Archive for the ‘Prayer texts’ Category

Links to Lenten Lectionary, Great Compline, Great Canon, Prayer of St Ephrem, Life of St Mary of Egypt in multiple formats.

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Lenten Lectionary

Prayers and Services commonly or exclusively used in Great Lent

O Lord, I am weak… a prayer of Elder Sophrony of Essex

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010


Night View looking at the SE sides of the temple

Eventually we will have an illuminated sign where our "old rugged cross" is! That cross is a parish relic – we prayed in front of it every week for over a year before we broke ground. This was taken Oct 29, and is the way a yard *should* look on Halloween! Taken Oct 16/29, the night of the visit of the Kursk Root Icon.

O Lord, I am weak. Thou knowest this.

In fear I seek the way to Thee. Despise me not. Forsake me not in my fall.

Draw near even unto me, who am of no account, yet I thirst after Thee.

Take up Thine abode in me and do Thou Thyself perform in me all that Thou hast commanded of us.

Make me Thine for ever and ever, in love unshakeable.

Elder Sophrony of Essex


To Pray For Someone More Diligently. Prayer Of St Silouan Of Mount Athos For All People. Audio talk and prayer texts.

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010


This is another in our short after liturgy catechetical talks. We discuss 2 prayers that everyone should have for their personal prayer rule. The prayer of St Silouan is especially important. St Silouan prayed for all the people of the world. This is a sure sign of love. We must cultivate habits that build this kind of love. The audio explains a little about these prayers and quotes them. The word document contains these two prayers. It can be printed and cut into quarters to have 4 sheets with both prayers.

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To pray for someone more diligently


Save, O Lord, and have mercy on Thy servant(s) ________, [bow]


Deliver him (her, them) from every tribulation, wrath and need [bow],


From every sickness of soul and body, [bow]


Forgive him (her, them) every transgression, voluntary and involuntary, [bow]


And do whatever is profitable for our souls. [bow].




Prayer of St Silouan of Mount Athos


I pray Thee, O merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the world, that they may come to know Thee by the Holy Spirit.



1st prayer from the “Old Believer” prayer book. 2nd from Archimandrite Zacharias, “The Enlargement of the Heart”



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The Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete. Explanation, themes, texts, biography

Saturday, February 13th, 2010


Explanation of the Canon liturgical format

Short Explanation of the Great Canon

Themes of the Great Canon.

Full Text of the Great Canon as chanted on 5 days of Great Lent

Biography of St Andrew


The Great Canon of St Andrew, Bishop of Crete, is the longest canon in all of our services, and is associated with Great Lent, since the only times it is appointed to be read in church are the first four nights of Great Lent (Clean Monday through Clean Thursday, at Great Compline, when it is serialized) and at Matins for Thursday of the fifth week of Great Lent, when it is read in its entirety (in this latter service, the entire life of St Mary of Egypt is also read).


There is no other sacred hymn which compares with this monumental work, which St Andrew wrote for his personal meditations.  Nothing else has its extensive typology and mystical explanations of the scripture, from both the Old and New Testaments.  One can almost consider this hymn to be a “survey of the Old and New Testament”. Its other distinguishing features are a spirit of mournful humility, hope in God, and complex and beautiful Trinitarian Doxologies and hymns to the Theotokos in each Ode.


The canon is a dialog between St. Andrew and his soul. The ongoing theme is an urgent exhortation to change one’s life. St Andrew always  mentions his own sinfulness placed in juxtaposition to God’s mercy, and uses literally hundreds of references to good and bad examples from the OT and NT to “convince himself” to repent.


A canon is an ancient liturgical hymn, with a very strict format. It consists of a variable number of parts, each called an “ode”. Most common canons have eight Odes, numbered from one to nine, with Ode 2 being omitted. The most penitential canons have all nine odes. Some canons have only three Odes, such as many of the canons in the “Triodion” (which means “Three Odes”).


In any case, all Odes have the same basic format.  An “Irmos” begins each Ode. This is generally sung, and each Irmos has a reference to one of the nine biblical canticles, which are selections from the Old and New Testament, which can be found in an appendix in any complete liturgical Psalter (book of Psalms, arranged for reading in the services). A variable number of “troparia” follow, which are short hymns about the subject of the canon. These are usually chanted, and not sung. After each troparion a “refrain” is chanted. At the end of each Ode, another hymn, called the “Katavasia”, either  the Irmos previously sung, or one like it is sung.


The troparia of the Great Canon in all its twelve Odes are usually chanted by the priest in the center of the church, with the choir singing the Irmos and Katavasia. There are varying traditions about bows and prostrations. Some prostrate and some make the sign of the cross and bow three times after the Irmos and each troparion.

