The word Apodeipnon signifies “after supper” in the Greek , and denotes the monastic office of night prayer corresponding in some senses to western Compline, although in the Orthodox daily offices there is also a later service of the late night called Mesonyktikon (lit. “the middle of the night”). Great Apodeipnon is prescribed for services in the Lent period, but a smaller service is in daily use. After the Trisagion prayers, Apodeipnon is composed of Psalms 50, 69, and 142, the doxology and Creed. A Canon may be inserted at that point, and this is usually the time when Orthodox recite the Canon of Preparation for Communion before receiving the divine mysteries on the next day.
The service concludes with an alternating series of very fine prayers to Christ and the Blessed Virgin, with a prayer to the angels and a final litany of intercession.
(John A.McGuckin, The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity)
(If there are no priests present)
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Glory to you, our God, glory to you.
Heavenly King, Paraclete, Spirit of Truth, present everywhere, filling all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of life, come and dwell in us, cleanse us from every stain, and, O Good One, save our souls.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (x3)
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, forgive our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for your name’s sake.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and for ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Our Father in heaven, may your name be hallowed, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Lord, have mercy (x12). Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and for ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Come, let us worship and fall down before the King, our God.
Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, the King, our God.
Come, let us worship and fall down before Christ himself, the King, our God.
Then the Psalms:
Have mercy on me, O God, in accordance with your great mercy. According to the multitude of your compassion blot out my offence. Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my wickedness, and my sin is ever before me. Against you alone I have sinned and done what is evil in your sight, that you may be justified in your words and win when you are judged. For see, in wickedness I was conceived and in sin my mother bore me. For see, you have loved truth; you have shown me the hidden and secret things of your wisdom. You will sprinkle me with hyssop and I shall be cleansed. You will wash me and I shall be made whiter than snow. You will make me hear of joy and gladness; the bones which have been humbled will rejoice. Turn away your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a right Spirit within me. Do not cast me out from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Give me back the joy of your salvation, and establish me with your sovereign Spirit. I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn to you again. O God, the God of my salvation, deliver me from bloodshed and my tongue will rejoice at your justice. Lord, you will open my lips, and my mouth will proclaim your praise. For if you had wanted a sacrifice, I would have given it. You will not take pleasure in burnt offerings. A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a humbled heart God will not despise. Do good to Sion, Lord, in your good pleasure; and let the walls of Jerusalem be rebuilt. Then you will be well pleased with a sacrifice of righteousness, oblation and whole burnt offerings. Then they will offer calves upon your altar.
O God, come to my help; Lord, hasten to help me. Let those who seek my soul be shamed and confounded. Let those who wish me evil be turned back and put to shame. Let those who say to me, ‘Good, good!’ be turned back immediately, ashamed. Let all who seek you, O God, be glad and rejoice in you. Let all who love your salvation ever say: ‘The Lord be magnified.’ But I am poor and needy; help me, O God. You are my helper and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay.
Lord, hear my prayer: in your truth give ear to my supplication, and in your righteousness hear me. Do not enter into judgement with your servant: for in your sight no one living can be justified. For the enemy pursued my soul, humbled my life to the ground. Made me dwell in darkness, like those for ever dead. My spirit grew despondent within me and my heart within me was troubled. I remembered days of old, I meditated on all your works: I made the works of your hands my meditation. I stretched out my hands towards you: my soul thirsted for you like a waterless land. Hear me swiftly, O Lord, my spirit has failed. Do not turn your face from me, or I shall be like those who go down to the Pit. Make me hear of your mercy in the morning, for I have hoped in you. Make known to me the way in which I should walk, for to you I have lifted up my soul. Deliver me from my enemies, Lord: I have run to you for shelter. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Your good Spirit will guide me in an upright land. For your name’s sake, O Lord, you will give me life. In your justice, you will bring my soul out of trouble, in your mercy slay my enemies, and destroy all those that afflict my soul, for I am your servant.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among men. We praise you, we bless you, we worship you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory. Lord, King, God of heaven, Father almighty: Lord, only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit. Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world. Receive our prayer, you who sit on the right hand of the Father, and have mercy on us. For you alone are holy, you alone are Lord, Jesus Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Every evening I will bless you, and praise your name for ever and to the ages of ages. Lord, you have been our refuge from generation to generation. I said, Lord, have mercy on me, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you. Lord, I have run to you for refuge; teach me to do your will for you are my God. For with you is the source of life, and in your light we shall see light. Continue your mercy towards those who know you.
Grant, Lord, this night to keep us without sin. Blessed are you, Lord, the God of our fathers, and praised and glorified is your name for evermore. Amen. May your mercy, Lord, be upon us, as we have trusted in you. Blessed are you, Lord, teach me your statutes. Blessed are you, Master, make me understand your statutes. Blessed are you, Holy One, enlighten me with your statutes. Lord, your mercy is for ever: Do not scorn the work of your hands. To you praise is due, to you song is due, to you glory is due, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
I believe in one God, Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages. Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made; for our sake and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man; he was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; he rose again on the third day, in accordance with the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father; he is coming again in glory to judge the living and the dead; and his kingdom will have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father, who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and together glorified; who spoke through the Prophets. In one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church; I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I await the resurrection of the dead and the life of the age to come. Amen.
