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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.