PRAYERS BEFORE SLEEP
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, by the prayers of Thy most pure Mother and of our holy and God-bearing fathers and of all the Saints, have mercy on us. Amen.
Glory to Thee our God, glory to Thee.
Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good gifts and Giver of Life, come and abide in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us. (Thrice)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the -ages of ages. Amen.
Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, wash away our sins. O Master, pardon our transgressions. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Thy Name's sake.
Lord, have mercy. (3 times)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the 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.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
O come let us worship God our King.
O come let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and God.
O come let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us. For at a loss for any plea we sinners offer to Thee, our Master, this supplication: have mercy on us.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Lord, have mercy on us, for our trust is in Thee. Be not very angry with us, remember not our sins; but even now regard us, in Thy tender compassion, and deliver us from our enemies. For Thou art our God, and we are Thy people; we are all the work of Thy Hands, and we call on Thy Name.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Open the door of thy loving-kindness, O blessed Mother of God, that we who put our hope in thee may not perish. Through thee, may we be delivered from adversities, for thou art the salvation of Christian people.
Lord, have mercy. (12 times)
Then the following prayers in order, with attention and compunction.
Prayer of St. Macarius the Great to God the Father
O Eternal God and King of all creation, Who hast granted me to arrive at this hour, forgive me the sins that I have committed today in thought, word and deed, and cleanse, O Lord, my humble soul from all defilement of flesh and spirit. And grant me, O Lord, to pass the sleep of this night in peace, that when I rise from my bed I may please Thy most holy Name all the days of my life and conquer my flesh and the fleshless foes that war with me. And deliver me, O Lord, from vain and frivolous thoughts, and from evil desires which defile me. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer of St. Antioch to our Lord Jesus Christ
O All-Ruler, Word of the Father, Jesus Christ, Thou Who art perfect, never in Thy great mercy leave me, but ever abide in me, Thy servant. O Jesus, Good Shepherd of Thy sheep, deliver me not to the revolt of the serpent and leave me not to the will of satan, for the seed of corruption is in me. Lord, adorable God, Holy King, Jesus Christ, guard me asleep by the unwaning light, Thy Holy Spirit, by Whom Thou didst sanctify Thy disciples. O Lord, grant me, Thy unworthy servant, Thy salvation on my bed. Enlighten my mind with the light of understanding of Thy Holy Gospel. Enlighten my soul with the love of Thy Cross. Enlighten my heart with the purity of Thy Word. Enlighten my body with Thy passionless Passion. Keep my thoughts in Thy humility. And rouse me in good time to glorify Thee, for Thou art supremely glorified, with Thy eternal Father, and Thy most Holy Spirit forever. Amen.
Prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian to the Most Holy Spirit
O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, have compassion and mercy on Thy sinful servant and pardon my unworthiness, and forgive me all the sins that I humanly committed today, and not only humanly but even worse than a beast - my voluntary sins, known and unknown, from my youth and from evil suggestions, and from my brazenness, and from boredom. If I have sworn by Thy Name or blasphemed it in thought, blamed or reproached anyone, or in my anger have detracted or slandered anyone, or grieved anyone, or if I have got angry about anything, or have told a lie, if I have slept unnecessarily, or if a beggar has come to me and I despised or neglected him, or if I have troubled my brother or quarrelled with him, or if I have condemned anyone, or have boasted, or have been proud, or lost my temper with anyone, or if when standing in prayer my mind has been distracted by the glamour of this world, or if I have had depraved thoughts or have overeaten, or have drunk excessively, or have laughed frivolously, or have thought evil, or have seen the attraction of someone and been wounded by it in my heart, or said indecent things, or made fun of my brother's sin when my own faults are countless, or been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I cannot remember - for I have done all this and much more - have mercy, my Lord and Creator, on me Thy wretched and unworthy servant, and absolve and forgive and deliver me in Thy goodness and love for men, so that, lustful, sinful and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace. And I shall worship, praise and glorify Thy most honourable Name, with the Father and His only-begotten Son, now and ever, and for all ages. Amen.
O Lord, our God, in Thy goodness and love for men forgive me all the sins I have committed today in word, deed or thought. Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Send Thy Guardian Angel to guard and protect me from all evil. For Thou art the guardian of our souls and bodies, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
O Lord our God, in Whom we believe and Whose Name we invoke above every name, grant us preparing for sleep relaxation of soul and body, and keep us from all temptations and dark pleasures. Stop the rushing of passions, and quench the burning of bodily tensions. Grant us to live chastely in word and act, that we may live a life of heroic virtue and not fall away from Thy promised blessings. For Thou art blessed for ever. Amen.
Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
(Supplicatory prayers corresponding to 24 hours of the day.)
