Prayers in Preparation for Holy Communion

See here for an article on preparing for Holy Communion by Father Thomas Hopko.

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, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth: You are everywhere and fill 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.

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 Your 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 unto ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Lord have mercy. (12 times)

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. 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, I shall not want;
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He feeds me beside the still waters;
He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23 (24)
The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof,
the world and all that dwell in it.
He has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

Who shall go up to the mountain of the Lord
and who shall stand in His holy place?
He that is innocent in his hands and pure in his heart;
who has not lifted up his soul to vanity
nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbor.
He will receive a blessing from the Lord
and mercy from God his Savior.

Lift up your gates, princes, and be lifted up, everlasting doors,
and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your gates, princes, and be lifted up, everlasting doors,
and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory!

Psalm 115 (116)
What shall I render to the Lord for all His bounty to me?
I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
Lord, I am Your servant;
I am Your servant and the son of Your handmaid;
You have broken my bonds.
I will offer You the sacrifice of praise and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem!

Lord, born of the Virgin, do not regard my transgressions. Cleanse my heart and make it a temple for Your most pure body and blood. Do not cast me away from Your presence, for You are merciful beyond measure.

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

How do I dare to partake of Your holy things, unworthy as I am? For if I boldly draw near to You among those who are worthy, and it appears that I have no wedding garment, I only gain the condemnation of my most sinful soul! Cleanse my defiled soul, Lord, and save me, for You are the Lover of mankind.

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The number of my transgressions is great, Mother of God. I turn to your purity, seeking salvation. Visit my soul in my infirmity, and pray to your Son and our God that He may grant me the remission of my evil deeds, for you alone are blessed.

In Great Lent:
When the glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of their feet before the supper, then the impious Judas was darkened, ailing with avarice and to the lawless judges he betrays You, the righteous Judge. Behold. Lover of money, this man who because of money, hanged himself. Flee from the greedy soul which dared such things against the Master. Lord, You are good towards all men! Glory to You!

Lord have mercy. (40 times)

When possible, make prostrations. Then read the following verses of instruction:

When you desire to take the Body of the Lord,
come forward in fear, lest you be burned, for it is a fire.
And before you drink the Blood of God in communion,
first go, be reconciled with all who have grieved you.
Then you may take courage to eat the mystical food.

Before you take part in the awesome sacrifice of the life-giving Body of the Master Christ, with trembling, pray in this manner:

A Prayer of St. Basil the Great
Lord and Master Jesus Christ our God, the fountain of life and immortality, the Creator of everything visible and invisible, the eternal and everlasting Son of the eternal Father, You have come in these latter days because of the abundance of Your goodness; You have put on our human flesh and were crucified and buried for us thankless and graceless people, and through Your own Blood You have renewed our human nature which is corrupted by sin. And now, Immortal King, accept the repentance of me a sinner and incline Your ear to me and listen to my words:

I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned before heaven and before Your Face and I am not worthy to look upon the height of Your Glory. I have provoked Your goodness, I have transgressed Your commandments, I have not obeyed Your statutes. But, Lord, since You do not remember evil, but are long-suffering and of great mercy, You have not given me over to destruction for my lawlessness, but have ever awaited my conversion.

Lover of mankind, You have said by Your prophets: I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.

For You do not wish, Master, that the work of Your hands should perish, neither do You take pleasure in the destruction of men, but You desire that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

Therefore, although I am unworthy both of heaven and of earth and of this passing life, having wholly yielded myself to sin and defiled Your image, yet being Your creature and of Your making, I do not despair of my salvation in my wretchedness. Made bold by Your infinite compassion, I draw near.

Receive me, O Christ, Lover of mankind, as You received the prostitute, the thief, the tax-collector and the prodigal. Take away the heavy burden of my sins, for You take away the sins of the world, You heal the infirmities of men, You call to Yourself and give rest to those who labor and are heavy laden.

You have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Cleanse me from every stain of flesh and spirit. Teach me to fulfill holiness in the fear of You, that having the testimony of my own conscience clean, and having communion of Your holy things, I may be united with Your Body and Blood and may have You to dwell and abide in me, with the Father and Your Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus Christ my God, may the communion of Your most pure and life-creating Mysteries not bring me into judgment, nor may I become weak in soul and body by partaking in an unworthy manner, but grant me to receive communion of Your holy things without condemnation even to my very last breath, and by them to receive communion of the Holy Spirit, provision for the journey of eternal life, and an acceptable answer at Your dread judgment seat; that I, together with all Your chosen ones, may also be a partaker of the incorruptible blessings which You have prepared for those who love You, Lord, in whom You are glorified forever. Amen.

A Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
Lord my God, I know that I am not worthy nor sufficiently pleasing that You should come under the roof of the house of my soul, for it is entirely desolate and fallen in ruin and You will not find in me a place worthy to lay Your head. But as You humbled Yourself from on high for our sake, so now humble Yourself to my lowliness.

