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Members of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in East Meadow NY gathered on Tuesday, September 21 to sing an Akathist hymn to the Virgin Mary, asking for supplication for those afflicted by cancer. Among those in attendance were individuals currently suffering from the disease with their family members, as well as others who are in remission from cancer.
 
Dozens of people, by name (Orthodox and non-Orthodox) were remembered during the service.  The names were submitted by phone or email from throughout the tri-state area. Many other names were added to the list by those in attendance at the service. Along with the names submitted, the parish received comments and notes of gratitude to the church for making time to pray for those in poor health along with their families.  “Our Faith doesn't try to hide the reality and hardships of the world,” said the parish rector, Father Martin Kraus.  “Instead the worship services are available to transform our lives, giving us peace in difficult times.”  The texts of the service were written to the "Queen of All” --  a 17th century miraculous icon treasured in the Monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos. Many instances of healing from cancer have been attributed to the original icon, and also to a copy which exists in Moscow.
 
“People came up after the service commenting how beautiful it was and, while they had expected sadness, they instead found strength and joy,”  Father Martin said, adding, “We’re only offering prayers to God. He is the One Who is providing the strength to the afflicted.”
 
Based on the response received for this Akathist, the parish is already planning for additional Akathists and Services of Intercessions each month, to pray for other people in need.
 
On October 15, a service of intercession will be offered to remember children who died shortly after birth, as well as those who died during pregnancy. The service will also include prayers for parents mourning the death of a child, and will begin at 7:00 pm. The public is invited to attend. Names of those to be remembered during the service can be emailed to:  prayer@htocem.org
 
For more information about Holy Trinity’s prayer ministry, visit the parish website at:
http://htocem.org/prayerministry.php
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