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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Compline prayer

Grant us, Master, as we depart for sleep, rest for body and soul. Protect us from the gloom of sinful sleep and from all dark pleasures of the night. Calm the impulses of passion, and quench the fiery darts of evil which are treacherously cast against us. Check the turbulence of our flesh and lull all our earthly and mundane thoughts. Grant us, O God, a watchful mind, prudent reason, a vigilant heart and tranquil sleep, free from all evil dreams. Raise us up at the hour of prayer, strengthen us in your commandments, and keep unshaken within us the remembrance of your judgments. Grant us to glorify you all night long that we may praise and bless and glorify your all honorable and magnificent name, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Most glorious, ever virgin, blessed Theotokos, present our prayers to your Son and our God, and plead with him, that through you he may save our souls.

My hope is the Father, my refuge the Son, my protection, the Holy Spirit. Holy Trinity, glory to you.

My every hope I place in you, Mother of God. Keep me under your protection.

Prayer

O Lord our God,
through our turning to you
you grant us forgiveness;
you have given us a pattern
the repentance of David
in order to receive forgiveness,
so that we might acknowledge and confess
our own sinful state;
Lord have mercy on us
according to your great compassion
and in your unfailing love
blot out our sins
and the errors into which we have fallen,
for they are too many to count.
We have sinned against you, O Lord,
against you who know
all the secrets of men's hearts,
and who alone have the power to forgive sins.
When you have created in us a pure heart
and have renewed a steadfast spirit within us,
grant us the joy of your salvation;
do not turn away from us
but in your goodness and gracious favour
and in your love for all mankind
grant that until our dying breath
we may offer you a righteous sacrifice and oblation
at your altars.

Through the grace, compassion
and unceasing love
of your only-begotten Son,
who with you
and your most holy and life-giving Spirit
is to be blessed and glorified
now and for ever,
to the ages of ages. Amen.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Nativity of Christ

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, hath revealed to the world the Light of wisdom : for in it those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star to adore thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know thee, the Dayspring from on high. Glory be to thee, O Lord.

The Virgin to-day giveth birth to him who is above all creation; and the earth offereth the cave to him whom none can approach unto. Angels and shepherds sing glory, and wise men journey with a star, since for our sake hath come as a new-born Child he who from all eternity is God.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Isaiah 35

1: The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

2: It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.

3: Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

4: Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

5: Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

6: Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

7: And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

8: And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

9: No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

10: And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Saint John Damascene

Mary opened to us the unspeakable abyss of God's love for us. Through her the old enmity against the Creator is destroyed. Through her our reconciliation with him is strengthened, peace and grace are given to us, men and women are the companions of angels, and we, who were in dishonor, are made the children of God. From her we have plucked the fruit of life. From her we have received the seed of immortality. She is the channel of all our goods. In her God was man and man was God. What more marvelous or blessed? I approach the subject in fear and trembling.

With Mary, the prophetess, O youthful souls, let us sound our musical instruments, mortifying our members on earth, for this spiritual music. Let our souls rejoice in the Ark of God; the walls of Jericho will yield, I mean the fortresses of the enemy. Let us dance in spirit with David; the Ark of God is at rest. With Gabriel, the great archangel, let us exclaim, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you." Hail, inexhaustible ocean of grace. Hail, sole refuge in grief. Hail, cure of hearts. Hail, you through whom death is expelled and life is installed.

Monday, November 12, 2007

First Prayer of St Basil the Great

Almighty Lord, God of the Powers and of all flesh, Who livest in the highest and carest for the humble, Who searchest our hearts and affections, and clearly foreknowest the secrets of men; eternal and everliving Light, in Whom is no change nor shadow of variation; O Immortal King, receive our prayers which at the present time we offer to Thee from unclean lips, trusting in the multitude of Thy mercies. Forgive all sins committed by us in thought, word or deed, consciously or unconsciously, and cleanse us from all defilement of flesh and spirit. Grant us to pass the night of the whole present life with wakeful heart and sober thought, ever expecting the coming of the radiant day of the appearing of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, when the Judge of all will come with glory to render to each according to their deeds. May we not be found fallen and idle, but awake and alert for action, ready to accompany Him into the joy and divine palace of His glory, where there is the ceaseless sound of those keeping festival and the unspeakable delight of those who behold the ineffable beauty of Thy Face. For Thou art the true Light that enlightens and sanctifies all, and all creation sings to Thee throughout the ages. Amen.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Prayer to the Most Holy Mother of God

O gracious Mother of our gracious King, most pure and most blessed Mother of God, Mary, pour out the mercy of thy Son and our God upon my passionate soul, and by thy prayers establish me in acts of righteousness, that I may pass the remaining time of my life without fault, and by thy guidance find paradise, O Mother of God and Virgin alone pure and blessed. Amen.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Prayer for the Acceptance of God's Will

(by Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, d. 1867)

O Lord, I know not what to ask of thee. Thou alone knowest what are my true needs. Thou lovest me more than I myself know how to love. Help me to see my real needs which are concealed from me. I dare not ask either a cross or consolation. I can only wait on thee. My heart is open to thee. Visit and help me, for thy great mercy's sake. Strike me and heal me, cast me down and raise me up. I worship in silence thy holy will and thine inscrutable ways. I offer myself as a sacrifice to thee. I put all my trust in thee. I have no other desire than to fulfil thy will. Teach me how to pray. Pray thou thyself in me. Amen.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Prayer to the Most Holy Mother of God

My most holy Lady, Mother of God, by thy holy and all-powerful prayers banish from me, thy humble, wretched servant, despondency, forgetfulness, folly, carelessness, and all impure, evil and blasphemous thoughts out of my wretched heart and my darkened mind. And quench the flame of my passions, for I am poor and wretched, and deliver me from my many cruel memories and deeds, and free me from all their bad effects; for blessed art thou by all generations, and glorified is thy most honorable name to the ages of ages. Amen.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Psalm 51 (50)

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness; * according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences.

