Prayers of the Church

Prayers of the Church

Hymn of the holy three children

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THE EIGHTH ODE -  The Hymn of the Holy Three Children (Dan. 3: 57-88)

 Praise the Lord, ye creatures which He hath made.
 Praise the Lord, ye works of His, and exalt Him above all for ever.

 Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Bless the Lord, all ye angels of the Lord, and ye heavens of the Lord: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Bless the Lord, all ye waters that are above the heavens, and all ye powers of the Lord: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above for ever.
 Bless the Lord, O ye sun and moon, and ye stars of heaven: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Bless the Lord, every shower and dew, and all ye winds: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Bless the Lord, O ye fire and heat, ye winter cold and summer heat: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Bless the Lord, O ye falls of dew and snow, ye ice and cold: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Bless the Lord, O ye frosts and snows, ye lightning and clouds: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Bless the Lord, O ye light and darkness, ye night and day: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above for ever.
 Bless the Lord, O ye earth, ye mountains and hills, and all things that spring up therein: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above for ever.
 Bless the Lord, O ye fountains, ye seas and floods, ye monsters of the sea, and all things that move in the waters: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Bless the Lord, all ye winged creatures of the air, ye beasts and all cattle: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Bless the Lord, O ye sons of men; let Israel bless the Lord: raise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 For 8 verses
 Bless the Lord, O ye priests of the Lord, ye servants of the Lord: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Bless the Lord, O ye spirits and souls of the righteous, ye holy and humble of heart: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 For 6 verses
 Bless the Lord, O Ananias, Azarias and Misael: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Bless the Lord, O ye apostles, ye prophets and martyrs of the Lord: praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 For 4 verses
 Let us bless the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Lord: let us praise the Lord, and exalt Him above all for ever.
 Let us praise, and bless, and worship the Lord: praising the Lord, and exalting Him above all for ever.

Prayer of Habakkuk

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Canticle Four - The Prayer of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:1-19)

A prayer of Habak'kuk the prophet, according to Shigion'oth.
O LORD, I have heard the report of thee, and thy work, O LORD, do I fear. In the midst of the years renew it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.

God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Selah

His brightness was like the light, rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power.

Before him went pestilence, and plague followed close behind.

He stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered, the everlasting hills sank low. His ways were as of old.

I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Mid'ian did tremble.

Was thy wrath against the rivers, O LORD? Was thy anger against the rivers, or thy indignation against the sea, when thou didst ride upon thy horses, upon thy chariot of victory?

Thou didst strip the sheath from thy bow, and put the arrows to the string. Selah Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.

The mountains saw thee, and writhed; the raging waters swept on; the deep gave forth its voice, it lifted its hands on high.

The sun and moon stood still in their habitation at the light of thine arrows as they sped, at the flash of thy glittering spear.

Thou didst bestride the earth in fury, thou didst trample the nations in anger.

Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, for the salvation of thy anointed. Thou didst crush the head of the wicked, laying him bare from thigh to neck. Selah

Thou didst pierce with thy shafts the head of his warriors, who came like a whirlwind to scatter me, rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret.

Thou didst trample the sea with thy horses, the surging of mighty waters.

I hear, and my body trembles, my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones, my steps totter beneath me. I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us.

For 8 verses
Though the fig tree do not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food,
For 6 verses
the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
For 4 verses
The Lord is my God and my strength, and He will instruct my feet unto perfection.
He mounteth me upon high places, that I may conquer by His song.

Prayer of Jonah

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Canticle Six - The Prayer of Jonah (Jonah 2:2-9)

"I called to the LORD, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and thou didst hear my voice.

For thou didst cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood was round about me; all thy waves and thy billows passed over me.

For 8 verses

Then I said, 'I am cast out from thy presence; how shall I again look upon thy holy temple?'

The waters closed in over me, the deep was round about me; weeds were wrapped about my head at the roots of the mountains. I went down to the land whose bars closed upon me for ever;

For 6 verses

yet thou didst bring up my life from the Pit, O LORD my God.

When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; and my prayer came to thee, into thy holy temple.

 For 4 verses

Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their true loyalty.

But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to thee; what I have vowed I will pay. Deliverance belongs to the LORD!"

Prayer of Hannah

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Canticle Three - The Prayer of Hannah the mother of Samuel the Prophet (I Kings 2:1-10)

(KJV: 1+Samuel 2:1-10)

The barren one wonderfully beareth a son and praiseth God, Holy art Thou, O Lord, and my spirit praiseth Thee.

 "My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in thy salvation.

"There is none holy like the LORD, there is none besides thee; there is no rock like our God.

Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength.

Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.

The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.

The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts.

He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor.

