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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You Bestow the Gift of Rest

O God,
by making the evening to succeed the day,
you bestowed the gift of rest
on human weakness.
Grant that while we enjoy
these continuing gifts of your goodness,
we may trust and thank you
from whom they come;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Mozarabic, 8th century, in Daily Prayer.

Daily Prayer’s version in traditional English:

O God, who by making the evening to succeed the day, hast bestowed the gift of repose on human weakness: Grant we beseech thee that while we enjoy these continuing gifts of thy goodness, we may trust and thank him from whom they come; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

An Evening Thanksgiving

Accept our evening thanksgiving,
Fountain of every blessing,
for you have led us in safety through the length of the day.
You daily bless us with so many temporal mercies,
and have given us the hope of resurrection to eternal life;
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

An Evening Prayer

“O children, praise the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord.”
We praise you, we sing hymns to you,
we bless you, we glorify you,
O Lord and heavenly King,
almighty God and Father.
O Lord God, the Father of Christ
the immaculate Lamb,
you take away the sin of the world,
receive our prayer,
You are worthy of praise.
You are worthy of hymns.
You are worthy of glory,
God and Father, through your Son,
in the most holy Spirit,
forever and ever. Amen.

Source: Apostolic Constitutions

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

Some of this prayer is derived from the Gloria in Excelsis.

An Evening Prayer

O God,
you are without beginning and without end,
Maker of the whole world by Christ,
and Provider of all,
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Lord of the Spirit,
and the King of intelligible and sensible beings.
You have made the day for the works of light,
and the night for the refreshment of our weakness.
“Yours is the day, yours also is the night.
You set the moon and sun in place,”
Now, O Lord,
Lover of mankind,
Fountain of all good,
mercifully accept our evening thanksgiving.
You have brought us through this day,
and have brought us to the beginning of the night.
Preserve us by your Christ.
Grant us a peaceful evening,
and a night free from sin,
and bring us to eternal life by your Christ;
through him be glory, honor, and worship
to you in the Holy Spirit forever. Amen.

Source: Apostolic Constitutions

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

An Evening Prayer

Save us, O God,
and raise us up by your Christ.
Let us stand up, and beg for the mercies of the Lord,
and his compassions,
for the angel of peace,
for whatever is good and profitable,
for a Christian departure out of this life,
an evening and a night of peace,
and free from sin,
that the course of our life may be blameless.
Let us dedicate ourselves and one another to the living God,
through his Christ. Amen.

Source: Apostolic Constitutions

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

Strength of Those Who Labor, and Rest for Your Saints

O Lord God,
Life of mortals,
Light of the faithful,
Strength of those who labor,
and the Rest for your saints,
give us a peaceful night
free of all trouble,
that after quiet sleep
we may enjoy your blessings
at the return of the light,
and be empowered by your Holy Spirit,
and moved to give you thanks.

Source:  Mozarabic, freely modified from  Ancient Collects, ed. William Bright p. 11#2.