Sarum Kyrie eleison. No. 1.

I. On all principal Feasts.

O God, the Creator of all things, our God, in your pity, have mercy on us.

To you, O Christ, King of kings, rejoicing in praise together, we pray, have mercy on us.

To you belongs praise, virtue, peace, and dominion forever and ever, have mercy on us.

O Christ, our only king, co-eternal Son of the gracious Father, have mercy on us.

You saved lost humanity, restoring all from death to life, have mercy on us.

Jesus, good Shepherd, so the sheep of your pasture will not perish, have mercy on us.

O Spirit, Comforter, we your people pray, have mercy on us.

O Lord, our strength and our eternal salvation, have mercy on us.

Supreme and one God, mercifully grant us the gifts of life, and in your kindness, have mercy on us.

Source: The Sarum Missal in English, Part II, Alcuin Club Collections, No. XI,11th-15th centuries




If a man may be
like God’s hand on earth,
let him be content with that,
and not seek further….

May we thus deny ourselves,
and forsake and renounce all things for God’s sake,
and give up our own wills,
and die to ourselves,
and live to God alone and to his will.

May he who gave up his will to his heavenly Father help us,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom be blessing forever and ever. 

Source: Theologia Germanica
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

For Heavenly-Mindedness

O most blessed Lord,
help us,
and in your great mercy abolish our sins.
Detach our minds from earthly things,
and raise them to the love of heavenly riches.

Most merciful God,
you favor all true love,
help and direct us
that we may love you above all things,
recognize your infinite benefits,
keep them in memory,
and give you eternal thanks for them.

grant that ours may be the blessed life
which will enjoy your love forever;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Raymond Jordanus
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

A Memorial of the Resurrection

O Lord Jesus Christ,
by your glorious resurrection,
you appeared alive and immortal to your disciples and faithful followers,
stayed with and taught them for forty days,
and showed them many infallible proofs,
speaking about the Kingdom of God,
and comforted them and assured them of your actual resurrection,
removing all doubt from their hearts.

O Lord,
grant that we may be numbered among those
chosen by God to be witnesses of your resurrection,
not only by word of mouth,
but in actions and truth,
for your honor and glory;
with the Father and the Holy Spirit
you live and reign as one God,
now and forever. 

Source: Ludolph of Saxony, d. 1378
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

Potts’ translation has the line in the second paragraph, “not only by word of mouth, but in reality of good works.” Line was changed to more clearly reflect 1 John 3:18.

For Love of God

most gracious God,
that we may love and seek you always and everywhere,
above all things and for your sake,
in this present life,
and at last find you and forever hold you fast in the life to come.
Grant this for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Source: Thomas Bradwardine, d. 1349
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

For Pardon, Purity and Grace

O Holy God,
in you is all goodness,
your pity and mercy made you to descend from the high throne
down into this world,
the valley of woe and weeping,
and here you took our nature,
and in that nature, you suffered pain and death
to bring our souls to your Kingdom.
Merciful Lord,
forgive us all our sins that we have done, thought, and said.
O glorious Trinity,
cleanse our hearts and purify our souls.
Restore us with your Holy Spirit,
and strengthen us with your might,
that we may always withstand evil temptations.
Comfort us with your Holy Spirit,
and fulfill us with grace and charity,
that we may live virtuously and love you with all our heart,
with all our might, and with all our soul,
so that we may never offend you,
but ever follow your pleasure in will, word, thought, and deed.
Now grant us this, good, infinite Lord,
you endure forever;
through Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.

Source: Richard Rolle, d. 1349
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

Soul of Christ, Sanctify Me

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Do not let me be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come to you
that with your saints I may praise you
forever and ever. Amen.

In verse by John Henry Newman:

Soul of Christ, be my sanctification;
Body of Christ, be my salvation;
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;
Water of Christ’s side, wash out my stains;
Passion of Christ, my comfort be;
O good Jesus, listen to me;
In thy wounds I fain would hide;
Ne’er to be parted from thy side;
Guard me, should the foe assail me;
Call me when my life shall fail me;
Bid me come to thee above,
With thy saints to sing thy love,
World without end. Amen.

Source: Anima Christi, source unknown. Earliest manuscript found dates to c. 1370. This prayer has its own article on Wikipedia.

Original in Latin:

Anima Christi, sanctifica me.
Corpus Christi, salva me.
Sanguis Christi, inebria me.
Aqua lateris Christi, lava me.
Passio Christi, conforta me.
O bone Jesu, exaudi me.
Intra tua vulnera absconde me.
Ne permittas me separari a te.
Ab hoste maligno defende me.
In hora mortis meae voca me.
Et iube me venire ad te,
Ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te,
In saecula saeculorum.

Alexander’s Breastplate

This lorica (breastplate) prayer is called “Alexander’s Breastplate” because it is between two poems about Alexander the Great in the Welsh Book of Taliesin.

On the face of the earth
his equal was not born,
Three persons of God,
one gentle Son
in the glorious Trinity.
Son of the Godhead,
Son of the Manhood,
one wonderful Son.
Son of God, a fortress,
Son of the blessed Mary,
Son, Servant, Lord.
Great his destiny,
great God supreme,
in heavenly glory.
Of the race of Adam
and Abraham,
and of the line of David,
the eloquent psalmist,
was he born.
By a word he healed
the blind and deaf
from every ailment;
the gluttonous, vain
iniquitous, vile, perverse,
to rise toward the Trinity
by their redemption.
The Cross of Christ
is our shining breastplate
against every ailment.
Against every hardship
may it certainly be
our city of refuge.

Source: Book of Taliesin, Welsh, 10th-14th Century, excerpt
The Four Ancient Books of Wales, 1868, p. 557-558.

Source of this version: Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church.

Original in Old Welsh:

Ar clawr eluyd y gystedlyd ny ryanet.
Teir person duw. vn mab adwyn terwyn trinet.
Mab yr dwydit. mab yr dyndit. vn mab ryued.
Mab duw dinas. mab gwen meirgwas. mat gwas gwelet.
O hil ade ac abrahae yn ryanet.
O hil dofyd dogyn dwfynwedyd llu ryanet.
Dyduc o eir deill abydeir o pop aelet.
Pobyl ginhiawc. goec gamwedawc salw amnyned.
Rydrychafom erbyn trindawt gwedy gwaret.
Croes cristyn glaer. lluryc llachar rac pop aelat.
Rac pop anuaws poet yn dilis dinas diffret. and 


Preserve Us from Cares

My most gracious God,
preserve me from the cares of this life,
so that I should not become entangled by them,
and from the many desires of the flesh,
so that I should not be ensnared by pleasure,
and from whatever is an obstacle to the soul,
so that I should not be broken with troubles,
and be overthrown.

Source: Thomas à Kempis

Source of this version: Modified from A Book of Prayers: Together with Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Ancient and Modern, Ed. Charles Leffingwell, Morehouse Publishing Company, 1921, p. 20 #1