Hymn to Christ the light and life
Christ come among men
as source of light,
your ineffable birth
is before the beginning of time. You are the radiant light shining with the Father. You irradiate lustreless matter
and illumine the souls of the faithful.
You have created the world
and fixed the orbit of the stars;
you sustain the axis of the earth, you save all mankind.
You guide the sun in its course
to light up all our days
and the crescent moon
which dispels the darkness of night. You make the seed to sprout preparing food for the flocks.
From your inexhaustible fount
you pour out the splendour of life making fruitful the whole universe. . .
Synesius of Cyrene
A festive chirruping announces the day, singing in the light of dawn.
Christ spurs on the soul,
inviting us to a rebirth, this day.
Arise from your beds, he urges,
where a feeble languor makes you inert. Be watchful, chaste, good, and sober;
for I am close to you.
Let us invoke Jesus, aloud, sorrowing, praying, repentant; an ardent invocation
keeps a pure heart on the alert.
O Christ, drive away sleep, break the chains of night, make good the ancient fault, bring to us new light.
Glory be to God the Father,
and to his only Son,
together with the Spirit, the Consoler,
now and for ever.
Prayers on awakening
To the eternal creator of the world
Eternal maker of the world, who rules over night and day dividing up our daily round to ease the body’s weariness.
O night light for wayfarers
Which distinguishes night from night, the dawn bird now sings aloud calling up the light of the sun.
Holy day star unveiled by him, drives darkness from the face of heaven and malefactors in their troops abandon now their brigandage.
Sailors gain strength as he appears, and the sea’s waves grow calm again; hearing him, the Rock of the Church Christ Jesus our only Lord and Saviour, [Peter] weeping, mourns his sin.
Let us arise then speedily.
The cock awakens those who sleep and rouses up the drowsy ones; the perjurors are accused by him.
At cock crow hope is born again, and health returns to those who ail; the brigand hides his dagger now, and faith revives in apostate soul.
Jesus, look on those who waver; and, looking, help us to be firm; under your care shame fades away and tears wipe out the stain of sin.
O light, shine now within our souls and torpor fly from every mind; and at the dawn our voices rise
in songs of prayer and praise to you.
AMBROSE AND AUGUSTINE
Prayer to Christ the Creator
Sun of Justice, blessed ray,
the first source of light;
O ardently Desired, above all else; powerful, inscrutable, ineffable;
joy of the good, vision of fulfilled hope,
praised and heavenly, Christ the Creator;
king of glory, assurance of life,
fill the void of my miserable voice
with your almighty word;
and offer it as a supplication
pleasing to your Father Most High,
for you have come into the world in likeness to me, subjecting yourself to human suffering,
the heritage of the curse.
O blessing of life, watchful providence
for all, both small and great!
If you accepted to die for me,
you, God and Lord of all,
how much more,
for the sake of the body you assumed, of your nature, will you pardon the weakness that leads me into danger, interceding for me, a sinner,
with the Father whose glory you share.
Gregory of Narek