Prayers of Preparation before Holy Communion

 

Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us.  Amen.

 

 

If it is the Paschal Season, say the Paschal Troparion, (3 times):

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!

Or if it is after Ascension, but before Pentecost, this Troparion of Ascension is read:

<continue immediately with “Holy God… below>

 

Or the remainder of the year, say:

Glory to Thee, O God, glory to Thee.

O heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of life: Come and abide in 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! (3 times)

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 Thy 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.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

 

O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.  Amen.

 

Come, let us worship God our King!

Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and our God!

Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and our God!

 

Psalm 22 (23)

The Lord is my shepherd, and I shall not want. In a place of green pasture, there hath He made me to dwell; beside the water of rest hath He nurtured me. He hath converted my soul, He hath led me on the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me. Thou hast prepared a table for me in the presence of them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil, and Thy cup which filleth me, how excellent it is! And Thy mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.

 

Psalm 23 (24)

The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof, the world, and all that dwell therein. He hath founded it upon the seas, and upon the rivers hath He prepared it. Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that is innocent in hands and pure in heart, who hath not received his soul in vain, and hath not sworn deceitfully to his neighbor. Such a one shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and mercy from God his Savior. This is the generation of them that seek the Lord, of them that seek the face of the God of Jacob. Lift up your gates, O ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in war. Lift up your gates, O ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of Glory.

 

Psalm 115 (116)

I believed wherefore I spake; I was humbled exceedingly. As for me, I said in mine ecstasy: Every man is a liar. What shall I render unto the Lord for all that He hath rendered unto me? I will take the cup of salvation, and I will call upon the name of the Lord. My vows unto the Lord will I pay in the presence of all His people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. O Lord, I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant and the son of Thy handmaid. Thou hast broken my bonds asunder. I will sacrifice a sacrifice of praise unto Thee, and I will call upon the name of the Lord. My vows unto the Lord will I pay in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.

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

 

Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia. Glory to Thee, O God. (3 times)

 

Communion Troparia

Disregard my iniquities, O Lord, born of a Virgin! Cleanse my heart and make it a temple of Thy most pure Body and Blood. Turn me not away from Thy countenance, for Thy great mercy is immeasurable!

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

 

How dare I partake of Thy holiness in my unworthiness? Even if I dare to approach Thee with the worthy, my garment accuses me, for it is not a wedding garment and I secure the condemnation of my most sinful soul. Cleanse, O Lord, the defilement of my soul and save me, for Thou art the lover of mankind.

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

 

Great is the multitude of my sins, O Theotokos! In need of salvation, I come to thee, O pure one. Visit my ailing soul, O thou who alone art blessed and pray to thy Son and our God that He absolve the evil I have done.

Pre-Communion Canon

Ode 1

Irmos: Come, O people, let us sing a song to Christ God who divided the sea and led the people whom He delivered from Egyptian slavery for He has been greatly glorified!

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

May Thy holy Body and precious Blood be the food of eternal life for me, O merciful Lord, and the healing of all my pains.

Cast me not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

Though I am unworthy O Master, grant that with faith and love I may worthily eat Thy most pure Body and drink Thy precious Blood.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Stained by my wicked deeds and wretched, I am unworthy to partake of Thy most pure Body and Thy divine Blood; but make me worthy of them, O Christ.

Now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

O divine, good and blessed Bride, who brought forth fruit from an untilled land for the redemption of the world, make me worthy to partake of it for my salvation.

 

Ode 3

Irmos: Thou hast set me up on the rock of faith and given me strength over mine enemies; thus my spirit rejoices as I sing, “There is none holy as our God and none righteous but Thee, O Lord!”

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Grant me the water of tears, O Christ, that I may wash the filth from my heart; thus cleansed and with a pure conscience, O Master, I shall fearfully approach the communion of Thy gifts with faith.

