When you attend Presanctified Liturgy tonight, listen for this prayer:
O Joyful Light of the Holy Glory of the Father immortal,
the heavenly, holy, Blessed One; O Jesus Christ.
Now that we have reached the setting of the sun
and see the evening light, we sing to God, +Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It is fitting at all times to raise a song of praise in measured melody to You,
O Son of God, the giver of life. Therefore the universe sings your glory.
Priest: Wisdom! Be attentive! The Light of Christ shines upon everyone!
People: Make three great prostrations in silence.
Did you know that this is a very ancient hymn, and that it is considered the very oldest song, besides those written in scripture, that Christians still sing today?
We know that it was written sometime before the fourth century, because it was recorded in the Constitution of the Apostles, which was written at that time. St. Basil the Great, who also lived during that time period, mentioned in his writings that it was a beloved hymn in his day as well.
Vigil lamps at the Church of the site of the Crucifixion of Christ on Golgotha; This image was originally posted to Flickr by И. Максим at https://www.flickr.com/photos/16185355@N00/1800593205. It was reviewed on 1 November 2009 by FlickreviewR and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2.0.