Night Prayer

These are the night prayers which are found in the old English prayer books, originating mainly from Saint Benedict in the 6th century. The words in bold are those which are said or sung in church by all the faithful in unison. This is an ancient tradition of the eastern orthodox Church which can still be seen in the western rite. I have put together and edited these prayers from various sources. The passages from the Bible are basically from the King James Version of 1611, as well as from the Douai-Rheims Version of 1582 and 1610 (see here). After these prayers, one may recite the Salutations (or «Akathist») to the Blessed Virgin, as well as other prayers, such as the one to the guardian angel. I hope this will be helpful for you.

Raphael Papanikolaou

TRADITIONAL ENGLISH COMPLINE

A General Thanksgiving

God pantokrator, father of all compassions, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men. We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

The Lord pantokrator grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.
Amen.

Brethren, be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist, steadfast in the faith. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
Thanks be to God.

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. (See Psalms 123:8)

The following or other suitable words of penitence may be used:

I confess to God pantokrator, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the Saints, and to you, brethren: that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the Saints, and you, brethren, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

O God, make speed to save us:
O Lord, make haste to help us. (See Psalms 69:1)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son:
and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.

Praise ye the Lord.
The Lord’s name be praised.

The following or another suitable hymn may be sung:

To Thee before the close of day,
Creator of the world, we pray,
That, with thy wonted favour, thou
Wouldst be our guard and keeper now. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Αναρτήθηκε στις In English, Prayers. Ετικέτες: , . 3 Σχόλια »

Prayer is the act from which all other good comes

Often has the Church proclaimed, ‘Prayer is the act from which all other good comes.’1

It may seem strange that, in this statement, the source of all good is ascribed to the act and state of prayer. Certainly, all good comes from God! There is only one source of Good, and of the identity of this source there is no question. Lest any be tempted to forget, it is proclaimed at every Liturgy in the prayer before the ambo: ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from Thee, the Father of Lights’.2 Certainly, there is no other fount from which goodness flows than God Himself, the very essence and heart of Goodness. Good gifts are good only insomuch as they come from Him, for ‘whatever is not God, is nothing’.3

Why, then, the exalted status given to prayer? If all good gifts are from God and Him only, how can we then say, ‘Prayer is the act from which all other good comes’? How is it possible to hold to the divine truth here stated, and still proclaim, as the holy Abba Agathon does in regard to prayer, that by its action it is the reconciliation of man with God, the mother and daughter of tears, a bridge for crossing temptations, a wall of protection from afflictions, a crushing of conflicts, boundless activity, the spring of virtues, the source of spiritual gifts, invisible progress, food of the soul, the enlightening of the mind, an axe for despair, a demonstration of hope, the release from sorrow. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Αναρτήθηκε στις Christianity, In English. Ετικέτες: , . 2 Σχόλια »

Blessed Child Musa of Rome (May 16)

Saint Musa lived during the fifth century. She was distinguished for her pure life. St Gregory Dialogus included her story in his DIALOGUES, saying that he had heard these things from Musa’s brother Probus.

The Most Holy Theotokos once appeared to Musa in a dream, surrounded by girls dressed in white. She asked her, «Do you wish to live together with these maidens in my court?» Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Prayer Before Bed

Some written prayers are simply better than anything you can think of yourself.  There are phrases in this traditional Orthodox “prayer before bed” that speak worlds. “…or seen the beauty of someone and been wounded by it in my heart…”

To the Holy Spirit:

O Lord, the Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth: have compassion and mercy on me, Thy sinful servant! Absolve me, who am unworthy. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Αναρτήθηκε στις Christianity, In English. Ετικέτες: , , , . Leave a Comment »

«Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me» (St. Patrick’s Breast-Plate)

I bind to myself today

The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:

I believe the Trinity in the Unity

The Creator of the Universe.

 

I bind to myself today

The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,

The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,

The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,

The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Αναρτήθηκε στις In English. Ετικέτες: , , , , , , , , . Leave a Comment »

Prayer to the Guardian Angel

O Angel of God, my holy guardian, given to me from heaven, enlighten me this day, and save me from all evil. Instruct me in doing good deeds, Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Αναρτήθηκε στις In English. Ετικέτες: , , , , , , , . Leave a Comment »

What activates true love?

An icon of Elder Joseph the Hesychast

«When grace is operative in the soul of someone who is praying, then he is flooded with the love of God, so that he can no longer bear what he experiences. Afterwards, this love turns towards the world and man, whom he comes to love so much that he seeks to take upon himself the whole of human pain and misfortune so that everyone else might be freed from it. In general he suffers with every grief and misery, and even for  animals, so that he weeps when he thinks they are suffering. These are the properties of love, but it is prayer that activates them and calls them forth. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Αναρτήθηκε στις Christianity, In English. Ετικέτες: , , . Leave a Comment »