For the World

Almighty and eternal God,
you are the brightness of the faithful.
You have made this day holy
by the first-fruits of the chosen Gentiles.
Fill the world with your glory
and show yourself by the radiance of your light
to the nations that are subject to you;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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

Epiphany

Almighty and eternal God,
Brightness of faithful souls,
you brought the Gentiles to your light,
and made known to them him who is the true Light,
and the bright and morning Star.
Fill the world with your glory,
and show yourself by the radiance of your light to all nations;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gregorian Sacramentary

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

For Illumination

O glorious, holy, almighty God,
you always pity the many wanderings of humanity,
and for this reason, you guided the Magi,
who lived in a land of dark superstition,
to your sacred cradle by the light of a star,
that you might enlighten all
who were walking in their own errors
with the desire of knowing you.
Enlighten us also with burning love for you,
that we who already know you
by your gracious illumination,
may cling to you forever. Amen.

Source: Mozarabic Liturgy

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953 also, The New Ancient Collects, #95

For the Defense of Christ’s Church

O Lord,
keep your Church and household continually in your true religion,
that all who lean on the hope of your heavenly grace alone
may always be defended by your mighty power;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gregorian Sacramentary

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

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

Who Has Anything but What You Have Given

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O Lord my God, most merciful,
most secret, most present,
most constant, yet changing all things,
never new, and never old,
always in action, yet always quiet,
creating, upholding, and perfecting all,
who has anything but what you have given?
or what can any man say when he speaks about you?
Yet have mercy on us, O Lord,
that we may speak to you, and praise your Name.

Source: Jeremy Taylor, 1613–67 (from St Augustine) in in Daily Prayer.

Taylor’s version, in traditional English:

O LORD my God, most merciful,
Most secret, most present,
Most constant, yet changing all things,
Never new, and never old,
Ever in action, yet ever quiet,
Creating, upholding, and perfecting all,
Who hath anything but of thy gift?
Or what can any man say when he speaketh of thee?
Yet have mercy upon us, O Lord,
that we may speak unto thee, and praise thy Name.

Perfect Love

Grant me, even me, my dearest Lord,
to know you, and love you, and rejoice in you.
And, if I cannot do these perfectly in this life,
let me at least advance to higher degrees every day,
until I can come to do them in perfection.
Let the knowledge of you increase in me here,
that it may be full hereafter.
Let the love of you grow every day more and more here,
that it may be perfect hereafter;
that my joy may be full in you.
I know, O God, that you are a God of truth,
O make good your gracious promises to me,
that my joy may be full;
to your honor and glory,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, Fourth Century

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