O Lord who adorned the earth with flowers, they dressed You with a scarlet robe – Prayers of the Coptic Orthodox Church


O you dwellers of Jerusalem, come and see. They crucified Jesus, the Son of David, on a cross. They dressed Him in a scarlet robe like the kings, and placed a crown of thorns on His head.

He adorned the heavens with the stars, created the earth and beautified it with flowers. They placed a reed in His right hand as a wise man and a teacher. They compelled a cross on Him as a conqueror.

The women who came to Jerusalem for the Passover wept and wailed when they saw Jesus. He looked at them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me. Rather, weep for yourselves because of the tribulation that will befall you. There will be days when you envy the barren who never gave birth, nursed or raised a child.They will ask the mountains to fall on them, and the hills to cover them. For if they do this when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?

When they came to the place called the skull, there they set the cross and crucified Him.

They crucified with Him two criminals, one on His right and one on His left, so that the prophesy of the prophet may be fulfilled.

The soldiers took His clothes and cast lots to divide His garments. They inscribed on the cross over His head, in Hebrew, Greek, and Roman, “This is the king of the Jews.” The people stood by, watching, and the rulers mocked Him saying, “He saved others, let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen one.” The soldiers also mocked Him saying, “If you are the king of the Jews, save Yourself and come down off the cross.” One of the criminals railed at Him in front of everyone, saying, “If you are the Christ save Yourself and save us of this shame that we endure.”

The other rebuked him saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence and condemnation? We deserve this punishment but He is innocent and without blame.”

Then he said to Jesus, “Remember me, O Lord in Your Kingdom.” The Lord of Glory replied saying, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

There were women standing by the cross of our Saviour, His mother, His mother’s sister Mary Clopas and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother,” and from that hour the disciple took her to his own home as the Lord said.

And from the sixth hour to the ninth hour there was darkness on the whole earth.

O Lord who adorned the earth with flowers, they dressed You with a scarlet robe, and the skies with the stars, they put a crown of thorns on Your head.

You who have dominion over Heaven and Earth, they put a reed in Your hand. You who suspended the whole world with one word of Your mouth;

You were crucified on the cross. You were crucified for our sins and abolished the power of death by Your cross, O Ominpotent.

[Exposition of the Sixth Hour of Great Friday, Rite of the Coptic Orthodox Church]

Commentaries from the Prayer of Vespers (Eleventh Hour) – The Agpeya, The Coptic Horologion


If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where shall I the sinner appear? The burden and the heat of day I did not endure because of the weakness of my humanity. But O merciful God, count me with the fellows of the eleventh hour (Mat 20:1-16). For behold in iniquities I was conceived, and in sins my mother bore me. Therefore I do not dare to lift up my eyes to Heaven, but rather I rely on the abundance of Your mercy and love for mankind, crying out and saying, “God forgive me, a sinner, and have mercy on me.”

Doxa Patri Kai Eiyou Kai Agio Pnevmati – Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

 Hasten, O Saviour to open to me the fatherly bosoms, for I have wasted my life in pleasures and lusts, and the day has passed by me and vanished. Therefore, now I rely on the richness of Your never-ending compassion. So then, do not forsake a submissive heart which is in need of Your mercy. For unto You I cry, O Lord, humbly, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before You, and I am no longer worthy to be called Your son, so make me as one of Your hired servants.” (Luke 15:18-9)

Ke Nin Kai A Ee Kai Eis Tous E Onas Ton E Onon Amen – Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

 Every iniquity I did with prudence and activity, and every sin I committed with eagerness and diligence, and of all torment and judgement I am worthy. Therefore, prepare for me the ways of repentance, O Lady the Virgin; for to you I appeal, and through you I seek intercession, and upon you I call to help me, lest I might be put to shame. And when my soul departs my body attend to me, and defeat the conspiracy of the enemies, and shut the gates of Hades, lest they might swallow my soul, O you blameless bride of the true Bridegroom.

