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. Basil of Caesarea (329–379) spoke of the singing of the Phos Hilaron as a cherished tradition of the church, the hymn being already considered old in his day (though some attribute the composition of the song to Basil himself). (See article on Wikipedia.) 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 Savior 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

Marty Haugen, (Poetic) from Holden Evening Prayer

Joyous light of heavenly glory,
loving glow of God’s own face,
you who sing creation’s story,
shine on every land and race.
Now as evening falls around us,
we shall raise our songs to you.
God of daybreak, God of shadows,
come and light our hearts anew.

In the stars that grace the darkness,
in the blazing sun of dawn,
in the light of peace and wisdom,
we can hear your quiet song.
Love that fills the night with wonder,
love that warms the weary soul,
love that bursts all chains asunder,
set us free and make us whole.

You who made the heaven’s splendor,
every dancing star of night,
make us shine with gentle justice,
let us each reflect your light.
Mighty God of all creation,
gentle Christ who lights our way,
loving Spirit of salvation,
lead us on to endless day.

The hymn, “Joyous Light of Heavenly Glory” begins at 0:38.

This is a copyrighted text, © 1987 GIA Publications, Inc.

Michael Schultz, for Christian Worship (2021), poetic

Gladdening light of purest glory,
shining down from heaven on high,
from the ever-living Father–
hail, most blessed Jesus Christ.

In the fading light of evening,
as the setting sun departs,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–
we adore you, Lord our God.

For your gift of life unending,
joyful voices ever sing
hymns of praise that rightly honor
Son of God, your saving name.

This is a copyrighted text, © 2021 Northwestern Publishing House.

Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book

The Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book was the English hymnal of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, published in 1912. It was published in text only and text and music editions. In its liturgical texts, Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book was very similar to The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church. Since Common Service Book was published in 1917 and 1918, five or six years later, ELHB displays an older version of the Common Service and other texts. CSB seems to have undergone a revision and expansion of personal prayers, propers, and other rites. In 1941, The Lutheran Hymnal mostly retained the older forms in ELHB rather than use the updated texts in CSB.

The services in Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book included “The Order of Morning Service, or the Communion,” and “The Order of Evening Service, or Vespers.” The text only edition also contained “The Order of Early Service, or Matins.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book used Scripture texts from the King James Version of the Bible, used the British spelling of Saviour, and capitalized pronouns referring to the Deity, including Who/Whom.

For this electronic edition, different editions were consulted, so the files below may not be exactly the same as any one print edition. These files were made by modifying and correcting the texts that were generated by the pdf files of the original books and putting them into a usable format. Headings and rubrics were put in red, even though they were printed black in the original books.

The updated liturgical material combined elements from Common Service Book, Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, and other resources. Rubrics are simplified. More updated liturgical material can be seen and downloaded at our Common Service Book page.  

To properly display the docx files, you will need the fonts Old English Text MT and Liturgy. Updated contemporary versions also use the Liturgikon symbol font (embedded in the docx documents).   

Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, Electronic Resourceselhb

  1. Morning and Evening Prayers [pdf] [docx
  2. The Order of Morning Service, or The Communion (text only) [pdf] [docx] [Graphic pdf with music*]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  3. The Order of Evening Service, or Vespers (text only) [pdf] [docx] [Graphic pdf with music*]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  4. The Order of Early Service, or Matins (text only) [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  5. Introits, Collects, Epistles, Graduals and Gospels (From Common Service Book. Material identical to ELHB)  [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated versions of the introits, collects and graduals and lessons (ESV), prepared for the LCMS Lutheran Service Book areavailable at www.sanctus.org.
  6. Invitatories, Antiphons and Responsories (From Common Service Book. Material identical to ELHB) [pdf] [docx]
  7. Collects and Prayers [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version (from Common Service Book) in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  8. General Prayers (Litany, Suffrages and General Prayers) [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version of The Litany in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version of The Suffrages in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version of The Bidding Prayer in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
Liturgy and Agenda, 1916 was an accompanying book to Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book, and contained The Order of Morning Service and The Order of Evening Service, along with an alternative form for Morning Service with chant tunes for the minister [Available at Google Books]
Lutheran Service Book, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal


* With cooperation of the Lutheran Public Domain Liturgy Project, we present scanned pdfs of the noted liturgies from Evangelical Lutheran Hymn-Book.
Christian Prayer, Banner

Daily Devotion

If used with a group, normal type is read by the leader, bold is read by the group. If used by an individual, all text is read.

