Who Reads Prayers?
A senior bishop (Lord Spiritual) who sits in the Lords reads the
prayers at the beginning of each sitting. The Lords Spiritual
arrange amongst themselves for one of their number to
be a 'duty bishop' each week whilst the House is sitting.
Although the duty bishop is normally not the only Lord
Spiritual present in the House during the week, it
is his primary responsibility to read prayers. He
usually also participates in the other business of the House during
his time on duty.
Custom and practice
During prayers the doors and galleries of the House are closed
and visitors are excluded. Peers stand for prayers facing the wall
behind them. It is thought this practice developed due to the
difficulty Members would historically have faced of kneeling to
pray while wearing a sword.
Prayers for Parliament (House of Lords)
[Material reproduced from the House of Lords Companion to
Standing Orders, 2010]
One of the following Psalms are read:
1, 15, 24, 34 (vv. 1-8), 46, 66 (vv. 1-14, 18), 67, 93, 95 (vv.
1-7), 100, 111, 112 (vv. 1-6), 119 (vv. 33-40), 121, 145 (vv. 1-6
Usually then followed by one of the following prayers:
The Lord be with you.
And with thy Spirit.
Let us pray.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
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.
O Lord our heavenly Father, high and mighty, King of kings, Lord
of lords, the only Ruler of princes, who dost from thy throne
behold all the dwellers upon earth; most heartily we beseech thee
with thy favour to behold our most Gracious Sovereign Lady Queen
Elizabeth; and so replenish her with the grace of thy Holy Spirit,
that she may always incline to thy will, and walk in thy way: Endue
her plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant her in health and wealth
long to live; strengthen her that she may vanquish and overcome all
her enemies; and finally after this life she may attain everlasting
joy and felicity, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, the Fountain of all Goodness, We humbly beseech
thee to bless Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Charles Prince of Wales and
all the Royal Family: Endue them with thy Holy Spirit; enrich them
with thy Heavenly Grace; prosper them with all happiness; and bring
them to thine everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty God, by whom alone Kings reign, and Princes decree
justice; and from whom alone cometh all counsel, wisdom, and
understanding; we thine unworthy servants, here gathered together
in thy Name, do most humbly beseech thee to send down thy Heavenly
Wisdom from above, to direct and guide us in all our consultations;
and grant that, we having thy fear always before our eyes, and
laying aside all private interests, prejudices, and partial
affections, the result of all our counsels may be to the glory of
thy blessed Name, the maintenance of true Religion and Justice, the
safety, honour, and happiness of the Queen, the publick wealth,
peace and tranquillity of the Realm, and the uniting and knitting
together of the hearts of all persons and estates within the same,
in true Christian Love and Charity one towards another, through
Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
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.
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the
fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore.