A Little Gidding prayer

Daily Reading for December 1 • Nicolas Ferrar, Deacon, 1637

Thou hast given us a freedom from all other affairs

that we may without distraction attend Thy service.

That holy gospel which came down from heaven,

with things the angels desire to look into,

is by Thy goodness continually open to our view.

The sweet music thereof is continually sounding in our ears;

heavenly songs are by Thy mercy put into our mouths,

and our tongues and lips made daily instruments

of pouring forth Thy praise.

This, Lord, is the work, and this the pleasure, of the angels in heaven;

and dost Thou vouchsafe to make us partakers of so high a happiness?

The knowledge of Thee and of Thy Son is everlasting life.

Thy service is perfect freedom.

How happy, then, are we,

that Thou dost constantly retain us

in the daily exercises thereof!

From the monthly prayer of thanksgiving instituted by Nicholas Ferrar in 1625 and continued at Little Gidding until 1657; quoted in Nicholas Ferrar: His Household and His Friends by T.T. Carter (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1893).

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