Prayers to be used at Sea

The Book of Common Prayer Table of contents

Forms of Prayer

to be

used at Sea

The Morning and Evening Service to be used daily at Sea shall be the same which is appointed in the Book of Common Prayer.

These two following Prayers are to be also used in her Majesty's Navy every day.

O Eternal Lord God, who alone spreadest out the heavens, and rulest the raging of the sea; who hast compassed the waters with bounds until day and night come to an end: Be pleased to receive into thy Almighty and most gracious protection the persons of us thy servants, and the Fleet in which we serve. Preserve us from the dangers of the sea, and from the violence of the enemy; that we may be a safeguard unto our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen ELIZABETH, and her Dominions, and a security for such as pass on the seas upon their lawful occasions; that the inhabitants of our Island may in peace and quietness serve thee our God; and that we may return in safety to enjoy the blessings of the land, with the fruits of our labours; and with a thankful remembrance of thy mercies to praise and glorify thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect

Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally by thy mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayers to be used in Storms at Sea.

most powerful and glorious Lord God, at whose command the winds blow, and lift up the waves of the sea, and who stillest the rage thereof: We thy creatures, but miserable sinners, do in this our great distress cry unto thee for help: Save, Lord, or else we perish. We confess, when we have been safe, and seen all things quiet about us, we have forgot thee our God, and refused to hearken to the still voice of thy word, and to obey thy commandments: But now we see how terrible thou art in all thy works of wonder; the great God to be feared above all: And therefore we adore thy Divine Majesty, acknowledging thy power, and imploring thy goodness. Help, Lord, and save us for thy mercy's sake in Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

Or this:

most glorious and gracious Lord God, who dwellest in heaven, but beholdest all things below: Look down, we beseech thee, and hear us, calling out of the depth of misery, and out of the jaws of this death, which is ready now to swallow us up: Save, Lord, or else we perish. The living, the living shall praise thee. O send thy word of command to rebuke the raging winds, and the roaring sea; that we, being delivered from this distress, may live to serve thee, and to glorify thy Name all the days of our life. Hear, Lord, and save us, for the infinite merits of our blessed Saviour, thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Prayer to be said before a Fight at Sea against any Enemy.

most powerful and glorious Lord God, the Lord of hosts, that rulest and commandest all things: Thou sittest in the throne judging right, and therefore we make our address to thy Divine Majesty in this our necessity, that thou wouldest take the cause into thine own hand, and judge between us and our enemies. Stir up thy strength, O Lord, and come and help us; for thou givest not alway the battle to the strong, but canst save by many or by few. O let not our sins now cry against us for vengeance; but hear us thy poor servants begging mercy, and imploring thy help, and that thou wouldest be a defence unto us against the face of the enemy. Make it appear that thou art our Saviour and mighty Deliverer; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

General Prayers.

Short Prayers for single persons that cannot meet to join in Prayer with others, by reason of the Fight, or Storm.

Lord, be merciful to us sinners, and save us for  thy mercy's sake.

Thou art the great God, that hast made and rulest all things: O deliver us for thy Name's sake.

Thou art the great God to be feared above all: O save us, that we may praise thee.

Special Prayers with respect to the Enemy.

Thou O Lord, art just and powerful: O defend our cause against the face of the enemy.

O God, thou art a strong tower of defence to all that flee unto thee: O save us from the violence of the enemy.

O Lord of hosts, fight for us, that we may glorify thee.

O suffer us not to sink under the weight of our sins, or the violence of the enemy.

O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thy Name's sake.

Short Prayers in respect of a Storm.

Thou, O Lord, that stillest the raging of the sea: hear, hear us, and save us, that we perish not.

O blessed Saviour, that didst save thy disciples ready to perish in a storm: hear us, and save us, we beseech thee.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

O Lord, hear us.

O Christ, hear us.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, have mercy upon us, save us now and evermore. Amen.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

When there shall be imminent danger, as many as can be spared from necessary service in the Ship shall be called together, and make an humble Confession of their sin to God: In which every one ought seriously to reflect upon those particular sins of which his conscience shall accuse him: saying as followeth.

The Confession

ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus  Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men: We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we from time to time most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall the Priest, if there be any in the Ship, pronounce this Absolution.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them that with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him; Have mercy upon you; pardon and deliver you from all your sins; confirm and strengthen you in all goodness; and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thanksgiving after a Storm.

Jubilate Deo. Psalm 66

be joyful in God, all ye lands : sing praises unto the honour of his Name, make his praise to be glorious.

Say unto God, O how wonderful art thou in thy works : through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies be found liars unto thee.

For all the world shall worship thee : sing of thee, and praise thy Name.

