Books Of The Bible
Day And Night They Were Singing God's Praises
Revelation Series • Revelation 4:1-11
First Lesson • Revelation 4:1-11
Leader: After this I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open!
Congregation: And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this."
L: At once I was in the spirit, and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne!
C: And the one seated there looks like jasper and carnelian, and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald.
L: Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders, dressed in white robes, with golden crowns on their heads.
C: Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder,
L: And in front of the throne burn seven flaming torches, which are the seven spirits of God;
C: And in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal.
L: Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind:
C: The first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle.
L: And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside.
C: Day and night without ceasing they sing, "Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come."
L: And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever;
C: They cast their crowns before the throne, singing, "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."
Gospel John 4:21-24
Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
The One Who Was, Is And Shall Be
Patricia Marvenko Smith
Day And Night They Were Singings God's Praises
The Book of Revelation? It is the Word of God. The Book of Revelation? God still speaks to us through it. The Book of Revelation? We still find the truth of God for our lives in it. The Book of Revelation? It is complex to read by ourselves and that is one of the purposes of the sermon for today: to read and understand the Book of Revelation together. One thing we are sure about the Book of Revelation is the need of a guide to guide us and help us more clearly understand the symbolism of that book.
Today is the fourth in a series of twelve “summer sermons” based on the Book of Revelation. In chapter one, we studied the vision of Christ who held the keys to life and death in his hands. In chapter two, we focused on Christ’s message to the church in Ephesus and in chapter three, we focused on Christ’s message to the church in Laodicea. Both messages to these churches in the first century are relevant for our lives. Today, we focus on chapter four, and it too is relevant for our situation.
The Book of Revelation is a book of visions. There are seven visions in the Book of Revelation. Today we focus on the prophet John’s vision of God. Chapter 4 is a grand chapter in which we find the true people of God in both the Old and New Testament, along with all of nature, singing praises to our infinite God who was, is and ever shall be.
To begin the sermon today, we need to do our Bible study. Revelation, chapter four, is printed in your bulletin. You may want to take some notes; you may want to circle words and underline phrases helps in your focus and concentration. Our minds are so fast and quick that we skim past important words without even realizing it. To underline and circle with a pencil helps our minds slow down and concentrate on specific words and phrases. We let look at Revelation, Chapter four.
After this I looked, This is a clear transition in the Book of Revelation. The prophet John has just finished his seven detailed messages to the seven churches in Asia. We find this phrase, “after this I looked” seven times in the Book of Revelation and the prophet John then reports to us a vision that he has seen.
And there in heaven a door stood open! This is a vision. As we have previously said, the Book of Revelation is part a genre, a category, a type of religious literature called “apocalyptic.” The word, “apocalyptic,” means unveiling. There were many books similar to the Book of Revelation such as I Enoch, II Enoch, III Enoch, III Baruch, the Apocalypse of Abraham and the Apocalypse of Peter. In these books that are apocalyptic in nature, someone goes up to heaven and receives a vision of the future. Of course, not literally “up” to heaven but in a vision. These are all visionary experiences like when the Apostle Paul had a vision and he went to the “third heaven.”
And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, In his visions, John the prophet will hear several voices speaking to him from God.
‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’ The prophet John was invited up to heaven (like the Apostle Paul had been invited up to heaven in his earlier vision experience) and he was shown what was to take place. As we said in a previous sermon, the word “apocalyptic” comes from two Greek words. “Apo” meaning off. “calyptic” meaning lid. “Off with the lid of a pan.” The lid comes off a lid of a pan and one can see what is in the pan. A person can see what is in the future.
At once I was in the spirit, The prophet John was in the Spirit. The Spirit of God took hold of John. That was also true of John in the first chapter of Revelation. John was in the Spirit. And we are to be in the Spirit as we hear his words and as we hear this sermon today. When you are in the Spirit, you listen to a voice from God to you. When you are not in the Spirit, you don’t. It is my prayer that you are in the Spirit right now as you are listening to this sermon.
And there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne. We encounter the prophet John’s vision of God. In this vision, there was a throne up in heaven and someone was sitting on that throne. The Book of Revelation never tells us the identify of who is sitting on that throne, but Someone is. The implication is that the Someone is God. This throne is mentioned forty three times in the Book of Revelation. God always sits on that throne. God is always invisible. God is always the one who is, was and ever shall be. God is always the God of infinity in the Book of Revelation. In the Old Testament, we hear repeatedly that no one has ever seen God. Why? Because God is invisible, and all around us.
