Basic instruction from St. Theophan the Recluse in four short homilies on what to do to pray effectively with the desired result rather than just mouthing words or reading prayers. Highly recommended.
The following services may be prayed at home when one cannot make it to church or as part of one's prayer rule. They are Archbishop Dmitri's translation of the Horologian.
Vespers and Matins
Tone7SatNight.pdf Hymns from the Octoechos in tone 7 for Saturday evening Vespers.
Liturgical texts for Vespers and Matins from the Octoechos, Triodion, Pentecostarion, and General Menaion may be found here. For Octoechos texts, choose the tone of the week and the day of the week.
Sunday Octoechos (Liturgical English) in all 8 tones is here. This allows you to do Little Vespers, Great Vespers, and Matins fully each week in the proper tone for Saturday night/Sunday morning.
Complete Octoechos (Modern English, Holy Myrrhbearers translation) here. This will provide you with liturgical texts to do Vespers and Matins every day of the year.
The Hours and Typica and Little Compline
Archbishop Dmitri translation
The Third Hour (used from 9:00 a.m. to noon)
The Sixth Hour (used from noon to 3:00 p.m.)
The Ninth Hour (used from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.), nice for use upon coming home from work.
Typica Service (used in place of Divine Liturgy on weekdays of Great Lent and as a reader service when a priest is not available to serve Liturgy)
Troparia and Kontakia of the Resurrection in the Eight Tones and for the Great Feasts for use with the Hours, etc.
Little Compline: the "after-dinner" service. Often used as part of one's evening prayer rule, sometimes with a canon or an akathist.
Midnight Office: May be used anytime between midnight and dawn. Used by many for morning prayer.
For Home Use During the Great Fast
If not reading Matins, you may insert these texts from the Triodion at the Midnight Office
Triodion Texts to insert at Midnight Office after the Creed.
For Week Three
For Week Four
For Week Five
For Week Six
Little Compline for use in the evenings during the Great Fast
Triodion Texts to Insert at Compline
For Week Three
For Week Four
For Week Five
For Week Six
Texts for Saturday Night Vespers (Use this with Reader's Vespers, below.)
For Third Sunday, March 22, 2020
For Fourth Sunday, March 29, 2020
For Fifth Sunday, April 5, 2020
For Palm Sunday, April 12, 2020
For Sunday of the Myrrhbears, May 3, 2020
Program of Psalter Reading in Repentance and Prayer for the World
The Burning Bush Lamp is a Romanian effort to stimulate prayer for the Church and the world. It involves reading a kathisma from the Psalter each day, prostrations, prayers of repentance, and the Jesus Prayer. You may read the description of it here. The prayers of repentance associated it may be found below in the "Prayers for Various Occasions" section.
Elder Sophrony's Prayer for Use at Daybreak.
St. Paisios' Prayer to be said every day for those in need.
Prayer Book: Prayers from a standard, Russian-style prayerbook now out of print; translation adapted to local use.
Prayers Before Sleep: may be added to the end of Compline, or prayed separately.
A Short Order of the Third, Sixth, and Ninth Hours for Personal Use
Morning Prayers upon Awakening
Prayers of Preparation for Receiving Holy Communion
The Three Canons: part of preparation for Holy Communion for many. Also may be prayed as part of Compline or separately. Offers a model of how to combine multiple canons for use at the same time.
Here is the Canon of Repentance in tone 6, also found as part of the "Three Canons" above, alone for use at Compline or otherwise in one's prayer rule or in preparation for Confession.
Canon of Repentance
Akathist in Preparation for Holy Communion: this beautiful and insightful akathist may be used as part of one's preparation for Holy Communion. It is well-worth using or at least getting acquainted with.
Examination of Conscience and Preparation for Holy Confession: articles and prayers.
Three Penitential Canons from the Octoechos: Canon of Compunction, Canon to the Theotokos, Canon to the Forerunner, all in tone 2. They may be used when repentence needs to be cultivated.
Morning Prayer of the Last Optina Elders
O Lord, grant that I may meet all that this coming day brings to me with spiritual tranquility. Grant that I may fully surrender myself to Thy holy will. At every hour of this day, direct and support me in all things. Whatsoever news may reach me in the course of the day, teach me to accept it with a calm soul and the firm conviction that all is subject to Thy holy will. Direct my thoughts and feelings in all my words and actions. In all unexpected occurrences, do not let me forget that all is sent down from Thee. Grant that I may deal straightforwardly and wisely with everyone I encounter, neither embarrassing nor saddening anyone. O Lord, grant me the strength to endure the fatigue of the coming day and all the events that take place during it. Direct my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to be patient, to forgive, and to love. Amen.
