Advent Reflection: Keeping Watch, Pray Night and Day

Guide Us Waking

The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended,the darkness falls at thy behest; to the our morning hymns ascended, thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

We thank thee that thy Church, unsleeping while earth rolls onward into light, through all the world her watch is keeping and rests not now by day or night.

As o’er each continent and island the dawn leads on  another day, the voice of prayer is never silent, nor dies the strain of praise away.

So be it, Lord; they throne shall never, like earth’s proud empires, pass away; they kingdom stands, and grows forever, till all they creatures own thy sway.  (Hymnal 1982 #24).

These beautiful words written by John Ellerton are sung to equally magnificent music written by Clement Cottevill Scholefiled.  Through these wonderful words, we quietly surrender the day and our own lives into the hand of God; and consequently, hand the prayers of the Church to the other side of the world.  It is as if the great choir director that is the Holy Spirit, directs the choirs of prayer from one time zone to another in the mysterious voice of the Psalms.

This is such a great reflection for Advent.  We keep watch by keeping the prayer of the Church flowing from one generation to the next, from one location to another; and the prayer of the Church never cease.  This is the wondrous gift of the Divine Office.  The Church through prayer contemplates the reality of God in and through the events of life, and it is ongoing with the prayers of Heaven.

As we continue in this Advent, may our prayer and praise of God be never ending, always lifting adoration and thanksgiving from the depths of our hearts unto the God, who’s graciousness is always freely giving.

Amen.

Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB

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