The Seven Priest’s Prayers from the Service of Holy Unction


Thou Who art Unoriginate, Eternal, the Holy of Holies, Who didst send down Thine Only-begotten Son to heal every infirmity and all manner of disease, both of our souls and bodies: send down Thy Holy Spirit, and sanctify this oil; and cause it to be for Thy servants, who are anointed therewith, unto perfect deliverance from their sins, unto inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. [For Thou art God great and wonderful, Who keepest Thy covenant and Thy mercy unto those who love Thee; Who givest deliverance from sins through Thy holy Child, Jesus Christ; Who regeneratest us from sin; Who enlightenest the blind, raisest up those who are cast down; Who lovest the righteous and showest mercy unto sinners; Who leadest us forth again out of darkness and the shadow of death, saying to those in bonds, “Come forth”; and to those in darkness, “Be ye unveiled.” For the light of the knowledge of Thine Only-begotten Son shone in our hearts, since for our sakes He appeared on earth, and dwelt among men; and to those who accepted Him, He gave power to become the children of God; granting to us sonship through the laver of regeneration, and made us to have no participation in the tyranny of the Devil. And inasmuch as it hath not pleased Him that we should be purified by blood, but by holy oil, He gave us the image of His Cross, that we may be a flock of Christ, a royal priesthood, a holy nation; and didst purify us by water, and sanctify us by Thy Holy Spirit. Do Thou Thyself, O Master Lord, give us grace in this ministration, as Thou gavest it to Moses, Thine accepted, and to Samuel, Thy beloved, and to John, Thine elect, and to all those who from generation to generation have been well-pleasing unto Thee. And so make us also to be ministers of the new Covenant of Thy Son upon this oil, which Thou hast made of Thine Own through the precious blood of Thy Christ; that putting away worldly lusts, we may die unto sin and live unto righteousness, being clothed upon with our Lord Jesus Christ through the anointing of sanctification of this oil which we desire to use. Let this oil, O Lord, be an oil of gladness, an oil of sanctification, a royal raiment, an armor of might, an averting of every diabolical operation, an inviolable seal, a rejoicing of the heart, an everlasting gladness; that those also who are anointed with this oil of regeneration may be terrible to adversaries, and may shine in the radiance of Thy saints, having neither spot nor wrinkle; and that they may be received into Thine eternal rest, and gain the prize of the calling from on high.] For Thine it is to show mercy and to save us, O God, our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, with Thine Only-begotten Son, and Thine all-holy, and good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.


O God, great and most high, Who art worshipped by all creation, Source of wisdom, Abyss of goodness truly unfathomable, and boundless Sea of benignity; do Thou Thyself, O Master Who lovest mankind, the God of the eternal and the marvelous, Whom none among men by thinking can comprehend, look upon us, and hearken unto us, Thine unworthy servants, and wheresoever we bring this oil in Thy great name, do Thou send down Thy gift of healing, and the remission of sins, and heal Thy servants in the plenitude of Thy mercy. Yea, O Lord, Thou good physician, Who alone art merciful and lovest man, Who repentest Thee of our wickedness, Who knowest that the intention of a man inclineth unto evil from his youth up, Who desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he should return and live, Who for the salvation of sinners, being God, didst become incarnate, and didst become a Creature for Thy creatures. Thou hast said, “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance,” Thou art He Who sought the lost sheep, Thou art He Who diligently sought the lost drachma, and found it, Thou didst say, “He that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out,” Thou art He Who didst not loathe the harlot who rained her tears upon Thy precious feet, Thou didst say, “As often as thou fallest, arise, and thou shalt be saved,” Thou art He Who saith, “There is joy in Heaven over one sinner who repenteth.” Do Thou Thyself, O Benign Master, look down from the height of Thy sanctuary, overshadowing us sinners, and Thine unworthy servants at this hour, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, and abide in these Thy servants who acknowledge their transgressions, and draw near to Thee in faith, and accepting them in Thine own love to man, whether they have transgressed in word or deed or thought, forgiving them, do Thou cleanse them, make them pure from every sin, and, abiding ever present with them, preserve them all the remaining years of their lives, that walking in Thy statutes, they may never become a derision to the devil, and that by them Thine all-holy name may be glorified. For Thine it is to show mercy and to save us, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, with Thine unoriginate Father, and Thine all-holy, and good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.


