don’t think so. It seems more like a former soviet on former soviet war. In any case, it is inevitable that there are Orthodox Christians fighting on both sides, what words exist that can express such sorrow?

  9. Theophan Avatar

    It may be heartening to some to read Patriarch Alexy’s message to the Authorities on both sides of this war:

    Having learnt about the hostilities in Tshinvali and its outskirts, I call upon the warring parties to cease fire and return to the path of dialogue. Blood is being shed in South Ossetia and people are being killed and this makes my heart to grieve profoundly. Among those who have lifted their hand against each other are Orthodox Christians. What is more, those who have come into conflict are Orthodox nations who are called by the Lord to live in brotherhood and love. I am aware of the appeal to peace made by His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarch Iliya of All Georgia. I also make my ardent appeal to those who have gone blind with hatred: stop! Do not let more blood be shed, do not let today’s conflict be expanded many times over! Show common sense and virtue: sit at the negotiation table for talks with respect for the traditions, views and aspirations of both the Georgian and Ossetian peoples. The Russian Church is ready to unite efforts with the Georgian Church and help in achieving peace. May our God, Who ‘is not a God of disorder but of peace’ (1 Cor. 14:33), be our Helper in this endeavor.

    + ALEXY

  10. George Varghese Avatar
    George Varghese

    Dear Father:

    Thank you for posting this wonderful music. It only brings tears knowing for the first time of the conflict between Russia and Georgia through your website .

    Let us pray God grant the compassionate hearts to all involved


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  1. Greetings, Father Stephen, Thank you so much for this reflection and all of the tremendous amount of work you have…

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