O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth shall declare your praise. (Psalm 51:15)

Hasten to save me, O God.
O Lord, come quickly to help me. (Psalm 40:13)

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
(Alleluia.Alleluia is omitted during Lent.
During Lent: 
Praise to you, O Christ, King of endless glory. 


Click this link for readings from the Daily Office in the Revised Common Daily Lectionary (Complementary) from BibleGateway. (Opens in a new window.) Includes daily Old and New Testament readings.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive 
those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
the glory are yours
now and 
forever. Amen.


Other Prayers may then be said, and after them this PRAYER FOR GRACE.

My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all the day. (Psalm 71:8)

Lord God, almighty Father, eternal God, you have brought us to the beginning of this day. Defend us today with your saving power so that we neither fall into sin nor run into any danger, but in everything we do, subject our words and direct our thoughts to what is right in your sight; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Other Prayers may then be said, and after them this PRAYER FOR PEACE.

May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace! (Psalm 29:11)

O God, all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works come from you. Give your servants that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments. Defend us from the fear of our enemies, that we may pass our time in rest and quietness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.

Let us praise the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The grace of the Lord + Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)

Christian Prayer, Banner

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




The Lutheran Hymnary

TLHy.pngThe Lutheran Hymnary was published in 1913 by American Lutheran church bodies that were of Norwegian heritage. The first setting of the Divine Service is quite different from the Common Service tradition, reflecting the traditions in Norwegian Lutheran worship.

The second setting of the Divine Service, along with Vespers were taken and slightly modified from the Evangelical-Lutheran Hymn-Book (1913), from Concordia Publishing House, and have mostly the same music that would later appear in The Lutheran Hymnal (1941).

The Lutheran Hymnary did not have a large liturgical or prayer section like The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church. However, it did have some unique gems such as the prayers in the first setting of the Divine Service and the Exhortation in both settings tlhy_title_pageof the communion services.  So we make the texts available here. Along with the services below, The Lutheran Hymnary also included a musical version of the Litany, nearly identical in text to the one in Common Service Book, and a selection of psalms. Along with the traditional introits and collects, The Lutheran Hymnary also included the collects of Veit Dietrich, which are also included below, and are also available here on A Collection of Prayers in revised form.

The Lutheran Hymnary is available in graphic pdf format on Google Books and on Archive.org.

The Lutheran Hymnary

  1. The Order of Morning Service (I) [pdf] [docx]
  2. The Evening Service (I) [pdf] [docx]
  3. The Order of Morning Service, or The Communion (II) [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  4. Order of Evening Service, or Vespers (II) [pdf] [docx]
    • Updated version in contemporary English [pdf] [docx]
  5. The Collects of Veit Dietrich (Traditional English) [pdf] [docx]

Christian Prayer, Banner

Mozarabic Evening Prayer

In the name of Jesus + Christ our Lord, light and peace be with us.

Sentence for Advent:
The Lord comes,
who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. (1 Corinthians 4:5)
Sentence for Christmas to Epiphany:
The sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness. (Luke 1:78-79)
Sentence for Epiphany to Septuagesima:
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Sentence for Septuagesima to Lent:
Make your face shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes. (Psalm 119:135)
Sentence for Lent:
May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us. (Psalm 67:1)
Sentence for Easter to Ascension:
Christ Jesus, has abolished death
and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy 1:10)
Sentence for Ascension to Pentecost:
Send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! (Psalm 43:3)
Sentence for Pentecost to Trinity:
With you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light. (Psalm 36:9)
Sentence for Trinity to Advent:
God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5,7)
Sentence for Minor Festivals:
Light is sown for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart. (Psalm 97:11)

One of the Penitential Psalms may be said with accompanying prayers.
The Psalm concludes:

Glory and honor be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised! (Psalm 113:3)

Blessed be the name of the Lord, now and forevermore.
the name of the Lord is to be praised!
A Psalm may be said, followed by the Gloria.
An Old Testament Lesson may be read. Before it shall be said:

The blessing of God almighty, who long ago spoke to our fathers by the prophets, be on you who hear his holy Word.
And upon you who read it.
A New Testament Lesson may be read. Before it shall be said:
The blessing of God almighty, who in these last days has spoken to us by his Son, be on you who hear his holy Word.
And upon you who read it.
After the Lesson, the Benedictus or a suitable hymn may be sung.
Then the Apostles’ Creed shall be said:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us pray.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Then the Lord’s Prayer shall be said.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. [1] Amen.

Deliver us from evil, and confirm in us your faith, O Triune God, and let us constantly serve you, our God and Lord, who lives and governs all things, forever and ever.

Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation. (Psalm 85:7)

O Lord, save our country,
And hear us when we call to you.

Let your servants be clothed with righteousness,
and let your saints shout for joy. (Psalm 132:9)

Oh, save your people
and bless your heritage! (Psalm 28:9)

Give peace in our time, O Lord.
You alone, O Lord, make us dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)

Create in us clean hearts, O God,
Do not take your Holy Spirit from us. (Psalm 51:10-11)
The Prayer of the Day follows, after which another prayer for the season may be said.
Then the following prayers shall be said:

A Prayer for Peace
O God, all good things come from you.
Strengthen your people against all troubles
and fill them with your peace,
so they may worship you with a quiet mind,
and forgetting all earthly troubles,
may give you honor and praise;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

A Prayer for Help in Troubles
O Lord, you have preserved us during the labors of the day.
Guard us through the dangers of the night.
Let your Holy Spirit watch over us,
and be our defense, now and forever;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Other prayers may be said, after which follows:
May the Lord hear us and bless us.
May he save us from our spiritual enemy and from all that is evil,
and keep us under the shadow of his wings, this night, and forevermore;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In the name of Jesus + Christ our Lord, let us have quiet sleep this night, and rest in peace.

[1] In some liturgical traditions, the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer is omitted, or when used, it is used as a response.

Source: Mozarabic Collects, ed. Rev. Chas. R. Hale, New York, 1881, p. 61


Mozarabic, ad.

Help Us in Our Time of Need

You guided Noah over the flood waves: hear us.
With your Word you recalled Jonah from the deep: deliver us.
You stretched forth your hand to Peter as he sank: help us, O Christ.
Son of God, you did marvelous things of old: help us also in our time of need.

Source: Early Celtic Prayer

Source of this version: Modified freely from http://www.malankaraworld.com/Library/Devotional/Feb-5-2011-God_weekly_devotional.htm


We have sinned, O Lord, we have sinned:
forgive our sins and save us,
hear us, O Lord, you who guided Noah on the waves of the flood,
for it was by your Word that Jonah was recalled from the abyss.
Free us, you who reached out your hand to Peter as he was sinking:
bear us up, O Christ, Son of God.
For you performed wonders among our fathers, O Lord:
Now stretch forth your hand from the Heavens,
help us in our times of need.

Source of this version: Confession of sins in Celtic Vespers: http://celticorderofuniversalwisdom.weebly.com/uploads/5/8/5/2/5852535/short_celtic_vespers.pdf



Shelter Us under Your Divine Wings

O Holy Father, guard us by your sacred name,
O Son of God, our Savior, protect us with your victorious cross.
O Holy Spirit, make us worthy temples of your holy habitation.
O Lord, our God forever shelter us under your divine wings, at all times, forever. Amen.

Source: Syrian Orthodox Church

Source of this version: http://hstoc.org/Resources/SS/2016/2016%20Prayer%20Recitation%20Materials.pdf

Also found here: https://quizlet.com/33374563/centralized-prayers-flash-cards/

This prayer is called Shudhamulla Bava and is used as a closing prayer and blessing in the evening prayer service.

“Guard us by your sacred name” may be a reference to Psalm 54:1

“Temples of your holy habitation” is a reference to 1 Corinthians 6:19

“Shelter us under your divine wings” is a reference to Psalm 17:8