Prayer



Prayer is the dialogue between God and His people. Without dialogue, a relationship between people withers and dies. It is the same with God's people. Jesus would have been familiar with the Shema. The Jewish prayer that begins all worship. 'Shema Israel, shema Israel.  Adonai Elohim Adonai ahad'. 'Hear O Israel, hear O Israel. The Lord your God, the Lord is one'. As Orthodox Christians we too believe in the One God and we know Him revealed in the Trinity. Here you will find prayers Orthodox people use, and an explanation behind such prayers.


Prayer often ends with the word 'Amen', but many people either don't know why or have no curiosity about why. The word is Hebrew and is related to the word "amanah," meaning truthfulness, credence or belief. When we hear another reciting a blessing we respond with "amen"; thus affirming that we believe that which has just been said. Also, 'amen',(אמןאמן) is an acronym for the Hebrew words א-ל מלך נאמן, (El Melech Ne'eman), meaning "God, the trustworthy King."
 

There are two particular prayers that are important in Orthodoxy. The Jesus Prayer and the Trisagion. The Jesus Prayer is widely known outside Orthodoxy and has a long pedigree.  It is used in meditation as well as intercession, with the meditative component being essential within the tradition of prayer known as 'Hesychasm', which is ancient Greek, meaning to keep stillness.



Within our liturgies appear two terms unfamiliar to most non Orthodox: Troparion and Kontakion. The distinction between them is slight but there is a difference.  The word Troparion refers to one or a series of sung chants  consisting of one or a series of stanzas. A Troparion is usually short and 'announces' the theme of the day.  The Kontakion announces the day that marks the memory of a saint, whatever that saint happens to be on that particular day.



The Jesus Prayer.


O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.



The Trisagion


The Trisagion is a hymn of great antiquity, so much so its origin is lost in time.  The word Trisagion simply means Thrice Holy.  Orthodoxy goes to great lengths to recognise the Trinity in equal measure, rather than place emphasis on either the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit, and it is in this landscape that the Trisagion holds a special place.  



Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal have mercy on us.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal have mercy on us.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

Holy and Immortal have mercy on us.

Holy God,  Holy and Strong,  Holy and Immortal have mercy on us.




The Creed


The Creed Orthodox Christians use is what in the West is usually called the Nicene creed but should perhaps more properly be called the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed because it incorporates slight changes made to the creed of the Council of Nicaea (A.D.325) at the Council of Constantinope (A.D.381). It is identical in wording to the Western version except that it does not include what was actually a much later addition made in the West: the so-called 'Filioque Clause' (which claims that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father "and the Son.") This is because in Orthodoxy we do not believe anything of substance should be removed from or added to either the Liturgy or our doctrine.  The Third Ecumenical Council in AD 431 strictly forbade any additions to this Creed, and reinforced this edict on later occasions. Unfortunately, in the 11th Century the Church of Rome made the addition to the ancient Creed the words "and the Son" to the part describing the Holy Spirit as proceeding from the Father. 



The Lord's Prayer


Upon close examination it would be easy to perceive the Lord's prayer as being a set of notes abbreviated from a longer discourse, and so it might be.  It must be noted that according to all four gospels, immediately after the Last Supper Jesus went for a walk alone while the disciples slept off the meal after which Jesus was arrested, there was little opportunity for Jesus to teach them what we know as the Lord's Prayer, so how do we account for it? One of the paradoxical glories of the Scriptures is that they are filled with inconsistencies and contradictions, and reading them through the eyes of a 21st Century Christian isn't going to provide us with the same conclusions as a 1st Century Jew or Christian reading them. It is hard to imagine the scene where the disciples, upon seeing Jesus spend time in prayer, asking Him "Master, teach us to pray", only for Jesus then to hand out a series of bullet points.  More likely is that Jesus did indeed teach them a long lesson and this was shortened to the key points we now call "The Lord's Prayer". Closer examination would suggest the lesson Jesus taught followed closely the daily prayers used by Jews.


"Our Father in Heaven" is a common phrase of adoration at the beginning of many Jewish prayers, "Avinu she-ba-shamayim"  (the term Avinu being synonymous with Abinu or Abba). Within Hasidaean circles we have the exact same words (Our Father who art in heaven) in the invocation "Yehi razon mi-lifne abinu she-bashamayim".


