A Canticle of Christ (2)

Born as a Son,
led forth as a lamb,
sacrificed as a sheep,
buried as a man,
he rose from the dead as a God,
for he was by nature God and man.

He is all things:
he judges, and so he is law;
he teaches, and so he is wisdom;
he saves, and so he is grace;
he is begotten, and so he is Son;
he suffers, and so he is sacrifice;
he is buried, and so he is man;
he rises again, and so he is God.
This is Jesus Christ,
to whom belongs glory for all ages.

Source: Melito of Sardis, d. 189

Modified from http://www.catholicdoors.com/prayers/english/p00395.htm

A line was omitted after “he saves, and so he is grace” because of possible doctrinal confusion.

Let Our Mouths Be Filled with Your Praise

Let our mouths be filled with your praise, O Lord,
that we may sing of your glory,
for you have permitted us to partake
of your holy, divine, immortal and life-giving mysteries.
Preserve us in your holiness,
that we may meditate on your righteousness all the day long.
Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.

Source: Liturgy of John Chrysostom and Basil the Great

Source of this version: http://www.orthodoxyork.org/

In the hymn ‘Thy Strong Word‘ by Martin Franzmann, stanza 5 may be based on this prayer.

For Growth in Grace

give completeness to beginners,
understanding to the little ones,
and help to those who are running their course.
Give sorrow to the negligent,
fervor to the lukewarm,
and to the mature a true humility,
for the sake of Christ Jesus our Lord.

Source: Iranaeus of Lyon

Source of this version: Composite, mostly from Prayers of the Early Church,  ed.  J. Manning Potts,  The Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee, © 1953 (Public domain in the U.S.) and Glimpses of the Divine: A Spiritual Anthology for Use on Every Day of the Year, Cyril Bulley, Sussex Academic Press, 1994 

“and to the mature, a true humility,” most translations render this line “and a good consummation to the perfect” Glimpses of the Divine has “and to the perfect a true humility.”


A Clementine Blessing

May God,
who sees all things,
and who is the Ruler of all spirits
and the Lord of all the living—
who chose our Lord Jesus Christ,
and through him chose us to be a people for his own possession—
grant to every soul that calls on his glorious and holy name,
faith, peace, patience, long-suffering,
self-control, purity, and sobriety,
to the glory of his name,
through our High Priest and Protector,
+ Jesus Christ, to whom be glory,
and majesty, and power, and honor,
both now and forever.

Source: Clement of Rome (c. 96)

From a longer prayer in Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians.

Source of this version: Freely modified from  Prayers of the Early Church,  ed.  J. Manning Potts,  The Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee, © 1953 (Public domain in the U.S.)

“chose us to be a people for his own possession” is a reference to 1 Peter 2:9

Enlighten the Souls of Us Sinners

O God,
you have taught us your divine and saving Word,
enlighten the souls of us sinners
to understand the things which have been spoken,
so that we may be doers of the Word,
and not hearers only,
striving after guileless faith,
blameless life, and pure conversation.

Release, pardon, and forgive, O God,
all our voluntary and involuntary sins,
such as we have committed in action and in word,
knowingly and ignorantly,
by night and by day,
in mind and thought,
forgive us all in goodness and love.

Sanctify, O Lord,
our souls, bodies and spirits;
examine our minds and search our consciences;
take from us all evil imaginations,
all impurity of thought,
all inclinations to lust,
all corrupt understanding,
all envy, pride and hypocrisy,
all falsehood, deceit and irregular living,
all covetousness, arrogance and sloth;
all malice, anger and wrath,
all remembrance of injuries, all blasphemy
and every motion of flesh and spirit
that is contrary to the purity of your will. Amen.

Source: Liturgy of St. James.

Freely modified from  Prayers of the Early Church,  ed.  J. Manning Potts,  The Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee, © 1953 (Public domain in the U.S.)

“Doers of the Word and not hearers only” is a reference to James 1:22. Wording was altered to make the biblical reference clearer.

“Contrary to the purity of your will” is similar to 1 Timothy 1:10

Lamb of God

O Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
look on us and have mercy on us;
You yourself are both Victim and Priest,
you both Reward and Redeemer,
keep safe from all evil those you have redeemed,
O Savior of the world.

Source: Iranaeus

Source of this version: Modified from http://marccortez.com/2012/06/24/a-prayer-for-sunday-irenaeus-of-lyon/

Also found here: http://www.mc-pro.com/kbc/pray-wk.html

A Prayer for Peace

O God, you are the bottomless well of peace,
the heavenly sea of love,
the fountain of blessings,
and the giver  of affection,
and you send peace to those who receive it.

Open to us this day the sea of your love,
and water us with the flowing streams of your grace.
Make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace.
Enkindle the fire of your love in us;
plant holy reverence for you in us;
strengthen our weakness by your power;
bind us closely to you and to each other
in one firm bond of unity;
for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Source: Syrian Clementine Liturgy, (attributed to Clement of Rome, c. 96)

Source of this version: Freely modified from  Prayers of the Early Church,  ed.  J. Manning Potts,  The Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee, © 1953 (Public domain in the U.S.)

Also found here: Ancient Collects, and Other Prayers, ed. William Bright, 1902, p. 80 #2

“plant holy reverence for you in us” in the original is “plant your fear in us”


For over 150 years, Bright’s Ancient Collects has been a standard resource for classic Christian prayers. The New Ancient Collects is a complete revision and refreshing of all the prayers in Bright’s Ancient Collects with updated language. It is available in paperback and for Amazon Kindle from Amazon.com.