His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America has announced here that Saturday, October 20 - Saint Demetrius Memorial Saturday on the Orthodox Christian calendar - is to be set aside as a day of prayer for those who perished in New York City, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.
“Because the Memorial Saturday coincides with the 40th day of the tragedy, it is fitting that services be held in all parishes for the repose of the thousands of innocent victims of the horrible attacks on our nation,” Metropolitan Theodosius said. “We also ask that ongoing prayers for the families of the victims be included at all liturgical services.”
Expanded prayers and petitions are being sent to all OCA parishes for inclusion in all liturgical services.
In a related matter, efforts are being made to contact all hierarchs from jurisdictions affiliated with the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas [SCOBA] to gather in New York the weekend of September 22-23 to participate in the National Day of Prayer being organized by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s offices.
“It is our prayer that most, if not all, SCOBA hierarchs will be in attendance at the National Day of Prayer, especially in light of the fact that no invitation had been extended to any Orthodox hierarch or jurisdiction to participate in the ceremony held in Washington, DC’s National Cathedral on Friday, September 14, 2001,” Metropolitan Theodosius said. “The lack of any Orthodox presence at that gathering was deeply felt by many Orthodox Christians and non-Orthodox alike.”
Updates on these and related developments will be posted on the Orthodox Church in America web site at www.oca.org as they happen.