before Holy Communion
A Prayer of St Basil the Great
O Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, our God,
Fountain of life and immortality,
Creator of all things visible and invisible;
Consubstantial and Co-eternal Son of the eternal Father,
who in thine exceeding great love didst become incarnate in the latter days,
and was crucified for us ungrateful and wicked children,
and by thine own Blood didst renew our nature corrupted by sin;
Do thou, O Immortal King, receive me, a repentant sinner;
incline thine ear unto me and hear my prayer.
I have sinned, O Lord,
I have sinned against heaven and before thee,
and I am not worthy to lift up my eyes to the majesty of thy glory,
for I have affronted thy goodness,
and broken thy commandments, and disobeyed thy laws.
But thou, O Lord most loving, long-suffering and merciful,
hast not given me over to perish in my sin, but dost ever await my return.
For, O Thou who lovest mankind, thou hast said,
by thy Prophet, that thou hast no pleasure in the death of a sinner,
but rather that he should turn from his wickedness and live.
Thou dost not desire, O Master,
to destroy the works of thy hands or that they should perish,
but willest that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth.
Wherefore I, although unworth both of heaven and of earth and of this temporary life,
even I, a wretched sinner who had given myself over to every evil desire,
despair not of salvation, though I have been wholly subject to sin,
a slave to passion, and have defiled thine image within me,
who am thy creation and thy work;
but trusting in thine infinite compassion, draw nigh unto thee.
Receive me, O Lord, thou that lovest mankind, as thou didst receive
the sinful woman, the thief, the publican and the prodigal son.
Take away the heavy burden of my sins,
O Thou that takest away the sins of the world,
and healest the infirmities of men,
and callest all that are weary and heavy laden to thyself and givest them rest;
thou that camest not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance,
cleanse thou me from all stain of body and soul
and teach me to fulfill holiness in thy fear,
that with the witness of my conscience pure,
I may receive a portion of thy Holy Gifts,
and be united to thy Holy Body and Precious Blood,
and may have thee, with thy Father and Holy Spirit, dwelling and abiding in me.
And grant, O Lord Jesus Christ, my God,
that the partaking of thy precious and Life-giving Mysteries
may not be to my condemnation,
nor may not through the weakness of my soul and body
be received unworthily;
but grant that, even unto my last breath,
I may partake of a portion of thy Holy Gifts without condemnation,
unto the Communion of thy Holy Spirit,
as a preparation for eternal Life
and for a good defence at thy dread Judgement Seat;
so that I, together with all thine elect,
may also receive those incorruptible good things
which thou hast prepared for them that love thee, O Lord;
in whom thou art glorified forever. Amen.
Another Prayer of St Basil the Great
(Continuation of prayers before communion, page 2 of 4)