Cast me not away from Thy presence and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

May Thy divine and pure Body and Blood be for the remission of my sins, for communion of the Holy Spirit and for eternal life, O Lover of mankind, and for my deliverance from pain and need.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O Lord, grant me to partake without condemnation of Thy pure Body and Thy precious Blood that I may glorify Thy righteousness.

Now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

O Pure One, altar of the bread of life Who descended from on high and in His mercy gave new life to the world: grant me, the unworthy one, to taste of this and live.

 

Kathisma Hymn (Tone 8)

May my receiving of Thine immaculate and life-creating Mysteries, O Savior, be as fire and light for me, burning up the chaff of my sins and enlightening me to proclaim the true God; for I will not give Thy holy things to the deceiving enemy neither will I kiss Thee in deceit, but like the sinful woman will I fall down before Thee and confess Thee as the thief; crying out: “Remember me, O Lord, in Thy kingdom!”

 

Ode 4

Irmos: Thou hast come from a Virgin, not as an ambassador nor an angel but as the Lord Himself incarnate; to me, a man, Thou hast brought salvation. So I cry to Thee: “Glory to Thy power, O Lord!”

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Thou wast incarnate, O Merciful One, and voluntarily sacrificed Thyself as a lamb for our sins; therefore I beseech Thee: “Cleanse me of mine iniquities!”

Cast me not away from Thy presence and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

Heal the wounds of my soul, O Lord; sanctify my whole being, O Master, and grant me, the wretched one, to be a partaker of Thy divine and mystical supper.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Let us stand with fear and trembling, fixing the eyes of our hearts on high and crying to the Savior: “Strengthen us and make us wise in Thy fear, O merciful Lord.”

Now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

May He whom thou didst carry in thy womb, O Lady, show His mercy to me through thine intercessions and keep me, thy servant, undefiled and blameless so that I may be sanctified by receiving within myself the spiritual pearl.

 

Ode 5

Irmos: O Lord, bestower of light and Creator of the ages, direct us in the light of Thy commandments, for we know no other God but Thee!

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

O Christ, dwell within Thy humble servant according to Thy Word and remain in me as Thou hast promised; for behold, I eat Thy divine Body and drink Thy Blood.

Cast me not away from Thy presence and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

O God, Word of God, may the coal of Thy Body be enlightenment for me, the darkened one, and may Thy Blood be for the cleansing of my soul.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Defiled as I am in soul and with unclean lips, I dare not approach Thee, O Christ, but grant that I may be worthy to receive Thy holy Body.

Now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

O Mary, Mother of God, precious dwelling place of the sweet fragrance, through thine intercessions make me a chosen vessel and a partaker of the Holy Mysteries of thy Son.

 

Ode 6

Irmos: Compassed about in the depths of sin, I entreat the unfathomable depths of Thy compassion: “Bring me out of corruption, O Lord!”

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Sanctify my mind, soul, heart and body, O Savior, and make me worthy without condemnation to approach Thy fearful Mysteries, O Master.

Cast me not away from Thy presence and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

Through the communion of Thy Holy Mysteries, may I become a stranger to passion, increase in grace and be confirmed in life, O Christ.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

With fear and trembling, let us all approach the divine Mysteries of Christ and receive His true and holy Body and His true, holy and precious Blood.

Now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

O God, holy Word of God, sanctify me entirely through the prayers of Thy holy Mother as I come to Thy divine Mysteries.

 

Kontakion (Tone 2)

Do not reject me, O Christ, as I receive the bread and wine which is Thy divine Body and Blood; but may the communion of Thy pure and fearful Mysteries, O Master, not be for my judgment, wretch that I am, but for eternal and immortal life.

 

Ode 7

Irmos: The three youths scorned the godless command and would not worship the golden statue in the plain of Dura. Thrown into the midst of the flames, they sang refreshed, "Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!"

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

May the communion of Thine immortal Mysteries, O Christ, be now for me a fountain of goodness, light, life and passionless-ness and as an intercession for the increase of Thy divine good things, that I may glorify Thee, O only good one.