As you deigned to lie in a cavern, in a manger of dumb beasts, so now deign to enter into the manger of my beastly soul and into my soiled body

And as You did not disdain to enter and to eat with sinners in the house of Simon the leper, so now be pleased to enter into the house of my soul, humble and leprous and sinful.

And as You did not cast out the prostitute, the sinful woman who came to touch You, so have compassion on me, a sinner who comes to touch You.

And as You did not abhor the kiss of her sin-stained and unclean mouth, do not abhor my mouth, worse stained and more unclean than hers, nor my stained and shamed and unclean lips, nor my still more impure tongue.

But let the fiery coal of Your most pure Body and Your most precious Blood bring me sanctification, enlightenment and strengthening of my lowly soul and body, relief from the burden of my many transgressions, protection against every action of the devil, repulsion and victory over my wicked and evil habits, mortification of my passions, accomplishment of Your commandments, increase of Your divine grace and inheritance of Your kingdom. For I do not come to You in presumption, Christ my God, but made bold by Your ineffable goodness, lest I stray far away from Your flock, Master, and become caught by the wolf of souls.

Therefore I pray You, Master, for You alone are holy, sanctify my soul and body, my mind and heart, my muscles and bones. Renew me entirely. Implant Your fear in my fleshly members and let Your sanctification never be removed from me.

Be my helper and defender, guide my life in peace and make me worthy to stand at Your right hand with all Your saints.

By the prayers and supplications of Your most pure Mother, of Your spiritual servants, the most pure angelic powers and of all the saints who from all ages have been well-pleasing to You. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Simeon Metaphrastes
Only pure and incorruptible Lord, because of the ineffable mercy of Your love for mankind, You took to Yourself our entire human composition from the pure blood of the Virgin who gave birth to You beyond nature, by the descent of the Holy Spirit and the good will of the ever-existing Father.

Christ Jesus, Wisdom of God and Peace and Power, through the human nature which You took to Yourself, You suffered 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 Your burial You captured the kingdom of death. Bury in me the evil devices of the devil with good thoughts and destroy the spirits of evil.

Through Your life-bringing resurrection You raised up the first father who had fallen. Raise me up, for I am sunk in sin, and give me the image of repentance.

Through Your glorious ascension You made the flesh which You assumed 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 Your holy Mysteries.

Through the coming of Your Spirit, the Comforter, You made Your consecrated disciples to be honorable vessels. Show me also to be the receptacle of His coming.

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

Prayer of St. John of Damascus
Lord and Master Jesus Christ our God, You alone have power to absolve men from their sins, for You are good and the Lover of all mankind: forgive all my transgressions done in knowledge or in ignorance and make me worthy without condemnation to have communion of Your divine and glorious and pure and life-creating Mysteries. Let them not be for my punishment or for the increase of my sins. But let them be for my purification and sanctification, as a promise of the life and kingdom to come, a defense and a help and a repulsion of every evil attacker and the removal of my many transgressions. For You are a God of mercy and generosity and love for mankind, and to You we send up glory, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Basil the Great
I know, Lord, that I have communion unworthily of Your most pure Body and Your most precious Blood, that I am guilty and drink condemnation to myself not discerning Your Body and Blood, my Christ and God. But daring upon Your generous loving-kindness I come to You; for You said: He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me and I in him.

Be merciful, therefore, Lord, and do not rebuke me a sinner, but deal with me according to Your mercy, and let Your holy things be for my purification and healing, for enlightenment and protection, for the repulsion of every tempting thought and action of the devil which work spiritually in my fleshly members. Let them be for boldness and love for You, for the correction and grounding of my life, for the increase of virtue and perfection, for the fulfillment of Your commandments, for the communion of the Holy Spirit, for the journey of eternal life, for a good and acceptable answer at Your dread judgment, but not for judgment or condemnation. Amen.

A Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
O God, absolve, remit and pardon me my transgressions, as many sins as I have committed by word or action or thought, willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously. Forgive me everything since You are good and the Lover of mankind. And by the prayers of Your most pure Mother, of Your spiritual servants, the holy angelic powers and all the saints who from all ages have been well-pleasing to You, be pleased to allow me to receive Your most pure Body and Your most precious Blood for the healing of my soul and body and the purification of my evil thoughts. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Another Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
I am not worthy, Master and Lord, that You should enter under the roof of my soul; yet since You desire to live in me as the Lover of mankind, I approach with boldness. You have commanded that the doors be opened which You alone have made, and You shall enter with Your love for mankind just as You are. You shall enter and enlighten my darkened reasoning. I believe that You will do this. For You did not cast away the prostitute who came to You with tears, neither did You turn away the tax-collector who repented, nor did You reject the thief who acknowledged Your kingdom, nor did You forsake the repentant persecutor, the Apostle Paul, even as he was. But all who came to You in repentance, You united to the ranks of Your friends, who alone are blessed forever, now and unto the endless ages. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Simeon the New Theologian
Receive my pleading, O my Christ, from soiled lips and impure heart, from unclean tongue and sin-stained soul. Do not overlook my words, my way of speech, my urgent cry. Grant me boldness, O my Christ, to say all that I have longed for; teach me all that I should do and say. I have sinned more than the harlot, who, learning where You stayed, boldly brought myrrh and anointed Your feet, my Christ, my Master and my God! As You did not cast her out when she came in eagerness of heart, so do not despise me, Word of God. Yield Your feet to me, I pray, to embrace, to kiss, and with boldness to anoint with tears, as with an ointment of great price. Purify and cleanse me, Word of God, in my own tears.

