Friday, November 28, 2008

Advent Prayer

Prayer Rule of St. Pachomius

For those Christians who follow the Western calendar, Advent -- and the new church year -- begins on Sunday, 30 November. The season is one of preparation for the advent (coming) of our Lord: not just in the historical incarnation (nativity) but in our lives and in our world as his kingdom comes on earth as it is heaven, and of course in the parousia, the great day of the Lord's appearing. We are encouraged repeatedly in Scripture to be awake, to be watchful, and to be faithful as we await and hasten his coming. This is a primary focus of Advent observance.

Prayer is an essential element of faithfulness, and a renewed emphasis on prayer is especially fitting during Advent. If you do not currently have a rule of prayer, or, if it seems good to adapt your existing rule during Advent, we offer the following adaptation of Rule of St. Pachomius for your consideration.

May you have a blessed season of Advent as together we remember the great promises of our God and Father, and celebrate their fulfillment in Jesus Christ our Lord. May we all be holy and blameless on that great day of his appearing.

The following is an adaptation of the Prayer Rule of St. Pachomius (292-346), the founder of Egyptian, cenobitic (communal) monasticism. It is one of the earliest recorded rules of prayer. The heart of the rule is the Trisagion, Psalm 51, The Jesus Prayer, the Creed (the Nicene Creed in the original rule), and the Lord’s Prayer. The Jesus Prayer is generally offered a fixed number of times (30, 50, or 100) -- a prayer rope is useful for this -- or for a fixed period of time.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Trisagion (thrice)
Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon us.

Psalm 51
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving‑kindness; *
in your great compassion blot out my offenses.
2 Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions, *
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you only have I sinned *
and done what is evil in your sight.
11 Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
and renew a right spirit within me.
12 Cast me not away from your presence *
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
13 Give me the joy of your saving help again *
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
16 Open my lips, O Lord, *
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Jesus Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
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 trespasses,

as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

and the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.

(Intercessions, Petitions, Thanksgiving)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

1 comment:

Desert Pilgrim said...

Wonderful post, I love this office.
Susan. (close friend of Rob+ Lyons.)