[Commentaries from the Prayer of Vespers (Eleventh Hour), The Agpeya, Coptic Horologion (Book of Hours)]


Commentaries from the Prayer of None (Ninth Hour) – The Agpeya, The Coptic Horologion


O, Who tasted death in the flesh in the ninth hour for our sake, we the sinners, put to death our carnal lusts, O Christ, our God, and deliver us. Let my supplication draw close before You, O Lord; according to Your word give me understanding. Let my petition come before Your presence; according to Your word revive me.

Doxa Patri Kai Eiyou Kai Agio Pnevmati – Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

O You, who commended the spirit into the hands of the Father as You hung on the cross, in the ninth hour, and guided the thief who was crucified with You into entering the Paradise, do not neglect me, O Good One, nor reject me, I the lost one; but sanctify my soul and enlighten my understanding, and allow me to be a partaker of the grace of You life-giving mysteries. That when I taste of Your benevolences, I offer You praise without lukewarmness, longing for Your splendor above all things, O Christ our Lord, and deliver us.

Ke Nin Kai A Ee Kai Eis Tous E Onas Ton E Onon Amen – Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

 O You, who was born of the Virgin for our sake, and endured crucifixion, O Good One, and abolished death by Your death and manifested resurrection by Your resurrection, O God, do not turn away from those whom You have created with Your own hands, but manifest, O Good One Your love for mankind. Accept from Your mother an intercession on our behalf. Deliver, O Saviour, a humble people. Do not leave us to the end, and do not forsake us forever. Do not break Your covenant, and do not take away from us Your mercy, for the sake of Abraham Your beloved, Isaac Your servant, and Israel Your saint.

[Commentaries from the Prayer of None (Ninth Hour), The Agpeya, Coptic Horologion (Book of Hours)]

Commentaries from the Prayer of the Veil – The Agpeya, The Coptic Horologion


“Lord, You know the alertness of my enemies, and as for my weakness, You are aware of it, My Creator. Therefore, I hereby place my soul into Your Hands. So cover me with the wings of Your goodness, lest I might sleep till death. Enlighten my eyes by the greatness of Your sayings, and raise me up at all times for Your glorification, for You alone are good and Lover of Mankind.”

Doxa Patri Kai Eiyou Kai Agio Pnevmati – Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Lord, Your Judgement is dreadful; when men shall be rushed, the angels shall stand, the books shall be opened, the deeds shall be revealed, and the thoughts examined. What a Judgement mine will be, I who am entangled by sin! Who will quench the flames of fire about me? Who would enlighten my darkness, besides You, Lord? Have mercy upon me, for You are compassionate to mankind.

Ke Nin Kai A Ee Kai Eis Tous E Onas Ton E Onon Amen – Now and forever and unto the ages of all ages. Amen.

O Theotokos (Mother of God), because we have put our trust in you, we shall not be put to shame, but shall be saved. And because we have attained your help and intercession, O pure and perfect one, we shall not fear, but shall drive out our enemies and shall disperse them. And, in all, we take your great help to protect us as if with a shield. We ask and entreat you, crying, O Theotokos to save us by your intercessions, and raise us up from the dark sleep, in order to powerfully glorify God Who took flesh from you.

[Commentaries from the Prayer of the Veil, The Agpeya, Coptic Horologion (Book of Hours)]

A prayer for all, the Absolution of the Midnight Prayer – Coptic Orthodox Church



[This absolution is prayed by the priest at the conclusion of the Midnight Praises (tasbeha), an ancient set of prayers that have been prayed daily in the Coptic Orthodox Church for tens of centuries:]

We thank and entreat You, O Master and Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God, the Eternal, abiding in the light before all ages, Light out of Light; enlighten, O Lord, our minds and our hearts, and illuminate our understanding, so that we understand Your life-giving words. Raise us from the darkness of sin which kills the soul. Make us worthy to be steadfast in good and beneficial works. At the time of Your awesome second coming, when you will judge the world, may we be worthy of hearing that voice which is full of happiness, joy, consolation, delight and grace from Your divine mouth, saying: “Come to Me, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom which was prepared for you since the creation of the world”.

Yes, O Lord our God, fit us to be, on that day and in that hour, without fear, without fault, without disturbance, without failure and without deviation. Do not deal with us O Lord according to the multitude of our sins. Pardon O LORD, all our vices, faults, mistakes and lapses.

Relieve us, and the whole world, O Lord, from death, inflation, plagues, destruction, eviction, the sword of enemies, the plots of demons, the danger of fire and drowning, the opposition of those who are evil, the intrigues of the shameless and the injustice of judges. Bring to failure the works of the stubborn against us. For You are our Lord and God, have compassion on us. Do not cast us into the sea of destruction nor to the punishment of our ways. But rescue us, protect us, preserve us and raise us from boredom, anger, languishing, and laziness. Do not let the enemy – the devil – overwhelm us with excessive hope, but alert our minds and awaken our hearts from the sleep of inattention and wasting our lifetime in vain.

O God, disregard our trespasses and forgive us our lapses, do not remember our sins or our vices, do not be angry with us and may Your anger not continue forever. Have mercy on us O LORD, have mercy on us, for we are weak and poor, drowning in the ocean of sin. Unto You we cry out; before You we bow; by You we confess; it is You whom we want. Do not cut off our hope my Master, in Your mercy, and do not close the door of Your mercy in our faces. But out of Your goodness save us; lead us to Your mercy, and let us hear Your joyful voice.

O God, purify us and purify our hearts from wicked, unclean and bad thoughts. Remove from us, O LORD, and from Your people, all dreams, fancies and devilish ideas. Raise us O God, from every fall and catastrophe. Establish in us O God, patience, hope, love and orthodox faith. Count us among the sheep at Your right hand. Seat us with those who recline in Your heavenly banquet. Forgive us for every trespass, guilt and sin; protect us in the fortress of Your luminous, angelic soldiers. For we have no salvation except through Your mercy. Our reliance is on You, our faith is in You and our hope is in You.

Accept from us O Lord, our supplications at this present time and at all times. And all those who asked and directed us to remember them in prayers, liturgies, unctions of the sick and commemorations; whether alive or dead; remember us O Lord, together with them, with kindness in the heavenly Jerusalem, in the Kingdom of Heaven. Blot out O Lord, our vices, and those who offended us, forgive them and us.

Through Your mercy O Lord, save all our souls. O Lord, save Your people, bless Your inheritance, shepherd and guide them forever. Save those who are in hardships, distresses and sadness. Free  those who are bound from the bonds of devils. Satisfy the hungry with good things. Console the small in heart and spirit. Raise the fallen; make steadfast those who have risen. Restore the lost. Take care of the widow and the orphan. Aid the needy. Give blessings to the fruits of the earth, grant that the weather be favourable, give growth to the plants, raise the waters of the rivers fully and bless the dew and the rains. Give contentment to those in need. Repay for those in debt. Gather together the fragments which are divided. Accept the repentance of the penitent. Accept the confession of the confessors. Give understanding to the catechumens. Give fair judgment O Lord, to the oppressed.

Fill our hearts with joy, happiness, comfort, delight and grace, so that as we have sufficiency in all things, we excel in acceptable good works. Bless O Lord, the crops with heavenly blessings. Bless O Lord the crown of this year with Your goodness. Bless O Lord the sower, the cultivator, the planter and the reaper, as You blessed the crops of the children of Israel in the sixth year.

Bless O Lord this gathering of ours, and all the gatherings of orthodox people. Preserve for us the life and the reign of our father and Patriarch Pope Tawadros the Patriarch of this time. Save him O Lord and save his people from all catastrophes, trials and  sorrows. And also his partners in the apostolic ministry, our fathers the Metropolitans, our fathers the Bishops, our fathers the Hegumens and our fathers the Priests, our brothers the Deacons, our fathers the Monks, our brothers the laymen and those who came, attended and shared with us in this prayer and all the prayers of the orthodox, now asking for the forgiveness of their sins and mercy for their souls. Bless us and bless them; absolve us and absolve them; forgive our sins and their sins, those passed and those we might return to, those personal and those not personal, those by night and those by day, those manifest and those hidden.

