The Power of the Great Litany

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Lent is well under way and I am introducing a time-honored prayer practice into this season.  It is a powerful prayer which seems to cover all that is in my heart and more.  The Great Litany from the Book of Common Prayer is a gift to each one of us.  Normally we chant it on the first Sunday of Lent, but it is a beautiful prayer to use throughout the season, indeed at anytime.  It is found on page 148 of the BCP, but I offer below for you to pray alone or with someone else – even on the phone!

With every blessing, 

Mother Elizabeth

O God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth,
 Have mercy upon us. 
 

 O God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
 Have mercy upon us. 
 

 O God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the faithful,
 Have mercy upon us. 
 

 O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, one God,
 Have mercy upon us.
 

 Remember not, Lord Christ, our offenses, nor the offenses
 of our forefathers; neither reward us according to our sins.
 Spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast
 redeemed with thy most precious blood, and by thy mercy
 preserve us, for ever.
 Spare us, good Lord.
 

 From all evil and wickedness; from sin; from the crafts
 and assaults of the devil; and from everlasting damnation,
 Good Lord, deliver us.
 From all blindness of heart; from pride, vainglory,
 and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all want
 of charity,
 Good Lord, deliver us.
 From all inordinate and sinful affections; and from all the
 deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil,
 Good Lord, deliver us.
 From all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness
 of heart, and contempt of thy Word and commandment,
 Good Lord, deliver us.
 From lightning and tempest; from earthquake, fire, and
 flood; from plague, pestilence, and famine,
 Good Lord, deliver us.
 From all oppression, conspiracy, and rebellion; from
 violence, battle, and murder; and from dying suddenly and 
 unprepared,
 Good Lord, deliver us.
 By the mystery of thy holy Incarnation; by thy holy Nativity
 and submission to the Law; by thy Baptism, Fasting, and
 Temptation,
 Good Lord, deliver us.
 By thine Agony and Bloody Sweat; by thy Cross and Passion;
 by thy precious Death and Burial; by thy glorious Resurrection
 and Ascension; and by the Coming of the Holy Ghost,
 Good Lord, deliver us.
 In all time of our tribulation; in all time of our prosperity; in
 the hour of death, and in the day of judgment,
 Good Lord, deliver us.
 

 We sinners do beseech thee to hear us, O Lord God; and that
 it may please thee to rule and govern thy holy Church
 Universal in the right way,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to illumine all bishops, priests, and
 deacons, with true knowledge and understanding of thy
 Word; and that both by their preaching and living, they may
 set it forth, and show it accordingly,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to bless and keep all thy people,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to send forth laborers into thy
 harvest, and to draw all mankind into thy kingdom,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to give to all people increase of grace
 to hear and receive thy Word, and to bring forth the fruits of
 the Spirit,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to bring into the way of truth all such
 as have erred, and are deceived,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to give us a heart to love and fear
 thee, and diligently to live after thy commandments,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee so to rule the hearts of thy servants,
 the President of the United States, and all
 others in authority, that they may do justice, and love mercy,
 and walk in the ways of truth,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 

 That it may please thee to make wars to cease in all the world;
 to give to all nations unity, peace, and concord; and to
 bestow freedom upon all peoples, 
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to show thy pity upon all prisoners
 and captives, the homeless and the hungry, and all who are
 desolate and oppressed,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to give and preserve to our use the
 bountiful fruits of the earth, so that in due time all may enjoy
 them,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to inspire us, in our several callings,
 to do the work which thou givest us to do with singleness of
 heart as thy servants, and for the common good,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to preserve all who are in danger by
 reason of their labor or their travel,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to preserve, and provide for, all
 women in childbirth, young children and orphans, the
 widowed, and all whose homes are broken or torn by strife,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to visit the lonely; to strengthen all
 who suffer in mind, body, and spirit; and to comfort with thy
 presence those who are failing and infirm,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to support, help, and comfort all who
 are in danger, necessity, and tribulation,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to have mercy upon all mankind,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to give us true repentance; to forgive
 us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and to endue
 us with the grace of thy Holy Spirit to amend our lives
 according to thy holy Word,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to forgive our enemies, persecutors,
 and slanderers, and to turn their hearts,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to strengthen such as do stand; to
 comfort and help the weak-hearted; to raise up those who
 fall; and finally to beat down Satan under our feet,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to grant to all the faithful departed
 eternal life and peace,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 That it may please thee to grant that, in the fellowship of
 all the saints, we may attain to thy
 heavenly kingdom,
 We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
 Son of God, we beseech thee to hear us.
 Son of God, we beseech thee to hear us.
 O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
 Have mercy upon us.
 O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
 Have mercy upon us.
 O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
 Grant us thy peace.
 

 We humbly beseech thee, O Father, mercifully to look upon
 our infirmities; and, for the glory of thy Name, turn from us
 all those evils that we most justly have deserved; and grant that in all our troubles we may put our whole trust and confidence in thy mercy, and evermore serve thee in holiness
 and pureness of living, to thy honor and glory; through our
 only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 

 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the 
 fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore.
 Amen.