20 October 2011

Vesper blessings and “Phos hilaron”

A couple of years ago, I wrote a small prayer of blessing in German for a vesper service, used for the closing blessing, and later translated it into English. I'd like to share it with you as the daylight fades here in Hannover and the night approaches.

First, the English version:
Lord of all Creation,
bless the night in which we sleep.
Let your blessings come upon us
in the moonlight which flows through our windowpanes,
in the stars which shine in the night sky,
in the evening winds which whisper through the trees,
in the glowing embers of our hearts
which ward off all chills.
Stay with us and remain with us
and grant us the blessings of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

And then the German original:

Herr, segne die Nacht, in der wir schlafen.
Lass deinen Segen auf uns kommen,
im Mondschein, der durch unsere Fenster fließt,
in den Sternen, die im Himmelszelt funken,
im Nachtwind, der durch die Bäume flüstert,
in der Feuersglut unserer Herzen, die uns vor jeder Kälte schützt.
Bleibe bei uns
und schenke uns den Frieden des Vaters,
und des Sohnes und des Heiligen Geistes. Amen.
Then I also wrote an English version of the German text used by the Old Catholics for Phos hilaron, hymn number 735 in the German Old Catholic hymnal Eingestimmt, which can be ordered from the diocesan website. While the content more or less parallels the German text in meaning, it is written in rhyming meter, whereas the German version is simply prose.
Refrain
O wonderful glorious Light of Lights,
you light up the face of God's great might.
In love and in grace does your fire flame bright
to light up our hearts with Christ this night.


O gladdening light of God us bless,
a sign of the faith that we profess
in Heaven and on Earth. His faithfulness
will be our Light and Guide on the path we progress.

Refrain

We reach the end of day, the night awaits.
By your fire we all sit as it shines from your face.
With songs on our lips, we contemplate
the Father and the Son and the Spirit of Grace.

Refrain

At all times, and all places, as we walk along
the Path of our Christ, a lifetime long,
all Creation sings your praises, of your light so strong.
With angels and with saints we join in song.

Refrain

Feel free to use them in your services – as with the sermons and other texts, they are offered under the Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported. A short note letting me know you used it in some fashion would be appreciated and reward enough.