Preserve O Lord, the welfare of the assemblies, the holy churches, the orthodox wilderness, and the elders who dwell in them, its servants, its overseers, and those who are in it. Grant security, peace, love and reassurance to be among them. Bring down the evil enemy under our feet and their feet. Do not let him have any part in us or in them, neither by the left hand blow nor by the right hand blow, but preserve them with Your exalted hand and Your protective arm. Rescue us my Master, from evil temptations and from the snares set, the visible and the invisible.

Remember O Lord, our fathers, our mothers, our brothers and our sisters, our families, our relatives, our teachers, our spiritual children, our children in the flesh and all the children of Baptism together.

Remember O Lord, those through whose toil and effort we have eaten and drunk, have sheltered us in their houses and gave us from their hands. Repay them O Lord and compensate them with the eternal for the temporal and the heavenly for the earthly. Fill their houses and their stores with every good thing. Repay them O Lord, thirty fold, sixty fold and a hundredfold, and the forgiveness of their sins in the Kingdom of Heaven. Remember O Lord, those who have done good unto us and to our poor brethren, with every kind of good work, in love for You and honour for Your Holy Name, and bless them.

Remember O Lord, those who are concerned with the sacrifices, offerings, burnt offerings, wine, oil, first fruits, incense, curtains, vows, books of readings and all the utensils of the altar generally. Repay them O Lord, for what they have given, with the forgiveness of their sins. Grant them in this present age a pleasant life and in the coming age eternal life.

Remember O Lord our fathers and brethren who have departed, reposed and rested with faith in Christ. Repose O Lord, all their souls, in the embrace of our Holy fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the place of the living, in the Paradise of Joy. As for us who are still alive, aid us to find salvation for our souls, arrange our lives according to Your gracious will.

Please O Lord, remember my insignificance, my humiliation, my weakness, I the sinner who am troubled, and unworthy of standing between Your hands. Because of the multitude of my sins and guilt, do not reject me. Erect O Lord, a horn of salvation for Your people through the sign of Your life-giving Cross. We ask Your relief in hardships and Your aid in misery and humiliation. Save us O LORD and save everyone in hardships. Those of Your people who are sick, heal them.

Grant O Lord, Your people the Christians, those present with us and those absent from us, that they may be blessed and absolved from Your Divine mouth, from the rising of the to its setting, and from the north to the south. Accept us unto You, as You accepted the right hand thief when You were on the Cross, and granted him the Paradise of Joy.

Remember O Lord, the orphans and the widows, the estranged, the disabled and those who have no one to remember them. Remember us O Lord, with them, in the heavenly Jerusalem. Remember O Lord those standing or sitting, sleeping or lying in illness, those who are travelling by  land, sea, air, on plains, by rough roads, through valleys, narrow ways, on mountain peaks and hills, in caves, those who are in gaols or prisons, those who are in captivity and exiled, the captives and those who are bound with the bonds of wicked powers and of demons. Return them and bring them all to their ports safely, profitably and healthy in soul, body and spirit.

Grant O my Lord Jesus Christ, that these our prayers may be accepted before You without hypocrisy, pride, haughtiness, being puffed up or any fault. Aid us O God in doing Your will. Aid us in performing Your commandments. Aid us in the pangs of death, and that which is before death and that which is after death. For You are a righteous God, long suffering, plenteous in mercy and compassion. O Lord grant that the door of Your Church be open before us through the ages of ages and unto the end of time. Have mercy upon us O God, according to the multitude of Your mercy.

Through the intercessions of the Lady of intercession, the essence of purity, generosity and blessings; our Lady and the pride of our race, the chaste Virgin, the blameless St Mary, and the honoured martyr, St Mark the evangelist, apostle and preacher of the land of Egypt, and all the angels, the fathers, the prophets, the  apostles, the martyrs, the saints, the spiritborne, the worshipers, the ascetics, the strivers and those who have pleased the Lord with their good works, from Adam, to the end of ages.

To You, we bow down O Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and at all times, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

And make us worthy to pray thankfully: Our Father, who art in heaven…