Prayer Of Saint Macrina On Her Deathbed


you have taken the fear of death away from us.  The end of our life here you have made the beginning of true life.  For a little while you will let our bodies rest in sleep, and then with the last trumpet you will wake them from their sleep.

You give to the Earth to keep for you this earth of ours, which you shaped with your own hands; and you will take it back again, and from a mortal, formless lump transform it into a thing of immortal beauty.

To free us from sin and from the curse laid upon us, you took both sin and the curse upon yourself.

You crushed the head of the dragon that had seized men by the throat and thrust it into the gulf prepared for the disobedient.

When you shattered the gates of hell and trampled the devil, death’s lord, beneath your feet, you cleared the way for our resurrection.

To us who fear you, you gave a sign, the sign of your holy cross, to destroy the enemy and infuse new vigor into our lives.

O eternal God, you have been my refuge since I left my mother’s womb; I love you with all my inmost strength; I have devoted myself, body and soul, to you from my childhood onwards.

Set now an angel of light beside me and bid him take my hand and lead me to the resting-place where there is water for refreshment, beside the dwellings of the holy fathers.

The flaming sword you snapped in two; the man who hung upon the cross with you and implored your great mercy you restored to paradise.  Remember me, too, now that you are back in your kingdom, since I also have hung upon the cross with you and the nails have pierced my flesh; for I have always feared your judgment.  May the dread gulf not divide me from your elect or the Slanderer stand in my way; may your eyes not rest on my sins.

If out of the weakness of human nature I have fallen and sinned in word or deed or thought, forgive it me; for you have power to forgive sins on Earth.  When I am divested of my body, may I stand before you with my soul unspotted; receive it, blameless and faultless, with your own hands.


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