Cast me not away from Thy presence and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

Deliver me from passion, enemies, need and danger, O Lover of mankind, for with trembling, love and humility I draw near to Thine immortal and divine Mysteries, singing to Thee: “Blessed art Thou, O God of our fathers!”

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O my wretched and passionate soul, stand in fear at beholding the most glorious Mysteries. With sighs weep, beat Thy breast and cry out, saying “Lord, cleanse me who am full of lust!"

Now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

O most Pure One, full of divine grace who gave birth incomprehensibly to the Savior Christ, I,  thine unclean servant, pray to thee: “Cleanse me from all stain of body and soul as I now draw near to the immaculate Mysteries.”

 

Ode 8

Irmos: God descended to the Hebrew youths in the flaming furnace, changing the fire into dew. Praise Him all His works and exalt Him as Lord unto all ages!

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Grant me, who am without hope, to partake of Thy heavenly, fearful and holy Mysteries, O Christ and of Thy divine and mystical Supper, O God my Savior.

Cast me not away from Thy presence and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

I run to Thy mercy, O Good One, and fearfully cry out to Thee: “Abide in me, O Savior, and let me abide in Thee, as Thou hast said; for behold, trusting in Thy mercy I eat Thy Body and drink Thy Blood.”

We bless the Lord: Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

I tremble at receiving fire. May I not ignite as hay and wax. O terrifying mystery! O the mercy of God! How can I who am earthly partake of the divine Body and Blood and become incorruptible?

Now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

O Mother of God, the Divine Bread of life truly ripened in thy womb and preserved it untouched and blameless. Therefore we eternally praise thee who dost nourish us.

 

Ode 9

Irmos: The Son of the eternal Father, God the Lord, incarnate of the Virgin, has appeared to us to give light to those in darkness and to gather those who had gone astray. So we magnify thee, O Theotokos.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

O taste and see how good the Lord is; for long ago He became like us for our sakes and at once offered Himself as a sacrifice to His Father. He is ever sacrificed, sanctifying those who partake of Him.

Cast me not away from Thy presence and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

May I be sanctified in soul and body, O Master; may I be enlightened; may I be saved; may I be Thy dwelling place through partaking of the holy Mysteries, that Thou mayest abide in me together with the Father and the Spirit, O most merciful Creator of all good.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

May Thy precious Body and Blood be as fire and light to me, O my Savior, burning my sin and devouring the thorns of passion, enlightening me totally that I may worship Thy divinity.

Now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

God was incarnate from thy pure blood, O Lady. Therefore we and all generations praise thee and the hosts of angels glorify thee for they have seen the Master of all assume human nature through thee.

 

Lord, have mercy! (40 times)