2 Wash me throughly from my wickedness, * and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my faults, * and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; * that thou mightest be justified in thy saying, and clear when thou shalt judge.

5 Behold, I was shapen in wickedness, * and in sin hath my mother conceived me.

6 But lo, thou requirest truth in the inward parts, * and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly.

7 Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; * thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness, * that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9 Turn thy face from my sins, * and put out all my misdeeds.

10 Make me a clean heart, O God, * and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence, * and take not thy holy Spirit from me.

12 O give me the comfort of thy help again, * and stablish me with thy free Spirit.

13 Then shall I teach thy ways unto the wicked, * and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou that art the God of my health; * and my tongue shall sing of thy righteousness.

15 Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord, * and my mouth shall show thy praise.

16 For thou desirest no sacrifice, else would I give it thee; * but thou delightest not in burnt-offerings.

17 The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: * a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt thou not despise.

18 O be favourable and gracious unto Sion; * build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifice of righteousness, with the burnt-offerings and oblations; * then shall they offer young bullocks upon thine altar.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hymn to the Theotokos

(from the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom)

It is truly meet to bless you, O Theotokos, who are ever blessed and all-blameless, and the mother of our God. More honourable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, you who without stain barest God the Word, and are truly Theotokos: we magnify you.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Prayer to the Most-Holy Theotokos

Spotless, undefiled, incorruptible, most-chaste, pure Virgin, Bride of God, Lady, who unites God the Word to man by your wondrous conception, and who joins the fallen nature of our race to heavenly things; the only hope of the hopeless, and the help of the persecuted; the ready help of those who flee to you, and the refuge of all Christians: do not reject me the sinner, the accursed one, who have rendered myself altogether useless by my shameful thoughts, words, and deeds, and who through indolence have become a slave to the pleasures of this life.

But as Mother of the God Who loves mankind, show your love for me a sinner and a prodigal, and receive from me the prayers offered to you by unhallowed lips, and, using your boldness as a Mother, entreat your Son, and our Lord and Master, to extend His goodness to me in His wondrous love for mankind, and, overlooking my numberless transgressions, turn me to repentance, showing me to be a zealous doer of His commandments.

And be ever near me as merciful, and compassionate, and gentle; in this present life an ardent protection and help, defending me from assaults of adversaries, and leading me to salvation; and in the hour of my departure, encompass my struggling soul, and drive the dark visions of evil spirits far from it; in the fearsome day of judgment, deliver me from eternal punishment, and present me as an inheritor of the ineffable glory of your Son and our God.

May this be my lot, my Lady, most-holy Theotokos, through your mediation and help; by the grace and love for mankind of your only-begotten Son, the Lord and God, and our Savior Jesus Christ. To Whom belongs all glory, honor, and worship, with His eternal Father, and His All-Holy, and good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Midnight Song to the Most Holy Mother of God

I sing thy grace, O Sovereign Lady, and pray to thee to grace my mind. Teach me to step right in the way of Christ's commandments. Strengthen me to keep awake in song and dispel the dream of despondency. Release me, bound with bonds of sin, O bride of God, by thy prayers. Guard me by night and also by day, and drive away my foes who defeat me. O Bearer of God, the Giver of Life, enliven me who am deadened by passions. O bearer of the unfailing Light, enlighten my blinded soul. O Marvellous Palace of the Master, make me a house of the Divine Spirit. O Mother of the Healer, heal the perennial passions of my soul. Guide me to the path of repentance, for I am tossed in the storm of life. Deliver me from eternal fire, from wicked war and from hell. Expose me guilty as I am of many sins. Renew me, grown old from senseless sins, O most Immaculate One. Present me untouched by all torments, and pray for me to the Lord of all. Grant me to receive the joys of Heaven with all the Saints. O most holy Virgin, hear the voice of thy unprofitable servant. Grant me torrents of tears, O most Pure One, to cleanse my soul from impurity. I offer the groans of my heart to Thee unceasingly. Strive for me, O Sovereign Lady. Accept my service of supplication and offer it to compassionate God. O thou who art above the Angels, raise me above this world's confusion. O Light-bearing heavenly Tabernacle, direct the grace of the Spirit in me. I raise my hands and lips in thy praise, defiled as they are by impurity, O All-Immaculate One. Deliver me from soul-corrupting evils, and fervently intercede to Christ to Whom is due honour with adoration, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Hail, gladdening Light

O Heavenly King

O Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of Life, come and abide in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

Friday, October 19, 2007

from Psalm 130 (129)

3 If thou, LORD, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss, * O Lord, who may abide it?

4 For there is mercy with thee; * therefore shalt thou be feared.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Phos hilaron

O joyful light of the holy glory of the immortal Father, the heavenly, holy, blessed Jesus Christ. Now that we have reached the setting of the sun and behold the evening light, we sing to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is fitting at all times to praise you with cheerful voices, O Son of God, the Giver of life. Behold, the world sings your glory.