First, 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. 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. 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.
(Time for silent meditation/journaling)
Prayer of John Chrysostom before reading Scripture
O Lord Jesus Christ, open the eyes of my heart, that I may hear your word and understand it; that I may do your will as a sojourner upon the earth. Do not hide your commandments from me but rather open my eyes that I may perceive the wonders of your law. Reveal your secret wisdom to me.
You are all of my hope, O my God! Enlighten my mind and heart with the light of your knowledge and let me not only cherish those things which are written, but grant also that I may do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the saints I may not sin, but rather be restored, enlightened and sanctified even unto the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting. You are the one true light to those who lie in darkness, and every good deed and every good gift comes from you and to you do we ascribe all glory, together with your Father who is without beginning and your all-holy, good and life creating Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Read the Daily Synaxarion for tomorrow. It may be from the Prologue from Ochrid or any of several other sources.
The Opening Prayers:
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of the prayers of your most pure Mother and all the saints, have mercy on us. Amen.
Glory to you, our God, glory to you.
O heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of truth, everywhere present and filling all things; Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and abide in us and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O good one.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal: have mercy on us. (3x)
(From Easter to Ascension, say rather “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!” 3x)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
O, 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. (3x)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Our Father, in heaven, hallowed be your Name; your kingdom come; your will be done on earth, as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us; save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil one.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
O Lord, have mercy on us, for we have placed our trust in you. Do not be angry with us nor mindful of our wickedness, but in your tender loving kindness, look on us once more and deliver us from our enemies, for you are our God and we are your people, all the work of your own hands, and it is your name that we constantly invoke.
Both now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Open to us the portals of your motherly concern, O blessed Theotokos, so that by trusting in your help that never fails, we may find deliverance through you from every adversity, for you are the salvation of the christian people.
Lord have mercy. (12x)
Prayer I, of St. Macarius the Great to God the Father:
O Eternal God and King of all creation, in your grace you have brought me to this hour, forgive me the sins that I have committed today in thought, word and deed. Cleanse, O Lord, my humble soul from all defilement of flesh and spirit; and grant that I may pass this night asleep in peace. When I rise from my bed grant that I may praise your most holy Name all the days of my life, triumphing over my fleshly passions and all the fleshless foes that war against me. Deliver me, O Lord, from vain and frivolous thoughts, and from defilement by evil desires. Yours 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 II, of St. Antioch to our Lord Jesus Christ:
Divine and Perfect King of all, Word of the Father, Jesus Christ, never leave me but rather in your mercy abide in your servant. O Jesus, Good Shepherd of your sheep, do not deliver me to the serpent’s revolt nor to Satan’s will for the seed of corruption is in me. Beloved Lord, Jesus Christ, my God and King, guard me as I sleep by the light that never fails: your Holy Spirit, by Whom you sanctify your disciples.
Lord grant your unworthy servant salvation on my bed. Enlighten my mind with the light of understanding of your Holy Gospel. Enlighten my soul with the love of your Cross. Enlighten my heart with the purity of your Word. Enlighten my body with your passionless Passion. Keep my thoughts in your humility. And wake me in the morning to sing your glory, for you are supremely glorified, with your eternal Father, and the most Holy Spirit forever. Amen.
Prayer III, of St. Ephrem the Syrian to the Most Holy Spirit:
O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, have compassion and mercy on your sinful servant and pardon my unworthiness, and forgive me all the sins that I committed today in my humanity and my inhumanity – behaving worse than a beast! Forgive my voluntary and involuntary sins, known and unknown, from my youth and from evil suggestions, and from my brazenness, and from boredom. If I have sworn by your 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 been 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 or quarreled with anyone, 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 beauty of someone and been wounded by it in my heart, or said indecent things, or made fun of another’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 your wretched and unworthy servant, and absolve and forgive and deliver me in your goodness and love for us, 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 your most honourable Name, with the Father and His only-begotten Son, now and ever, and for all ages. Amen.
