Opening Prayers/Prayers of Adoration on Water
You, oh Christ, are the Kingdom of Heaven;
You, the land promised to the gentle;
You the grazing lands of paradise;
You, the hall of the celestial banquet;
You, the ineffable marriage chamber;
You the table set for all,
You the bread of life;
You, the unheard of drink;
You, both the bowl for the water
and the life-giving water;
You, moreover, the inextinguishable lamp
for each one of the saints;
You, the garment and the crown
and the one who distributes crowns;
You, the joy and the rest;
You, the delight and glory;
You the gaiety;
You, the mirth;
and Your grace, grace of the Spirit of all sanctity,
will shine like the sun in all the saints;
and You, inaccessible sun,
will shine in their midst
and all will shine brightly,
to the degree of their faith,
and their love,
and their illumination
by Your Spirit.
Symeon the New Theologian, English version by George A. Maloney, S.J.
Kindness flows from you, Lord, pure and continual. You had cast us off, as was only just, but mercifully you forgave us; you hated us and you were reconciled to us, you cursed us and you blessed us; you banished us from paradise, and you called us back again; you took from us the fig leaves that had made us so unseemly a garment, and you put on us a cloak of great value; you opened the prison gates and gave the condemned a pardon, you sprinkled us with clean water and washed away the dirt.
Never again, after all this, will Adam blush when you call him, never will he try to hide because his conscience reproaches him, never will he seek concealment under the trees in the garden. The flaming sword will nevermore whirl about the walls of paradise and cut off the entrance from those who approach it.
For us that were heirs to his sin, all has been changed into rejoicing, for man now has access to paradise and even to heaven itself. The whole creation, heaven and earth, is at one again in friendship, its former differences forgotten, men join their voices with the angels and echo angels’ praise of God…….
There is no doubt who it is that dresses the bride in her finery; it is of course Jesus Christ – he that is and was and will be. Blessed is he, now and throughout the ages. Amen
Gregory of Nyssa, Quoted in Walter Mitchell, Trns, Early Christian Prayers, ed., A. Hamman, Longman Green, London, and Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1961.
Canticle of the Sun
O most high, Almighty, good Lord God, to you belong
praise, glory, honour, and all blessing!
Praised be my Lord God for all his creatures,
especially for our brother the sun, who brings us the day and who brings us the light;
fair is he and shines with a very great splendour; 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.
Francis of Assisi