"Holy is Your Name" is expressed in Hebrew as "Kiddush hashem" and determines in the one who prays the sanctification of the holy Name. The daily set of prayers used by Jews (see below) contains one called the "Kiddushat Ha'Shem" The sanctification of the Holy Name.

"Thy Kingdom come, Your will be done" is again a common theme to Jewish prayer.  Jewish prayer focuses strongly on God as King over the universe.  During the various daily prayers, Jews would (and will) refer to "Melekh Ha Olam"  King of the Universe,   "Melekh hai v'kayam"   Eternal King, and "Baruch shem k'vod malkhuto l'olam va'ed"   Blessed is the Name of His Glorious Kingdom for ever and ever, which is prayed upon applying the tefillin on the head.  There is a prayer called the Shemoneh Esrai, which is a required prayer for devout Jews to attend three times a day. It originally consisted of eighteen prayers and in time a nineteenth was added.  It begins with three blessings of praise, moves onto thirteen petitions, and closes with three prayers of thanks. Some commentators remark that the Lord's Prayer is an abbreviated form of the Shemoneh Esrai, but for now, during the Shemoneh Esrai, the 4th 5th and 6th benedictions call upon God with the words  "Our Father, our King, disclose the glory of thy kingdom unto us speedily". Again, during Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, is the phrase  "May His great name be hallowed in the world which he created according to his will, and may he establish his kingdom... speedily and at a near time".

 

"Give us this day our daily bread", reflects the blessing over bread (possibly repeated during the Last Supper) "Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech har olam, ha'motzi lechem min haaretz"   Blessed are you Lord God King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.  


"Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us"  echoes the Jewish belief that repentance is a precondition of redemption, a theme long established in Jewish thought and tradition by the 1st Century. ("Forgive thy neighbour the hurt that he hath done unto thee, so shall thy sins also be forgiven when thou prayest" Ben Sira (Ecclus. [Sirach] xxviii. 2). "To whom is sin pardoned? To him who forgiveth injury" (Derek Ereẓ Zuṭa viii. 3; R. H. 17a; see also Jew. Encyc. iv. 590, s.v. Didascalia)  Accordingly Jesus said: "Whensoever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses" (Mark 11:25). It was this precept which prompted the formula "And forgive us our sins ["ḥobot" = "debts"; the equivalent of "'awonot" = "sins"] as we also forgive those that have sinned ["ḥayyabim" = "those that are indebted"] against us."


"Lead us from temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" is a phrase is found  in the Jewish morning prayer "Never should a man bring himself into temptation as David did, saying 'Examine me O Lord and prove me'.  Deliverance from the evil one, inclusive not only of Satan but also of evil thoughts, deeds etc, is the theme of many Hasidaean prayers.



Holy God,  Holy and Strong,  Holy and Immortal have mercy on us.
Morning Prayer before The Ikon Of Christ


Morning Prayer


+ In the Name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen


Glory to Thee our God, glory to Thee 

 

+ O Heavenly King, Comforter, 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 of Thy mercy save our souls.


+ Holy God, Holy and strong, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)


+ Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.


Lord have mercy. (Thrice)


+ Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


+ Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.


Through the prayers of our holy fathers and mothers, Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us and save us. Amen


Having arisen from sleep we fall down before Thee, O Blessed One and sing to Thee O Mighty One, the angelic hymn: Holy Holy Holy art Thou O God;


+ Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Do Thou O Lord, Who hast raised me from my bed and sleep, enlighten my mind and heart, and open my  lips that I may praise Thee, O Holy Trinity: Holy Holy Holy art Thou O God. Through the prayers of the mother of God have mercy on us and save us.


Lord have mercy x12


As I rise from sleep I thank Thee O Holy Trinity, for through Thy great goodness and patience Thou wast not angered with me, an idler and sinner, nor hast Thou destroyed me in my sins, but hast shown Thy usual love for men and when I was prostrate in despair, Thou hast raised me to keep the morning watch and glorify Thy power. Now enlighten my mind's eye and open my mouth to study Thy words and understand Thy commandments and do Thy will and sing to Thee in heartfelt adoration and praise, Thy most holy Name of Father Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


+ O come let us worship God our King.

