• Fr. Thomas Colyandro

First Kneeling Prayer of Pentecost


Below is a vocal prayer that offers much to meditate upon (the bold type is added to assist you in starting a meditation). Before you read it, though, understand some its background.

Pentecost is both a particular Feast Day and a time period in the Church calendar that spiritually, theologically, and psychologically affirms the role of the Holy Spirit within the Most Holy Trinity, as well as in our lives. During Vespers, on the evening of the same day we have celebrated the Divine Liturgical Feast of Pentecost, there is found a set of "Kneeling Prayers," which provide to us not only a succinct recitation of the theology of the Holy Trinity, but also a beautiful plea to heal and grow in union with God.

What follows is the First Kneeling Prayer. Notice that it addresses the Father in a tone of awe, supplication, and desire for healing. This prayer is highly theological in that it recounts and summarizes creation, redemption, and sanctification as given through the persons of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. At the same time, it brings us to recognize our hurt, sin, and need for grace to grow ever closer to God. This is an excellent prayer to help with Catharsis.

"O Lord, most pure, spotless, who art from everlasting, invisible, ineffable, unsearchable, unchanging, unsurpassable, immeasurable, long-suffering; who alone has immortality; who dwells in light unapproachable, who has made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that lies within; who grants unto all people their petitions before they ask: we pray to you and beseech you, O Master who loves mankind, the Father of our Lord, and God, and Savior Jesus Christ, who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of Mary the ever-virgin and exceedingly glorious Birth-giver of God; who first did teach in words and afterwards did manifest Himself in deeds, when He had suffered His redeeming Passion; who hast given unto us, they humble, and sinful, and unworthy servants, a command that we should offer supplications to you with bending of the neck and the knees, both for our own iniquities and for the ignorance of others; do thou, the same all-merciful God who loves mankind, hear us in that day when we shall call upon you, and more especially on this day of Pentecost, when, after our Lord Jesus Christ had ascended into heaven, and had sat down at the right hand of you, who are both His God and His Father, He did send down the Holy Spirit upon His holy disciples and apostles: which also did rest upon each of them, so that they were all filled with its inexhaustible grace, and did declare they majesty in diverse, unknown tongues, and did prophesy.

"Wherefore, hearken now to us who pray unto thee, and remember us, humble and condemned as we are, and turn again the captivity of our souls, exercising they loving-kindness toward us who now offer up our petitions to you. Accept us who fall down before you, and who cry aloud to you, we have sinned! We have cloven to you even from our mother's womb: you are our God. But because we have passed our days in vanity, we have stripped ourselves of your aid, we have deprived ourselves of every valid defense. But confidently trusting in your bounties, we call unto you: remember not the sins of our youth and our ignorance; cleanse us from our secret sins; and do not forsake us in the days of our old age, when our strength fails us. Even until we return again to the earth, do not abandon us, vouchsafe us grace to have recourse unto you; and receive us, because of your favor and graciousness. Measure our wickedness according to the measure of your bounties. Set over against the multitude of our transgressions the abyss of your compassions.

"Look down from your holiness on high, O Lord, upon your people present before you, who await your rich mercies. Visit us with your loving-kindness: deliver us from the assaults of the Evil One. Establish our life in your holy and sacred commandments. Commit your people unto an Angel, a faithful guardian. Gather us all into your Kingdom. Grant pardon unto those who put their trust in you. Put away from them and from us all sins. Purify us by the operation of the Holy Spirit; bring to nothing all the schemes of the enemy against us."

- This prayer can be found in the Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church; compiled, translated, and arranged by Isabel Florence Hapgood; printed by the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, 6th ed., 1983, p. 249.

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