His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America
Presentation and prayer
march for life
National Mall, Washington, D.C.
Friday, January 21, 2022
Dear sisters and brothers,
Today we stand together in solidarity with our brother bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.
We affirm the gift and sanctity of life – all life, born and unborn. As Christians, we confess that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God. Every life is worthy of our prayer and protection, whether in the womb or in the world. We are all responsible for the well-being of children. We are their “guardians” and cannot shirk our responsibility for their well-being.
At the same time, we also affirm our respect for the autonomy of women. They are the ones who bring life into the world. By his incarnation, our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ assumed human nature, by his conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary. She freely chose to bring him into the world, and God respected her freedom. We can and must defend life, both born and unborn, by our own example of unconditional love.
We don’t march for coercion.
We walk with compassion,
And with our arms outstretched to embrace it all.
Let’s pray to the Lord. The Lord has mercy.
Lord, you have given us the opportunity to offer these common prayers in unison and you have promised that when two or three come together in your name, you are there too. Accomplish now, Lord, who was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the power of Your All-Holy Spirit, the requests of Your servants. Remember, Lord, those here present and those who are absent for good reasons. Have mercy on them and on us according to the multitude of your mercy. Remember, O God, all those whom we cannot commemorate through forgetfulness or because of their multitude since you know the name and age of each one, even from the womb of their mother. For You, Lord, are the help of the helpless, the hope of the hopeless, the savior of the afflicted, the refuge of the traveler and the doctor of the sick, the protector of the voiceless. Be all to all, You who know all men, their requests, their homes and their needs. For You are the Giver of Life, bringing each person from non-being into existence, sealing each person with love and holiness. May we come to the light of your truth and glorify you, the giver of life, with your Father and your most holy and life-giving Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen.