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 Prayer Of The Month

Phos Hilaron (Song of the Light)

This ancient Christian prayer-hymn, dating from the 3rd century or even earlier, was sung at the lighting of the lamps at evening time.

The prayer is addressed to Jesus Christ, the 'Light of the World', who reveals to us the glory of God the Father.

(The second translation is by the 18th century poet John Keble.)

Photograph: Sunset over seaO joyful light,
from the pure glory of the eternal heavenly Father,
O holy, blessed Jesus Christ.

As we come to the setting of the sun
and see the evening light,
we give thanks and praise to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit of God.

Worthy are you at all times
to be sung with holy voices,
O Son of God, O giver of life,
and to be glorified through all creation.

- or -

Hail, gladdening Light, of his pure glory poured,
Who is the immortal Father, heavenly, blest,
Holiest of holies, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now we are come to the sun's hour of rest,
The lights of evening round us shine,
We hymn the Father, Son and Holy Spirit divine.

Worthiest art thou at all times to be sung
With undefiled tongue,
Son of our God, giver of life, alone:
Therefore in all the world thy glories, Lord, they own.

 To think about.....

In earlier times people's lives were ordered by the cycle of light and darkness - day and night, summer and winter. Do you think that we have lost this sense of rhythm in our lives today? If so, how can we recover it? Do we want to?

John Keble speaks of the 'gladdening Light' of Jesus Christ. Can you identify with this kind of experience in your own life?

If you have a candle available, why not try saying this prayer as you light it and then spending a few moments contemplating the beauty (glory) of the candle flame?


St Michael & All Angels Parish Church • High Street • Shefford • Bedfordshire • SG17 5DD • UK
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