St. Patrick’s Evensong

May your holy angels, O Christ, Son of living God,
Guard our sleep, our rest, our shining bed.

Let them reveal true visions to us in our sleep,
O High Prince of the universe, O great King of the mysteries!

May no demons, no ill, no calamity or terrifying dreams
Disturb our rest, our willing, prompt repose.

May our watch be holy, our work, our task,
Our sleep, our rest without stop, without break.

Source: St. Patrick’s Evensong, translated as prose by Kuno Meyer in Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry, New York, 1911.

Jesus, Son of God most high,
May your holy angels keep
Watch around us as we lie
In our shining beds asleep.

Time’s hid veil with truth to pierce
Let them teach our dreaming eyes,
High King of the Universe,
High Priest of the Mysteries.

May no demon of the air,
May no malice of our foes,
Evil dream or haunting care
Mar our willing, prompt repose!

May our vigils hallowed be
By the tasks we undertake!
May our sleep be fresh and free,
Without stop and without break.

St. Patrick’s Evensong, translated as poetry, from A Celtic PsalteryNew York, 1917.

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For National Peace

O Lord,
be gracious to us in our times.
In your goodness,
maintain both national quietness and Christian devotion;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Leonine Sacramentary, fifth century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

Instruct Us with Your Divine Wisdom

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O God, you are near to all
who call upon you in truth.
You yourself are the Truth,
and to know you is to have perfect knowledge.
Instruct us with your divine wisdom,
and teach us your law
that we may know the truth and walk in it;
through him in whom you have revealed your truth,
Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.

Source: From Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Daily Prayer edited by Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs.

In traditional English:

O God, who art nigh to all them
that call upon thee in truth;
who art thyself the Truth,
whom to know is perfect knowledge:
Instruct us with thy divine wisdom,
and teach us thy law;
that we may know the truth and walk in it;
through him in whom the truth was made manifest,
even Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord.

Purify Our Souls and Bodies

O God,
in your deep counsel
and foresight for humanity,
you sent your Son to heal the hearts of the weak[1]
and purify our souls and bodies.
You are the Savior of body and soul.
You are the loving bestower of eternal happiness!
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gelasian Sacramentary, fifth century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953, also in The New Ancient Collects, #100.

[1] “sent your Son…” Original translation: “…hast appointed holy fasts, whereby the hearts of the weak might receive salutary healing…”

For Light

O Lord,
incline your merciful ears to our prayers
and enlighten the darkness of our hearts
by the light of your visitation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gelasian Sacramentary, fifth century, Advent 3.

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953, also in The New Ancient Collects, #48.

Intercession

Almighty God,
hear our prayers for all who sin against you,
or neglect to serve you,
all who forget you,
all who leave you out of their lives.
O Lord, have mercy on them.
Lead us all to true repentance
and an earnest longing for you.
Strengthen and confirm all your faithful people,
and lift up the light of your face on them,
always renewing in them heavenly desires;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: An Ancient Collect, fifth century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

For Refreshment

Almighty God,
hear our prayers
and pour on us your loving tenderness,
that we who are afflicted by our sins
may be refreshed by the advent of our Savior;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gelasian Sacramentary

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953. Also in The New Ancient Collects, #45.