And the one seated there looks like jasper and carnelian, and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald. This is an incredible vision of our infinite God. This vision is like a well-crafted painting. This painting explodes with the various shades and colors of jasper and carnelian and emerald. On that throne is light, shades of white jasper and shades of crimson carnelian. Around that intense light in the center of the throne are the colors of the rainbow. A person does not try to unweave the colors of the rainbow but simply enjoys them and loves them and appreciates all the myriad of color before our eyes.
Hans Lilje was a famous Bishop of Hannover and wrote a commentary on the Book of Revelation during World War II. He warns us not to attempt to rationally unweave the rainbow and thereby lose the sense of majesty within. A person often has a sense of majesty within when we stand reverently underneath a rainbow. Lilje writes: “We have no right to destroy the meaning of this great vision by a pedestrian explanation of the details. The Lord of the universe is seated in majesty upon a throne in the midst of the sparkling radiance of precious stones, in the majestic whiteness of the jasper, in the shimmering crimson of the carnelian, in the radiant glow of the emerald which ranges from light blue to deep translucent green. There is no need to inquire of the origins of these. Thunder and lightning are the most powerful cosmic forces known to primitive man. They still have a powerful affect upon us, so the seer does not make a clumsy effort to describe the majesty of the Lord of the universe. The radiance of divine glory which surrounds him and the praises of heaven reflect his glory.”
You don’t unweave the rainbow. Carnelian is carnelian. Jasper is jasper. Emerald is emerald. And rainbows are rainbows.
The image of God in the Book of Revelation is pure color that breathes an invisible divine presence. The following are pictures of stone but we need to imagine pure light. The colors (red, green, white) are more important than the shape/structure of the stone. (The following Power Point images can be projected on a screen for the congregation.)
Jasper can be many colors. Pictured above is lighter jasper.
Bishop Lilje warned us not to unweave the rainbow through intellectual analysis but simply to enjoy the beauty and the wonder of the colors of the rainbow.
The carnelian, jasper, emerald the colors of the rainbow symbolize the infinite, invisible Beauty of God.
In the Book of Revelation, God is not known as Father as Jesus consistently taught in the gospels, nor is God know as love as the Apostle John taught us in First John. The Book of Revelation envisions God as infinite, the God who was, is and ever shall be, an infinite majesty of color and magnificence.
Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders. In the Book of Revelation, we are constantly trying to understand the symbolism and what the author was saying to us in his symbolic language. The meaning of the symbolism of the twenty four elders is clear to us. Most reputable scholars say that the number 24 represents a combination of the twelve tribes of the Old Testament and the twelve apostles of the New Testament. In Revelation 21:12 describes the holy city, the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem “has a great, high wall with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates are inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites.” Revelation 21:14 says, “And the wall of the city has twelve foundations, and on them are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” The foundations are the twelve apostles; the gates into the city are the twelve tribes. The twelve tribes represent the true Israel of the Old Testament; the twelve apostles represent the true Christians of the New Testament. The true believers of the Old and New Testament are seated around the throne of God.
As we study the Book of Revelation in coming chapters, we will confront much obscure symbolism that we cannot understand, but this passage is not like that. The symbolism of twelve tribes and twelve apostles is clear to us.
Dressed in white robes, White robes are the symbols of martyrs. Martyrs are those who have died for the faith.
With golden crowns on their heads. Jesus had said previously, “Be faithful to me unto death and I will give you a crown of life.” True believers are faithful to God to their dying day.
Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, We are reminded of the flashes of lightning and thunder that were part of God’s revelation on Mount Sinai. The lightning and thunder symbolize the awesome power of God in nature.
And in front of the throne burn seven flaming torches, which are the seven spirits of God; The seven spirits of God are the fullness of the divine Spirit. The seven spirits are the Holy Spirit.
And in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal. It wasn’t literally a sea of glass, but it looked as if it were a sea of glass. It was smooth, as smooth as glass, as crystal glass, as smooth as a lake or even Puget Sound early in the morning. The prophet John could have witnessed this scene every morning as he looked out on the “smooth-as-glass” Aegean Sea. What did it represent? This perfect sea of glass in front of the throne? Dazzling purity and perfection. No ripples. No flaws. No indentations. Just pure ice. Pure flat. Pure glaze. Our English word, “crystal” comes from the Greek word, “krystallas.”
Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: These living creatures appear frequently in the Book of Revelation. They are always near the Throne and the Lamb (next chapter.) These creatures are always praising and worshipping God.
The Biblical source and details for this part of the vision is the Book of Ezekiel. Notice that these four creatures are full of eyes in front and them and in back. They are “all seeing.”