A Prayer before Confession
St. Symeon the New Theologian
O God and Lord of all! Who hath the power over every breath and soul, the only One able to heal me, hearken unto the prayer of me, the wretched one, and, having put him to death, destroy the serpent nestling within me by the descent of the All-Holy and Life-Creating Spirit. And vouchsafe me, poor and naked of all virtue, to fall with tears at the feet of my spiritual father, and call his holy soul to mercy, to have mercy on me. And grant, O Lord, unto my heart humility and good thoughts, becoming a sinner, who hath consented to repent unto Thee, and do not abandon unto the end the one soul, which hath united itself unto Thee and hath confessed Thee, and instead of all the world hath chosen Thee and hath preferred Thee. For Thou knowest, O Lord, that I want to save myself, and that my evil habit is an obstacle. But all things are possible unto Thee, O Master, which are impossible for man. Amen.
Prayer After Confession
O Lord of mercy! Through Thy gracious goodness, my conscience is now unburdened of sins which oppressed me, and in the humblest manner of which I am capable, I revealed to Thy priest all my sins that I could recollect. I humbly beseech Thee: accept this confession and forgive me all my trespasses, those which I have forgotten, as well as those I have remembered. Grant me grace, Lord, to live more carefully hereafter and to refrain from my former vices, which I utterly detest. I firmly resolve never to be guilty of them, but especially my most bountiful and merciful Savior, enable me to withstand those temptations with which I am most troubled, and to avoid all occasions for offending Thee again. If a just man falls seven times in the day, how much more reason have I to fear for myself, O Lord, and dread that I shall not be steadfast in my resolution, having through my own frailty and vicious habits increased the natural blindness and weakness in which I was born. Yet, O Lord, I firmly resolve through Thy merciful assistance, never to consent to any mortal sin, from which I humbly beseech Thee to preserve me while I live; as to my other sins and imperfections, I resolve to stand up against hem and hope, through Thy goodness, at length to avoid them. Amen.
Birthday or Nameday Prayer
All holy Lord, how can I worthily thank Thee for the life which Thou hast given me? Thou hast brought me up from the abyss of non-existence, and my life is a gift which came from Thy goodness. Thou hast kept me to this day, supporting me in times of trouble and need. Thou watchest over me, directing my steps along the right path and preserving me from temptation. When I stray, Thou leadest me back to the way of Thy commandments; when I slip, thou dost support me; when I fall, Thou liftest me up; when I wander, Thou turnest me back and openest Thy fatherly arms to me. My debt to Thee is immeasurable, for Thou hast given me life and daily showest me the proof of Thy fatherly goodness and care. In full acknowledgement of this, I offer Thee my entire life, and, especially, this particular day. I pray to Thee in humility, asking that Thou not take Thy goodness from me, and that Thy wisdom may guide me throughout my entire life along the right path of blessedness; through the prayers and intercessions of Saint [name of patron saint] and of Thine all-pure Mother. Amen.
A Prayer of St. Thalassios
From the Philokalia, vol. 2
O Christ, Master of all, free us from all the destructive passions and the thoughts born of them. For Thy sake we came into being, so that we might delight in the paradise which Thou hast planted and in which Thou hast placed us. We brought our present disgrace upon ourselves, preferring destruction to the delights of blessedness. We have paid for this, for we have exchanged eternal life for death O Master, as once Thou hast looked on us, look on us now; as thou becamest man, save all of us. For thou camest to save us who were lost. Do not exclude us from the company of those who are being saved. Raise up our souls and save our bodies, cleansing us from all impurity. Break the fetters of the passions that constrain us, as once Thou hast broken the ranks of the impure demons. Free us from their tyranny, so that we may worship Thee alone, the eternal Light, having risen from the dead and dancing with the angels in the blessed, eternal, and indissoluble dance. Amen.
