Now it is Evening, Time to Cease from Labour

This is a hymn for the end of the day, which has also been used for funerals, and for retirement from ministry.

The words are based on a German hymn, Die Nacht ist Kommen Drin Wir Ruhen Sollen which was written by a Moravian priest of the Unity of the Brethren, Petrus Herbertus (Peter Herbert - c.1530-1571) and first published in the Brethren's German Hymn Book, 1566 which  Herbertus edited.

It was translated by English Anglican priest and poet George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848-1934).

With meter, tunes it has been set to include:
  • CHRISTE SANCTORUM from the Paris Antiphoner, 1681 - this tune is also used for a similarly-named hymn by Fred Pratt Green, "Christ is the world's light, Christ and none other"


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Instrumental - piano:

Instrumental - organ, with words on-screen:

Instrumental - organ:


Now it is evening; time to cease from labour,
Father, according to thy will and pleasure,
Through the night-season, have thy faithful people
Safe in thy keeping.

Far from our dwellings drive the evil spirits;
Under the shadow of thy wings protect us;
Be thou our guardian through the hours of darkness,
Strong to defend us.

Call we, ere sleeping, on the name of Jesus;
Rise we at day-break, strong to serve thee better;
Order our goings, well begun and ended,
All to thy glory.

Fountain of goodness, bless the sick and needy;
Visit the captive, solace the afflicted;
Shelter the stranger, feed your starving children;
Strengthen the dying.

Father, who neither slumberest nor sleepest,
Thou, to whom darkness is as clear as noonday,
Have us this night-time, for the sake of Jesus,
Safe in thy keeping.

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