Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sarum prayer

I grew up on this prayer. There's a musical setting in the Hymnal 1940 that we sang frequently when I was in junior choir and so it's deeply imbedded in my consciousness. I continue to experience these words as both consoling and challenging:
God be in my head
and in my understanding.
God be in my eyes
and in my looking.
God be in my mouth
and in my speaking.
God be in my heart
and in my thinking.
God be at my end
and at my departing.


  1. It stayed in the 1982 Hymnal (#694). I remember singing it weekly (post-communion hymn, I think) as a child, sitting next to Mother in church. We made sure to include it in her memorial service, and for me it was absolutely the most comforting moment.

  2. Hi, Deacon's Wife. I'm glad you have good memories of this as well.

  3. I have thought about this prayer ever since you posted it. I'm sorry, but all I can think of in regards to it is it is scary, almost a big brother is watching type scenario. Maybe one had to learn it as a child.
    Carolyn L.

  4. Hi, Carolyn. I guess the prayer could come across that way to someone who had been brought up with a punishing image of God.

    I don't think it's saying to watch out because God *is* doing those things but that we are petitioning God to *be* in our understanding, etc. It's not about intrusion but intimacy and transformation. At least that's how I've always experienced it.


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