+ O come let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and our God.

+ O come let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our king and our God.


Psalm 50


Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression.  Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know mine iniquity, and my sin is ever before me.  Against Thee only have I sinned and done this evil before Thee, that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, and prevail when Thou art judged.  For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me. For behold, Thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom hast Thou made manifest unto me.   Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.  Thou shalt make me to hear joy and gladness; the bones that be humbled, they shall rejoice.  Turn Thy face away from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and with Thy governing Spirit establish me.  I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee.  Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness.  O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.  For if Thou hadst desired sacrifice, I had given it; with whole-burnt offerings Thou shalt not be pleased.  A sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit; a heart that is broken and humbled God will not despise.  Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Zion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be builded.   Then shalt Thou be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with oblation and whole-burnt offerings.  Then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.


+ Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God,the only begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light, True God of True God, begotten not made, of one essence with the Father by Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the virgin mary and became man. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried. On the third day He rose again according to the scriptures and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father. he shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom shall have no end.

And also in the Holy Spirit. The Lord and giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father. Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead ad the life of the world to come. Amen.


More honourable than the Cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim, thou who without corruption didst bear God the Word, thee true mother of God we magnify.


O Lord save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victory to Orthodox Christians over their enemies and by the power of Thy cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.


Thou Who at all times and at every hour, in heaven and on earth, art worshipped and glorified, O Christ God, Who art long-suffering, plenteous in mercy, most compassionate, Who lovest the righteous and hast mercy on sinners; Who callest all men to salvation through the promise of good things to come: Receive, O Lord, our prayers at this hour, and guide our life toward Thy commandments. Sanctify our souls, make chaste our bodies, correct our thoughts, purify our intentions, and deliver us from every sorrow, evil, and pain. Compass us about with Thy holy angels, that, guarded and guided by their array, we may attain to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of Thine unapproachable glory: For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.


+ Lord have mercy


+ Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen




Evening Prayer before the Ikon of the Trinity


Evening Prayer


+ In the Name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Glory to Thee our God, glory to Thee  


+ O Heavenly King, Comforter, 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 of Thy mercy save our souls.


+ Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)


+ Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.


Lord have mercy. (Thrice)


+ Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


+ Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.


Through the prayers of our holy fathers and mothers, Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us and save us. Amen


Before preparing for sleep we fall down before Thee, O Blessed One and sing to Thee O Mighty One, the angelic hymn: Holy Holy Holy art Thou O God;


+ Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


O Eternal God, King of every creature, Who hast enabled me to attain this hour, forgive me the sins which I have committed this day, by thought word and deed. Cleanse my humble soul O Lord from every defilement of flesh and spirit. Grant me O Lord to pass through the sleep of this night in peace that I may rise from my humble bed and please Thy most Holy Name all the days of my life, vanquishing the enemies both fleshly and bodiless that contend against me. Deliver me from vain thoughts that defile me O Lord, and from evil desires. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Lord have mercy x12


O Lord our God, as Thou art good and the Lover of mankind, forgive me wherein I have sinned today in word, deed and thought. Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Send down Thy guardian angel to protect and keep me from all evil. For Thou art the Guardian of our souls and bodies and to Thee do we send up glory, to the Father and to the SOn and to the Holy SPirit, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen


+ O come let us worship God our King.

+ O come let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and our God.

+ O come let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our king and our God.


Psalm 50


Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression.  Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know mine iniquity, and my sin is ever before me.  Against Thee only have I sinned and done this evil before Thee, that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, and prevail when Thou art judged.  For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me. For behold, Thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom hast Thou made manifest unto me.   Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.  Thou shalt make me to hear joy and gladness; the bones that be humbled, they shall rejoice.  Turn Thy face away from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and with Thy governing Spirit establish me.  I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee.  Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness.  O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.  For if Thou hadst desired sacrifice, I had given it; with whole-burnt offerings Thou shalt not be pleased.  A sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit; a heart that is broken and humbled God will not despise.  Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Zion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be builded.   Then shalt Thou be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with oblation and whole-burnt offerings.  Then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.


+ Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God,the only begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light, True God of True God, begotten not made, of one essence with the Father by Whom all things were made. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the virgin Mary and became man. He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried. On the third day He rose again according to the scriptures and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father. he shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom shall have no end.

And also in the Holy Spirit. The Lord and giver of life, Who proceeds from the Father. Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins, and I look for the resurrection of the dead ad the life of the world to come. Amen.


More honourable than the Cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim, thou who without corruption didst bear God the Word, thee true mother of God we magnify.


O Lord save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victory to Orthodox Christians over their enemies and by the power of Thy cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.


Thou Who at all times and at every hour, in heaven and on earth, art worshipped and glorified, O Christ God, Who art long-suffering, plenteous in mercy, most compassionate, Who lovest the righteous and hast mercy on sinners; Who callest all men to salvation through the promise of good things to come: Receive, O Lord, our prayers at this hour, and guide our life toward Thy commandments. Sanctify our souls, make chaste our bodies, correct our thoughts, purify our intentions, and deliver us from every sorrow, evil, and pain. Compass us about with Thy holy angels, that, guarded and guided by their array, we may attain to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of Thine unapproachable glory: For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.


+ Lord have mercy


+ Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen



Orthodox Prayer Rope

What is a Prayer Rope


Some Orthodox Christians use what we call a Prayer Rope. This is an instrument used in a similar way to the Rosary. To the outward observer this Prayer Rope may be misunderstood, and as such here is an explanation. The prayer rope is not some kind of amulet with magic or exorcising powers. On the contrary, it is a purely Orthodox object used only for praying and nothing else.


There are two ways we can pray using the prayer rope:


1. At any time of the day when we have free time, without being seen by anyone, secretly, we hold the prayer rope with our left or right hand and move from knot to knot with our thumb whispering simultaneously or meditating upon the prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner".


2. At the time of our regular prayer,  we hold the prayer rope with our left hand between the thumb and the index finger and move from knot to knot. At each knot we simultaneously do two things: i) with our right hand we make the sign of the cross over ourselves and ii) we say the prayer "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner". When we finish with all the knots of the prayer rope, we continue following the same procedure, for as many times as needful or time allows.


Prayer ropes are made in keeping with a tradition whose origin is lost in antiquity. Perhaps one of the earliest forms was simply gathering small pebbles or seeds and moving them from one spot or container to another as one said his prayer rule or did his rule of bows or prostrations. The story is told of a monk who decided to make knots in a rope, which he could use in carrying out his daily rule of prayer. But the devil kept untying the knots he made in the rope, frustrating the poor monk's efforts. Then an angel appeared and taught the monk a special kind of knot that consists of ties of interlocked crosses, and these knots the devil was unable to unravel.


Prayer Ropes come in a great variety of forms and sizes. Most prayer ropes have a cross woven into them or attached to mark the "end", and also have some kind of marker after each 10, 25, or 50 knots or beads. There are many forms of prayer ropes, some knotted of wool or silk, or other more elegant or simpler materials. Others are made of beads or the dried flower of a plant called "Tears of the Mother of God". They most often are made of black wool or silky lace (soutache). The black colour symbolises repentance.



Pray without ceasing

The Third and Sixth Hours



The above prayers are suitable for those with busy lives.  For those with more time who wish to follow what the Church is doing, the Third and Sixth hours might be helpful.


The Hours of the Day reflects the Jewish division of the day, which, in Judaism, slightly varies according to the times of sunrise and sunset, but in Orthodoxy is formalised into set times. Jesus was crucified at the Third Hour, and the Third Hour prayers are set for 9.00am, the Sixth Hour at noon, and so forth.


The Third Hour



Priest: Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.


Reader: Amen. Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.


O Heavenly King, Comforter, 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 of Thy mercy save our souls.


Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


All Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, cleanse us from our sins. O Master, pardon our transgressions. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.


Lord have mercy. (Thrice)


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.


Priest: For Thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory: of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.


Reader: Amen.


Lord have mercy. (12 times)


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


O come, let us worship God our King.

O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God.

O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God.