 For 8 verses
He granteth his petition unto him that prayeth, and hath blessed the years of the righteous.
For the mighty man shall not be strong in his own strength;
the Lord shall weaken his adversary; the Lord is holy.
For 6 verses
 Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, nor the mighty an in his strength; let not the rich man boast in his riches.
But him that boasteth, let him make his boast in this: that he hath understanding, and knoweth the Lord; and that He worketh judgment and righteousness in the midst of the earth.
For 4 verses
The Lord hath gone up into the heavens, and hath thundered; he shall judge the ends of the earth, for He is righteous.
And He shall give strength unto our kings, and exalt the horn of His anointed.

Prayer of the Three Holy Children

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THE SEVENTH ODE - A prayer of the holy three children.  (Dan. 3: 26-56)

The praise of the three youths putteth out the flame.

Blessed art Thou, our God, and the God of our fathers.

Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers; and praised and glorified is Thy name for ever.

For Thou art righteous in all the things that Thou hast done for us; yea, true are all Thy works, and upright are Thy ways, and all Thy judgments are true.

In all the things that Thou hast brought upon us, and upon Jerusalem the holy city of our fathers, Thou hast executed true judgments; for according to truth and judgment didst Thou bring all these things upon us because of our sins.

For we have sinned and committed iniquity, departing from Thee, and in all things wherein we have sinned greatly; and we have not hearkened unto Thy commandments, nor heeded them; either have we done as Thou hast commanded us, that it might go well with us.

Wherefore all that Thou hast done to us, and all that Thou hast brought upon us, Thou hast done in true judgment; and Thou hast delivered us into the hands of lawless enemies, and of most wicked forsakers of God, and to an unrighteous king, and the most wicked in all the world.

And now we cannot open our mouth; we are become a shame and reproach to Thy servants, and to them that worship Thee.
Deliver us not up for ever, for Thy holy name's sake, neither forget Thou Thy covenant; and take not away Thy mercy from us, for the sake of Thy beloved Abraham, and Isaac Thy servant, and Israel Thy holy one; o whom Thou hast said that Thou wouldest multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that lieth upon the seashore.
For we, O Lord our King and Master, are become the least of all the heathen, and we are brought low in all the earth this day because of our sins.

Nor is there at this time prince, or prophet, or leader, or whole-burnt offering, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, nor place of first-fruits before Thee, that we may obtain mercy.

Nevertheless, in a contrite soul and an humble spirit let us be accepted.

Like as in the burnt offerings of rams and bullocks, and like as ten thousands of fat lambs, so let our sacrifice this day be acceptable in Thy sight; and hereafter let it be performed before Thee; for there is no shame to them that put their trust in Thee.

And now we follow Thee with our whole heart, and we fear Thee, and we seek Thy face; put us not to shame.

But deal with us according to Thy tenderness, and according to the multitude of Thy mercy.

Deliver us according to Thy marvellous works, and give glory to Thy name, O Lord.

And let all them that do Thy servants’ hurt be confounded, and let them be ashamed, and deprived of all their might; and let their strength be broken.

And let them know that Thou art the Lord, the only God, and glorious over all the world.

And the king's servants, that put them in, ceased not to make the furnace hot with brimstone, pitch and tow, and wood of the vine.

And the flame mounted up above the furnace forty and nine cubits; and it brake forth, and wrapped in flames those Chaldeans found about the furnace.

But the angel of the Lord came down to be with Azarias and his companions in the furnace, and drove the flame of the fire out of the furnace.

And made the midst of the furnace as it had been the blowing of a wind bringing dew, and the fire touched them not at all, nor brought grief, nor troubled them.
Then the three, as out of one mouth, praised, and blessed, and glorified God in the furnace, saying,

The hymn of the three, which the youths sang. For 8 verses
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers, and to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
And blessed is Thy glorious and holy name, which is highly praised and exalted above all for ever.
For 6 verses
Blessed art Thou in the temple of Thy holy glory, and to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
Blessed art Thou that beholdest the depths, that sittest upon the cherubim, Thou that art praised and exalted above all for ever.
For 4 verses
Blessed art Thou on the glorious throne of Thy kingdom, Thou that art praised and exalted above all for ever.
Blessed art Thou in the firmament of heaven, Thou that art praised and exalted above all for ever.

Prayer of Isaiah

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Canticle Five - The Prayer of Isaiah (Isaiah 26:9-20)

My soul yearns for thee in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks thee. For when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

If favor is shown to the wicked, he does not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness he deals perversely and does not see the majesty of the LORD.

O LORD, thy hand is lifted up, but they see it not. Let them see thy zeal for thy people, and be ashamed. Let the fire for thy adversaries consume them.

O LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us, thou hast wrought for us all our works.

O LORD our God, other lords besides thee have ruled over us, but thy name alone we acknowledge.

They are dead, they will not live; they are shades, they will not arise; to that end thou hast visited them with destruction and wiped out all remembrance of them.

But thou hast increased the nation, O LORD, thou hast increased the nation; thou art glorified; thou hast enlarged all the borders of the land.

O LORD, in distress they sought thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.

For 8 verses

And as a woman in travail draweth nigh to be delivered, and crieth out in her travail, so have we become in the presence of Thy beloved.
We have conceived, O Lord, because of Thy fear, and have suffered pangs, and have brought forth the spirit of Thy salvation, which we have wrought upon the earth.

 For 6 verses

We have wrought no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.

Thy dead shall live, their bodies shall rise. O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy!

For 4 verses

For thy dew is a dew of light, and on the land of the shades thou wilt let it fall.

Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the wrath is past.

Song of the Theotokos / prayer of Zacharias

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THE NINTH ODE - The song of the Theotokos. (Luke 1: 46-55)

 The maiden mother praiseth her Son and God.
 Let us magnify the Theotokos with hymns.

 My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
 For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden; for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
 For He that is mighty hath done to me great things, and holy is His name; and His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation.
 He hath showed strength with His arm, he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart.
 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and hath exalted them of low degree; He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away.
 He hath holpen His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; as He spake to our fathers; to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

 The prayer of Zacharias, the father of the Forerunner. (Luke 1: 68-79)

 Zacharias blesseth the birth of his son.

 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He hath visited and redeemed His people,
 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David.
 As He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began,
 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us,
 
 To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers, and to remember His holy covenant,
 For 8 verses
The oath which He sware to our father Abraham, that He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies Might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
 For 6 verses
 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest;
 for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
 To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God,
 For 4 verses
 Whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
 To guide our feet into the way of peace.
 

Subcategories

  • Canticles (or Odes)

    There are nine Biblical Canticles that are chanted at Matins These form the basis of the Canon, a major component of Matins.

    The nine Canticles are as follows:

    • Canticle One - The (First) Song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-19)
    • Canticle Two - The (Second) Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32:1-43)
    • Canticle Three - The Prayer of Hannah (I Kings 2:1-10) KJV: 1+Samuel 2:1-10
    • Canticle Four - The Prayer of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:1-19)
    • Canticle Five - The Prayer of Isaiah (Isaiah 26:9-20)
    • Canticle Six - The Prayer of Jonah (Jonah 2:2-9)
    • Canticle Seven - The Prayer of the Three Holy Children (Daniel 3:26-56)
    • Canticle Eight - The Song of the Three Holy Children (Daniel 3:57-88)
    • Canticle Nine - The Song of the Theotokos (the Magnificat: Luke 1:46-55); the Song of Zacharias (the Benedictus Luke 1:68-79)

    Originally, these Canticles were chanted in their entirety every day, with a short refrain inserted between each verse. Eventually, short verses (troparia) were composed to replace these refrains, a process traditionally inaugurated by Saint Andrew of Crete. Gradually over the centuries, the verses of the Biblical Canticles were omitted (except for the Magnificat) and only the composed troparia were read, linked to the original canticles by an Irmos. During Great Lent however, the original Biblical Canticles are still read.

    Another Biblical Canticle, the The Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32), is either read or sung at Vespers.

    Article Count:
    9
  • Orthodox Psalter

    Daily Readings from the Orthodox Psalter

    The Psalter is divided into 20 kathismata of three stases. Each stasis contains between one and three psalms. Except Kathisma 17, it is entirely the long Psalm 118.

    Each of the divine services contain fixed portions of the Psalter that are read or chanted each time the service is celebrated. In addition, certain services of the Daily Cycle contain prescribed kathisma readings. These prescribed readings rotate daily so that the Psalter is read through once in its entirety in single week, and twice during Great Lent. (The Psalter is not read on Holy Thursday, Holy Friday, or during Bright Week.) 

