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A Beautiful Prayer of the Early Christians

I first heard this prayer one day while visiting a local Orthodox church in Waco, Saint Nicholas, for a vespers service. I had become good friends with the woman who assisted the priest with the chanting during the service. I thought that she chanted the prayers so beautifully!

But the words of this ancient Trinitarian hymn, a lamp-lighting prayer, at the end of the service captivated my ears and my heart:

O Gladsome Light of the holy glory, of the immortal Father:
Heavenly blessed, Jesus Christ.
Now, that we have come to the setting of the sun,
And we behold the light of the evening.
We praise the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
It is right, at all times, to worship Thee with songs of praise:
O Son of God, and giver of life.
Therefore, all the world glorifies Thee.

I later wrote this musical setting, and we have used it for many services around our beloved university and our community many times. I hope that you will listen in the hope of Christ, the Light of the World.

And that our God will illuminate our imaginations with the expectation that we shall gather again in a not too distant future; and we shall praise Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together!

By the way… I am married now to the cantor I mentioned at the beginning of this note: my sweet wife, Susan. And, this is a prayer dear to our family.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!

Chapel Prayers

Christ is risen!

I hope you can engage in the singing, and also praying the Lord’s prayer together.

 

Here’s the sermon excerpt by St.  John Chrysostom I read toward the end:

“Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions.

It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered,for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory?Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.”