Psalm 16


Hearken, O Lord, unto my righteousness, attend unto the voice of my supplication. Give ear unto my prayer, which cometh not from deceitful lips.  From before Thy face let my judgment come forth, let mine eyes behold uprightness. Thou hast proved my heart, Thou hast visited it in the night, Thou hast tried me by fire, and unrighteousness was not found in me.  That my mouth may not speak of the works of men, for the sake of the words of Thy lips have I kept the ways that are hard.  Set my footsteps in Thy paths, that my steps may not be shaken.  I have cried for Thou hast hearkened unto me, O God. Incline Thine ear unto me, and hearken unto my words.  Let Thy mercies be made wonderful, O Thou that savest them that hope in Thee.  From them that have resisted Thy right hand, keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Thine eye.  In the shelter of Thy wings wilt Thou shelter me, from the face of the ungodly which have oppressed me.   Mine enemies have surrounded my soul, they have enclosed themselves with their own fat, their mouth hath spoken pride.  They that have cast me out have now encircled me, they have set their eyes to look askance on the earth.  They have taken me as might a lion ready for his prey, and as might a lion's whelp that dwelleth in hiding.   Arise, O Lord, overtake them and trip their heels; deliver my soul from ungodly men, Thy sword from the enemies of Thy hand.  O Lord, from Thy few do Thou separate them from the earth in their life; yea, with Thy hidden treasures hath their belly been filled.  They have satisfied themselves with swine and have left the remnants to their babes.  But as for me, in righteousness shall I appear before Thy face; I shall be filled when Thy glory is made manifest to me.


Psalm 24


Unto Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul.  O my God, in Thee have I trusted; let me never be put to shame, nor let mine enemies laugh me to scorn.  Yea, let none that wait on Thee be put to shame; let them be ashamed which are lawless without a cause.  Make Thy ways, O Lord, known unto me and teach me Thy paths.  Lead me in Thy truth and teach me, for Thou art God my Saviour; for on Thee have I waited all the day long.  Remember Thy compassions, O Lord, and Thy mercies, for they are from everlasting.  The sins of my youth and mine ignorances remember not; according to Thy mercy remember Thou me, for the sake of Thy goodness, O Lord.  Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will He set a law for them that sin in the way. He will guide the meek in judgment, He will teach the meek His ways.  All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth, unto them that seek after His covenant and His testimonies.  For the sake of Thy name, O Lord, be gracious unto my sin; for it is great.  Who is the man that feareth the Lord? He will set him a law in the way which he hath chosen.  His soul shall dwell among good things, and his seed shall inherit the earth.  The Lord is the strength of them that fear Him, and His covenant shall be manifested unto them.  Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He it is that will draw my feet out of the snare.  Look upon me, and have mercy on me; for I am one only-begotten and poor.  The afflictions of my heart are multiplied; bring me out from my necessities. Behold my lowliness and my toil, and forgive all my sins.  Look upon mine enemies, for they are multiplied, and with an unjust hatred have they hated me.  Keep my soul and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I have hoped in Thee.  The innocent and the upright have cleaved unto me, for I waited on Thee, O Lord.  Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his afflictions. 



Psalm 50


Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy compassions blot out my transgression.  Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know mine iniquity, and my sin is ever before me.  Against Thee only have I sinned and done this evil before Thee, that Thou mightest be justified in Thy words, and prevail when Thou art judged.  For behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sins did my mother bear me. For behold, Thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom hast Thou made manifest unto me.   Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.  Thou shalt make me to hear joy and gladness; the bones that be humbled, they shall rejoice.  Turn Thy face away from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and with Thy governing Spirit establish me.  I shall teach transgressors Thy ways, and the ungodly shall turn back unto Thee.  Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, Thou God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in Thy righteousness.  O Lord, Thou shalt open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.  For if Thou hadst desired sacrifice, I had given it; with whole-burnt offerings Thou shalt not be pleased.  A sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit; a heart that is broken and humbled God will not despise.  Do good, O Lord, in Thy good pleasure unto Zion, and let the walls of Jerusalem be builded.   Then shalt Thou be pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, with oblation and whole-burnt offerings.  Then shall they offer bullocks upon Thine altar.


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Glory to Thee, O God. Thrice.


Lord, have mercy. Thrice.


If there be two troparia, we say the first one here. If not, we continue:



Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.


