This prayer looks forward to the new day, welcoming the light that drives out the darkness.
When we wake up in the morning, we do not always look forward to the new day. Often we will get out of bed and reluctantly start our morning, not excited about our daily activities.Yet, how we start our morning is sets the tone for the rest of the day. If we begin in a sour mood, most likely the rest of the day will be negative.
Here is an excerpt from the “Hymn of Light” composed by St. Ephrem, a holy saint of the 4th century whose hymns have greatly influenced the Church. The following hymn is typically part of the Maronite liturgy and praises God, who drives out the darkness of the world.
The Light of the just and joy of the upright is Christ Jesus our Lord.
Begotten of the Father, He manifested himself to us.
He came to rescue us from darkness and to fill us with the radiance of His light.
Day is dawning upon us; the power of darkness is fading away.
From the true Light there arises for us the light which illumines our darkened eyes.
His glory shines upon the world and enlightens the very depths of the abyss.
Death is annihilated, night has vanished, and the gates of Sheol are broken.
Creatures lying in darkness from ancient times are clothed in light.
The dead arise from the dust and sing because they have a Savior.
He brings salvation and grants us life. He ascends to his Father on high.
He will return in glorious splendor and shed His light on those gazing upon Him.
Our King comes in majestic glory.
Let us light our lamps and go forth to meet Him.
Let us find our joy in Him, for He has found joy in us.
He will indeed rejoice us with His marvelous light.
Stand up then and be ready!
Give thanks to our King and Savior,
Who will come in great glory to gladden us
with His marvelous light in His kingdom.