Friday, April 04, 2008

Let No Tongue Be Silent: Early Church Prayers

Have recently come across a couple of prayers/hymns from early in the life of the church; the latter espousing the truths later affirmed in the Chalcedonian Creed decades later - Jesus Christ, born, fully human, fully divine, coequal with the Father.

May none of God's wonderful works keep silence
May none of God’s wonderful works keep silence,
night or morning.

Bright stars, high mountains, the depths of the seas,
sources of rushing rivers:
may all these break into song as we sing
to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

May all the angels in the heavens reply: Amen! Amen! Amen!
Power, praise, honour, eternal glory to God, the only Giver of grace.
Amen! Amen! Amen!
(Third-Century Hymn, A. Hamman, ed., Early Christian Prayers (Chicago, Henry Regnery, 1961, pg. 69)

and

Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

O that birth forever blessed, when the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face, evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him; angel hosts, His praises sing;
Powers, dominions, bow before Him, and extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert sing, evermore and evermore!
(Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, Corde Natus Ex Parentis [348-413])

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