Prayers for the 24 Hours of the Day and Night
For the Day
0600 Lord, exclude me not from Thy heavenly blessings.
0700 Lord, deliver me from eternal torments.
0800 Lord, whether I have sinned in mind or thought, word or dead, forgive me.
0900 Lord, deliver me from all ignorance, forgetfulness, cowardice, and stone-like insensitivity.
1000 Lord, deliver me from every temptation.
1100 Lord, enlighten my heart which evil desires have darkened.
1200 Lord, as a man I have sinned: as a gracious God, have mercy on me, seeing the weakness of my soul.
1300 Lord, send Thy Grace to my aid, that I may glorify Thy holy name.
1400 Lord Jesus Christ, inscribe me, Thy servant, in the book of life, and grant me a good end.
1500 Lord, my God, even though I have done nothing good before Thee, grant by Thy Grace that I make a beginning of good.
1600 Lord, sprinkle the dew of Thy grace into my heart.
1700 Lord of Heaven and earth, remember me, Thy sinful, shameful, and impure servant, in Thy Kingdom. Amen.
For the Night
1800 Lord, accept me in penitence.
1900 Lord, abandon me not.
2000 Lord, lead me not into temptation.
2100 Lord, grant me good thoughts.
2200 Lord, grant me tears, the remembrance of death and compunction.
2300 Lord, grant me the thought of confessing my sins.
2400 Lord, grant me humility, chastity, and obedience.
0100 Lord, grant me patience, courage, and meekness.
0200 Lord, cause the root of good to dwell in me – Thy fear in my heart.
0300 Lord, grant that I may love Thee with all my soul and mind and to do Thy will in all things.
0400 Lord, protect me from certain people, demons, and passions, and from any other unseemly thing.
0500 Lord, I know that Thou doest as Thou wilt: may Thy will be in me a sinner, for blessed art Thou for ever. Amen.
O God make speed to save me, O Lord make haste to help me. Psm 69/70:1
Prayer of Repentance to Jesus Christ
Based on a 15th-century Greek Prayer
Master, Lord Jesus Christ our God, the only merciful One and quick to forgive, the Fountain of mercy and the overflowing Wellspring of love for mankind; Who didst not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Receive me, Thou Who didst command Peter, the first among Thy disciples and Apostles, to forgive sins until seventy times seven, showing Thine immeasurable goodness and love for mankind, and mercifully and patiently opening the door of repentance to all who have sinned, granting them time to return to Thee and banishing despair. Lord Jesus Christ, Guide of the erring, Correction of the fallen, Hope of the hopeless, Comfort of the oppressed; receive me as I return to Thee with tears and sighs, as I repent for my transgressions and ask for forgiveness. Bow down to my prayers and supplications. Show mercy to me as the merciful One, have compassion on me as the longsuffering One, have pity on me as the Lover of mankind, and forgive me for all that I have sinned against Thee. Receive me, Thy servant, as I thank Thee for not letting me perish in my transgressions. I ask Thee for the loosening of my trespasses, and for perfect redemption and forgiveness from Thy goodness. From now on I bow down before Thee and I entreat Thee with compunction: strengthen me in Thy faith, in the hope that lasts, and in Thy love. Guard me unmoved by the plots and assaults of the evil one, so that wickedness does not throw me into the depth of destruction, and so that I do not become the prey of the enemy. My God, uphold me to do Thy will and to fulfill Thy commandments. I turn only to Thee, Master Christ, for in Thee I live and I move. Only through Thee do I exist, even though I have sinned more than all. Purify my mind of the passion for material things, of idle thoughts, of impure and evil memories and thoughts which grip me, choke me, and envelop me now. Wash me thoroughly of sin’s defilement, and purify me of all sinful stench, of impurity and defilement of soul and body. And grant me steadfast quiet and deep stillness of thoughts; so that through all these things, delighting in Thy blessings, in Thy longsuffering and abundant goodness, and obtaining Thy divine mercy, I may thank Thee, praise Thee, and glorify Thy Most Holy Name, and that of Thy Father Who is without beginning, and Thy Most Holy and good and life creating Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer for Deliverance from the Antichrist
St. Anatoly the Younger of Optina (+1922)
Deliver me, O Lord, from the deceptions of the God-hating and evil antichrist, whose coming is at hand, and shelter me from his snares in the secret desert of Thy salvation. Grant me, O Lord, strength and courage to firmly confess Thy Most Holy Name, that I may not abandon Thee because of fear of the devil, and that I may not deny Thee, my Saviour and Redeemer, nor Thy Holy Church. Grant me, O Lord, tears and lamentation for my sins, and spare me, O Lord, in the hour of Thy Dread Judgement. Amen.