Lord, deprive me not of Thy heavenly joys. Lord, deliver me from eternal torments. Lord, if I have sinned in mind or thought, in word or deed, forgive me. Lord, deliver me from all ignorance, forgetfulness, cowardice and stony insensibility. Lord, deliver me from every temptation. Lord, enlighten my heart which evil desires have darkened. Lord, I being human have sinned, but Thou being the generous God, have mercy on me, knowing the sickness of my soul. Lord, send Thy grace to my help, that I may glorify Thy holy Name. Lord Jesus Christ, write me Thy servant in the Book of Life, and grant me a good end. O Lord my God, even though I have done nothing good in Thy sight, yet grant me by Thy grace to make a good start. Lord, sprinkle into my heart the dew of Thy grace. Lord of heaven and earth remember me, Thy sinful servant, shameful and unclean, in Thy Kingdom. Amen.
O Lord, accept me in penitence. O Lord, leave me not. O Lord, lead me not into temptation. O Lord, grant me good thoughts. O Lord, grant me tears and remembrance of death and compunction. O Lord, grant me the thought of confessing my sins. O Lord, grant me humility, chastity and obedience. O Lord, grant me patience, courage and meekness. O Lord, plant in me the root of all blessings, the fear of Thee in my heart. O Lord, grant me to love Thee with all my mind and soul, and always to do Thy will. O Lord, protect me from certain people, and demons, and passions, and from every other harmful thing. O Lord, Thou knowest that Thou actest as Thou wilt; may Thy will be also in me, a sinner, for blessed art Thou for ever. Amen.
our Lord Jesus Christ
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of Thy most honourable Mother, Thy fleshless Angels, Thy Prophet and Forerunner and Baptizer, all the God-inspired Apostles, the radiant and victorious Martyrs, the holy and God-bearing Fathers, and by the prayers of all Saints, deliver me from the besetting presence of the devil. My Lord and Creator, Who desirest not the death of the sinner, but that he should be converted and live, grant also conversion to me, wretched and unworthy, snatch me from the jaws of the pernicious serpent, who is ravening to devour me and drag me down to hell alive. My Lord, my Comfort, Who wast clothed in corruptible flesh for my miserable sake, deliver me from misery and grant comfort to my miserable soul. Implant in my heart to fulfil Thy commandments, and forsake my evil deeds, and to receive Thy joys. Save me, for I hope in Thee, O Lord. Amen.
Prayer of Intercession to the Most Holy Mother of God
O good Mother of the good King, most pure and blessed Virgin Mary, pour out the mercy of thy Son and our God on my passionate soul and guide me in good works by thy prayers, that I may pass the rest of my life without defilement, and find paradise through thee, O Virgin Mother of God, who alone art pure and blessed.
Prayer of Intercession to the holy Guardian Angel
O Angel of Christ, my holy Guardian and Protector of my soul and body, forgive me all my sins of today. Deliver me from all the wiles of the enemy, that I may not anger my God by any sin. Pray for me, sinful and unworthy servant, that thou mayest present me worthy of the kindness and mercy of the All-holy Trinity and the Mother of my Lord Jesus Christ, and of all the Saints. Amen.
(Here one says a prayer to one's Patron Saint.)
Queen of the Heavenly Host, Defender of our souls, we thy servants offer to thee songs of victory and thanksgiving, for thou, O Mother of God, hast delivered us from dangers. But as thou hast invincible power, free us from conflicts of all kinds that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, unwedded Bride.
Most glorious, Ever-Virgin, blessed, Mother of Christ our God, present our prayer to thy Son and our God, and pray that through thee He may save our souls.
I put all my hope in thee, O Mother of God. Guard me under thy protection. O Virgin Mother of God, despise not me, a sinner, needing thy help and protection, and have mercy on me, for my soul hopes in thee.
(Lucking the opportunity of asking pardon of each person.)
O God, absolve, remit, and pardon our voluntary and involuntary sins, in word and deed, known and unknown, by day and by night, in mind and thought; forgive us all, in Thy goodness and love for men.
Prayer of Intercession
O Lord, Lover of men, forgive those who hate and wrong us. Do good to those who do good. Grant our brothers and relatives their saving petitions and eternal life. Visit the sick and grant them healing. Guide those at sea. Travel with travellers. Struggle alongside the Orthodox. To those who serve and are kind to us, grant remission of sins. On those who have charged us, unworthy as we are, to pray for them, have mercy according to Thy great mercy. Remember, O Lord, our fathers and brothers who have fallen asleep, and grant them rest where the light of Thy countenance shines. Remember, O Lord, those who bear fruit and do good works in Thy holy churches and grant them their saving petitions and eternal life. Remember also, O Lord, us Thy humble, sinful and unworthy servants, and enlighten our minds with the light of knowledge of Thyself, and guide us in the way of Thy commandments, by the prayers of our immaculate Lady, Mother of God, and Ever-Virgin Mary, and of all Thy Saints, for Thou art blessed to the ages of ages. Amen.
