If you’re familiar with Jan Karon and the Mitford novels series, then you know about the characters of Miss Sadie and Louella, two confirmed spinsters who share a rambling mansion and love to pass the time singing the old hymns. Louella’s favorite is one that I had never heard of until recently. It’s called “To You Before the Close of Day.”
It’s such a beautiful prayer for God’s people around the world to lift up to God in time of plenty or want, in peace or in war, in joy or in sorrow. It was translated from the original Latin by J. M. Neale. Here is the hymn:
“To you, before the close of day,
Creator of the world, we pray.
Your grace and peace to us allow
and be our guard and keeper now.
Save us from troubled, restless sleep,
from all ill dreams your children keep;
so calm our minds that fears may cease
and rested bodies wake in peace.
A healthy life we ask of you,
the fire of love in us renew,
and when the dawn new light will bring,
your praise and glory we shall sing.
Creator, this we ask be done
through Jesus Christ, your only Son,
whom with the Spirit we adore,
with you, one God forevermore.