Service of Intercession for those Suffering from Alcoholism or Drug Abuse
Author: Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
"It is becoming more common in every monastery and every parish that the priest is approached by people who themselves, or their close ones- their children, friends, husbands, or wives- are suffering from alcohol or drug dependence. Taking into consideration that this dependence has deeply touched the lives of so many Orthodox people, it would seem fitting for the Orthodox Church to have special prayers and services to help these people. In Russia in such cases it is common for the faithful to read the Akathist before the "Inexhaustible Cup" icon of the Mother of God or read the Canon to holy Martyr Boniface. In North America, many people ask for a Molieben (service of intercession) to St. John, the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, to be served. Nevertheless, a specific Molieven similar to those served for travelers, for the sick, in thanksgiving, or before beginning something new did not exist until recently.
In 2006 the question of composing a special service of intercession for those struggling with alcohol or drug dependence was brought up at a meeting of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and a committee was formed to compile such a service. A number of representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church's Liturgical Committee, Department of Liturgical Books of the Publishing Council of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Moscow's Holy Trinity Parish took part in the Russian Church Abroad's committee work. Archbishop Alypy of Chicago and the Midwest edited the final draft and added a few petitions and a prayer. In 2007 the text of the new Service of Intercession was approved by the Synod of Bishops, and Priest Michael van Opstall translated it into English. Members of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Church Abroad edited the translation.
Alcohol and drugs present one of the biggest challenges and temptations to Orthodox Christians, especially our youth. Prayer is the foundation of Christian life. The present Molieben is the Russian Church Abroad's contribution to the battle with alcoholism and drug addiction. May it be an aid to parish priests and a source of comfort and strength both for those who are struggling with alcohol and drugs, and for those who love them and whose hearts bleed for them." -Archpriest Peter Perekrestov