Prayer IV, of St. Macarius the Great:
What can I bring to you? How can ever repay you, O Immortal King, the bestower of great gifts, O generous Lord, the Lover of us all? Though I have been lazy in in my work for you and have done nothing good, yet you have brought me to the end of the day seeking the conversion and salvation of my soul. Be merciful towards me for I am a sinner devoid of any good deeds, and raise up my fallen soul though I am defiled by immeasurable sins. Take away every evil thought of this earthly life. O only Sinless One forgive me all the sins I have committed against you this day, in knowledge or in ignorance, in word, deed or thought or through any of my senses. Stand over me and protect me from every assault of the enemy through your divine Power, and your great Love for us all. O God, cleanse the multitude of my sins. Be pleased to deliver me from the snares of the evil one, O Lord, and save my passionate soul. Coming in glory, illumine me with the light of your countenance.
May I fall into a sleep free of apparitions and rest without condemnation . Keep the thoughts of your servant untroubled, and keep far from me every satanic activity. Enlighten the reason-endowed eyes of my heart that I fall not into death. Send to me an angel of peace as a guide and guardian for my soul and body and grant him power to deliver me from my enemies. Then, when I arise from my bed, I shall offer prayers of thanksgiving to you. Hear me, Lord! I am your sinful servant, impoverished in will and conscience. Grant that I may learn from your words when I arise. Cause your Angels to drive demonic despondency far from me. May I bless your holy Name and praise and glorify Mary, the most pure Theotokos, whom you have given to sinners as an intercessor. Receive her prayers for us. We know that she imitates your love for us and never ceases her prayers. Through her intercessions – and those of all your saints – by the Sign of the precious Cross, O Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on my wretched soul! You are Holy and most glorified unto ages of ages. Amen.
O Lord, our God, in your goodness and love for all, forgive me all the sins I have committed today in word, deed or thought. Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Send your Guardian Angel to guard and protect me from all evil. For you are the true guardian of our souls and bodies, and to you 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 your promised blessings. Blessed are you for ever. Amen.
Prayer VII, of St. John Chrysostom, supplicatory prayers corresponding to 24 hours of the day:
Lord, do not deprive me of your 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 have sinned as a man, but you are God, have mercy on me, knowing the weakness of my soul. Lord, send your grace to my help, that I may glorify your holy Name. Lord Jesus Christ, write your servant in the Book of Life, and grant me a good end. O Lord my God, even though I have done nothing good in your sight, grant by your grace that I might make a good start. Lord, sprinkle the dew of your grace into my heart. Lord of heaven and earth remember your sinful and unworthy servant in your 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, your fear, in my heart. O Lord, grant that I may love you with all my mind and soul, and always do your will. O Lord, protect me from dangerous people, demons, passions, and from every other harmful thing. O Lord as you act according to your own will, may your will be also in done me, a sinner. You are blessed for ever. Amen.
Prayer VIII, to our Lord Jesus Christ:
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of your most honourable Mother, your bodiless Angels, your Prophet and Forerunner and Baptist, all the God-inspired Apostles, the radiant and victorious Martyrs, the holy and God-bearing Fathers and Mothers, and by the prayers of all the Saints, deliver me from the besetting presence of the devil. My Lord and Creator, desiring not the death of the sinner, but rather his conversion and life, grant me also such conversion. Even in my wretchedness 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 lived in corruptible flesh for my miserable sake, deliver me from misery and grant comfort to my miserable soul. Implant in my heart the desire to fulfill your commandments, and forsake my evil deeds, and to receive your joys. Save me, O Lord, for you are my only hope. Amen.
Prayer IX, of Peter the Studite to the Most Holy Theotokos:
Before you, the Most Pure Mother of God, I who am wretched fall down and pray: you know, O Queen that I sin constantly and anger your Son and my God. No matter how often I repent, I appear a liar before God, and repent with trembling. Can God shake me and I do those same things again an hour later? Knowing this, my Mistress, O Lady Theotokos, I pray: have mercy on me, strengthen me and grant that I may do good. You know, my Lady Theotokos, that I abhor my evil deeds and love the Law of my God with all my mind. But, most pure Lady, I do not know how I can love what I abhor and turn away from what is good.