O come hither, and behold the works of God : how wonderful he is in his doing toward the children of men.

He turned the sea into dry land : so that they went through the water on foot; there did we rejoice thereof.

He ruleth with his power for ever; his eyes behold the people : and such as will not believe shall not be able to exalt themselves.

O praise our God, ye people : and make the voice of his praise to be heard;

Who holdeth our soul in life: and suffereth not our feet to slip.

For thou, O God, hast proved us : thou also hast tried us, like as silver is tried.

Thou broughtest us into the snare : and laidest trouble upon our loins.

Thou sufferedst men to ride over our heads : we went through fire and water, and thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

I will go into thine house with burnt-offerings: and will pay thee my vows, which I promised with my lips, and spake with my mouth, when I was in trouble.

I will offer unto thee fat burnt-sacrifices, with the incense of rams : I will offer bullocks and goats.

O come hither, and hearken, all ye that fear God: and I will tell you what he hath done for my soul.

I called unto him with my mouth : and gave him praises with my tongue.

If I incline unto wickedness with mine heart : the Lord will not hear me.

But God hath heard me : and considered the voice of my prayer.

Praised be God, who hath not cast out my prayer : nor turned his mercy from me.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Confitemini Domino. Psalm 107

give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious : and his mercy endureth for ever.

Let them give thanks whom the Lord hath redeemed : and delivered from the hand of the enemy;

And gathered them out of the lands, from the east and from the west : from the north and from the south.

They went astray in the wilderness out of the way : and found no city to dwell in;

Hungry and thirsty : their soul fainted in them.

So they cried unto the Lord in their trouble : and he delivered them from their distress.

He led them forth by the right way : that they might go to the city where they dwelt.

O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness : and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men!

For he satisfieth the empty soul : and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

Such as sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death : being fast bound in misery and iron;

Because they rebelled against the words of the Lord : and lightly regarded the counsel of the most Highest;

He also brought down their heart through heaviness : they fell down, and there was none to help them up.

So when they cried unto the Lord in their trouble: he delivered them out of their distress.

For he brought them out of darkness, and out of the shadow of death : and brake their bonds in sunder.

O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness : and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men! For he hath broken the gates of brass: and smitten the bars of iron in sunder.

Foolish men are plagued for their offence : and because of their wickedness.

Their soul abhorred all manner of meat : and they were even hard at death's door.

So when they cried unto the Lord in their trouble: he delivered them out of their distress.

He sent his word, and healed them : and they were saved from their destruction.

O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness : and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men!

That they would offer unto him the sacrifice of thanksgiving : and tell out his works with gladness!

They that go down to the sea in ships : and occupy their business in great waters;

These men see the works of the Lord : and his wonders in the deep.

For at his word the stormy wind ariseth : which lifteth up the waves thereof.

They are carried up to the heaven, and down again to the deep : their soul melteth away because of the trouble.

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man : and are at their wits' end.

So when they cry unto the Lord in their trouble: he delivereth them out of their distress.

For he maketh the storm to cease : so that the waves thereof are still.

Then are they glad, because they are at rest: and so he bringeth them unto the haven where they would be.

O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness : and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men!

That they would exalt him also in the congregation of the people : and praise him in the seat of the elders!

Who turneth the floods into a wilderness : and drieth up the water-springs.

A fruitful land maketh he barren : for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.

Again, he maketh the wilderness a standing water : and water-springs of a dry ground.

And there he setteth the hungry : that they may build them a city to dwell in;

That they may sow their land, and plant vineyards : to yield them fruits of increase.

He blesseth them, so that they multiply exceedingly : and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.

And again, when they are minished and brought low : through oppression, through any plague or trouble;

Though he suffer them to be evil intreated through tyrants : and let them wander out of the way in the wilderness;

Yet helpeth he the poor out of misery : and maketh him households like a flock of sheep.

The righteous will consider this, and rejoice: and the mouth of all wickedness shall be stopped.

Whoso is wise will ponder these things : and they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

Collects of Thanksgiving.

