Forms of Prayer to be Used at Sea




SEEK ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isaiah 55. 6, 7.

Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God.

A general Confession to be said by all, kneeling.

ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, We have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep, We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, We have offended against thy holy laws, We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults. Restore thou them that are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

Then shall follow this Prayer for Pardon.

O LORD, we beseech thee, mercifully hear our prayers, and spare all those who confess their sins unto thee; that they, whose consciences by sin are accused, by thy merciful pardon may be absolved; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Or this Absolution (to be said by the Priest alone).

MAY the Almighty and merciful Lord grant unto you pardon and remission of all your sins, time for amendment of life, and the grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

OUR Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on 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.

Then shall follow one or more of the following Psalms:


THE LORD is my shepherd; / therefore can I lack nothing.
He shall feed me in a green pasture, / and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort.
He shall restore my soul, / and bring me forth In the paths of righteousness, for his Name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; / for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.
THOU shalt prepare a table before me in the presence of them that trouble me; / thou hast anointed my head with oil, and my cup shall be full.
Surely thy loving-kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; / and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

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.

PSALM 107. 23-31.

THEY that go down to the sea in ships, / and occupy their business on the 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 they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, / and he delivereth them from 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!

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.

PSALM 139. 1-11.

O LORD, thou hast searched me out and known me: / thou knowest my down-sitting and mine up-rising; thou understandest my thoughts from afar.
Thou art about my path and about my bed, / and art acquainted with all my ways.
For lo, there is not a word in my tongue, / but thou, O LORD, knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, / and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for me: / I cannot attain unto it.
WHITHER shall I go then from thy spirit? / or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I climb up into heaven, thou art there: if I go down to hell, thou art there also.
If I take the wings of the morning, / and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there also shall thy hand lead me, / and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, / and the light about me become night’,
Yet even the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as the day: / the darkness and light to thee are both alike.

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.

During a storm Psalm 130 or Psalm 66 may be used.

Then shall be read a Lesson from holy Scripture, after which a Canticle may be used.

Then shall be said the Apostles’ Creed, all standing.

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body, And the Life everlasting. Amen.

Let us pray.

Then shall follow the Collect of the day.

After which shall be said this Collect for Peace.

O GOD, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed: Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee we being defended from the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

Prayer for those who travel.

O GOD our heavenly Father, who art present in thy power in every place: Preserve, we beseech thee, all who travel by sea or land or air; especially those who sail in this ship; surround them with thy loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Home and Loved Ones.

O GOD, who art present in every place: Look down with thy mercy upon those whom we love, now absent from us; give thine angels charge over them, and defend them from all dangers of body and soul; bring us together again, if it be thy holy will; grant that both they and we, drawing nearer to thee, may draw nearer to one another, and in the end, united in thy presence, may evermore rejoice together in our heavenly home; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A General Thanksgiving, to be said by all.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, We thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks For all thy goodness and loving-kindness To us and to all men. We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; But above all for thine inestimable love In the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; For the means of grace, And for the hope of glory. And we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, That our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, And that we show forth thy praise, Not only with our lips, but in our lives; By giving up ourselves to thy service, And by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; Through Jesus Christ our Lord To whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

O LORD, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, Lord, in thy mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last; 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. Amen.


The Prayer used in Her Majesty’s Canadian Navy.

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 Lord, King CHARLES, and his Dominions, and a security for such as pass on the seas upon their lawful occasions; that the inhabitants of our Commonwealth and Empire 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.

A Prayer for Stedfastness.

O LORD God, when thou givest thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning but the continuing of the same until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true glory; through him that for the finishing of thy work laid down his life, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.


THOU, O Lord, that stillest the raging of the sea: 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.

O Lord, hear us.
O Christ, hear us.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

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


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.

Thanksgiving for deliverance from a storm or from the enemy.

O GRACIOUS God and heavenly Father, we bless and glorify thy holy Name, for thy merciful deliverance from the recent peril [of the sea or of the enemy]; and we humbly beseech thee to give us grace so to rejoice in thy saving power, that we may serve thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the burial of the dead at sea, the Committal found on page 602 shall be used.