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Orthodox Daily Prayers   By:

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E text prepared by Gerard Arthus, Stephen Hutcheson, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team ( from page images generously made available by Internet Archive (

Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive. See


St. Tikhon's Seminary Press 1982

Printed with the blessings of His Grace, the Right Reverend HERMAN Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania


Introduction 1 Morning Prayers 5 Commemoration of the Living and the Dead 25 Prayers at the Table 33 The Order of Compline 38 Before Sleep 68 The Three Canons 89 Canon in Preparation for Holy Communion 119 Prayers in Preparation for Holy Communion 130 Prayers for Thanksgiving After Communion 161



The present Prayerbook contains the most basic daily prayers of the Orthodox Christian as they have been transmitted to us essentially by the Russian Church, although the other Orthodox Traditions in this matter are very similar.

In this book, we will find the Psalms of the Holy Prophet King David, the prayer which Our Lord Himself taught His holy disciples, prayers of the desert fathers, prayers of the great hierarchs and teachers of the Church, as well as the prayers of more recent fathers.

The publication of such prayers does not limit the free expression of the Christian soul to the Creator, the Most holy Theotokos and the Saints. On the contrary, by reading these prayers we learn how to pray. They become models for our own, personal prayers. Often, we would like to pray but, distracted by the bustling world around us, or troubled by fear or sorrow, we do not even know how to begin. We then begin with the Prayerbook and find that not only much of what we wanted to say is included in the prayers of the fathers, but that afterwards, we find words of our own to continue the outpouring of our soul.

There is yet another gift in the Prayerbook. As Orthodox Christians we are all members of the same Body. We express and partake of that oneness in the services of the Church, especially in the Divine Liturgy. Through the Prayerbook, this oneness is brought into our homes or any place that an Orthodox Christian reads it. Our own prayers are carried to the Throne of God on the wings of prayers that have been used by the People of God for centuries. We no longer pray alone.


Many rules of prayer have developed in the history of the Church. At no place or time has there been a uniform rule. In 19th Century Russia, for example, the rule varied considerably from one monastery to another, though certain basic elements were found in all of them. Therefore, the term "Rule of Prayer" should never be understood as a strait jacket, regulating and limiting our communion with God.

What the Rules do teach us is the importance of regularity in our life of prayer. It is better to say a few prayers every day without fail than to say a great number of prayers on an irregular, impulsive basis. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have a spiritual father should consult him before establishing our own Rule. Those of us who do not, should begin with a modest Rule, increasing it only when it has become a regular and integral part of our lives.


We have attempted to use a contemporary but dignified form of the English language throughout this present translation... Continue reading book >>

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