most blessed and glorious Lord God, who art of infinite goodness and mercy: We thy poor creatures, whom thou hast made and preserved, holding our souls in life, and now rescuing us out of the jaws of death, humbly present ourselves again before thy Divine Majesty, to offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, for that thou heardest us when we called in our trouble, and didst not cast out our prayer, which we made before thee in our great distress: Even when we gave all for lost, our ship, our goods, our lives, then didst thou mercifully look upon us, and wonderfully command a deliverance; for which we, now being in safety, do give all praise and glory to thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Or this:

most mighty and gracious good God, thy mercy is over all thy works, but in special manner hath been extended toward us, whom thou hast so powerfully and wonderfully defended. Thou hast shewed us terrible things, and wonders in the deep, that we might see how powerful and gracious a God thou art; how able and ready to help them that trust in thee. Thou hast shewed us how both winds and seas obey thy command; that we may learn, even from them, hereafter to obey thy voice, and to do thy will. We therefore bless and glorify thy Name, for this thy mercy in saving us, when we were ready to perish. And, we beseech thee, make us as truly sensible now of thy mercy, as we were then of the danger: and give us hearts always ready to express our thankfulness, not only by words, but also by our lives, in being more obedient to thy holy commandments. Continue, we beseech thee, this thy goodness to us; that we, whom thou hast saved, may serve thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

A Hymn of Praise and Thanksgiving after a dangerous Tempest.

O come, let us give thanks unto the Lord, for he is gracious : and his mercy endureth for ever.

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; let the redeemed of the Lord say so : whom he hath delivered from the merciless rage of the sea.

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion: slow to anger, and of great mercy.

He hath not dealt with us according to our sins: neither rewarded us according to our iniquities.

But as the heaven is high above the earth : so great hath been his mercy towards us.

We found trouble and heaviness : we were even at death's door.

The waters of the sea had well-nigh covered us: the proud waters had well-nigh gone over our soul.

The sea roared : and the stormy wind lifted up the waves thereof.

We were carried up as it were to heaven, and then down again into the deep : our soul melted within us, because of trouble;

Then cried we unto thee, O Lord : and thou didst deliver us out of our distress.

Blessed be thy Name, who didst not despise the prayer of thy servants : but didst hear our cry, and hast saved us.

Thou didst send forth thy commandment : and the windy storm ceased, and was turned into a calm.

O let us therefore praise the Lord for his goodness: and declare the wonders that he hath done, and still doeth, for the children of men.

Praised be the Lord daily : even the Lord that helpeth us, and poureth his benefits upon us.

He is our God, even the God of whom cometh salvation : God is the Lord by whom we have escaped death.

Thou, Lord, hast made us glad through the operation of thy hands : and we will triumph in thy praise.

Blessed be the Lord God : even the Lord God, who only doeth wondrous things;

And blessed be the Name of his majesty for ever : and let every one of us say, Amen, Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

2 Corinthians 13.
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.

After Victory or Deliverance from an Enemy.

A Psalm or Hymn of Praise and Thanksgiving after Victory.

If the Lord had not been on our side, now may we say : if the Lord himself had not been on our side, when men rose up against us;

They had swallowed us up quick : when they were so wrathfully displeased at us.

Yea, the waters had drowned us, and the stream had gone over our soul : the deep waters of the proud had gone over our soul.

But praised be the Lord : who hath not given us over as a prey unto them.

The Lord hath wrought : a mighty salvation for us.

We gat not this by our own sword, neither was it our own arm that saved us : but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto us.

The Lord hath appeared for us : the Lord hath covered our heads, and made us to stand in the day of battle.

The Lord hath appeared for us : the Lord hath overthrown our enemies, and dashed in pieces those that rose up against us.

Therefore not unto us, O Lord, not unto us : but unto thy Name be given the glory.

The Lord hath done great things for us : the Lord hath done great things for us, for which we rejoice.

Our help standeth in the Name of the Lord : who hath made heaven and earth.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord : from this time forth for evermore.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen.

After this Hymn may be sung the TE DEUM.

Then this Collect.

Almighty God, the Sovereign Commander of all the world, in whose hand is power and might which none is able to withstand: We bless and magnify thy great and glorious Name for this happy Victory, the whole glory whereof we do ascribe to thee, who art the only giver of Victory. And, we beseech thee, give us grace to improve this great mercy to thy glory, the advancement of thy Gospel, the honour of our Sovereign, and, as much as in us lieth, to the good of all mankind. And, we beseech thee, give us such a sense of this great mercy, as may engage us to a true thankfulness, such as may appear in our lives by an humble, holy, and obedient walking before thee all our days, through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit, as for all thy mercies, so in particular for this Victory and Deliverance, be all glory and honour, world without end. Amen.

2 Corinthians 13.
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.

At the Burial of their Dead at Sea

The Office in the Common-Prayer-Book may be used: only instead of these words [We therefore commit his body to the ground, earth to earth, &c.] say,

We therefore commit his body to the deep, to be turned into corruption, looking for the resurrection of the body, (when the Sea shall give up her dead,) and the life of the world to come, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who at his coming shall change our vile body, that it may be like his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.

Text from The Book of Common Prayer, the rights in which are vested in the Crown,
is reproduced by permission of the Crown's Patentee, Cambridge University Press.