A Prayer as We Begin Advent

A Prayer by St. John Chrysostom (347-407)

I am not Worthy
I am not worthy, Master and Lord,
that you should come
beneath the roof of my soul;
Yet, since you in your love for all people
wish to dwell within me,
In boldness I come before you.
You command “Open the gates!”
Gates you alone have forged;
And you will come in
with love toward all, as is your nature.
You will come in and enlighten my dark reasoning.
I believe you will do this,
for you did not send away
the harlot who came to you with tears,
nor cast out the repenting publican,
nor reject the thief
who acknowledged your kingdom.
You did not forsake the repentant persecutor,
the apostle Paul, even as he was.
But all who came to you in repentance,
you counted in the band of your friends;
You, who alone lives in glory forever,
now and unto the endless ages.



2 Comments

Filed under Advent, Church History, Discipleship, Prayer, Saints

2 responses to “A Prayer as We Begin Advent

  1. Christopher

    This is actually an Orthodox communion prayer, prayed weekly before reception of the eucharist.

  2. tasersedge

    Thanks so much, Christopher. The shape of the Anglican Church’s Communion liturgy also follows the shape of this prayer, likewise teaching us and helping us to proclaim that we come to receive the Eucharist/Christ in both humility and boldness. We also have a Prayer of Humble Access which we pray each week before communion, which also shares many of the same themes:

    “Most merciful Lord, your love compels us to come in. Our hands were unclean, our hearts were unprepared; we were not fit even to eat the crumbs from under your table. But you, Lord, are the God of our salvation and share your bread with sinners. So cleanse and feed us with the precious body and blood of your Son, that he may live in us and we in him; and that we, with the whole company of Christ, may sit and eat in your kingdom. Amen.”

    What is wonderful about St. Chrysostom’s prayer at this particular time of year is that it speaks to Advent themes of light coming into darkness (“You will come in and enlighten my dark reasoning”) and repentance (“all who came to you in repentance, / you counted in the band of your friends”); parallels Mary’s response to God’s call through Gabriel (Mary’s “Let it be unto me according to your word” and Chrysostom’s “since you in your love for all people wish to dwell within me, / In boldness I come”); and last but far from least speaks to the Mystery of the Eucharist.

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