This canticle was introduced in the Canadian Prayer Books as an Additional Canticle, and adopted in the 1979 Prayer Book to be used as the first Canticle in Morning Prayer on Sundays in Advent and Wednesdays outside of Lent, and the first Canticle on Thursdays in Evening Prayer.  It was also appointed for Lauds on the feast of the Epiphany in the Mozaribic rite.

Arise, shine, for your light has come, * and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.
For behold, darkness covers the land; * deep gloom enshrouds the peoples.
But over you the Lord will rise, * and his glory will appear upon you.
Nations will stream to your light, * and kings to the brightness of your dawning.
Your gates will always be open; * by day or night they will never be shut.
They will call you, The City of the Lord, * the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Violence will no more be heard in your land,* ruin or destruction within your borders.
You will call your walls, Salvation,* and all your portals, Praise.
The sun will no more be your light by day; * by night you will not need the brightness of the moon.
The Lord will be your everlasting light, * and your God will be your glory.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,world without end. Amen.

Isaiah 60 is one of the iconic lectionary appointments for the feast of the Epiphany.  This Canticle, being a distillation of that chapter, provides an excellent meditation on the great themes of Epiphanytide: the dawning of the light of Christ over a dark world, nations and kings streaming to the Lord, the openness of the City of God to all the world, peace between Gentile and Jew and neighbor, and all because of the perpetual light of God made visible in the face of Jesus Christ.

One thought on “On Canticle 2: Surge, illuminare

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