Each of the four creatures is a dominant animal in the earth. These creatures symbolize the best and strongest parts of nature.
The first living creature like a lion, The lion is the king of the wild beasts, even today.
The second living creature like an ox, The oxen was the king of the tamed beasts.
The third living creature with a face like a human face, The human being was and is the kingover all.
And the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. The eagle is and was the king of the birds of the air.
The four beasts represent the greatness and strength and the majesty of all of nature. Human beings are part of nature.
In the fourth century, Augustine identified each creature with a gospel. That is, the Gospel of Matthew was identified as the lion because Jesus was the Lion of Judah. The Gospel of Luke was identified as the ox because Jesus was given in sacrifice for all people. The Gospel of Mark was identified as the man because Jesus was the most human of all the gospels. The Gospel of John was identified as the eagle because it reached the greatest heights of philosophical thought of all the four gospels. (Barclay).
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. The six winged creatures are the seraphim from the Book of Isaiah. Now, the source of the vision moves from Ezekiel to Isaiah. In Isaiah 6:2, we hear about the seraphim which have six wings and call to one another, “holy, holy, holy” which leads into the next verse. Each beast has six wings and they are all seeing and they are all praising God.
Day and night without ceasing they sing, ‘Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come.’ Underline “day and night.” Day and night, night and day, forever, these four creatures are praising God who was, is, and is to come. The king of the wild beasts, the king of the tamed beasts, the king of the birds, the king of all the beasts; together, at one time, all of nature was singing its praises to God. Without ceasing.
Circle the word, “sing.” The whole creation is singing together its praises of God.
I remember when our Grace Choir sang, UNA SANTA by Paul Christiansen. The third movement of that cantata echoes this verse in Revelation: “Night and day and day and night and night and day” the whole creation sings. I can still hear the choir with that murmuring, repetitive cadence of “night and day and day and night and night and day, forever, singing God’s praises.”
Near the words, “holy, holy, holy” write the words, “awesome, awesome, awesome.” Awesome is the Lord God Almighty who was, is and every shall be.
All of nature, and the best and brightest of nature, are singing, “awesome, awesome, awesome,” all at the same time.
We recall our morning hymn of praise, “holy, holy, holy,” but we are to imagine that all of nature is singing this hymn together and not just a few warbled voices in church. “Holy, Holy, Holy” is not primarily a song from our hymnbook but are the words that all of nature sings to God in unison. Awesome, awesome, awesome.
“Who was, is and is to come.” Underline that phrase. In the Book of Revelation, God is never identified as love. In the Book of Revelation, we don’t near the phrase, “God is love.” Nor do we hear that persistent teaching of Jesus, “God is Father, God is my Father, God is your Father.” Nor do we hear that God is our heavenly Father and we are his earthly children who are destined to live forever with him. We hear none of this in the Book of Revelation e.g. God as Love or God as Father. What we do hear is God is infinite; God is invisible; God was, is and is to come. Our God is a God who lives forever.
In the Old Testament, the name for God is Yahweh, and the word, “Yahweh,” is simply a “be” verb. God always is. God always was. And God always shall be.
Paul Tillich, an America theologian, wrote a book entitled, THE GROUND OF BEING, and he said that God was the essence of all, the ground of being.
And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, All of nature, symbolized by the lion, the oxen, the eagle and the human being, give honor and glory and thanks to the everlasting and infinite God who lives forever. Circle the words, “glory, honor and thanks.” This is what the Lord God wants from us.
The twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; As this music of praise is bursting forth, the twenty-four elders fall before the presence of God who lives forever and ever.
Circle the word, “worship.” See the word, “worship.” Focus on that word. Center on it. This is one of the primary purposes of our lives: to worship God. This is one of the primary purposes of the church: to worship God. In worship, both public and private, we praise God and we learn about God from his Word.
They cast their crowns before the throne, Any honor that they had received in life, they give to Christ. From the fine painting below, we can see the twelve elders/apostles/tribes. We can see them kneeling and worshipping. We can also see their reflections of the perfect sea of crystal that is below the throne.
Artist Patricia Marvenko Smith
Singing, ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.’ The truly faithful people of God in the Old and New Testament join nature and together they praise God. Why do they praise God? Because the Lord God created all things. Circle the word, “for” and write in “because.” Why do we praise God? Because God create everything.
What a vision! What a glorious vision! All of nature. The best of nature. All of the true believers. Altogether, they are praising God night and day and day and night.
