O Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd, Son of God,
You walked this earth under sky and tree and by the sea,
& visited, clothed in me, in soul and flesh, every moment in humanity.
You left the House of the Angels
and You journeyed far on the infinite way
into the wilderness of Man
and saved the one lost lowing lamb,
that is us, all of us,
caught and torn in the night.
These are the things that Good Shepherds do,
You, Lord, the One Good Shepherd, Who knows us by name,
and leads us from the storm, the desolation,
into the fold,
into the green pasture, the cool waters,
the restoration of soul.
These are the things that Your shepherds do,
they that You breathed upon, that You prayed for that lonely Thursday night,
in the garden, on the eve of the Cross.
And they took that Breath and took Your Word,
and Your Eucharist, Your Oil and Your Baptismal Stream,
and they turned the world upside down
and walked Your path down through the ages of Time.
Here we are Lord, Your children, Your flock:
We live in a future we do not understand,
We are far, far down that path through Time,
removed from the old familiarities, the certainties, the comfortable ways:
it is a storm and a wilderness now,
in these very secular, unreligious days.
You have given us a Shepherd
Who will call us by Your Name,
Who is not a hired hand that runs from the lion and the wolf,
Who leads his flock through the One and Only Door
that is You, and Your Way and Truth, alone.
He will lead us by Your Breath and by Your Word
into Your Eucharist, Your Unction and Cleansing Stream.
We will go beside the cool waters and green pastures,
in the paths of righteousness for the sake of Your Name.
And we will not fear the shadow,
for You are with us,
for by his rod and his staff
do You comfort and save, lead and give us peace.
May You breathe upon him, Your servant-priest Gregory,
just as Your benediction on the sweet Paschal evening.
May You lay Your hands upon him
through the palms of Your gentle shepherd Demetrios,
and they who stand with him in the apostles’ way,
Antony, Alexios, Savas and Daniel.
May You ward him under the mighty guard of Michael and Gabriel,
and tenderly watch him
by the intercessions of Nicholas of Myra and the Forerunner,
and his patron Grigorios of Palamas,
and the deifying supplications of Your mother, the exemplar of all of us who pray.
May You strengthen him and grant him peace,
and always fill up that which is lacking,
and in his weakness make known, for certain,
the all-sufficiency of Your Crucified, Trinitarian Grace.
The Lord is Bishop Gregory’s Shepherd, Amen.
He shall not want.