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Two Canticles of Creation: Prophet Daniel & Francis of Assisi

Prophet Daniel’s Canticle (Daniel 3:57-88,56)

This hymn of praise invites all God’s creatures to praise him, much like in the manner of Psalms 136 and 148.
 
O all you works of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
And you, angels of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
And you, the heavens of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
  And you, clouds of the sky, O bless the Lord.
And you, all armies of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
And you, sun and moon, O bless the Lord.
  And you, the stars of the heavens, O bless the Lord.
And you, showers and rain, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
And you, all you breezes and winds, O bless the Lord.
  And you, fire and heat, O bless the Lord.
And you, cold and heat, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
And you, showers and dew, O bless the Lord.
  And you, frosts and cold, O bless the Lord.
And you, frost and snow, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
And you, night-time and day, O bless the Lord.
  And you, darkness and light, O bless the Lord.
And you, lightning and clouds, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
O let the earth bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
And you, mountains and hills, O bless the Lord.
  And you, all plants of the earth, O bless the Lord.
And you, fountains and springs, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
And you, rivers and seas, O bless the Lord.
  And you, creatures of the sea, O bless the Lord.
And you, every bird in the sky, O bless the Lord.
  And you, wild beasts and tame, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
And you, children of men, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
O Israel, bless the Lord, O bless the Lord.
  And you, priests of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
And you, servants of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
And you, spirits and souls of the just, O bless the Lord.
  And you, holy and humble of heart, O bless the Lord.
Ananias, Azarias, Mizael, O bless the Lord.
  To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
 
Let us praise the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit:
  To you be highest glory and praise for ever.
May you be blessed, O Lord, in the heavens:
  To you be highest glory and praise for ever.

St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of Creatures (or of the Sun)

“The Canticle of the Sun, also known as Laudes Creaturarum (Praise of the Creatures) and Canticle of the Creatures, is a religious songcomposed by Saint Francis of Assisi. It was written in an Umbrian dialect of Italian but has since been translated into many languages. It is believed to be among the first works of literature, if not the first, written in the Italian language.[1]

The Canticle of the Sun in its praise of God thanks Him for such creations as “Brother Fire” and “Sister Water”. It is an affirmation of Francis’ personal theology as he often referred to animals as brothers and sisters to Mankind, rejected material accumulation and sensual comforts in favor of “Lady Poverty”.

Saint Francis is said to have composed most of the canticle in late 1224 while recovering from an illness at San Damiano, in a small cottage that had been built for him by Saint Clare and other women of her Order of Poor Ladies. According to tradition, the first time it was sung in its entirety was by Francis and Brothers Angelo and Leo, two of his original companions, on Francis’ deathbed, the final verse praising “Sister Death” having been added only a few minutes before.

A legend which emphasizes the topos of “brightness” says he did not physically write the Canticle, because of his blindness from an eye disease; but he dictated it and he did it looking at Nature through the eye of mind. Father Eric Doyle wrote: “Though physically blind, he was able to see more clearly than ever with the inner eye of his mind. With unparalleled clarity he perceived the basic unity of all creation and his own place as a friar in the midst of God’s creatures. His unqualified love of all creatures, great and small, had grown into unity in his own heart. He was so open to reality that it found a place to be at home in his heart and he was at home everywhere and anywhere. He was a centre of communion with all creatures”.

The Canticle of the Sun is first mentioned in the Vita Prima of Thomas of Celano in 1228.”

(taken from Wikipedia, Canticle of the Sun)

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honour, and all blessing.

To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no man is worthy to mention Your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendour!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather through which
You give sustenance to Your creatures.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night and he is beautiful
and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.

Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord,
through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no living man can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those who will
find Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord,
and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.

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