“Evening Prayer,” attributed to St. Patrick

March 17, 2010

I’m not wearing green today—I wore the only green shirt in my closet yesterday—but I’m not unappreciative of St. Patrick’s example and legacy. We can use this prayer in our prayers this evening.

(O.K., I’m sure Patrick didn’t make this rhyme neatly in modern English, but it surely reflects his prayer and thought. On that note, I’ve also always wondered how Martin Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” rhymes in English.)

“May your angels, holy Son,

Guard our homes when the day is done,

When at peace, our sleep is best:

Bid them watch us while we rest.

Prince of everything that is,

High Priest of the mysteries,

Let your angels, God supreme,

Tell us truth dressed as a dream.

May no terror and no fright

Spoil our slumber in the night;

Free from are our eyelids close;

Spirit, give us prompt repose.

We have laboured through the day:

Lift our burdens when we pray,

Then our souls in safety keep,

That our sleep be soft and deep.”

Michael Counsell, comp., 2000 Years of Prayer (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing, 1999), 76.

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