General Themes of the Great Canon.


How we should think about ourselves


Where shall I begin to lament the deeds of my wretched life? What first-fruit shall I offer, O Christ, for my present lamentation? But in Thy compassion grant me release from my fallsMon:1.1


Desire to change – dialogue with the soul


Come, wretched soul, with your flesh, confess to the Creator of all. In the future refrain from you former brutishness, and offer to God tears of repentanceMon:1.2


Recognizing Reality


The end is drawing near, my soul, is drawing near! But you neither care nor prepare. The time is growing short. Rise! The Judge is at the very doors. Like a dream, like a flower, the time of this life passes. Why do we bustle about in vain? Mon:4.2


How to pray – Laments and supplications to God


Thou art the Good Shepherd; seek me, Thy lamb, and neglect no me who have gone astray Mon:3.5


OT and NT examples of righteousness and unrighteousness, for the purpose of emulation or avoidance.


Do not be a pillar of salt, my soul, by turning back; but let the example of the Sodomites frighten you, and take refuge up in Zoar.(Genesis 19:26) Thu Ode 3:5


I have reviewed all the people of the Old Testament as examples for you, my soul. Imitate the God-loving deeds of the righteous and shun the sins of the wicked.Tue Ode 8




The Great Canon was written by a holy man to teach himself the right way to live. We cannot benefit from it unless we make it a priority to stand in prayer, in the church, and listen to it, with a great desire and expectation for God’s grace to teach us and heal us. Our theology is first and foremost – experienced and prayed, and not only “studied”.



The Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete

All these texts are available at

As chanted on Monday of the first Week

As chanted on Tuesday of the first Week

As chanted on Wednesday of the first Week

As chanted on Thursday of the first Week

As chanted on Thursday of the Fifth Week

St Andrew, Archbishop of Crete.

Commemorated July 4

From the Prologue


Born in Damascus of Christian parents, he was dumb until the age of seven. When his parents took him to church for Communion, the power of speech was given to him. Such is the divine power of Communion.


He went to Jerusalem at the age of fourteen and was tonsured in the monastery of St Sava the Sanctified. In his understanding and ascesis, he surpassed many of the older monks and was an example to all. The Patriarch took him as his secretary.


When the Monothelite heresy, which taught that the Lord had no human will but only a divine one, began to rage, the Sixth Ecumenical Council met in Constantinople in 681, in the reign of Constantine IV. Theodore, Patriarch of Jerusalem, was not able to be present at the Council, and sent Andrew, then a deacon, as his representative. At the Council, Andrew showed his great gifts: his articulateness, his zeal for the Faith and his rare prudence. Being instrumental in confirming the Orthodox faith, Andrew returned to his work in Jerusalem.


He was later chosen and enthroned as archbishop of the island of Crete. As archbishop, he was greatly beloved by the people. He was filled with zeal for Orthodoxy and strongly withstood all heresy. He worked miracles through his prayers, driving the Saracens from the island of Crete by means of them. He wrote many learned books, poems and canons, of which the best-known is the Great Canon of Repentance which is read in full on the Thursday of the Fifth Week of the Great Fast.


Such was his outward appearance that, ‘looking at his face and listening to the words that flowed like honey from his lips, each man was touched and renewed’. Returning from Constantinople on one occasion, he foretold his death before reaching Crete. And so it happened. As the ship approached the island of Mitylene, this light of the Church finished his earthly course and his soul went to the Kingdom of Christ, in about the year 740.

From The Prologue from Ochrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich  ©1985 Lazarica Press, Birmingham UK

Priest Seraphim Holland    St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas


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Lenten prayer of Nersess the Gracious

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

The following is a wonderful, richly domatic and edifying prayer. Although it is called a “Lenten prayer”, it may be said anytime on one’s private prayers.

1. I confess with faith and adore , Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, uncreated and immortal essence, creator of angels, of humans, and of all that exists. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

2. I confess with faith and adore Thee, O Light indivisible, consubstantial Holy Trinity and one Godhead, creator of light and dispeller of darkness. Dispel from my soul the darkness of sin and ignorance, and at this hour enlighten my mind, that I may pray to Thee according to Thy will, and receive from Thee the fulfillment of my supplications. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

3. Heavenly Father, true God, who sent Thy beloved Son to seek the wandering sheep, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee; receive me like the Prodigal Son, and clothe me with the garment of innocence, of which I was deprived by sin. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

4. Son of God, true God, who descended from the bosom of the Father, and took flesh of the Holy Virgin Mary for our salvation, who was crucified and buried, and rose from the dead, and ascended to the Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before Thee; remember me like the robber, when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

