Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Canticle of the Sun

St. Francis of Assisi died in 1226 at the age of 45. He wrote this lovely chant of praise to God that has been preserved for hundreds of years. He is probably most remembered for writing the prayer, "Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love..."  Do you know what "canticle" means? -a song or chant; specifically, a non-metrical hymn with words taken directly from a Biblical text; Middle English, from Latin, (ultimately) 'to sing'. Did you know that the Song of Solomon is also known as The Canticles?  This beautiful chant of praise is full of wonder of God's creations.

Canticle of the Sun

O most high, almighty, good Lord God,
to You belong praise, glory, honor, and all blessing!
Praised by my Lord God for all his creatures,
especially for our brother the sun,
who brings us the light;
fair is he and shines with very great splendor;
O Lord, he signifies You to us!

Praised be my Lord for our sister the moon,
and for the stars, which He has set
clear and lovely in heaven.
Praised be my Lord for our brother the wind,
and for the air and clouds,
calms and all weather by which
You uphold life in all creatures.
Praised be my Lord for our sister water,
who is very serviceable to us and humble
and precious and clean.
Praised be my Lord for our brother fire,
through whom You give us light in the darkness;
and he is bright and pleasant
and very mighty and strong.

Praised be my Lord for our mother the earth,
who sustains us and keeps us and brings forth
various fruits and flowers of many colors, and grass.
Praised be my Lord for all those who pardon
one another for His love's sake,
and who endure weakness and tribulation;
blessed are they who shall peaceably endure, for You,
O Most High, will give them a crown.

Blessed are they who are found walking
by Your most holy will,
for the second death shall have no power
to do them harm.
Praise and bless the Lord, and give thanks to Him
and serve Him with great humility.

- St. Francis of Assisi

I would call this a Psalm...

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