Ancient Egyptian Prayers and Ritual Worship

Egyptian religion was very complex with many books of worship but the most well known is the Spells of Coming(or going) Also known as The Book of the Dead he Book of the Dead was the product of a long process of evolution starting with the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom through the Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom. About one-third of the chapters in The Book of the Dead are derived from the earlier Coffin Texts. There is no single papyrus of the complete text but there are separate that were later put together there are 192 known books within the book of the dead. the Book of the Dead was thought to be an ancient Egyptian Bible. one of the most famous images from the book of the dead is the deity Anubis weighing the heart of a fallen pharoah against the feather of truth to determine where he is to reside for eternity in the afterlife. (D. Anthony)

Prayer to Isis: Prayer of Awakening

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Nehes, nehes, nehes,                        Awake, awake, awake,
Nehes em hotep,
                             Awake in peace,
Nehes em neferu
                             Lady of Peace.
Nebet hotepet
                                Rise thou in peace,
Weben em hotep,
                            Rise thou in beauty.     
Weben em nefuru,
                           Goddess of Life,
Nutjert en Ankh,
                              Beautiful in heaven,  
Nefer em pet!
                                 Heaven is in peace.
Pet em hotep
                                  Earth is in peace.
Tu em hotep.
                                  O Goddess,
Nutjert sat Nut
                        Daughter of Nut,
Sat Get,
                                         Daughter of Geb,
Merit Ausar;
                                    Beloved of Osiris,
Nutjert asha renu!
                            Goddess rich in names!
Anekh brak.
                                     All praise to You.
Anekh brak.
                                     All praise to You.
Tu a atu. Tu a atu. Nebet Aset!
     I adore You. I adore You. Lady Isis!


Love is one thing, knowledge is another.
For every joy, there is a price to be paid.
The only thing that is humiliating is helplessness.
If his heart rules him, his conscience will soon take the place of the rod.
Exuberance is a good stimulus towards action, but the inner light grows in silence and concentration.
To know means to record in one's memory; but to understand means to blend with the thing and to assimilate it oneself.
The man who knows hwo to lead one of his brothers towards what he has known may one day be saved by that very brother.
True teaching is not an accumulation of knowledge; it is an awakening of consciousness which goes through successive stages.
(M Khoury)

They worshiped many gods at temples. People would give offerings to those gods. Pharaoh were considered living gods.
There were specific animals that were sacred.The Egyptians thought by honoring them, they would be pleasing the gods.
Cats-The male cat had religious connections with Ra. Kittens were specifically reared for sacrificial/worship uses.They were also honored for their hunting.
  Cattle- Beef was often used as a sacrificial offering to various deities. 
    Bull- They represented power, aggression, fertility; these could be attributes of kingship.
See full size image    Scarab beetle-The emblem of a specific goddess, the scarab beetle was associated with the daily birth of he sun, and credited with many generation of its young.See full size image

-it was considered a protector of royal tombs from robbers and helped in the afterlife journey.
See full size image    Hawk- A hawk, who soars high above the world f humans, seeming to expend no energy in his long    hours aloft.
See full size image
*The book of Dead was a guide for the afterlife
*The Amduat, books of gates and caverns were books of netherworld
*The High Priest performed rituals at the temples

                    "The Great Hymn to the Aten"
How manifold it is, what thou hast made!
They are hidden from the face (of man).
O sole god, like whom there is no other!
Thou didst create the world according to thy desire,
Whilst thou wert alone: All men, cattle, and wild beasts,
Whatever is on earth, going upon (its) feet,
And what is on high, flying with its wings.
The countries of Syria and Nubia, the land of Egypt,
Thou settest every man in his place,
Thou suppliest their necessities:
Everyone has his food, and his time of life is reckoned.
Their tongues are separate in speech,
And their natures as well;
Their skins are distinguished,
As thou distinguishest the foreign peoples.
Thou makest a Nile in the underworld,
Thou bringest forth as thou desirest
To maintain the people (of Egypt)
According as thou madest them for thyself,
The lord of all of them, wearying (himself) with them,
The lord of every land, rising for them,
The Aton of the day, great of majesty.
               (Reported by Kennedy Mesfun)

Invocation of Isis

I, Isis, am all that hath been that is or shall be,
I, who made light from my feathers, The wind from my wings,
No mortal man ever hath me unveiled! - Until now.

In this piece of text, the goddess Isis is described as the creator. She is believed to have created everything on Earth such as light and wind. As the creator, her face has never been seen my mortal men. 

Prayer to Osiris

Exalted art thou on thy throne,

O Osiris! Thou hast heard fair things,

O Osiris! Thy strength is vigorous,

O Osiris! Thy head is fastened on thy body,

O Osiris! Thy neck is made firm,

O Osiris! Thy heart is glad,

O Osiris! Thy speech is made effective,

O Osiris! Thy princess rejoice

Thou art established the Bull in Amentet.

Thy son Horus hath ascended

thy throne, and all life is with him.

Millions of years minister unto him,

and millions of years hold him in fear.

The company of the Gods are his servants,

and they hold him in fear.

The god Tem, the Governor,

the only One among the gods,

hath spoken, and his word passeth not away.

In this prayer, Osiris, the god of the underworld, is praised for his greatness and his physical and spiritual characteristics. This prayer was meant especially for the worship of Osiris during spiritual celebrations such as rituals. 

Prayer: Creed

We grow from the Earth 

And we share Her fruits. 

We fly with bright wings 

And we reach the stars. 

We are Immortal with all that is. 

Evoe Isis!

In this passage, the ancient Egyptians worship Isis in this creed. They proclaim that they are the followers and disciples of Isis as they recite this prayer, while offering worship to her.

Prayer: Thanksgiving

Holy Isis, Holy Osiris; 

We give you thanks 

that your Love, Beauty and Truth

Are manifest with Power and Peace 

throughout all spheres, 

within all beings, 

and we accept your Blessing now, 

in Mind and Heart.

This prayer is one of thanksgiving and perhaps of blessing. Again we see that Osiris and Isis were important to the ancient Egyptians during spiritual prayer and ritual.  (E Sanchez)

The prayer to the Goddess Nut found on the lids of New Kingdom coffins: "O my mother Nut, spread yourself over me, so that I may be placed among the imperishable stars and may never die." Through this prayer, placed on most 18th dynasty coffins, was to the goddess nut to reassure their place in the afterlife forever. Many pharaohs feared being forgotten after they died. This prayer was at the entrence of Hayshepsut’s tomb “that her name might remain enduring in this temple forever and ever” She feared that she would be forgotten by the people soon after she died. In result, they would steal her stuff or take down her tomb completely. The natural ingredients used for medicine were only as useful as the words spoken along with them. Most of the priest healing powers were all in the prayer they would say while they put the natural ingredients on them. The entirety of the priest job was in order to satisfy the patient was to recite the prayer perfectly and put on the ointment smoothly not actually do something that could heal them. "Now the gods and goddesses of the land are rejoicing in their hearts...the provinces all rejoice and celebrate throughout this whole land because good has come back into existence.” Through Tutankhamen’s resurrection of polytheism, he was worshiped and praised for restoring the only ways of Egypt . He was said to have please and been liked by all the gods and goddess for worshiping them again. (J Lazarus)

(Attachment by Z. Cutrer)

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Mar 12, 2010, 9:51 AM