Friday, 14 December 2012



May the splendour of your glory dawn in our hearts,
we pray, almighty God,
that all shadows of the night may be scattered
and we may be shown to be children of light
by the advent of your Only Begotten Son.

From the Rotulus of Ravenna and, like the other prayers from the same source that we have considered so far, greatly influenced by Scripture. The 1970 revisers introduced several modifications to the Rotulus text, of which this is a translation:

May the splendour of glory, our Lord Jesus Christ, dawn in our hearts, we pray, almighty God, so that, all the darkness of night being scattered, the coming of the true light may show us to be sons of the day.

‘Splendor of glory’ is from Heb 1,3, where Christ is said to be the splendour of the Father’s glory. The 1970 addition of ‘your’ in the first line is therefore in keeping with the scriptural background of the prayer.
‘Dawn in our hearts’ echoes 1 Pet 1,19 ‘. . . until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts’.
The phrase in the Rotulus ‘sons of the day’ does not occur in Scripture, but its 1970 replacement, filios lucis occurs at Luke 1,8; John 12,36; 1 Thess 5,5. The choice of ‘children’ rather than ‘sons’ to render filios was presumably motivated by a desire for gender-inclusive language.