The Anaphora Prayer (St Basil)
of St Basil the Great
This prayer, encompassing all of salvation history, is said mostly quietly, by the priest at the consecration in the Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great.
The people’s responses are in italics.
O You Who Are, O Master, Lord, God, Father Almighty and Adorable! It is truly proper and just and befitting the majesty of your holiness that we should exalt You, praise You, bless You, worship You, give thanks to You and glorify You, the God Who alone exists, and that we should offer to You this our spiritual worship with a contrite heart and humble spirit; for it is You Who have graciously bestowed upon us the knowledge of your truth.
Who can speak of all your mighty works and make all your praises heard? Who can tell of your miracles at all times?
O Master of All, Lord of heaven and earth and of all created beings both visible and invisible! You sit on the throne of glory and look upon the depths; You are invisible, unknowable, indescribable, without beginning and without change, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our great God and Savior. He is our Hope, the Image of your goodness, the Seal of your Likeness, Who reveals You, the Father, in Himself. He is the living Word, true God, Wisdom that existed before time began, Life, Sanctification, Power, the true Light, through Whom also the Holy Spirit was revealed. The Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, the Gift of filial adoption, the Pledge of an inheritance to come, the Beginning of eternal good things, the Life-giving Power and the Fountain of Holiness, through Whom every rational and intelligent creature is given the power to worship You and to send up to You unending glory, for all things are your servants. The Angels, Archangels, Thrones, Dominions, Principalities, Authorities, Powers and the many-eyed Cherubim praise You. Standing circled before You are the Seraphim, each having six wings: with two wings they cover their faces, with two their feet and with two they fly as they call to one another with unceasing and incessant hymns of praise as they sing, cry out and proclaim the triumphant hymn, saying:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord of hosts! Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!
With these blessed powers, O Master and Lover of Mankind, we sinners also cry out and say: “Holy are You, truly all-holy!” There is no limit to the majesty of your holiness. You are revered in all your works, for in righteousness and true judgment You have ordered all things for us. When You created man and had fashioned him from the dust of the earth and had honored him as your own image, O God, You set him in the midst of a bountiful paradise, promising him life eternal and the enjoyment of everlasting good things by keeping your commandments.
But when he disobeyed You, the true God Who had created him, and was led astray by the deceit of the serpent, he was made subject to death through his own transgressions. In your righteous judgment, O God, You exiled him from paradise into this world and returned him to the earth from which he had been taken. But You provided for him the salvation of rebirth which is in your Christ Himself.
For You did not turn Yourself away forever from your creation whom You had made, O Good One, nor did You forget the work of your hands, but You visited him in different ways. Through the tender compassion of your mercy, You sent forth prophets. You performed great works by the Saints who in every generation were well-pleasing to You. You spoke to us through the mouths of your servants the Prophets who foretold to us the salvation which was to come. You gave us the Law to aid us. You appointed angels to guard us. And when the fullness of time had come, You spoke to us through your Son Himself, through whom You had created time.
Being the Brightness of your Glory and the Stamp of your Person, and upholding all things by the power of his Word, your Son did not think of equality with You, Who alone are God and Father, as something to be grasped. And so, although He was God before time began, He appeared on earth and dwelt among us. He was incarnate of a holy virgin and emptied Himself, taking on the form of a servant and being conformed to the body of our lowliness so that He might conform us to the image of his glory. Since sin entered the world through a man and death through sin, so your Only-begotten Son, Who is in your bosom, our God and Father, was well-pleased to be born of a woman, the holy Birth-giver of God and ever-virgin Mary. He was born under the Law, so that He might condemn sin in his own flesh, so that those who died in Adam might be made alive in Him, your Christ.
He lived in this world and gave us commandments for salvation. He released us from the delusions of idolatry and brought us to the knowledge of You, true God and Father. He procured us for Himself as a chosen people, a royal priesthood and a holy nation. Having purified us with water, He sanctified us with the Holy Spirit. He gave Himself as a ransom to death by which we were held captive, having been sold into slavery by sin. He descended into the realm of death through the Cross, that He might fill all things with Himself. He loosed the sorrow of death and rose again from the dead on the third day, for it was not possible that the Author of Life should be conquered by corruption. In this way He made a way to the resurrection of the dead for all flesh. Thus, He became the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep, the first-born of the dead, that He might be first in all ways among all things. Ascending into heaven, He sat at the right hand of your Majesty on High, and He shall come again to reward each person according to his deeds.
He left us memorials of his saving passion, these which we have set forth according to his command. For when He was about to go to his voluntary and ever-memorable and life-giving death, on the night when He gave Himself for the life of the world, He took bread into his holy and most pure hands and presented it to You, God and Father, and He gave thanks and blessed it and sanctified it and broke it and He gave it to his holy disciples and apostles, saying: “Take and eat, This is my Body which is broken for you for the remission of sins.”
In like manner, having taken the cup of the fruit of the vine and mixed it, He gave thanks, blessed it, sanctified it and He gave it to his holy disciples and apostles, saying: “All of you drink of this, This is my Blood of the New Testament, Which is shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins.”
“Do this in remembrance of Me, for as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim my death and confess my resurrection.” Therefore, Master, remembering his redeeming Passion and his life-giving Cross, his three-day Burial, his Resurrection from the dead, his Ascension into heaven, his sitting at your right hand, God and Father, and his glorious and awesome Second Coming, we offer to You Yours of your Own, in behalf of all and for all.
