The “Liturgy of St. Mark” dates back to the second century and has been prayed by the Orthodox Church of Alexandria every century since then, especially on the feast day of St. Mark. Manuscript specialists know this prayer is from the second century because there are small fragments of an ancient papyrus manuscript written in Greek that dates back to some time between 300–500 c.e., giving scholars some indication of how old the prayers might be. There is also an ancient wooden tablet in Coptic dating to the 8th century, and a thirteenth-century manuscript, also in Coptic––all housed in different museums around the world.
Manuscript fragments hold power. They remind us of days long forgotten, and connect us to people we’ve never met, yet have influenced us all the same. There’s something about those little pieces of paper from centuries past that seem like little holy love notes to God that were never forgotten, never abandoned, never erased from memory. May this prayer be a holy love note to the Lord our God again this morning.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, bless your people.
Give us your peace, your help, your love,
For we are the sheep of your pasture.
Let us be united in your peace—
One in the body, one in the spirit,
And one in the hope of our calling,
All through the gift of your endless grace.
—Based on the Liturgy of St. Mark, Second Century
Worship at Kenilworth Union Church
Tuesdays at 12:15 p.m. Mid-Day Prayer, Live in the Sanctuary or Livestream
Sundays at 8:30 a.m. Outdoor Worship, Meet in the Garden
Sundays at 10 a.m. Summer Worship, Livestream