5. Spirit of God, true God, who descended into the Jordan and into the upper chamber, and who enlightened me by baptism in the holy font, I have sinned against Heaven and before Thee; cleanse me with Thy divine fire as Thou didst purify the holy Apostles with fiery tongues. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

6. Uncreated Essence, I have sinned against Thee in mind, soul and body; do not remember my former sins for the sake of Thy Holy name. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

7. Beholder of all, I have sinned against Thee, in thought, word and deed; erase the record of my offences, and write my name in the Book of Life. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

8. Searcher of secrets, I have sinned against Thee willingly and unwillingly, knowingly and unknowingly, grant me —a great sinner— forgiveness, for since I was born of the holy font until this day I have sinned before Thee, by my senses, and by all the members of my body. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

9. All provident Lord, place Thy holy fear as a guard before my eyes so they may not look lustfully; before my ears so that they may not delight in hearing evil words; before my mouth so that it may not speak any falsehoods; before my heart so that it may not think evil; before my hands so that they may not do injustice; before my feet, that they may not walk in the paths of injustice; but so direct them, that they may always be according to all Thy commandments. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

10. Christ, who are the Living Fire, inflame my soul with the fire of Thy love, which Thou didst send forth upon the earth, that it may burn the stains of my soul, sanctify my conscience, purge the sins of my body, and kindle in my heart the light of Thy knowledge. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

11. Jesus, wisdom of the Father, grant me wisdom, that I may always think, speak, and do that which is good in Thy sight; save me from evil thoughts, words and deeds. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

12. Lord, who wills that which is good, and are the director of the will, let me not follow the inclinations of my heart, but lead me to live always according to Thy good will. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

13. Heavenly King, grant me Thy kingdom, which Thou hast promised to Thy beloved; strengthen my heart to hate sin, and to love Thee alone, and to do Thy will. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

14. Protector of Thy creatures, by the sign of Thy cross keep my soul and body from the allurements of sin, from the temptations of the devil and unjust people, and from all perils of soul and body. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

15. Christ, the guardian of all, let Thy Right Hand guard and shelter me by day and by night, while at home and while away, while sleeping and while awake, that I may never fall. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

16. my God, who opens Thy hand and fills all things living with Thy bounty, to Thee I commit my soul; do care for me and provide for the needs of my body and soul forever. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

17. Thou who didst bring back the wanderers, turn me from my evil ways to good ones and imprint upon my soul the recollection of the dreadful day of death, the fear of hell and the love of Thy Kingdom that I may repent of my sins and do righteousness. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

18. Fountain of immortality, make the tears of repentance flow from my heart, like those of the adulteress, that I may wash away the sins of my soul before I depart from this world. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

19. Bestower of mercy, grant that I may come to Thee with true faith, with good works and by the communion of Thy Holy Body and Blood. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

20. Beneficent Lord, commit me to a good angel, that I may deliver up my spirit in peace; convey it undisturbed by the malice of evil spirits that are under the heavens. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

21. Christ, True Light, make my soul worthy to behold with joy the light of Thy glory, in that day when Thou callest me and to rest in the hope of good things in the mansions of the just until the day of Thy glorious coming. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

22. Righteous Judge, when Thou comest in the glory of the Father to judge the living and the dead, enter not into judgement with Thy servant, but deliver me from the eternal fire, and make me worthy to hear the blissful call of the just to Thy heavenly kingdom. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

23. All-merciful Lord, have mercy upon all Thy faithful, on those who are mine and on those who are strangers; on those whom I know and on those whom I know not; on the living and on the dead; and forgive all my enemies, and those who hate me, the trespasses that they have committed against me; turn them from the malice which they bear towards me, that they may be worthy of Thy mercy. Have mercy upon Thy Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.

24. Glorified Lord, accept the supplications of Thy servant, and graciously fulfill my petitions, through the intercession of the Holy Mother of God, John the Baptist, the first martyr St. Stephen, St. Gregory our Illuminator, the Holy Apostles, Prophets, Divines, Martyrs, Patriarchs, Hermits, Virgins and all Thy saints in Heaven and on Earth. And unto Thee, O indivisible Holy Trinity, be glory and worship forever and ever. Amen.

Nersess the Gracious (1100-1173) is revered by the Armenian Orthodox Church as a saint.

This prayer was taken from a post on a discussion list: 01-03-2007, 07:46 PM
( It may also be found at

This is an extremely edifying and richly dogmatic prayer, suitable for all Orthodox Christians. The publication of this prayer on this website does not constitute any acknowledgment or denial of the sanctity of “Nersess the Gracious”.

of-nersess-the-gracious-a-lenten-prayer.rtf, at