Below is a painting of this heavenly vision from Revelation 4. All of the elements from Revelation 4 are pictured below in the painting. Notice the concentration of light at the epicenter of the painting. This concentration of light symbolizes the presence of God who is surrounded by an emerald/green rainbow with crimson carnelian in it. Notice before the throne/presence of God are the seven lights which represent the Spirit, the Holy Spirit. At the base of the painting, notice the four creatures each with wings, representing the strongest and best of nature praising God. Then notice the twenty-four elders of the true believers from the Old and New Testament. Notice that their mouths are opened as if they were singing praises to God. Notice that there are more than twenty-four elders but a choir of infinite numbers of people praising God. 12 plus 12 is not to be taken literally. The 12 elders of the apostles represent the whole church. The 12 elders of the 12 tribes represent all the believing Jews of the Old Testament. Notice the sea of glass at the base of the painting. It is as if the throne and all the creatures are seated on this perfect mirror or perfectly smooth crystal. You can see the reflections of the wings and feet in the mirrored glass.
This painting was done by Pat Marvenko Smith in 1982 when she did a series of forty paintings based on the Book of Revelation. She was/is a graphic artist who was teaching youth about the Book of Revelation, and she discovered that she needed some visual aids. So she created them.
A series of 15 woodcuts entitled, The Apocalypse
DURER, Germany, 1498
Durer was the finest German artist of the Renaissance. He was a contemporary of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Luther. Notice his recreation of Revelation 4: God is a person on the throne rather than the Light on the throne. Notice the four beasts, the seven flames of fire, the twenty four elders. Notice at the bottom on the painting is John, receiving the vision. Notice the land of Germany on the bottom third of the painting. Notice the D which was Durer’s trademark.
Revelation 4 is an invitation to each one of us to join all nature and all the true believers of every generation in praise and thanksgiving to God.
Next week, we will study Revelation, chapter 5, in which all creation and the faithful will praise the Lamb, Jesus Christ.
This concludes the “Bible study” portion of the sermon.
One night, a long time ago, I went for a walk. It was more than thirty years ago. It was my first youth retreat in the mountains in Oregon. Being a boy from southwestern Minnesota, I had never experienced the mountains, the rugged cliffs and the fir trees. The fir trees were grand that midwinter evening. With darkness. With new fallen snow. With silence. Total silence except the snowflakes falling effortlessly and lightly through the trees. It was a beauty in God’s creation that I had never seen before. Soon and slowly, there were six feet of unmarked, soft pure snow and I was there. In that magical and mystical moment, I wrote these words:
“I walked down the road on a quiet wintry night,
I listened to the softness of my heart in pure delight.
I saw the treetops glistening and the hilltops etched with snow,
And I bowed my head so humbly to the Majesty I know.
I saw the bushes kneeling, their arms bent to the ground.
I heard the meadows whitened by the silence of the sound.
Alone I stood there listening to the stillness of the night,
And I bowed my head so humbly to the Majesty of light.”
At that moment as I looked up at the snow laden trees, I saw their arms or branches spread out in majestic praise to God. As I looked out at the bushes, I saw that they were bent over under the weight of the snow and they looked as if they were kneeling before almighty God. As I looked up at the hilltops, I saw the stony faces of the mountains which were silently singing their praises to God. In that moment, I was not worshipping nature. With nature, I was worshipping God. With the trees and bushes and rocky cliffs, with them, we were joined together as one as we all praised the Lord who was, who is and is to come. The snow was worshipping God that night and I joined the sounds of the snow in worship.
I remember being at my brother’s vacation home in Wisconsin. There are several small, private lakes on his property, and I remember rowing a boat out into the middle of one small lake one evening. I rowed around the lake, casting for bass, and then I came to one particular marsh. That marsh exploded with the sounds of frogs. Thousands of frogs with thousands of frog voices, all singing to God. Day and night and night and day, they were singing to God, Ribet. Ribet. Ribit. Which, in frog language, means, “Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.” In that sacred moment, my spirit and voice joined the spirits and voices of the frogs and we all praised God together. I was not worshipping nature. With nature, I was worshipping God. The frogs were worshipping God that dusk and I joined the sounds of the frogs in worship.
I vividly remember hiking among the mountain flowers in August on the shoulders of Mount Rainier. It was August and the mountain flowers were infinitely abundant. The lupin. The mountain lilies. The Indian paintbrush. All lush near that mountain street, verdant like you have never seen before. I remember lying down in the midst of the flowers near to that mountain stream and my face was looking right up into the sun and I was smiling. My face joined the faces of the flowers. My smile joined the smiles of the lilies. They were smiling and I was smiling and we were all smiling together at God. In that moment, I was not praising nature. With nature, I was praising God. The flowers were worshipping God that day, and I joined the flowers in their worship.
