Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy be upon us, as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.
Note 1. This venerable hymn, familiar as a part of the morning service in the Roman Catholic and Protestant Episcopal Churches, and on special occasions in many Protestant Churches, has usually been ascribed to the great St. Ambrose of Milan and St. Augustine, his greater convert, in the year 387 A.D. But, like other productions of mighty influence, it was doubtless a growth. Portions of it appear in the writings of St. Cyprian (252 A.D.) and others in still earlier liturgical forms of the Greek Church in Alexandria during the century previous. It is thus probably the earliest, as it is certainly the most universal and famous, of Christian hymns. It was translated from the Latin into English in 1549 for the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, which assumed its present form in 1660during that wonderful era which gave us the English Bible, with its unapproached majesty and music of language. [back]