O Gracious Light
pure brightness of the everlasting Father in heaven.
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing praises, O God:
Father Son and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times
to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.
“The “Phos Hilaron” literally means hilarious light. It is a traditional candle lighting hymn often sung or recited. St. Basil described one of the earliest surviving Christian hymns, the “Lamp-lighting hymn” about 365 A.D. as a hymn used centuries before him. Early Christians apparently used it in the catacombs in the Second Century.”