And we say the second troparion, if any, or the only troparion. Then:


Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


O mother of God, thou art the true vine who hast blossomed forth the fruit of Life. We beseech thee together with the Apostles and all the saints, pray that mercy may be granted to our souls


Blessed is the Lord God, blessed is the Lord day by day; the God of our salvation shall prosper us along the way; our God is the God of salvation.


Holy God, Holy and strong, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


All Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, cleanse us from our sins. O Master, pardon our transgressions. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.


Lord have mercy. (Thrice)


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our tresasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.


Priest: For Thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory: of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.


Reader: Amen.


Then the appointed Kontakion.


Lord, have mercy. Forty times. And the Prayer of the Hours:


Thou Who at all times and at every hour, in heaven and on earth, art worshipped and glorified, O Christ God, Who art long-suffering, plenteous in mercy, most compassionate, Who lovest the righteous and hast mercy on sinners; Who callest all men to salvation through the promise of good things to come: Receive, O Lord, our prayers at this hour, and guide our life toward Thy commandments. Sanctify our souls, make chaste our bodies, correct our thoughts, purify our intentions, and deliver us from every sorrow, evil, and pain. Compass us about with Thy holy angels, that, guarded and guided by their array, we may attain to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of Thine unapproachable glory: For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Lord, have mercy. Thrice.


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


More honorable than the cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim; who without corruption didst bring forth God the Word, thee true mother of God we magnify.


In the name of the Lord, father give the blessing.


Priest: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.


Reader: Amen. Then the Prayer of St. Mardarius:


O Master God, the Father Almighty, O Lord, the Only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and O Holy Spirit, one Godhead, one Power: Have mercy on me a sinner, and by the judgments which Thou knowest, save me, Thine unworthy servant; for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.




The Sixth Hour


O come, let us worship God our King.

O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God.

O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God.


Psalm 53


O God, in Thy name save me, and in Thy strength do Thou judge me.   O God, hearken unto my prayer, give ear unto the words of my mouth.  For strangers are risen up against me, and mighty men have sought after my soul and have not set God before themselves.  For behold, God helpeth me, and the Lord is the protector of my soul.  He will bring evils upon mine enemies. Utterly destroy them by Thy truth.  Willingly shall I sacrifice unto Thee; I will confess Thy name, O Lord, for it is good.  For out of every affliction hast Thou delivered me, and mine eye hath looked down upon mine enemies.



Psalm 54


Give ear, O God, unto my prayer, and disdain not my supplication; attend unto me, and hear me.  I was grieved in my meditation, and I was troubled at the voice of the enemy and at the oppression of the sinner; Because they have turned iniquity upon me; and with wrath were they angry against me.  My heart is troubled within me, and the terror of death is fallen upon me.  Fear and trembling are come upon me, and darkness hath covered me.  And I said: Who will give me wings like a dove? And I will fly, and be at rest.  Lo, I have fled afar off and have dwelt in the wilderness.  I waited for God that saveth me from faint-heartedness and from tempest.  Plunge them into the depths, O Lord, and divide their tongues, for I have seen iniquity and gainsaying in the city.  Day and night they go round about her upon her walls; iniquity and toil and  unrighteousness are in the midst of her.  And usury and deceit have not departed from her streets.  For if mine enemy had reviled me, I might have endured it.  And if he that hateth me had spoken boastful words against me, I might have hid myself from him.  But thou it was, O man of like soul with me, my guide and my familiar friend,  Thou who together with me didst sweeten my repasts; in the house of God I walked with thee in oneness of mind.  Let death come upon such ones, and let them go down alive into hades.  For wickedness is in their dwellings, and in the midst of them.  As for me, unto God have I cried, and the Lord, hearkened unto me.  Evening, morning and noonday will I tell of it and will declare it, and He will hear my voice.  He will redeem my soul in peace from them that draw nigh unto me, for they among many were with me.  God will hear, and He will humble them, He that is before the ages.  For to them there is no requital, because they have not feared God; He hath stretched forth His hand in retribution.  They have defiled His covenant; they were scattered by the wrath of His countenance, and their hearts have convened.  Their words were smoother than oil, and yet they are darts.   Cast thy care upon the Lord, and He will nourish thee; He will never permit the righteous to be shaken.  But Thou, O God, shall bring those men down into the pit of destruction.  Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but as for me, O Lord, I will hope in Thee.