     

    Day Psalter Readings  Except Lent During Lent 
    Holy Week
    St. Thomas Sun. to Sept. 21

    Dec. 20 to Jan. 14

    Sun. of Prodigal  to
    Sun. of Forgiveness
    Sept. 22 to Dec. 19

    Jan. 15 to Sat. before
    Sun. of Prodigal
     Except for Fifth Week  5th week
    If Annunciation does not fall on Thursday of week 5
    (the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
    is read on Thursday Matins)

     5th week
    If Annunciation falls on Thursday of week 5

    (the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
    is read on Tuesday Matins)

    Sunday Matins - Kathisma 2, 3, 17(or Polyeleos) Matins - Kathisma 2, 3, Polyeleos
    Monday Matins - Kathisma 4,5
    Vespers - Kathisma 6
     Matins - Kathisma 4,5,6
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    Matins - Kathisma 4,5,6
    Third Hour - Kathisma 7
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 8
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 9
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    Matins - Kathisma 4,5,6
    Third Hour - Kathisma 7
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 8
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 9
    Vespers - Kathisma 10
    Matins - Kathisma 4,5,6
    First  Hour - Kathisma 7
    Third Hour - Kathisma 8
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 9
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 10
    Vespers - Kathisma 11

    Matins - Kathisma 4, 5, 6
    Third Hour - Kathisma 7
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 8
    Vespers - Kathisma 18

    Tuesday Matins - Kathisma 7,8
    Vespers - Kathisma 9
    Matins - Kathisma 7,8,9
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    Matins - Kathisma 10,11,12
    First Hour - Kathisma 13
    Third Hour - Kathisma 14
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 15
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 16
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    Matins - Kathisma 11, 12, 13
    First  Hour - Kathisma 14
    Third Hour - Kathisma 15
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 16
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 18
    Vespers - Kathisma 19
    Matins - Kathisma 12
    Third Hour - Kathisma 13
    Sixth Hour
    - Kathisma 14
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 15
    Vespers - Kathisma 16
    Matins - Kathisma 9 10, 11
    Third Hour - Kathisma 12
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 13
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    Wednesday Matins - Kathisma 10,11
    Vespers - Kathisma 12
     Matins - Kathisma 10,11,12
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    Matins - Kathisma 19,20,1
    First Hour - Kathisma 2
    Third Hour - Kathisma 3
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 4
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 5
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
     Matins - Kathisma 20, 1, 2
    First  Hour - Kathisma 3
    Third Hour - Kathisma 4
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 5
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 6
    Vespers - Kathisma 7
     Matins - Kathisma 19, 20, 1
    First  Hour - Kathisma 2
    Third Hour - Kathisma 3
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 4
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 5
    Matins - Kathisma 14, 15, 16
    Third Hour - Kathisma 19
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 20
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    Thursday Matins - Kathisma 13,14
    Vespers - Kathisma 15
     Matins - Kathisma 13,14,15
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    Matins - Kathisma 6,7,8
    First Hour - Kathisma 9
    Third Hour - Kathisma 10
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 11
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 12
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
     Matins - Kathisma 8
    Third Hour - Kathisma 9
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 10
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 11
    Vespers - Kathisma 12
    Matins - Kathisma 6, 7, 8
    First  Hour - Kathisma 9
    Third Hour - Kathisma 10
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 11
    Ninth Hour - Kathisma 12
    (none)
    Friday Matins - Kathisma 19,20
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    Matins - Kathisma 13,14,15
    Third Hour - Kathisma 19
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 20
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    (none)
    Saturday Matins - Kathisma 16,17
    Vespers - Kathisma 1
     Matins - Kathisma 17
     See Also: Psalms Chanted in the Services, Psalms in Antiphons, Psalms in Communion Hymns, Psalms in Prokeimenon and Alleluia Verses 
    Article Count:
    20
  • Text of Prayers

    In the Orthodox Church it is said that we pray what we believe and believe what we pray.  The text of our written prayers not only help with our communion with God through words of praise, thanksgiving, repentance, supplication, and intercession, but also brings to remembrance the Gospel message of Christ, the Apostolic teachings, and our faith.

    This part of our website gives the text of some of the prayers of the Orthodox Church.

    The publication of such prayers does not limit the free expression of the Christian soul to the Creator, the Most-holy Theotokos and the Saints. On the contrary, by reading these prayers one can learn how to pray. They become models for our own, personal prayers.  Often, we would like to pray but, distracted by the world around us, or troubled by fear or sorrow, we do not even know how to begin. We then begin with the a prayerbook and find that not only much of what we wanted to say is included in the prayers of the fathers, but that afterwards, we find words of our own to continue the outpouring of our soul.

    Article Count:
    67
  • Troparia and Kontakia

    Short hymns sung after the small entrance at Divine Liturgy. For Sundays the subject is the Holy Resurrection; a different hymn for each of the Eight Tones. Every feast has its particular hymn describing the event or the virtues of the saint. Also there are hymns giving in an abbreviated form the substance of the day's feast.  Originally, this was a hymn composed of many stanza (18-24) whose lengthy text required the use of a scroll. What remains today are short preliminary stanzas that give a concise meaning to the feast being celebrated.  These hymns are also sung following the Sixth Ode in Matins, and during the Hours.


    Article Count:
    37

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