O Gracious Light – Phos Hilaron

Usually, A Collection of Prayers does not feature hymns, since another fine website, Hymnary.org, has extensive information, multiple translations, and charts on hymns appearance in hymnals. “O Gracious Light” is an exception because of its liturgical use.

“O Gracious Light” was first recorded by an unknown author in the Apostolic Constitutions, which was written in the late 3rd or early 4th century. It is an evening hymn, often used as part of the Lucernarium, the Service of Light. Ideally, candles would be lit as the hymn is sung. Several versions of Vespers (Evening Prayer) include some version of “O Gracious Light” as an opening hymn.

O gracious light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.

Source: Book of Common Prayer (U. S.), 1979, p. 112.

Original in Greek:

Φῶς ἱλαρὸν
ἁγίας δόξης ἀθανάτου Πατρός, οὐρανίου,
ἁγίου, μάκαρος, Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ,

ἐλθόντες ἐπὶ τὴν ἡλίου δύσιν,
ἰδόντες φῶς ἑσπερινόν,
ὑμνοῦμεν Πατέρα, Υἱόν, καὶ ἅγιον Πνεῦμα, Θεόν.

Ἄξιόν σε ἐν πᾶσι καιροῖς ὑμνεῖσθαι φωναῖς αἰσίαις,
Υἱὲ Θεοῦ, ζωὴν ὁ διδούς·
διὸ ὁ κόσμος σὲ δοξάζει.

“O Gracious Light” has been translated into English many times into both prose and poetic versions.

Lutheran Book of Worship, 1978 (Prose)

Joyous light of glory of the immortal Father,
Heavenly, holy, blessed Jesus Christ,
We have come to the setting of the Sun
And we look to the evening light.
We sing to God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy of being praised with pure voices forever.
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
The universe proclaims your glory.

This is a copyrighted text, © 1978 Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Robert Bridges, d. 1930 (Poetic)

O gladsome light, O grace
of God the Father’s face,
the eternal splendour wearing;
celestial, holy, blest,
our Saviour Jesus Christ,
joyful in thine appearing.

Now, ere day fadeth quite,
we see the evening light,
our wonted hymn outpouring;
Father of might unknown,
thee, his incarnate Son,
and Holy Spirit adoring.

To thee of right belongs
all praise of holy songs,
O Son of God, Lifegiver;
thee, therefore, O Most High,
the world doth glorify,
and shall exalt forever.

F. Bland Tucker, d. 1984 (Poetic)

O gracious Light, Lord Jesus Christ,
in you the Father’s glory shone.
Immortal, holy, blest is he,
and blest are you, his holy Son.

Now sunset comes, but light shines forth,
the lamps are lit to pierce the night.
Praise Father, Son, and Spirit; God
who dwells in the eternal light.

Worthy are you of endless praise,
O Son of God, Life-giving Lord;
wherefore you are through all the earth
and in the highest heaven adored.

This is a copyrighted text, © The Church Pension Fund

The Anaphora of St. Mark

This version is condensed from the Liturgy of St. Mark. The original contains much repetition, along with many petitions for people, the church, the government, good weather, bountiful harvest, and remembrance of the faithful departed. A version for modern use follows.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
And with your spirit.

Let us lift up our hearts.
We lift them up unto the Lord.

Let us give thanks unto the Lord.
It is meet and just so to do.

It is truly good and right that we should worship you, sing to you, and give thanks to you with unceasing praise, Living One, Lord God, Father almighty.

You made all things in heaven and on earth. You made mankind in your holy image and gave them the delights of Paradise. When our first parents fell, you raised them up again with your promise of a Savior, who is your holy Wisdom, your true Light, your only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. …

You are above all power and dominion, might and authority, and every name in this world and in the world to come. Before you stand countless ranks of angels and archangels, who serve you day and night, and see the glory of your presence, crying out with unceasing praise. We join our voices with them, crying aloud and declaring the majesty of your glory:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Truly heaven and earth are full of your glory in the appearing of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ. Give us your heavenly blessing by the indwelling of your Holy Spirit.

For the Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

In the same way, after the meal, he also took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new testament in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 
Amen.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
We proclaim your death, O Lord, and we confess your resurrection.

We present to you the gifts you have given us, and we pray that you would send your Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of truth, that he would strengthen us with his power and enlighten us with his gifts. Bless and hallow this bread and wine, that through Christ’s body and blood we may be strengthened in faith, healed, sanctified, and renewed in body soul, and spirit, that your name may be praised, our sins forgiven, and in this and all places, your holy name may be hallowed, with your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.
Amen.

The mercies of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ be with you all.
And with your spirit.

Our Father…

The peace of the Lord be with you all.
And with your spirit.