Daily Confession of Sins
I confess to Thee, my Lord, God and Creator, to the One glorified and worshipped in Holy Trinity, to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all my sins which I have committed all the days of my life, at every hour, in the present and in the past, day and night, in thought, word and deed; by gluttony, drunkenness, secret eating, idle talking, despondency, indolence, contradiction, neglect, aggressiveness, self love, hoarding, stealing, lying, dishonesty, curiosity, jealousy, envy, anger, resentment, and remembering wrongs, hatred, mercenariness; and by all my senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch; and all other sins, spiritual and bodily, through which I have angered Thee, 'my God and Creator, and caused injustice to my neighbours. Sorrowing for this, but determined to repent, I stand guilty before Thee, my God. Only help me, my Lord and God, I humbly pray Thee with tears. Forgive my past sins by Thy mercy, and absolve me from all I have confessed in Thy presence, for Thou art good and the Lover of men. Amen.
Prayer of St. John of Damascus.
(To be said pointing at the bed.)
O Lord, Lover of men, is this bed to be my coffin, or wilt Thou enlighten my wretched soul with another day? Here the coffin lies before me, and here death confronts me. I fear, O Lord, Thy Judgment and the endless torments, yet I cease not to do evil. My Lord God, I continually anger Thee, and Thy immaculate Mother, and all the Heavenly Powers, and my holy Guardian Angel. I know, O Lord, that I am unworthy of Thy love, but deserve condemnation and every torment. But, whether I want it or not, save me, O Lord. For to save a good man is no great thing, and to have mercy on the pure is nothing wonderful, for they are worthy of Thy mercy. But show the wonder of Thy mercy on me, a sinner. In this reveal Thy love for men, lest my wickedness prevail over Thy unutterable goodness and mercy. And order my life as Thou wilt.
(As sleep is the image of death, at night we pray for the departed.)
With the Saints give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sighing, but life everlasting.
(When about to lie down in bed, say:)
Lighten my eyes, O Christ God, lest I sleep in death, and lest my enemy say: I have prevailed over him.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Be my soul's Defender, O God, for I step over many snares. Deliver me from them and save me, O Good One, in Thy love for men.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Let us not silently hymn the most glorious Mother of God, holiest of holy Angels, but confess her with heart and mouth to be the Mother of God, for she truly bore God incarnate for us, and prays without ceasing for our souls. Amen.
Kiss your cross, and make the sign of the Cross from head to foot of the bed and from two sides, and then say:
Prayer to the Venerable Cross
Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered; and let those who hate Him flee from His presence. As smoke vanishes, let them vanish; and as wax melts from the presence of fire, so let the demons perish from the presence of those who love God and who sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross and say in gladness: Hail, most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, for Thou drivest away the demons by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ crucified on thee, Who went down to hell and trampled on the power of the devil, and gave us thee, His venerable Cross, for driving away all enemies. O most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, help me with our holy Lady, the Virgin Mother of God, and with all the Saints throughout the ages. Amen.
(Just before getting into bed, say:)
Guard me, O Lord, by the power of Thy holy and life-giving Cross, and keep me from all evil.
(Just before yielding yourself up to sleep, say:)
Into Thy hands, O Lord Jesus Christ, my God, I surrender my spirit and body; bless me, save me, and grant me eternal life. Amen.
Before retiring (or if one prefers, before beginning prayers) go through all the points suggested below in your mind and memory.
1. Give thanks to Almighty God for granting you during the past day, by His grace, His gifts of life and health.
2. Examine your conscience by going through each hour of the day, beginning from the time you rose from your bed, and recall to memory: where you went, how you acted and reacted towards all persons and other creatures, and what you talked about. Recall and consider with all care your thoughts, words and deeds from morning till evening.
3. If you have done any good, do not ascribe it to yourself but to God Who gives us all the good things and thank Him. Pray that He may confirm you in this good and enable you to do other good things.
4. But if you have done anything evil, admit that this comes from yourself and your own weakness, from bad habits or weak will. Repent and pray to the Lover of men that He may forgive you, and promise Him firmly never to do this evil again.
5. Implore your Creator with tears to grant you a quiet, undisturbed, pure and sinless night, and to enable you on the coming day to devote yourself wholly to the glory of His holy Name.
6. If you find a soft pillow, leave it, and put a stone in its place for Christ's sake. If you sleep in winter, bear it, saying: Some did not sleep at all.