Blessed sleep

Daily Reading for September 24

Blessed art Thou, O Lord,

who givest thy beloved pleasant sleep,

and to them that fear Thee to lie down safely.

Lighten our eyes,

that we sleep not in death:

deliver us from the terror by night,

from the pestilence that walketh in darkness.

Behold He that keepeth Israel

shall neither slumber nor sleep:

the Lord preserve us from all evil,

yea the Lord keep our souls.

Lord, I will sleep,

but my heart shall be awake.

Visit me, O Lord, with the visitation of the saints,

and discover mine ear in visions of night.

Let my sleep be a respite,

as from toil, so from sin:

let me not in dreams think aught

to offend Thee or pollute me. . . .

Grant me to commune in the night with my heart,

and to be sore exercised and to search out my spirits

and not to neglect the instruction of my reins—

what I may do rightly, what more rightly,

how to be more acceptable to Thee,

how to be more pleasing unto men:

that Thou art about my paths

and about my bed:

that my ways are thine:

when my lamp is alight to see Thee,

when my lamp is quenched to see Thee.

From the Preces Privatae of Lancelot Andrewes, edited by F. E. Brightman (London, 1903).

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