Remit my errors, grant me pardon. You know the greatness of my sins, You also know the wounds I bear. You see the bruises of my soul, but yet, You know my faith. You see my eager heart and hear my sighs. Not one tear or even part of one is hid from You, my God, my Creator and Redeemer. Your eyes know my imperfection, for written in Your book are found things not yet fashioned.

Behold my lowliness, behold my weariness: how great it is. And then, O God of all the world, grant me release from all my sins, that with clean heart and conscience filled with holy fear, and contrite soul, I may partake of Your most pure, Your wholly spotless Mysteries. Life and divinity has each one who eats and drinks of You in singleness of heart, for You have said, my Master:

Each who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood indeed abides in Me, and I am likewise found in him.

This saying of Christ, my Master and my God is now wholly true.

For one who shares in this divine and deifying grace is no more alone, but is with You, Christ, the triply-radiant Light Who enlightens the whole world! Therefore, that I may never be alone, apart from You, Giver of Life, my breath, my life, my joy, and the salvation of the world, see that I draw near to You with tears and contrite soul.

I seek to receive the ransom of my errors and to share uncondemned in Your life-giving, all-pure Mysteries, that as You have promised, You may dwell with me, despite my triple wretchedness; so that, by guile, the deceiver may not seize me, finding me removed from Your grace, nor lead me astray, seducing me from Your life-giving words. Therefore, I fall before Your face and cry fervently to You:

As You received the prodigal and the harlot, when she came to You, so now receive my harlot self, prodigal indeed, as I now come to You with contrite soul.

I know, O Savior, that no one has sinned against You as I have, nor done the deeds which I have dared. But again, I know well that the greatness of my sins and the multitude of my offenses does not exceed my God̓s great forbearance, nor His exalted love towards all mankind. Those who fervently repent, You cleanse with the oil of love, causing them to shine, to share in Your light and in Your bounty.

You grant that they become partakers of Your Divinity. And though it is strange to angels and to human minds alike, You often will converse with them – ­a Friend with Your true friends.

These thoughts make me bold; these thoughts give me wings, my Christ! Thus, confiding in the richness of Your goodness towards us, I, who am but grass, partake of fire, at once rejoicing and with trembling. Behold! A strange wonder! I am refreshed with dew, beyond all words, even as in days of old the bush that burned with fire was unconsumed. Therefore, thankful in heart and mind; thankful, indeed, in every limb, with all my body, all my soul, I worship You; I magnify and glorify You, my God, blessed now and throughout all ages!

A Prayer of St. Dimitri of Rostov
Come, my Light, and enlighten my darkness!
Come, my Life, and enliven my soul which is spiritually dead!
Come, my Divine Fire! Consume the thorns of my sins and enkindle my heart with the fire of Your divine Love!
Come, my King, and take Your place upon the throne of my heart and reign over it, for You alone are my King and Savior!

A Prayer of St. John of Damascus
You have taken me captive with longing for You, O Christ, and have transformed me with Your divine love.

Burn up my sins with the fire of Your Holy Spirit and make me worthy to take my fill of delight in You, that dancing with joy, I may magnify Your two comings.

Another Prayer of St. John of Damascus
I stand before the doors of Your temple and I do not forsake my wicked thoughts. But, Christ my God, as You have justified the tax-collector and have had mercy on the woman of Canaan and have opened the gates of paradise to the thief, open to me the interior depths of Your love for mankind and receive me as I come and repent before You. Receive me as You received the sinful woman and the woman with the flow of blood. For the first embraced Your most pure feet and received the forgiveness of her sins and the second just touched the hem of Your garment and received healing. But I who am lost, daring to receive Your whole Body, may I not be burned; but receive me as You have received them and enlighten my spiritual senses, burning up my sinful faults, by the prayers of her who gave birth to You without human seed, and of the heavenly angelic powers, for You are blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

A Prayer of St. John Chrysostom
I believe, Lord, and I confess that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the living God who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. I believe also that this is truly Your own most pure Body and that this is truly Your own precious Blood. Therefore I pray You: Have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, committed in knowledge or in ignorance, and make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Your most pure Mysteries, for the remission of my sins and unto life everlasting. Amen.

Of Your Mystical Supper, Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of Your Mystery to Your enemies, neither like Judas will I give You a kiss; but like the thief will I confess: Remember me, Lord, in Your kingdom. May the communion of Your holy Mysteries be neither to my judgment, nor to my condemnation, Lord, but to the healing of soul and body. Amen.