Mattie Stepanek, the young thirteen boy who recently died of muscular dystrophy and who was such an inspiration to the whole world, wrote this poem about trees. Young Mattie Stepanek knew that trees could sing:
When the Trees Sing
When the trees sing,
It doesn't really matter
If you know the song,
Or if you know the words,
Or even if you know the tune.
What really matters is knowing
That the trees are singing at all.
Mattie - 5/6/98
© Hyperion. All Rights Reserved.
St. Francis of Assisi wrote a poem about the Brother Sun and Sister Moon praising God. That poem is printed in your bulletin for you to meditate on it and take it home and immerse your soul in it.
In his book, LIVES OF A CELL, by Lewis Thomas, imagined a moment when he was capable of listening to all the sounds of creation at one time praising God. It is incredible to think about that possibility. If you and I were intelligent and sensitive enough to hear at one time all the sounds of nature, what a symphony it would be! Lewis Thomas wrote the following words: “The individual parts played by other instruments such as crickets and earthworms may not have the sound of music by themselves, but then we may be hearing them out of context. If we could listen to them all at once, the crickets and the earthworms, fully orchestrated, in their immense ensemble, we might become aware of the counterpoint, the balance of tones, timbres and harmonics, the sonorities. If we could hear only one instrument of nature, such as the recorded sounds of the hump back whale, it would be like an isolated section of the orchestra of nature. If we had better hearing and could discern the distant sounds of the seabirds, the rhythmic timphony of schools of mollusks and even the distant harmonics hanging over the meadows in the sun, the combined sound effect might lift us off our feet.” Might lift us off our feet? Might inspire us? Might move us? We would be more than overwhelmed if we could hear all the tones and sounds of nature singing at one time. The chorus, the sound, the symphony of nature would be too much for us to hear. But that is what God hears during every moment of every day and night.
Let’s take our conversation a step further. There is something about God who wants to be worshipped and there is something about us human beings who want and need to worship God. Let’s talk about that.
There is something about God which invites us and all nature to worship him. As we have said, in the Book of Revelation is that invisible, infinite, eternal light, who was, is, and is to come. God wants to be worshipped. God wants to be praised. There is something within the nature of God that wants and enjoys praise and adoration. That is one point of the sermon. But there is something else. There is something about human nature that makes us want to worship God. Not merely to worship the creation but to worship God who created the creation. We want to worship not Mother Nature but the God who mothered nature.
I learned about this a long time ago. Let me tell you the story. Years ago, I read a novel by the French novelist, Vercors. The title was, THE MURDER OF THE MISSING LINK. This is a very cleverly constructed novel and the message of that novel has remained inside of me and has shaped my thought for several decades. The title of the book is the clue to the book: THE MURDER OF THE MISSING LINK. They, the scientists, have discovered what they think is the “missing link.” They think this missing link is female. They, the scientists, then have this missing link impregnated with a male human sperm, and “it” gets pregnant and gives birth to a baby. Now, this baby: is it human or animal? Hmmm. A human or an animal? They, the scientists, then kill the baby of the missing link. Now, did they, the scientists, murder a human baby … or … kill an animal baby? So for the first time in human history, the courts have to decide if “it” (the baby of the missing link) was human or an animal. The courts have to decide for the first time what it was/is to be human.
This murdered creature was studied and compared to human infants and animal infants. Ultimately, the courts decided that “it” was not a human being. Why? Human beings worship “jujus, amulets and fetishes. This animal did not. “It” did not worship anything beyond itself. “It” had no consciousness of God. “It” worshipped nothing. “It had no items of worship such as charms and jujus and amulets. It had not trinkets that were used to worship the divine.
What is the core of our humanness? To worship God. All cultures and all civilizations have always worshipped God.
Margaret Mead, the noted anthropologist, concluded that there had never been a culture which had not worshipped a supreme being. All cultures of the world throughout all human history have worshipped a supreme. All cultures have temples which are large spiritual trinkets to help human beings worship God.
All human beings have A BASIC NEED to worship God. This need is biological, is genetic, is part of our “hard wiring.” All cultures and all civilizations worship a divine power and divine presence.
The beauty of life is not to worship nature. The beauty of life is to be part of nature that worships God. And day and night and night and day, all of nature never stops singing praises to God who was, is, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
A canticle to be read during the worship service after Revelation 4
Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon by St. Francis of Assisi:
Leader: Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.
Congregation: Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
L: Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
C: Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather's moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.
L: Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.
C: Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
L: Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
C: Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon
for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
By You Most High, they will be crowned.
L: Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
C: Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility.
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