We praise You, we bless You, we give thanks unto You, O Lord, and we pray to You, O our God.
O All-holy Master, since You have enabled us, your sinful and unworthy servants, to minister at your holy Altar, not through our own righteousness, for we have done nothing good upon the earth, but because of your mercies and bounties which You have richly poured out upon us, we now have the courage to draw near to this your holy Altar. Presenting to You the Antitypes of the sacred Body and Blood of your Christ, we pray and beseech You, O Holy of Holies, that by the pleasure of your goodness your Holy Spirit may descend upon us and upon these gifts lying here before You and bless and sanctify them and reveal this bread to be the precious Body of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, and that which is in this chalice to be the precious Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, poured forth for the life of the world.
Unite all of us who partake of this one bread and cup to one another in the communion of the one Holy Spirit. Grant that none of us partake of the holy Body and Blood of your Christ for judgment or condemnation; rather, grant that we may find mercy and grace together with all the saints that have been pleasing to You throughout all time: with our fore-fathers, fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, preachers, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, teachers, and with all the righteous made perfect in the faith, especially with our ever-holy, ever-pure, ever-blessed and glorious Lady, the Birth-giver of God and ever-Virgin Mary.
(The people now sing a Hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos.)
With the holy prophet, forerunner and Baptist, John, the holy, glorious and praiseworthy apostles, Saint N., whose memory we celebrate today, and all your saints, through whose prayers visit us, O God. Remember also, O Lord, the souls of your departed, all those who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection unto eternal life. O our God, we pray for the forgiveness and the repose of the souls of your departed servants, Nn., in a place of light, where there is no sorrow nor mourning. Grant them rest where the light of your face shines.
Furthermore, we entreat You: remember, O Lord, your holy, catholic and apostolic Church, which is from one end of the universe to the other; give peace to Her whom You have obtained with the precious Blood of your Christ, and preserve this holy house until the end of the world. Remember, O Lord, those who offered You these gifts, and those for whom and through whom they were offered, and the intentions for which they were offered.
Remember, O Lord, those who bring offerings and do good works in your holy churches, and those who remember the poor; reward them with your rich and heavenly gifts. For their earthly, temporal and corruptible gifts, grant them your heavenly ones, which are eternal and incorruptible.
Remember, O Lord, those who are in the deserts, mountains, caverns and pits of the earth. Remember, O Lord, those who live in chastity and godliness, in austerity and holiness of life. Remember, O Lord, this nation and her civil authorities, those who serve in the government and the armed forces. Grant them a secure and lasting peace; speak good things in their hearts concerning your Church and all your people, so that we, in their tranquility, may lead a calm and peaceful life in all godliness and sanctity. In your goodness guard those who are good, and in your Loving-kindness make those who are evil good.
Remember, O Lord, the people here present as well as those who are absent for honorable reasons. Have mercy on them and on us according to the multitude of your mercies. Fill their cupboards with every good thing. Preserve their marriages in peace and harmony, raise the infants, guide the young, support the aged, encourage the faint-hearted, reunite the separated. Lead back those who are in error and join them to your holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Free those who are held captive by unclean spirits. Sail with those who sail, travel with those who travel by land and by air. Defend the widows, protect the orphans, free the captives and heal the sick.
Remember, O God, those who are being judged, those who are in prison, in exile, at hard labor and those in any kind of affliction, necessity or distress.
Remember, O Lord our God, all those who entreat your great Loving- kindness, and those who love us and those who hate us, and those who have asked us to pray for them, unworthy though we be. Remember all your people, O Lord our God. Pour out your rich mercy upon all of them, granting them all the petitions which are for their salvation.
You Yourself remember, O God, all those whom we have not remembered through ignorance, forgetfulness or the multitude of names, since You know the name and age of each, even from his mother’s womb. You, O Lord, are the Help of the helpless, the Hope of the hopeless, the Savior of the bestormed, the Haven of the voyager, the Physician of the sick. Be all things to all mankind, for You know everyone and their request, every home and its needs. Deliver this [city, village, habitation, monastery], O Lord, and every city and countryside from famine, plague, earthquake, flood, fire, sword, foreign invasion and civil war.
Remember among the first, O Lord, our [Patriarch and/or Metropolitan, Archbishop or Bishop], preserve them for your holy churches in peace, in safety, in honor and in health for many years, so that they may faithfully dispense the word of your truth.
And all mankind.
Remember, O Lord, the servants of God, Nn., and grant them salvation, visitation and the forgiveness of their sins.
Remember, O Lord, every Orthodox hierarch who rightly dispenses the Word of your truth. Remember, O Lord, according to the multitude of your mercies, my own unworthiness. Pardon my every offense both voluntary and involuntary, and do not withhold the grace of your Holy Spirit from these Gifts here set forth because of my sins.
Remember, O Lord, the priesthood, the diaconate in Christ and every clerical order. Let none of us who stand about your holy Altar be put to shame. Visit us with your Loving-kindness, O Lord; manifest Yourself to us through your rich compassions.
Grant us seasonable and healthful weather. Send gentle showers upon the earth so that it may bear fruit. Bless the crown of the year with your Loving-kindness. Stop schisms among the churches, pacify the ragings of the pagans and quickly destroy the uprisings of heresy by the power of your Holy Spirit. Receive us all into your Kingdom, showing us to be children of the light and children of the day. Grant us your peace and love, a Lord our God, for You have given all things to us.
And grant that with one voice and one heart we may glorify and praise your most honorable and sublime Name, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.