All Creatures of our God and King

All Creatures of our God and King is an Easter hymn based on a poem called The Canticle of the Sun by St. Francis of Assisi. Inspired by psalm 148 he wrote it in 1224 while recovering from illness. He was staying in a cottage built for him by the 'Poor Ladies' - a small monastic community of women started in Assisi by Clare, a young woman who had been inspired by Francis' teaching. 

Francis, Clare and their friends sought to live a life of absolute simplicity; one in which trust in God the Father was the first desire of their hearts; and following in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus their first priority in life.

One of their desires was to be able to see everything as a gracious gift from God - the trees, the flowers, the sun and the moon, but also the weary and the broken. 

As with all followers of the Lord Jesus they sought to bring comfort to the poor and downhearted.

 

The poem was translated into English by William Henry Draper and published in 1919 where it was set to an old German hymn tune.

The oldest known picture of St. Francis painted between 1228 and 1229.

May the prayer and desire

of our deepest self

be to see your Holy Presence

in the beauty that is all around us;

in all those who cross our paths;

in our days of sun;

and in our days of rain.

May thanksgiving 

be our Canticle.

May blessing and forgiveness

be our Song.

Amen.

The Canticle of the Sun

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!

All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.

No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce 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 splendor!

Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;

in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,

and clouds and storms, and all the weather,

through which you give your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;

she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,

through whom you brighten the night.

He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,

who feeds us and rules us,

and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial.

Happy those who endure in peace,

for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.

Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,

from whose embrace no living person can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin!

Happy those she finds doing your most holy will.

The second death can do no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord,

and give thanks, and serve him with great humility