For years I’ve been using the prayer printed below at graveside services, and so for years I thought it was a prayer about death.
And then this week I was at a clergy prayer retreat – sounds terribly exciting, I know – and our leader used the prayer to close our time of evening prayer or compline. I suddenly realized that the prayer could be about another kind of letting go or, as he put it,” relinquishing.”
Every time we go to bed, we are giving in to a “holy rest.”
Here it is. Enjoy. It’s from the Book of Common Prayer (1928).
O LORD, support us all the day long,
until the shadows lengthen
and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over,
and our work is done.
Then in thy mercy
grant us a safe lodging,
and a holy rest,
and peace at the last. Amen.
(Photo credit: Well, mostly God deserves the credit, but I snapped the picture near Cape Town, South Africa, in November 2012.)