Prayer for the World
St. Silouan of Athos (+1938)
O Lord, set us right, as a tender mother corrects her little children. Give every soul to know the joy of Thy coming, the power of Thy help. Refresh the suffering souls of Thy people, and teach us all to know Thee in the Holy Spirit. The soul of man languishes on earth, O Lord, unable to find strength in Thee through the mind because she does not know Thee and Thy goodness. The cares of this world overshadow our minds, and we cannot comprehend the fullness of Thy love. Do enlighten us. To Thy compassion all things are possible. Thou didst proclaim in Thy Holy Gospel that the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall live. Make our dead souls hear Thy voice this day, and come to life. Tell the world, O Lord: “The sins of all men are forgiven,” and they will be forgiven. Hallow us, O Lord, and all men will be made holy by Thy Spirit, and all Thy people will glorify Thee on earth, and Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, for to Thee all things are possible.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
From the Apanthisma, published in 1799 by St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite
O Holy Spirit, Who alone art good, all holy, and life creating, I fall down before Thee, guilty of every evil deed and worthy of every punishment. I beg Thee, my Lord and my God, the always existing and unending Life, the true and unwaning Light; do not let me be destroyed by the adversary to the very end, but reign in me, O Thou the all-powerful and incomprehensible Power; the full, unlimited, and unsurpassable Dominion; complete Goodness and Cause of all that is good and beneficial; Who restoreth all of creation to life; through Whom the weak are strengthened, from Whom cometh our second birth, our second formation, and all of our knowledge; through Whom we are illuminated to see the Lord, our Redeemer and Saviour; through Whom all things live and breathe. Ineffable Wisdom, Knowledge higher than sense perception, incomprehensible Brightness, full Life, full Power, full Glory, the God of all, the caregiving and merciful One: Grant me to be wholly Thine and from now on to live according to Thy will. Raise my members crushed by sin. Enlighten my heart darkened by evil desires, and resurrect my soul slain by sins. Make the towering waves of passions subside. Deliver me from the enemy who overpowereth me within and without. Deliver me from all evil works, forgive all mine iniquities, and fill me with Thy perfect love. Inscribe the name of Thy servant in the Book of life and grant me a good end, so that being victorious over the devil, I may worship before the throne of Thy Kingdom without shame. O Master, make my heart Thy good soil, so that it may receive the good seed and Thy Gift may bedew in it the dew of eternal life. Return, O my soul, to thy rest through fasting! Return, O my soul, to the gates of heaven through suffering and pain! May my soul find itself, O Lord, in Thine ineffable light together with all Thy Saints. Therefore, Master of all, the infinite and inconceivable One, listen to me, Thy vile and unworthy servant; help me to follow and remain on the narrow and difficult way, so that I may become worthy of attaining to Thy promises, and I may cry into the exultation of heaven: Glory to the immortal Father, and the immortal Son, and the immortal Holy Spirit; great honor and worship is due to Them, to the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer For Gift of Holy Spirit
St. Symeon New Theologian
Have mercy on me, Son of David, and open the eyes of my soul, so that I may see the light of the world, even Thee, who art God, and may become, even I, a son of the day, and so that Thou mayest not abandon me, O Good One, as unworthy and without a share in Thy Divinity. Lord, manifest Thyself to me, so that I may know that Thou hast loved me as one who have kept, Master, Thy divine commandments. O Merciful One, send the Comforter even to me, so that He may teach me the things concerning Thee; and, O God of all, declare what is Thine to me. Illumine me with the true light, O Compassionate One, so that I may see the glory which That hadst with Thy Father before the world was made. Abide even in me, as Thou hast said, so that I, too, may become worthy of abiding in Thee, and may then consciously enter into Thee and consciously possess Thee within myself. O Invisible One, take form in me so that, beholding Thine impossible beauty, I may be clothed, O Heavenly One, with Thine image and forget all things visible. Compassionate One, give me that glory which the Father gave Thee, so that I may, as all of Thy servants, become god by grace and be ever with Thee, now and always and for ages without end.
In a sense, Spiritual Reading, particularly of the Holy Scriptures, is part of a rule of prayer. A wise Christian reads the Word of God daily.
Lenten Reading Programs
Here are three reading programs to help one read the Scriptures during the Great Fast.
1. This program guides one to read through the epistles of the New Testament during the Fast. It also provides a schedule for reading the historical books of the Old Testament from the time of the Judges to the Babylonian Captivity.
Epistles and History of Israel
2. This program schedules reading the entire New Testament during the Fast. It provides the same schedule as above for reading the historical books of the Old Testament from Judges to the Babylonian Captivity.
NT + OT History
3. This program schedules reading the entire New Testament during the Fast along with a schedule to read some of the less well-known Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament, namely Ecclesiastices, Wisdom of Sirach, and Wisdom of Solomon.
NT + Wisdom
4. This program schedules reading the Old Testament narrative from the call of Abraham to the conquest of the Promised Land under Joshua.
OT Abraham to Joshua