Scripture Verse

God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

Introduction

Words: Me­tro­pha­nes of Smyr­na, cir­ca 900 (Τριφεγγησ μονασ Θεαρχικη). Trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by John M. Neale, Hymns of the East­ern Church, 1862.

Music: Old 22nd Anglo-Ge­ne­van Psal­ter, 1556 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
John M. Neale
(1818–1866)

Lyrics

O Unity of threefold light,
Send out Thy loveliest ray,
Add scatter our transgressions’ night,
And turn it into day;
Make us those temples pure and fair
Thy glory loveth well,
The spotless tabernacles, where
Thou may’st vouchsafe to dwell.

The glorious hosts of peerless might,
That ever see Thy face,
Thou mak’st the mirrors of Thy light,
The vessels of Thy grace.
Thou, when their wondrous strains they weave,
Hast pleasure in the lay:
Deign thus our praises to receive,
Albeit from lips of clay.

And yet Thyself they cannot know,
Nor pierce the veil of light
That hides Thee from the thrones below,
As in profoundest night.
How then can mortal accents frame
Due tribute to their king?
Thou, only, while we praise Thy name,
Forgive us as we sing.