INTERCESSION FOR BACKSLIDERS

O God, the most gracious Maker and most
merciful Restorer of mankind, who, when
man, by the envy of the devil, was cast
down from eternal life, didst redeem him
with the Blood of Thine only Son; give life
to the fallen, whose death Thou dost in no
wise desire; and as Thou dost not leave
them when they are astray, so do Thou re-
ceive them when they are brought back.
Let the sorrowful sighings of the penitents
who return move Thy pity. Do Thou heal
their wounds; do Thou extend Thy saving
hand to the prostrate, lest Thy Church
should be despoiled of any portion of her
body; lest Thy flock should suffer loss; lest
those who have received the salutary wash-
ing of Thy holy Baptism should be over-
taken by the second death. Spare Thou
those who confess; that in this mortal life
they may, by Thy help, so mourn over their
sins, that in the day of the dreadful judg-
ment they may escape the sentence of eter-
nal damnation, and may know neither the
terrors of the darkness nor the fury of the
flame; and that having returned from the
path of error and sin to the way of right-
eousness, they may be pierced with no more
wounds, but may retain in fulness and for-
ever both what Thy grace hath vouchsafed,
and what Thy mercy hath restored; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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