It is truly right to call you blessed, who gave birth to God, ever-blessed and most pure and the Mother of our God. Greater in honour than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption you gave birth to God the Word; truly the Mother of God, we magnify you.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us (x3).
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for your name’s sake. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen
Our Father, in heaven, may your name be hallowed; your kingdom come; your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
The following Troparia:
God of our fathers, who always deal with us in your forbearance, do not withdraw your pity from us, but at their intercessions guide our life in peace.
Your Church, clothed throughout the world as in purple and fine linen with the blood of your Martyrs, cries out to you through them: Christ, our God, send down your mercy on your people; give peace to your city and to our souls your great mercy.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
With the Saints, O Christ, give rest to the souls of your servants, where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life without end.
Both now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Through the intercession of all the Saints and of the Mother of God, give us your peace, Lord, and have mercy on us, for you alone are merciful.
Lord, have mercy (x40).
At every time and at every hour, in heaven and on earth worshipped and glorified, Christ God, long-suffering, great in mercy, great in compassion, loving the just and merciful to sinners, calling all to salvation by the promise of the blessings to come; do you, Lord, yourself accept our entreaties at this hour, and direct our lives to your commandments. Sanctify our souls, purify our bodies, correct our thoughts, cleanse our ideas and deliver us from every distress, evil, and pain. Wall us about with your holy Angels, that, protected and guided by their host, we may reach the unity of the faith and the knowledge of your unapproachable glory; for you are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen.
Lord, have mercy (x3). Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Both now and for ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Greater in honour than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption you gave birth to God the Word; truly the Mother of God, we magnify you.
Then: Lord, have mercy (x12). And save and help us, All-holy Virgin.
Prayer to The Most Holy Mother of God
by Paul, monk of the Monastery of Evergetis.
Spotless, undefiled, incorrupt, immaculate, pure Virgin, Bride of God and Lady, who by your marvellous conceiving united God the Word with mankind and joined our rejected human nature to the heavenly realm; the only hope of the hopeless, help of the attacked, ready assistance of those who flee to you, and refuge of all Christians; do not turn in loathing from me, an accursed sinner, who have made myself utterly worthless through shameful thoughts and words and deeds, and through the sloth of the pleasures of life have become a slave to my own will. But as Mother of the God who loves mankind have compassion on me, a sinner and a prodigal, in your love for mankind, and accept the prayer I offer you from polluted lips. And using your Mother’s boldness, implore your Son, our Master and Lord, that He open to me also the compassionate heart of his goodness, and disregarding my countless offences turn me back to repentance, and make me a tried worker of his commandments. And, as you are full of mercy, compassion and loving-kindness, be ever near me: in this present life a fervent helper and protector, shielding me from the enemy’s assaults and guiding me to salvation, and at the moment of my departure watching over my wretched soul and driving far from her the dark forms of evil demons; but on the dread day of judgement, delivering me from eternal punishment and making me heir to the ineffable glory of your Son and our God. All this may I obtain, my Lady, most holy Mother of God, through your mediation and assistance; through the grace and love for mankind of your only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. To whom are due all glory, honour and worship, with his Father who is without beginning and his all-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer to Our Lord Jesus Christ
by the monk Antiochos.
And grant us, Master, as we go to our sleep, rest of body and soul; and guard us from the gloomy sleep of sin and from every dark pleasure of the night. Calm the assaults of the passions, quench the fiery arrows of the evil one that are cunningly aimed at us; put down the rebellions of our flesh and still our every earthly and material thought. And grant us, O God, a watchful mind, chaste thought, a wakeful heart, sleep that is light and free from every satanic fantasy. Rouse us at the time for prayer strengthened in your commandments, and holding firmly within us the memory of your judgements. Grant that we may sing your glory all night long, and so hymn, bless and glorify your all honoured and majestic name, of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Most glorious, ever-virgin, blessed Mother of God, offer our prayer to your Son and our God, and ask that through you he may save our souls.
The Father is my hope, the Son my refuge, the Holy Spirit my protection. Holy Trinity, glory to you.
All my hope I place in you, Mother of God, guard me under your protection.
Prayer to the Guardian Angel
Holy Angel, overseer of my wretched soul and miserable life, do not abandon me a sinner, do not desert me because of my inconstancy; leave no place for the evil demon to obtain dominion over me by gaining control of this mortal body; strengthen my wretched and feeble hand, and guide me into the way of salvation. Yes, Holy Angel of God, guardian and protector of my wretched soul and body, pardon me all the things by which I have distressed you all the days of my life, and whatever sins I have committed to-day; shelter me in the coming night and protect me from every abuse of the adversary, that I may not anger my God by any sin; and intercede for me to the Lord, to strengthen me in his fear, and show me to be a worthy servant of his goodness. Amen.
To you my Champion and Commander I your city, saved from disasters, dedicate, O Mother of God, hymns of victory and thanksgiving; but as you have unassailable might, from every kind of danger now deliver me, that I may cry to you: Hail, Bride without bridegroom!
Most Holy Mother of God, save us.
Virgin, Mother of God, Hail, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, for you have given birth to the Saviour of our souls.
Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us. Amen.
(translation by Archimadrite Ephrem Lash)