Prayers of the Church

Prayers of the Church

Prayer at the Departing of the Soul

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Prayer at the Departing of the Soul

O Lord and Master and Governor of all,
Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
who desirest not the death of a sinner,
but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live,
willing that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth,
we pray Thee to loose the soul of Thy servant (name) from every bond,
and to free him (her) from every unfulfilled pledge which he (she) has given,
granting him/her forgiveness of all his (her) sins from his (her) youth till now,
known and unknown, in deed and word,
both those which he (she) has sincerely confessed,
and those which he (she) has concealed through forgetfulness or shame.

For Thou alone loosest bonds and restorest the downtrodden,
Thou art the hope of them that are in despair,
mighty in forgiving the sins of every creature who puts his trust in Thee.

O Lord, the Lover of mankind,
bid him (her) to be released from all the bonds of sin and the flesh.

Receive in peace the soul of this Thy servant (name)
and give him (her) rest in Thy eternal dwelling with all Thy Saints,
by the grace of Thine only Son our Lord and God and Saviour,
Jesus Christ, with Whom Thou are blessed together with Thine all-holy,
gracious and lifegiving Spirit now and forever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Parents' Prayer at the Death of a Child

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Parents’ Prayer at the Death of a Child

Master, Lord my gracious and merciful God,
who long ago heard the grieving voice of Your servant Jacob as he wept for Joseph,
saying: I shall go, mourning, into the grave next to my son.

You yourself, O compassionate Lord, comforted David,
the king and prophet as he said in his grief:
Absalom! My son, Absalom! It would have been better for me to have died in your place, O my son, Absalom!

Your divine Son and our Savior, in His mercy for the grief which a parent suffers,
raised Jairus’ daughter and the son of the widow from Nain;
and in this same compassion and loving kindness,
He healed the daughter of the Canaanite woman.

O gracious and merciful Master and Lord,
look down from heaven and behold the grief in my heart,
the heart of a parent,
as it sees its hope for life snatched away:
The good and righteous life of my child through whom I had longed to praise the power,
wisdom and goodness of Your holy name.

But as I stand before the impenetrable mysteries which You alone understand,
my mind turns to the fervent prayer which Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
offered before the holy Passion, in the garden of Gethsamane,
saying: Father, if it is Your will, take this cup from me!
Like Him, I also bow my head before You today and cry out: Lord, let Your will be done!

Like the righteous Job hearing of the death of his children long ago,
I also cry out in humility and confess: The Lord gives, the Lord takes away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.

Though I am torn by grief,
yet my faith in You and Your ineffable mysteries remains unshaken as I now beseech Your mercy and compassion,

Grant forgiveness, Lord,
to his (her) soul for whatever sins he (she) may have committed in work, deed or thought;
and bring him (her) to that place of eternal blessedness,
together with Your Holy Angels.

At the time which You shall choose,
grant that I too may join him (her), so that together we may sing of Your immeasurable glory.

For You are the God of mercy and compassion and the Lover of mankind,
and we offer glory,  thanksgiving and worship to You:
To the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer in Preparation for Death

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In Preparation for Death

O Lord, look upon me, Your creature, and the work of Your hands.
Take away my fear,
and send Your angel to comfortme with the strength of Your presence,
even as You werecomforted in Your agony.

I commend everyone I love to Your providence and care,
knowing that You will do more for themthan I could ever desire.

O Lord, You know my sins; havemercy on me,
and in Your wealth of love and compassion formankind,
let heaven be opened to me.

May I see the angels rejoicing over me, an unworthy sinner,
as I am received into Your Kingdom.

I am not worthy of Your love for me,
but I trustthat You will not abandon me to the eternal death of hell.

By the prayers of Mary, Your Mother, and of all the saints,
may I be counted among those who behold the light of Your face.

May I offer You the praise and worship which are my eternallife and joy.

For You are my life and my resurrection,
and Your arms will receive me in love, O Jesus,
and I glorify You, with Your Father, Who is without beginning,
and Your most holy, good, and life-creating Spirit,
now and ever unto ages ofages. Amen.

Prayer at the Death of a Spouse

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Prayer at the Death of a Spouse

Master, Lord, immaculate Creator of all,
in Your love for mankind You created woman from Adam’s rib,
and blessed them, saying: Be fruitful, ultiply and conquer the earth.

You joined the two into one body and commanded that no man separate that which You had joined together.

Look down from heaven, O compassionate Father,
and behold the grief and pain which have fallen upon my heart and soul
as I behold my separation today from the one soul of Your servant,
O Lord, who You,
O Lord, gave to be my husband (wife) and support in this life.

Show Your loving kindness to me, O merciful Lord,
at this hour which is so difficult for my soul to endure! Lord,
Jesus Christ, comforter of those who mourn,
the prophet Isaiah spoke of You,
saying that You would come to heal those whose hearts were crushed.

Be my comforter and hear me as I raise my voice to You with faith.

I pray, O  gracious King,
forgive whatever sins my husband (wife) has committed in this life;
whether by word, deed or thought,
knowingly or unknowingly,
receive the soul of Your servant, O Lord,
in Your eternal heavenly kingdom, among the dwelling of the saints.

At Your proper time, grant that my soul,
which longs for that kingdom,
may also dwell in that holy place where,
once again, our souls shall meet and, together,
offer glory and praise to Your all holy name:
Of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer for One Terminally Ill

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For One Terminally Ill

O Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
we pray to You for Your servant (name) whose sickness is bringing him (her) to the end of his (her) earthly life.
You are the God whose only-begotten Son taught us that not even the smallest sparrow can fall without Your knowledge,
and that You hold all creation in Your merciful arms.
Look upon Your servant (name) and allow this illness to be for the death only of those things which are the result of evil and sin.

Let his (her) thoughts be quieted with the peace and confidence of his (her) final deliverance into the fullness of Your love.
Keep his (her) soul and body pure,
and sanctify them during the time he (she) remains among us,
that on the last day he (she) may be raised up with all Your saints to live with You in never ending glory.
For to You belong praise and worship,
to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever,
and unto ages of ages. Amen

Prayer at the Death of a Parent

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Prayer at the Death of a Parent

O Lord,
You heard Joseph grieving over the death of his father, Jacob,
as he wept and kissed him.

Your own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
also knew the love of a mother,
for as He suffered upon the cross,
He beheld his Mother and the disciple whom He loved standing near her,
and He said: Woman, behold your son.
And to the disciple, He said: Behold your mother.

Good Master,
look down from heaven and see the pain and grief which have laid hold of my heart and soul today.

Be merciful to me, Your servant,
and receive the prayer which is offered to You by a child who has lost his (her) beloved father (mother).

Forgive whatever sins he (she) has willingly or unwillingly committed,
whether of word, deed or thought.

Merciful Master,
hear the grieving voice of one who has been taught by his (her) father (mother)
to turn to You with true faith in times of need,
and to raise my eyes and voice to You.

Show Your mercy, O Lord, and grant rest to my father (mother),
making him (her) a partaker of Your eternal blessings and granting him (her) a place at Your right hand,
for blessed and glorified are You unto all ages. Amen.

Prayer for When Sickness Increases

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For When Sickness Increases

O Lord Jesus Christ, our God and our Savior,
for our sake You were born; and for our sake You were hungry and thirsty;
for our sake You were mocked, scourged and crowned with thorns;
for our sake You suffered and died on the cross,
offering up Your divine life for our salvation:
as You now grant Your servant  (name)  to share in Your sufferings,
grant him (her) also to share in Your grace.
May Your wounds heal the wounds of his (her) sins.
May Your precious Blood wash away the stains of his (her) sins.
May Your divine righteousness purge from him (her) every iniquity.
Look upon his (her) faith in You, and the faith of us who pray,
and do what is best for him (her) according to Your mercy, rather than our merit.
As sickness increases in him (her),
so likewise increase in him (her) Your power and strength.

Let not his (her) faith waver or his (her) hope fail, or his (her) love grow cold.
Let not the fear of suffering and death cause him/her to cast away his (her) hope in You,
or to lose courage and the will to fight every sickness and sin.
Let him (her) rather look always to You even to the very end,
and cry out, as You Yourself cried from the cross to God:
“Into Your hands, Good Father, I commend My spirit.”

Bless him (her) to enter Your everlasting Kingdom,
where all the saints continually shine with Your divine glory.
For You have suffered that we might be healed,
and have died that we might live,
and we send up thanksgiving and praise to You,
to the Father who sent You,
and to Your most Holy Spirit, Who strengthens us to share Your passion,
now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.


  • 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.

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  • 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
    Friday Matins - Kathisma 19,20
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    Matins - Kathisma 13,14,15
    Third Hour - Kathisma 19
    Sixth Hour - Kathisma 20
    Vespers - Kathisma 18
    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 
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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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