A Prayer of St. Basil the Great

O Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, our God, Fountain of life and immortality, Creator of all things visible and invisible; Consubstantial and Co-eternal Son of the eternal Father, who in Thine exceeding great love didst become incarnate in the latter days, and was crucified for us ungrateful and wicked children, and by Thine own Blood didst renew our nature corrupted by sin; Do Thou, O Immortal King, receive me, a repentant sinner; incline Thine ear unto me and hear my prayer. I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and I am not worthy to lift up my eyes to the majesty of Thy glory, for I have affronted Thy goodness, and broken Thy commandments, and disobeyed Thy laws. But Thou, O Lord most loving, long-suffering and merciful, hast not given me over to perish in my sin, but dost ever await my return. For Thou hast said by Thy Prophet, O Thou who lovest mankind, that Thou hast no pleasure in the death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his wickedness and live. Thou dost not desire, O Master, to destroy the works of Thy hands or that they should perish, but wills that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth. Wherefore I, although unworthy both of heaven and of earth and of this temporary life, even I, a wretched sinner who had given myself over to every evil desire, despair not of salvation, though I have been wholly subject to sin, a slave to passion, and have defiled Thine image within me, who am Thy creation and Thy work; but trusting in Thine infinite compassion, draw nigh unto Thee. Receive me, O Lord, Thou that loves mankind, as Thou didst receive the sinful woman, the thief, the publican and the prodigal son. Take away the heavy burden of my sins, O Thou that takest away the sins of the world, and heals the infirmities of men, and callest all that are weary and heavy laden to Thyself and gives them rest; Thou that camest not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance, cleanse Thou me from all stain of body and soul and teach me to fulfill holiness in Thy fear, that with the witness of my conscience pure, I may receive a portion of Thy Holy Gifts, and be united to Thy Holy Body and Precious Blood, and may have Thee, with Thy Father and Holy Spirit, dwelling and abiding in me. And grant, O Lord Jesus Christ, my God, that the partaking of Thy precious and Life-giving Mysteries may not be to my condemnation, nor may not through the weakness of my soul and body be received unworthily; but grant that, even unto my last breath, I may partake of a portion of Thy Holy Gifts without condemnation, unto the Communion of Thy Holy Spirit, as a preparation for eternal Life and for a good defense at Thy dread Judgment Seat; so that I, together with all Thine elect, may also receive those incorruptible good things which Thou hast prepared for them that love Thee, O Lord; in whom Thou art glorified forever. Amen.

 

Another Prayer of St. Basil the Great

O Lord, I know that I am unworthy to receive Thy Holy Body and Precious Blood; I know that I am guilty, and that I eat and drink condemnation to myself, not discerning the Body and Blood of Christ my God. But trusting in Thy loving-kindness I come unto Thee who has said: He that eats my Body and drinks my Blood shall dwell in me and I in him. Therefore, O Lord, have compassion on me and make not an example of me, Thy sinful servant. But do unto me according Thy great mercy, and grant that these Holy Gifts may be for me unto the healing, purification, enlightenment, protection, salvation and sanctification of my soul and body, and to the expulsion of every evil imagination, sinful deed or work of the Devil. May they move me to reliance on Thee and to love Thee always, to amend and keep firm my life; and be ever in me to the increase of virtue, to the keeping of the Holy Spirit, and as a good defense before Thy dread Judgment Seat, and for Life eternal. Amen.

 

A Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

O Lord my God, I know that I am not worthy nor sufficient that Thou shouldst enter under my roof into the habitation of my soul, for it is all deserted and in ruins, and Thou hast not a fitting place in me to lay Thy head. But as from the heights of Thy glory Thou didst humble Thyself, so now bear me in my humility; as Thou didst deign to lie in a manger in a cave, so deign now also to come into the manger of my mute soul and corrupt body. As Thou didst not refrain from entering into the house of Simon the leper, or shrink from eating there with sinners, so also vouchsafe to enter the house of my poor soul, all leprous and full of sin. Thou didst not reject the sinful woman who ventured to draw near to touch Thee, so also have pity on me, a sinner, approaching to touch Thee. And grant that I may partake of Thine All-holy Body and Precious Blood for the sanctification, enlightenment and strengthening of my weak soul and body; for the relief from the burden of my many sins; for my preservation against all the snares of the devil; for victory over all my sinful and evil habits; for the mortification of my passions; for obedience to Thy Commandments; for growth in Thy divine Grace and for the inheritance of Thy Kingdom. For it is not with careless heart that I approach Thee, O Christ my God, but I come trusting in Thine infinite goodness, and fearing lest I may be drawn afar from Thee and become the prey of the wolf of souls. Wherefore I pray Thee, O Master, Who alone art holy, that Thou wouldst sanctify my soul and body, my mind and heart and reins, and renew me entirely. Implant in my members the fear of Thee, be Thou my helper and guide, directing my life in the paths of peace, and make me worthy to stand at Thy right hand with Thy Saints; through the prayers and intercessions of Thine immaculate Mother, of Thy Bodiless Servitors, of the immaculate Powers, and of all the Saints who from all ages have been well-pleasing unto Thee. Amen.