Psalm 90


He that dwelleth in the help of the Most High shall abide in the shelter of the God of heaven.  He shall say unto the Lord: Thou art my helper and my refuge. He is my God, and I will hope in Him.  For He shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunters and from every troubling word.  With His shoulders shall He overshadow thee, and under His wings shalt thou fin refuge. With a shield will His truth encompass thee; thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day.  Nor for the thing that walketh in darkness, nor for the mishap and demon of noonday.  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousands at thy right hand, but unto thee shall it not come nigh.  Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and thou shalt see the reward of sinners.  For Thou, O Lord, art my hope. Thou madest the Most High thy refuge;  No evils shall come nigh unto thee, and no scourge shall draw nigh unto thy dwelling.  For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.  On their hands shall they bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Upon the asp and basilisk shalt thou tread, and thou shalt trample upon the lion and dragon.  For he hath set his hope on Me, and I will deliver him; I will shelter him because he hath known my name.   He shall cry unto me, and I will hearken unto him. I am with him in affliction, and I will rescue him and glorify him.  With length of days will I satisfy him, and I will show him My salvation.


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Glory to Thee, O God. Thrice.


Lord, have mercy. Thrice.


If there be two troparia, we say the first one here. If not, we continue:


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.


And we say the second troparion, if any, or the only troparion. Then:


Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Since we have no freedom to speak because of the multitude of our sins, do thou o virgin other of God fervently entreat Him who was born of thee;  for the prayer of a mother is strong in securing the favour of the Lord.  Despise not the supplications of sinners, all pure lady, for merciful and mighty to save is He who accepted to suffer for us.


Readings if appointed


May Thy compassion come quickly to our aid o Lord, for we have become exceedingly poor;  help us o God our Saviour for the glory of Thy Name. O Lord deliver us and cleanse us from our sins for Thy Name's sake.


Holy God, Holy and Strong, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


All Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, cleanse us from our sins. O Master, pardon our transgressions. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name's sake.


Lord have mercy. (Thrice)


Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Our Father, Who art in the Heavens, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.


Priest: For Thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory: of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.


Reader:Amen


And we read the appointed Kontakion


Then:


Lord, have mercy. Forty times.


Prayer of the Hours:


Thou Who at all times and at every hour, in heaven and on earth, art worshipped and glorified, O Christ God, Who art long-suffering, plenteous in mercy, most compassionate, Who lovest the righteous and hast mercy on sinners; Who callest all men to salvation through the promise of good things to come: Receive, O Lord, our prayers at this hour, and guide our life toward Thy commandments. Sanctify our souls, make chaste our bodies, correct our thoughts, purify our intentions, and deliver us from every sorrow, evil, and pain. Compass us about with Thy holy angels, that, guarded and guided by their array, we may attain to the unity of the faith and to the knowledge of Thine unapproachable glory: For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.


Lord, have mercy. Thrice.


Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


More honorable than the cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the seraphim; who without corruption didst bring forth God the Word, thee true mother of God we magnify.


In the name of the Lord, father give the blessing.


Priest: Through the prayers of our holy fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.


Reader: Amen.


Then the Prayer of St. Basil the Great:


O God and Lord of Hosts, and Maker of all Creation, Who by the tender compassion of Thy mercy which transcendeth comprehension, didst send down Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, for the salvation of our race, and by His precious Cross didst tear asunder the handwriting of our sins, and thereby didst triumph over the principalities and powers of darkness: Do Thou Thyself, O Master, Lover of mankind, accept also from us sinners these prayers of thanksgiving and entreaty, and deliver us from every destructive and dark transgression, and from all enemies, both visible and invisible, that seek to do us evil. Nail down our flesh with the fear of Thee, and incline not our hearts unto words or thoughts of evil, but pierce our souls with longing for Thee, so that ever looking to Thee, and being guided by Thy Light as we behold Thee, the unapproachable and everlasting Light, we may send up unceasing praise and thanksgiving unto Thee, the Unoriginate Father, with Thine Only-begotten Son, and Thine All-holy and good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


THE END OF THE SIXTH HOUR