Wednesday, 22 June 2016

An Old English Prayer for all Christians

The following is part of a prayer for all Christian people from The Primer or LayFolks' Prayerbook :

May the glorious passion of our Lord Jesus Christ bring us to the joy of Paradise.
In thy pity, Lord, unbind the bonds of all our sins. 
And through the prayer of the glorious everlasting maid Mary, 
with all thy saints, keep us, 
thy servants and our Queen and all Christian people in all holiness; 
cleanse of all vices and lighten with virtues 
all that are one with us by kinship of blood 
or by domestic ties or by prayer. 
Give peace and help to us, and put our enemies far from us, 
both those that we see and those that we cannot see. 
Give thy charity to our friends and to our enemies; 
and help to all the sick; and to all Christians, 
living and dead, grant life and endless rest, 
by Christ, our Lord. Amen.

The Primer, which exists in manuscript form in several venerable English libraries, is thought to have been compiled circa 1420-1430. It was published in book form by the Early English Text Society in 1895, with an explanatory essay on its origins by the eminent liturgiologist Edmund Bishop.