For Spiritual Illumination

Hear us,
never-fading Light, Lord our God,
our only Light, Fountain of light,
Light of your angels,
thrones, dominions, principalities, powers,
and of all intelligent beings.
You created the light of your saints.
May our souls be your lamps,
kindled and enlightened by you.
May they shine and burn with the truth,
and never go out in darkness and ashes.
May we be your house,
shining from you, shining in you.
May we shine without fail.
May we ever worship you.
In you may we be kindled and not be extinguished.
Being filled with the splendor
of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
may we shine forth inwardly.
May the gloom of sins be cleared away,
and the light of constant faith abide within us.

Source: Mozarabic Sacramentary, 7th Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954. (New Ancient Collects, #158)

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For Rightful Recognition of God, “The Giver of All Good Things”

O God,
by making the evening to follow the day
you have given the gift of rest for human weakness.
Grant that as we enjoy your timely blessings,
we may acknowledge you
from whom they come;
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Mozarabic Liturgy

Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953. The New Ancient Collects, #32

For Love and Light

O Lord,
in the name of Jesus Christ your Son our God,
give us that love which can never cease,
that will kindle our lamps but not extinguish them,
that they may burn in us and enlighten others.

O Christ, our dearest Savior,
kindle our lamps,
that they may evermore shine in your temple,
that they may receive unquenchable light from you
that will enlighten our darkness,
and lessen the darkness of the world.
Lord Jesus, we pray,
give your light to our lamps,
that in its light
the most holy place may be revealed to us
in which you dwell as the Eternal Priest,
that we may always see you,
desire you, look on you in love,
and long after you;
for your sake. Amen.

Source: An Ancient Collect, sixth century

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

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.

Source of this version: Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church, © 2018, Paul C. Stratman

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is a collection of prayers from the time of Patrick (d. ca. 460-493) to the Synod of Whitby (664), and also from the Celtic Christian tradition that remained after Whitby. A few of the prayers in this book may be familiar from their appearance in other prayer books. Some may be appearing in English for the first time. All prayers (with one exception) are rendered or revised into contemporary English with the hopes that they will be useful in private and corporate worship. Includes prayers from The Antiphonary of Bangor, The Lorrha-Stowe Missal, The Book of Cerne, The Book of Dimma, St. Patrick, St. Columba and many other sources.  Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is available in paperback through Amazon.com. It is also available for Amazon Kindle.

Version in verse:

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.

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.