Widely considered to be the first of the apostolic fathers, Clement of Rome was a Christian leader in the late first century. We know unfortunately little about the details of his life, and he is famous largely because of his two epistles 1 Clement and 2 Clement (though his authorship of the second has come into question recently) and because early lists identify him as one of the first bishops of Rome, where he was consecrated by Peter himself.
Although we do not know when Clement died, he is commemorated in the last week of November by churches in the east and west. So, in his memory, this Sunday’s prayer comes from him.
Give us the grace, Lord, to hope in Thy Name, to which all creatures owe their being. Open the eyes of our hearts to know Thee alone, the Most High in the highest heavens, whose dwelling is in the holy of holies. Thou abasest the arrogance of the proud, frustrate the designs of the godless, humble the lofty and exalt the lowly, makest wealthy and poor, Thou slayest, Thou savest and Thou bringest to life. Alone the Benefactor of spirits and God of all flesh, Thy gaze penetrates the depths, Thou observest the doings of men. Helper of those in peril, Savior of those in despair, Creator of all that draws breath, Thou causest the peoples on the earth to multiply and from them all choose those who love Thee through Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son. Through Him Thou hast instructed us, sanctified us, honored us.
We ask Thee, O Lord, to be our supporter and our helper. To those of us who are afflicted, free us, pity the lowly, raise the fallen, show thyself to the needy, heal the sick, convert Thy wayward people, feed the hungry, deliver our captives, support the weak, encourage the faint-hearted. Let all nations know that Thou alone art God and Jesus Christ is Thy Son, and we are Thy people, the sheep of Thy flock.
Truly Thou hast established the world and revealed Thy decrees. Thou art faithful through all generations, just in judgment, admirable in strength and majesty, wise in building, prudent in establishment, goodness in everything seen, faithful to those who put their trust in Thee, and kind and merciful. Dismiss from us our iniquities, our injustices, our sins and our failings.
Do not hold the sins of Thy servants against them, but purify us by Thy truth, and direct our steps that in holiness and justice and simplicity of heart we may walk and so do what is good and pleasing in Thy sight and in the sight of our leaders.
O Lord, let the light of your face shine upon us, so that we may enjoy Thy blessings in peace, protected by Thy strong hand, and freed from all sin by Thy outstretched arm; and deliver us from those who hate us unjustly.
Grant peace and concord to us and to all mankind, even as Thou gavest it to our forefathers when they devoutly called upon Thee in faith and in truth. Thou alone art able to bestow these and even greater benefits upon us. We praise Thee through our high priest and the patron of our souls, Jesus Christ. Through Him be glory and majesty to Thee now and throughout all generations, for ever and ever.