Almighty Master, Holy King, Who chastenest and yet slayest not, Who raisest up those who fall, and restores those who are cast down, Who relievest the bodily afflictions of men: We beseech Thee, our God, that Thou wilt direct Thy mercy upon this oil, and upon those who are anointed therewith in Thy name, that it may be to them for healing of soul and body, for the cleansing and removal of every passion, and of every infirmity and wound, and every defilement of flesh and spirit. [Yea, O Lord, send down from Heaven Thy healing power, touch the body, quench the fever, soothe the suffering, and banish every hidden ailment. Be Thou the physician of Thy servants, raise them up from the bed of sickness, and from their couch of vexation whole and perfectly restored, granting them, through Thy Church, to be well-pleasing unto Thee, and to work Thy will.] For Thine it is to show mercy and to save us, O our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.


O good and man-loving, compassionate and most merciful Lord, plentiful in mercy and rich in beneficence, the Father of bounties and God of every consolation, Who through Thy holy Apostles hast empowered us to heal the infirmities of the people by oil with prayer: Do Thou Thyself appoint this oil for the healing of those who are anointed therewith, for the alleviation of every infirmity and every malady, for deliverance from ills of those Who await salvation that is from Thee. Yea, Master, Lord our God, we beseech Thee, Who art Almighty, to save us all. [Thou Who healest every infirmity, heal also these Thy servants, raise them up from their couch of sickness through the mercy of Thy goodness, visit them with Thy mercies and bounties, cast out of them every ailment and weakness, that, raised up by Thy mighty hand, they may serve Thee with all thanksgiving, and that now, participating in Thine inexpressible love towards mankind, we also may hymn and glorify Thee Who performest great and wondrous, glorious, and transcendent things.] For Thine it is to show mercy and to save us, O our God, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.


O Lord our God, Who chastenest and again healest, Who raisest the poor man from the earth, and exaltest the beggar from the dunghill, the Father of orphans, and Haven of the tempest-tossed, and Physician of the sick, Who painlessly bearest our weaknesses, and receivest our infirmities, Who showest mercy with gentleness, Who overlookest transgressions, and takest away unrighteousness, Who art quick to help, and slow to wrath, Who didst breathe upon Thy disciples and say, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit; whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them,” Who acceptest the repentance of sinners, and hast power to forgive sins manifold and grievous, and grantest healing to all who continue in weakness and lingering illness, Who also hast called me, Thy humble and sinful and unworthy servant, entangled in manifold sins and wallowing in the lusts of pleasures, to the holy and sublime degree of the Priesthood, and to enter within the innermost veil, into the Holy of Holies, whither the holy Angels desire to penetrate, and to hear the evangelic voice of the Lord God, and personally behold the presence of the Holy Oblation, and to take delight in the divine and sacred Liturgy, Who hast counted me worthy to minister Thy supracelestial Mysteries, and to offer unto Thee gifts and sacrifices for our sins and for the ignorance of the people, and to mediate for Thy rational sheep, that, through Thine abundant and unspeakable love towards man, Thou mayest cleanse their iniquities: Do Thou Thyself, O most good King, attend to my prayer in this hour and on this holy day, and in every time and place, and hearken to the voice of my supplication, and grant healing to Thy servants who are weak of soul and body, giving them remission of sins and forgiveness of their transgressions, both voluntary and involuntary. [Heal Thou their incurable wounds, and every ailment and every sore, bestow upon them psychic healing. O Thou Who didst touch the mother-in-law of Peter, whereupon the fever left her, and she arose and ministered unto Thee: Do Thou Thyself, O Master, grant healing to these Thy servants, and alleviation of every consumptive illness, and be mindful of Thy rich bounties and Thy mercy.] Remember that the thought of man inclineth constantly toward evil from his youth up, and that none is to be found sinless upon earth, for Thou alone art without sin, Who didst come and save the human race, and free us from bondage to the enemy. For if Thou shouldst enter into judgment with Thy servants, there is none that would be found pure from stain, but every mouth would be sealed, having naught to answer, for all our righteousness is like unto cast-off rags before Thee. Wherefore, O Lord, remember not the sins of our youth, for Thou art the Hope of the hopeless, and the Repose of those who labor and are heavy-laden with iniquity, and to Thee we ascribe glory, with Thine unoriginate Father, and Thine all-holy, and good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.


