Prayers a priest may say before serving the Divine Liturgy

from the Liturgy of St James

Defiled as I am by many sins, do not utterly reject me, Master, Lord, our God. For see, I draw near to this divine and heavenly mystery, not as though I were worthy, but, looking to Thy goodness, I raise my voice to Thee, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner.' For I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and I am not worthy to lift up my eyes to this Thy sacred and spiritual Table, on which Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is mystically set forth as a sacrifice by me, a sinner stained by every defilement. Therefore I bring Thee this supplication, that Thy Spirit, the Advocate, may be sent down to me, strengthening and preparing me for this ministry. And grant that without condemnation the word that has been declared by Thee may be proclaimed by me to the people in Christ Jesus our Lord, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thine all-holy, good, life-giving and consubstantial Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Almighty God, Lord, whose name is great, who givest us entrance to the Holy of Holies through the coming of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, we entreat and implore Thy goodness. Since we are full of fear and trembling as we are about to stand before Thy holy altar, send forth Thy good grace upon us, sanctify our souls, bodies and spirits and change our thoughts to true devotion, so that, with a pure conscience, we may offer Thee gifts, presents, fruits, for the removal of our sins, for the forgiveness of all Thy people, by the grace and love for humankind of Thine only-begotten Son, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thine all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Master and Lord, who visits us in mercy and compassion and hast granted us, humble sinners and Thy unworthy servants the grace to stand at Thy holy Altar and to offer to Thee this dread sacrifice without shedding of blood for our own sins and those committed in ignorance by the people, look on me, Thy unprofitable servant and wipe away my transgressions through Thy compassion and purify my lips and my heart from every defilement of flesh and spirit, and banish from me every base and unseemly thought, and enable me for this ministry by the power of Thy all-holy Spirit, and accept me through Thy goodness as I approach Thy holy altar, and be well pleased, Lord, for these gifts to be acceptable that are offered through our hands, being gracious to my weaknesses, and do not cast me away from Thy presence.

Do not despise my unworthiness, but have mercy on me, O God, in accordance with Thy great mercy and according to the abundance of Thy compassion disregard my offences, so that, coming into the presence of Thy glory with condemnation, I may be found worthy of the protection of Thy only-begotten Son and the illumination of Thy all-holy Spirit, but as Thy servant may I find grace, mercy and forgiveness of sins both in this present age and in the age to come. Yes, Master almighty and all-powerful, listen to my supplication and grant me reprieve from my evil deeds, for it is Thou who workest all in all, and in all things we seek from Thee Thy help and assistance and that of Thy only-begotten Son and Thy good, life-giving and consubstantial Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.


From the Liturgy of St James, http://web.ukonline.co.uk/ephrem/lit-james.htm

Also available in PDF and RTF formats





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