Do not allow my will to be done, Most Pure One, for it is not appropriate. May the will of your Son and my God be done. May He save and enlighten me, and give me the Grace of His Holy Spirit, in order that I might stop sinning from this time on and live the remainder of my life in obedience to your Son, to Whom belongs all glory, honor and majesty, with His Father Who is without beginning, and His Most Holy, good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer X, of Intercession to the Most Holy Mother of God:
Good Mother of the Good King, O most pure Theotokos, Mary most blessed: Bathe my suffering soul in the plentiful mercies of your Son, and, by your intercessions, set me firmly on the path of virtue, that, throughout the rest of my days, I may walk before God without stain or condemnation and, thanks to your good prayers, attain the kingdom on high, O virgin Theotokos, O only pure and blessed Lady.
Prayer XI, 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, your sinful and unworthy servant, that you may present me as one 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.
Prayer XII, say a prayer to your Patron Saint
Hymn to the Theotokos
O Victorious Leader of Triumphant Hosts!
We, your servants, delivered from evil,
sing our grateful thanks to you, O Theotokos!
As you possess invincible might,
set us free from every calamity
So that we may sing: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!
O all-glorious and ever-virgin mother of Christ, our God: Take our prayers to your divine Son, that, for your sake, he will save our souls.
I place all my trust in you, O mother of God; place the veil of your motherly protection over me, your humble and unworthy servant.
O virgin Theotokos, do not disdain me for all my sins, for I need your help and intercession. I put all my trust in you, O mother of God: Have mercy on me.
The Father is my hope; the Son is my refuge; the Holy Spirit is my protector: All-holy Trinity, glory to you!
Prayer of Repentance:
(Lacking 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 your goodness and love for us.
Prayer of Intercession:
O Lord, Lover of all, 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. Pour your mercy on those who have asked us to pray for them despite our unworthiness. Remember, O Lord, our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep, and grant them rest where the light of your countenance shines. Remember, O Lord, those who bear fruit and do good works in your holy churches and grant their saving petitions and eternal life. Remember us also, O Lord, your humble, sinful and unworthy servants: enlighten our minds with the light of your knowledge, and guide us in the way of your commandments, by the prayers of our immaculate Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and of all your Saints, for you are blessed unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Daily Confession of Sins:
I confess to you, 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 you, my God and Creator, and caused injustice to my neighbours. Sorrowing for this, but determined to repent, I stand guilty before you, my God. With tears, I beg you, my Lord and God, for your help. In your mercy, forgive me all that is past, and absolve me from all I have confessed in your presence, for you are good and the Lover of All. Amen.
Prayer of St. John of Damascus, said pointing at the bed:
O Lord, Lover of all, is this bed to be my coffin, or will you enlighten my wretched soul with one more day? Here the coffin lies before me, and here death confronts me. Lord, I do fear your Judgment and the endless torments, yet I do not cease doing evil. My Lord God, I continually anger you, and your immaculate Mother, and all the Heavenly Powers, and my holy Guardian Angel. I know, O Lord, that I am not worthy of your love, but rather I 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 these are worthy of your mercy. But show the wonder of your mercy to me, a sinner. In this way reveal your love for sinners, lest my wickedness prevail over your unutterable goodness and mercy. Order my life as you will.
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 your love for us.
Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Let us ever hymn the most glorious Mother of God, holier than the holy Angels, and confess her with heart and mouth to be the Theotokos, 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, you drive away the demons by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ crucified on you! He went down to hell and trampled on the power of the devil, and gave to us His venerable Cross to drive away all enemies. O most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, help me with our holy Lady, the Virgin Theotokos, and with all the Saints throughout the ages. Amen.
Just before getting into bed, say:
Guard me, O Lord, by the power of your holy and life-giving Cross, and keep me from all evil.
Just before yielding yourself up to sleep, say:
Into your hands, O Lord Jesus Christ, my God, I surrender my spirit and body; bless me, save me, and grant me eternal life. Amen.