We thank Thee, O Lord our God, Who art good and lovest man, the Physician of our souls and bodies, Who painlessly bearest our infirmities, by Whose stripes we have all been healed, Thou good Shepherd, Who camest to seek the wandering sheep, Who givest consolation to the fainthearted, and life to those who are shattered, Who didst heal the flow of the woman who had an issue of blood twelve years, Who didst free the daughter of the Canaanite woman from the cruel demon, Who didst release the two debtors from their debt, and give remission of sins unto the sinful woman, Who grantest healing unto the paralytic, with the remission of his sins, Who didst justify the publican by Thy word, and didst accept the thief at his last confession, Who takest away the sins of the world, and wast nailed to the Cross: We beseech Thee, and entreat Thee, in Thy goodness loose, remit, forgive, O God, the trespasses and sins of these Thy servants, and their iniquities, whether voluntary of involuntary, whether of knowledge or of ignorance, whether of transgression or of disobedience, whether of the night or of the day, whether they be under the ban of a priest, or the curse of father or mother, whether by the glance of the eye, or a movement of the eyelid, whether through the contact of adultery or the taste of prodigality, or through whatsoever impulse of the flesh and of the spirit they have departed from Thy will, and from Thy holiness. And if they have sinned, and in like manner we also, forgive us, forasmuch as Thou art a good God Who rememberest not evil, and lovest mankind: and let not them or us fall into a dissolute life, neither to walk in ways of destruction. Yea, O Master, Lord, hearken unto me a sinner, in this hour, on behalf of these Thy servants, and overlook their trespasses, forasmuch as Thou art a God Who callest not evil to mind. Free them from eternal torment, fill their mouths with Thy praise, open their lips that they may glorify Thy holy name, stretch forth their hands to the doing of Thy commandments. Guide their feet aright in the way of Thy Gospel, strengthening all their members and their thoughts, by Thy grace. For Thou art our God, Who hast commanded us by Thy holy Apostles, saying, “Whatsoever ye bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever ye loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” And again, “Unto whomsoever ye remit sins, they shall be remitted, and if ye retain them, they shall be retained.” And as Thou didst hearken unto Ezekiel in the sorrow of his soul, at the hour of his death, and didst not despise his supplications, so also, in like manner, give ear unto me, Thy humble, and sinful, and unworthy servant at this hour. For Thou, O Lord Jesus Christ, through Thy goodness and love towards man, didst bid us to forgive the erring their sins, even unto seventy times seven, and repentest Thee of our wickedness, and rejoices over the return of those who have gone astray. For as is Thy majesty, so also is Thy mercy, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, with Thine unoriginate Father, and Thine all-holy, and good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.


O Master, Lord our God, Physician of souls and bodies, Who curest temporal sufferings and healest every infirmity and every wound of men, Who desirest that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, Who desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he should turn again and live: for Thou, O Lord, in the ancient covenant, didst ordain repentance unto sinners, to David and the Ninevites, and to those before and after these, and likewise, at the advent of Thy dispensation in the flesh, Thou didst call not the righteous but sinners to repentance, receiving even the publican, the harlot, the thief, and great Paul, the blaspheming persecutor, through repentance. Thou didst accept in repentance Peter Thy chief Apostle, who thrice denied Thee, and gavest him a promise, saying, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it, and I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” Wherefore, O Good One, Who lovest mankind, being bold according to Thine undeceiving promises, we beseech Thee and implore Thee in this present hour: Hearken to our supplication, and receive it as incense offered unto Thee, and visit these Thy servants, and if they have done aught amiss, either by word, or deed, or thought, either by night or by day, if they have fallen under the ban of a priest, or under their own anathema, or hath been embittered by an oath, and have foresworn themselves: We beseech Thee and supplicate Thee, loose, pardon, forgive them, O God, overlooking their sins and wickednesses, and all which they have committed knowingly and in ignorance. And if they have deviated aught from Thy commandments, or have sinned because they bear flesh and dwell in the world, or through the operation of the Devil, do Thou, forasmuch as Thou art a good God and lovest man, forgive, for there is not a man who shall live and sin not. For Thou alone art sinless, Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy word is truth. For Thou didst not create man for destruction, but for the keeping of Thy commandments, for the inheritance of life incorruptible, and to Thee we ascribe glory, with Thine unoriginate Father, and Thine all-holy, and good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.