 

Another Prayer of St. John Chrysostom

O Lord Jesus Christ my God, absolve, loose, cleanse and forgive me Thy sinful and useless and unworthy servant my errors, transgressions and sinful failings as many as I have committed from my youth up to this present day and hour, consciously and unconsciously, in words or actions or reasonings, thoughts, pursuits and in all my senses. By the prayers of Thy mother the most pure and ever-virgin Mary who gave birth to Thee without human seed, my only hope which will not put me to shame, my intercessor and salvation, grant me to have communion without condemnation of Thy most pure, immortal, life-creating and awesome mysteries; for the remission of sins and unto life everlasting; for sanctification, enlightenment, strength, healing and health of soul and body; for the most perfect removal and destruction of my evil thoughts and reasonings and intentions, fantasies by night, brought by dark and evil spirits; for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory and the honor and the worship with the Father and Thy Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

A Prayer of St. John of Damascus

O Lord and Master Jesus Christ, our God, Who alone hath power to forgive the sins of men, do Thou, O Good One who lovest mankind, forgive all the sins that I have committed in knowledge or in ignorance, and make me worthy to receive without condemnation Thy divine, glorious, immaculate and life-giving Mysteries; not unto punishment or unto increase of sin; but unto purification, and sanctification and a promise of Thy Kingdom and the Life to come; as a protection and a help to overthrow the adversaries, and to blot out my many sins. For Thou art a God of Mercy and compassion and love toward mankind, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory together with the Father and the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

Another Prayer of St. John of Damascus

I stand before the gates of Thy Temple, and yet I refrain not from my evil thoughts. But do Thou, O Christ my God, who didst justify the publican, and had mercy on the Canaanite woman, and opened the gates of Paradise to the thief; open unto me the compassion of Thy love toward mankind, and receive me as I approach and touch Thee, like the sinful woman and the woman with the issue of blood; for the one, by embracing Thy feet received the forgiveness of her sins, and the other by but touching the hem of Thy garment was healed. And I, most sinful, dare to partake of Thy whole Body. Let me not be consumed but receive me as Thou didst receive them, and enlighten the perceptions of my soul, consuming the accusations of my sins; through the intercessions of Her that without stain gave Thee birth, and of the heavenly Powers; for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

A Prayer of St. Simeon Metaphrastes

O only pure and incorruptible Lord, because of the unspeakable mercy of Thy love for mankind, Thou didst take to Thyself our entire human composition from the pure blood of the Virgin who gave birth to Thee beyond nature, by the descent of the Holy Spirit and the good-will of the ever-existing Father.

 

O Christ Jesus, Wisdom of God and Peace and Power, through the human nature which Thou didst take to Thyself, Thou didst suffer the life-creating and saving passion: the cross, the nails, the spear, death itself. Put to death in me the soul-destroying passions of the body.

 

Through Thy burial Thou didst capture the kingdom of death. Bury in me the evil devices of the devil with good thoughts, and destroy the spirits of evil.

 

Through Thy life-bringing resurrection Thou didst raise up the first father who had fallen. Raise me up who am sunk down in sin and give me the image of repentance.

 

Through Thy glorious ascension Thou didst make the flesh which Thou didst assume to be divine, and placed it on the throne at the Father's right hand. Grant me to receive a place at the right hand with the saved through communion of Thy holy mysteries.

 

Through the coming of Thy Spirit, the Comforter, Thou didst make Thy consecrated disciples to be honorable vessels. Show me also to be the receptacle of His coming.

 

Thou hast promised to come again to judge the world in righteousness. Grant that I may go to meet Thee in the clouds, my judge and creator, with all Thy saints; that I may glorify and praise Thee without end, together with Thy Father who is without beginning, and Thy most holy and good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.