Prayers in Preparation for Holy Communion

These prayers composed by the Church Fathers may be recited a little bit every day during the week, on
Saturday evening or on Sunday morning before attending the Divine Liturgy. They are indispensable for
bringing the mind and heart into discernment of the Body and Blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:29).
They inspire contemplation on one’s spiritual state and what you are about to experience through Holy
Communion. Read them slowly and pause after each sentence to reflect how what is being said applies to

First Prayer
(by St. Basil the Great)

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

O Lord, I know that I partake of Your immaculate Body and precious Blood unworthily; I know that I am
guilty, and that I eat and drink condemnation to myself, not discerning the Body and Blood of Christ my
God. But trusting in Your compassion I come to You who said, “Whosoever eats My flesh and drinks My
blood abides in me and I in him.” Therefore, O Lord, have compassion on me, and do not make an
example of me, a sinner.

But deal with me according to your mercy, and grant that these holy gifts may be to me for the healing,
purification, enlightenment, protection, salvation, and sanctification of soul and body, and to the
expulsion of every evil imagination, wicked deed, or work of the devil, which operates within my mind
and members.

May Your holy gifts move me to boldness and love toward You, to amend my life and to stability, to the
increase of virtue and perfection, to the keeping of Your commandments, to the communion of the Holy
Spirit, as a provision for eternal life, and for a good defense at Your fearful judgement seat, and not to
judgement nor to condemnation.

Second Prayer
(St. Symeon the Theologian)

O only pure and sinless Lord, Who through the ineffable compassion of Your love for mankind assumed
our whole nature through the pure and virgin blood of her who conceived You in a manner surpassing
nature by the coming of the Holy Spirit and the good will of the Eternal Father. O Christ Jesus, Wisdom,
Peace, and Power of God, through the human nature which You took to Yourself, You suffered the lifegiving and saving Passion – the Cross, the nails, the spear, and death itself. Put to death in me the soul destroying passions of the body.

Through your burial You spoiled the dominion of hell. Bury with good thoughts my evil schemes and
scatter the spirit of wickedness. Through Your life-giving Resurrection on the third day, You raised up
our first father Adam who had fallen. Raise me up who am sunk low in sin and grant me the image of
repentance. Through Your glorious Ascension, You made the flesh which you had assumed become
divine, and placed it on the Throne at the Father’s right hand. Grant me to receive a place at the right hand with those who are saved through the communion of Your holy Mysteries. Through the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, You made Your holy disciples to be honorable vessels. Show me also to be a recipient 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, O my Judge and Creator, together with all Your Saints, so that I may praise and glorify Your for all eternity, together with Your eternal Father and Your most holy, glorious,
and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Third Prayer
(St. John Chrysostom)

O Lord, Jesus Christ, my God, absolve, remit, pardon and forgive me the sins and offenses, and
transgressions, which I Your sinful, unprofitable, and unworthy servant have committed from my youth to
this present day and hour, whether in knowledge, or in ignorance, whether of words or deeds, whether in
thought or imagination, in my undertakings, and in any of my senses. And by the intercessions of her who
conceived You without seed, the immaculate and ever-virgin Mary, Your Mother, my only unashamed
hope, my protection and my salvation, make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Your
immaculate, immortal, life-giving, and dread Mysteries, for the forgiveness of sins and to eternal life, to
sanctification, enlightenment, strength, healing, and health of both soul and body, and to the blotting out
and complete obliteration of my evil thoughts and imaginings and intents, of night fantasies and the evil
spirits of darkness; for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory and the honor and the worship,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Fourth Prayer
(St. John Chrysostom)

I am not sufficient, O Master and Lord, that You should enter under the roof of my soul; but since Your
love for mankind You will dwell in me, I take courage and approach. You command: I will open wide the
doors which you alone created, that You may enter with love as is Your nature, enter and enlighten my
darkened thought. I believe that You will do this, for You did not banish the Harlot who approached You
with tears, nor did you reject the Publican who repented, nor did You drive away the Thief who
acknowledged Your Kingdom, nor did You leave the repentant persecutor, the Apostle Paul, to himself;
but all who had been brought to You by repentance You sat in the company of Your friends, O You Who
alone are blessed always now and to endless ages. Amen.

Fifth Prayer
(St. John of Damascus)

I stand before the doors of Your temple, and I do not forsake my grievous thoughts. But, O Christ my
God, as You justified the tax collector, and had mercy on the woman of Canaan, and opened the gates of
Paradise to the thief, open to me the inner depths of Your love for mankind, and receive me as I come and repent before Your. Receive me as Your receive the harlot and the woman with the issue of blood. For the first embraced Your pure feet and received the forgiveness of her sins, while the second just touched the hem of Your garment and received healing. And I, in my pitiful state, dare 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, through the prayers of her who gave birth to You without seed, and of the
angelic powers, for You are blessed forever. Amen.

Sixth Prayer
(St. John Chrysostom)

O God, absolve, remit, pardon, and forgive me my sins whereby I have offended You, whether in word or
deed or thought, willingly or unwillingly, with knowledge or in ignorance; forgive me all, for You are
good and love mankind. Through the prayers of Your most pure Mother, of Your rational ministers, the
holy Powers, and of all the Saints who have been pleasing to You from all ages, deign that without
condemnation I may receive Your holy and most pure Body and Your precious Blood, for the healing of
soul and body and the purging of my evil thoughts. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the
glory, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Seventh Prayer
(St. John Chrysostom)
I believe and confess, Lord, 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 also believe that this is truly your pure Body and that
this is truly Your precious Blood. Therefore I pray to you: have mercy on me and forgive my
transgressions, voluntary and involuntary, in words, deeds and thoughts, and make me worthy, without
condemnation, to partake of Your pure Mysteries, for the forgiveness of sins and for life eternal. Amen.

How shall I who am unworthy enter into the splendor of your saints. If I dare to enter into the bridal
chamber, my clothing will accuse me since it is not a wedding garment and being bound up, I shall be cast out by the angels. In your love, O Lord, cleanse my soul and save me.

Loving Master, Lord Jesus Christ, my God, let not these holy Gifts be to my condemnation because of my
unworthiness, but for the cleansing and sanctification of soul and body and the pledge of the future life
and kingdom. It is good for me to cling to God and to place in Him the hope of my salvation.

Receive me today, O Son of God, as a partaker of Your mystical Supper. I will not betray Your mysteries to
Your enemies. Nor give You a kiss as did Judas. But as the thief I confess to You: Lord,
remember me in Your Kingdom.

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

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