Litany of Light

In Life, Theology
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Old poems or bad litanies?

Sometimes when you dig through old files on an old computer you find things you forgot you had.

When I was in college I bought a Dell which got me through all my studies. It had a whopping 256MB of RAM (this was in 2001) and probably about 4 GB of storage space. (Ha! I remember still carting around 1.44 floppies…)

Anyway, that computer is functional to this day, although right now it is currently not in use. Yes, Windows XP lingers on after a decade of dazzling us with visualizations in Windows Media Player.

But I’m getting away from the point. About six months ago I decided to grab all the files I considered ‘valuable’ off it and transfer them to my Mac. Initially I was concerned that it was going to be a lot, but then I remembered that the entirety of the hard drive could fit on the flash drive that hangs off my keychain…

250MB later I had the culmination of my college career and subsequent musical foibles all safely stowed on the Mac. I briefly browsed through the contents on and off, but never did a very serious examination of the contents.

However, yesterday I discovered a file that that didn’t immediately register in my memory, so I opened it up. It was a text file entitled Light Litany. During college and the years following I tried my hand at writing hymns, liturgies and the like, but really didn’t recall doing this. Since I can’t remember it, it’s possible that I didn’t write it. Granted, a lot of it is either verbatim scripture or allusions to scriptural passages.

On the other hand, it’s entirely possible that I DID write it, which might go a long way towards explaining why:

1. It’s pretty amateurish
2. It might not even be a litany

Now a litany is characterized by call and response- the leader recites a text and the congregation answers with another, usually their part remaining unchanged or similar through the duration. (It can also be a private devotional activity.) An example of this follows, being a portion of the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus:

Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on us
Jesus, splendor of the Father, have mercy on us
Jesus, brightness of everlasting light, have mercy on us
Jesus, king of glory, have mercy on us

The rest of the litany is definitely worth the read. Of course, Psalm 136(135) is also an archetypal example.

At any rate, the Litany of Light could, I suppose, technically be considered a litany, although it would make the caller seem quite verbose. That it only skirts the edges of what might be considered a litany lends more weight to the notion that I actually wrote it, since at the time I probably wasn’t all that familiar with litanies and perhaps only called it a litany because I thought the word litany sounded cool.

Or something like that.

Anyway, here it is- the Litany of Light. (be gentle…)

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O light that knew no dawn
O sun behind all suns
You wrap Yourself in the light of a thousand stars

Lord, You are Light

Out of the gleam
Of Your presence so bright
Blazing, the flame of Your lightning, flashing forth
You are a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path
The Lord turns the darkest night into the day

Lord, You are Light

He brings out the deep
And the darkness within
The shadows will melt into colors of the sun
As He marks out the line
On the face of the deep
Where the shade and the sun
Will embrace beneath the sky

Lord, You are Light

Let the light of Your face
And the glory of Your countenance
Alight upon the darkness of our lives
For the Lord is my light
And the savior of all
Of whom shall I fear, of whom shall I be afraid?

Lord, You are Light

For the voice of the Lord
Strikes with peals of thundering
In the flashes of light that streak across the sky
And in You is life
And the fountain of light
In the shadow of God every night is as bright as day

Lord, You are Light

Resplendent with light
More majestic than heights
In the thunders and winds and the lightning and quaking earth
You light up the world
With the stroke of Your hand
And every heart will tremble at Your word

Lord, You are Light

You wrap Yourself in light
In the garments of Your glory
Stretching the stars and the galaxies sky to sky
Maker of the great lights
The sun and moon and stars
May all of our steps be found in the light of the Lord

Lord, You are Light

On those in the dark
In the valley of the dead
Your light will arise, with healing upon its rays
He fashions the light
And the darkness supplies
With the lightning, the rain, and the wind from its resting place

Lord, You are Light

In Him was life
The life of the light of men
It shines in the dark but the darkness cannot comprehend
You are the light of the world
And the shadows will flee
From the paths of the just who will walk in the light of Your life

Lord, You are Light

Wake up o sleeper
Rise from the dead
And the Light of the Lord, yes Christ will shine on You
For we once were the dark
Now we we are light in the Lord
Let us live out our lives as children of the light

Lord, You are Light

Every gift that is good
Comes down from above
From the Father of lights who does not shift like shadows
God is light
No darkness abides
In the step of the King every shadow dissolves away

Lord, You are Light

If we walk in the light
As he is in the light
We have fellowship, one with another
And the blood of the Christ
Yes, Jesus the Son
Purifies us from all of our sins

Lord, You are Light

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