Communion with God Through Prayer

Venerable Chariton the Confessor the Abbot of Palestine

Venerable Chariton the Confessor the Abbot of Palestine

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.

ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY

Communion with God through Prayer
by the Sisters of the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery

For a very long time we have been concerned about the regular, personal prayer of faithful members of the Church, of those Christians who feel vividly the desire in their hearts for regular communion with God through prayer, but are unable to attend the daily services celebrated in the holy churches. The demands of the hectic daily conditions in which these faithful members of our Church live and work are such, as we all know, that pious Christians must struggle even to be able to attend the Divine Liturgy on Sunday. Precisely for this reason, they are deprived of the spiritual strength and food contained in the fixed sacred services observed in our Church during the twenty-four hours of the day. Both from holy Confession and from the many conversations we have had with conscientious members of our Church, we came to see the need people have for the nourishment of regular prayer within the possibilities and conditions of their daily lives. After much thought, we decided to produce a pocket-size prayerbook with selections from the fixed prayers of our Church for the twenty-four hour period, thus providing a brief anthology of psalms and prayers...The need for a selection from the many prayers of the Church becomes even more evident when we realize that, as a rule, the holy services are celebrated in church buildings where the appropriate comfort of time and space can be found. Since this is impossible for lay people in present-day conditions and the faithful cannot read all the psalms, all the troparia (hymns) and all the prayers of each fixed daily service in the narrow frame of time available in a factory or office or wherever else they may be at the time of prayer, we have judged it necessary to choose from among the prayers and psalms of each service.

Thus we offer to the faithful this Manual of Prayer with its selection of troparia and psalms, few in number but rich and appropriate in content. May this give them the possibility of participating in our Church's life of prayer wherever they may be, fulfilling the injunctions "Seven times a day will I praise You" of the Psalmist, and "Pray unceasingly" of the holy Apostle Paul.

We need to rekindle the flame of prayer. And let us never forget: "Prayer is the spring of virtues, the cause of gifts, food for the soul and the enlightenment of the mind" (The Ladder of Divine Ascent).

"Let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice"--Psalm 141

"From ancient times the Church, under both the Old and New Covenants, has ended the day with the setting of the sun, beginning the new day by lighting the lamps of evening. As the day comes to a close, believers, together with the Church, stand before God filled with gratitude. We thank Him for the abundant blessings He has granted to us and to all creation throughout the day just past. With the setting of the sun, everything is led towards rest. Many psalms of the Old Testament, including 104 and 141, are dedicated to this Hour. Let us pray now, hymning God together with the whole of creation."

VESPERS (ESPERINOS) [Evening service]:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Glory to You, our God, Glory to You!

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, You are everywhere and fill all things. Treasury of blessings and Giver of life come and abide us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One!

TRISAGION PRAYERS

Holy God! Holy Mighty! Holy Immortal!

Have mercy on us.

Holy God! Holy Mighty! Holy Immortal!

Have mercy on us.

Holy God!  Holy Mighty! Holy Immortal!

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages  of ages. Amen.

Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us! Lord, cleanse us from our sins! Master, pardon our transgressions! Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Your name's sake.

Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father...

Psalm 104

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great! You are clothed with honor and majesty; You cover Yourself with light as with a garment...

Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to You, Lord. Lord, hear my voice...

O Joyful Light

O Joyful Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Father Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun, and see the light of evening, We praise God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. For it is right at all times to worship You with voices of praise,

O Son of God and Giver of Life. Therefore all the world glorifies You!

Prayers

Enable us, O Lord, to pass this night without sin. Blessed are You, O Lord God of our fathers, and praised and glorified be Your name forever. Amen.

Let Your mercy, O Lord, teach me Your statutes. Blessed are You, O Master, make me to understand Your Commandments.

Blessed are You, O Holy One, enlighten me with Your precepts. Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever. Do not despise the works of Your hands. To You belongs worship! To You belongs praise! To You belongs glory! To the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Psalm 123

I lift up my eyes to You, enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till His has mercy upon us...

The Song of St. Simeon the Godbearer

Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace, according to your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all peoples; A Light to enlighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of Your people Israel.

Concluding Prayer

All-Holy Trinity, powerful in essence, Kingdom undivided, Source of all good, be gracious to me, even though I am a sinner. Make my heart firm and wise, and cleanse me of all impurities. Enlighten my mind that I may forever hymn, glorify, and worship Your saying: One is Holy, One is the Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God and Father. Amen.

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, may the Lord have mercy on us. Amen.

(To be continued)

With love and prayers,

+Father George