Source: Shortened and condensed from https://www.trinityorthodox.ca/sites/default/files/Liturgy%20of%20St%20Mark.pdf

Arranged for modern use:

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly good and right that we should at all times and in all places give you thanks, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, through Jesus Christ our Lord…

The minister speaks the Proper Preface, concluding with:

Therefore, with all the saints on earth and hosts of heaven, we praise your holy name and join their glorious song:

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Living One, Lord God, Father Almighty, you made all things in heaven and on earth. You made mankind in your holy image and gave them the delights of Paradise. When our first parents fell, you raised them up again with your promise of a Savior, who is your holy Wisdom, your true Light, your only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ.

You are above all power and dominion, might and authority, and every name in this world and in the world to come. Before you stand countless ranks of angels and archangels, who serve you day and night, and see the glory of your presence, crying out with unceasing praise.

Send us your Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Spirit of truth, that he would strengthen us with his power and enlighten us with his gifts. Bless and hallow this this Holy Supper, that through Christ’s body and blood we may be strengthened in faith, healed, sanctified, and renewed in body soul, and spirit, that your name may be praised, our sins forgiven, and in this and all places, your holy name may be hallowed, with your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.
Amen.

Our Father,…

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when he was betrayed, took bread, …

Help, Save, Have Mercy on Us

The Litany of Chrysostom may be read or may be sung to this tune. Sometimes it is sung in a way that the word “Lord” overlaps between the cantor and congregation: “In peace, let us pray to the Lord, have mercy.” Graphics for use in service folders, with or without harmony, are provided below, along with a Word file.

LitanyChrysostom.png

In peace let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the holy Churches of God, and for the unity of all, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our pastors, teachers, and all who are in the service of Christ, and all the clergy and laity, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our country, the president, all those in public service, and all our armed forces, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For this parish and city, for every city and country, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For favorable weather, for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For those who travel by land, sea and air, for the sick, the suffering, the captives and for their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our deliverance from all affliction, wrath, danger, and distress, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

Help us, save us, have mercy on us and protect us, O God, by your grace.
Amen.

Source: The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom

Source of this version: Modified from  http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/liturgy/liturgy.html

 

“For our pastors, teachers,…” in the original is “For our Archbishop (Name), our Bishop (Name), the honorable presbyters, the deacons in the service of Christ, and all the clergy and laity, let us pray to the Lord.”

Graphics for use in service folders. Graphics are larger than they need to be for clarity. For use with 11 point type, graphics should be 3.25″ wide.

Printed with harmony:

Lord,_have_mercy

Amen.

…or without harmony:

Lord,_have_mercy2

Amen2

Download the Litany of Chrysostom with music files added as a Microsoft Word document: Litany_of_Chrysostom,_with_music.docx

A Doxology

To the only God invisible,
the Father of truth,
who sent to us
the Savior and prince of immortality,
through whom also he revealed to us
the truth and the heavenly light.
To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Source: Third or fourth century papyrus

Source of this version: The New Archaeological Discoveries and their Bearing upon the New Testament by Camdem McCormick Cobern, Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1918, p. 277

 

Doxology from an Ancient Sermon

He is the Light; therefore is he the Sun of our souls.
He is the Life; therefore we live in him.
He is Holiness; therefore is he the slayer of sin.
He is Salvation ; therefore it is he who has purchased
the whole world with his blood.
He is the Resurrection; therefore it is he who has set free
those who are in the tomb,
and has made them new a second time by his blood.
He is the Way; therefore he is the guide to his Father.
He is the Door; therefore he is the guide into paradise.
He is the Shepherd; therefore he is the seeker after the sheep which is lost.
He is the Lamb; therefore he is the cleanser of the world from its impurity.
This is my God; I will ascribe glory to him,
for to him belong glory and power for all ages and ages. Amen.

Source: Sermon on a papyrus, possibly fourth century

Source of this version: The New Archaeological Discoveries and their Bearing upon the New Testament by Camdem McCormick Cobern, Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1918, p. 289

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.

 

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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

 

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The Holy Spirit

O Holy Spirit, Love of God,
pour out your grace,
and descend plentifully into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling,
and scatter there your cheerful beams.
Dwell in that soul that longs to be your temple.
Water that barren soil, overrun with weeds and briars,
and lost for lack of cultivating,
and make it fruitful with your dew from heaven.
Come, refreshment of those who languish and faint.
Come, Star and Guide of those who sail in the tempestuous sea of the world. You are the only Haven of the tossed and shipwrecked.
Come, Glory and Crown of the living, and only Safeguard of the dying.
Come, Holy Spirit, in your great mercy, and make me fit to receive you. 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

 

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For Heavenly-Mindedness

O Lord,
you teach us not to worry about earthly things,
but to love heavenly things.
Even now,
while we live among things that are passing away,
help us cling to those things that will remain forever;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Leonine SacramentaryNew Ancient Collects, #259

 

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