Lay Cistercian Litany of Praise and Glory

One of the great prayer traditions in the Church Universal is the Liturgy of the Saints. I was thinking, during one of my recent Lectio Divina meditations about how I should praise God for his supreme act of Love to become one of us to save us from our human condition. (Philippians 2:5)

My mind ventured to pray the Cistercian doxology, “Praise to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. The God who is, who was and who is to come at the end of the ages.” In the Liturgy of the Hours, we always conclude this doxology at the end of each of the Psalms or the end of the three Psalms that make up each hour.

Cutting Wheat

My mind continued to conjure up various scenarios where we praise God. I thought of one of my favorite passages in the Liturgy of the Hours, that of Daniel 3. How people working in the fields would recite these psalms with each other. How the faithful would gather to respond to the various litanies with “Lord Have Mercy” “Lord, save your people” or “We beseech you, hear us.” Below are references to read the history of the Litany of Saints, the one I know the best and was prayed for me at the reception of Holy Orders.

LITANY AS PRAYER OF THE PEOPLE

Here is a litany from the Old Testament book of Daniel (3).

46 Now the king’s servants who had thrown them in continued to stoke the furnace with naphtha, pitch, tow, and brush. 47 The flames rose forty-nine cubits above the furnace, 48 and spread out, burning the Chaldeans that it caught around the furnace. 49 But the angel of the Lord went down into the furnace with Azariah and his companions, drove the fiery flames out of the furnace, 50 and made the inside of the furnace as though a dew-laden breeze were blowing through it. The fire in no way touched them or caused them pain or harm. 51 Then these three in the furnace with one voice sang, glorifying and blessing God:

52 “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our ancestors,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.
53 Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
    praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.
54 Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
55 Blessed are you who look into the depths
    from your throne upon the cherubim,
    praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
56 Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
    praiseworthy and glorious forever.
57 Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord,
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
58 Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord,
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
59 You heavens, bless the Lord,
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
60 All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord,
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
61 All you powers, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
62 Sun and moon, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
63 Stars of heaven, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
64 Every shower and dew, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
65 All you winds, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
66 Fire and heat, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
67 Cold and chill, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
68 Dew and rain, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
69 Frost and chill, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
70 Hoarfrost and snow, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
71 Nights and days, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
72 Light and darkness, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
73 Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
74 Let the earth bless the Lord,
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
75 Mountains and hills, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
76 Everything growing on earth, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
77 You springs, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
78 Seas and rivers, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
79 You sea monsters and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
80 All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
81 All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
82 All you mortals, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
83 O Israel, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
84 Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
85 Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
86 Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
87 Holy and humble of heart, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
88 Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord;
    praise and exalt him above all forever.
For he has delivered us from Sheol,
    and saved us from the power of death;
He has freed us from the raging flame
    and delivered us from the fire.
89 Give thanks to the Lord, who is good,
    whose mercy endures forever.
90 Bless the God of gods, all you who fear the Lord;
    praise and give thanks,
    for his mercy endures forever.”

LOOK IT UP

THE LITANY OF SAINTS AS PRAYER OF THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL

There are two types of sung Litany of the Saints. I have references for you to listen to each of them.

Traditional Litany of the Saints
Modern Litany of the Saints

I love both of these chants, one traditional and one modern. Sometimes, I just listen to them to enhance my Meditation on Philippians 2:5. Take some time and listen to both of them, one in Latin and one in English.

A LAY CISTERCIAN REFLECTS ON THE LITANY OF THE SAINTS

Litanies begin by asking God for mercy. Next is praise for the Trinity, redemption, salvation. The next level is asking the key players in our salvation to help us., then comes the prayer to the specific Saints (note: we ask the Saints that stand in perpetual adoration before the Throne of the Father to join with us in prayer. We don’t pray TO the saints as our final source of praise and glory, that is to God alone.)

The Saints (those recognized as in God’s Hall of Fame) and the saints who have died and are before the Throne of the Father are alive in Heaven, just as we are. As we asked them when they were living, we now ask them via the litany to join us in in praise and glory to the Father through the Son by means of the Holy Spirit.

I will be using the patron saint or namesake in the Litany that I compose below. Saints are those who have died and are before the Throne of the Lamb.

We ask the Father to be merciful and helps us, as we continue to struggle on earth, with petitions of mercy and help. I can remember reciting litanies which say “save us from the peril of the Vikings.” There are prayers of petition to the Father to keep us strong in Faith and not let our Faith waiver.

The Litany of the Saints states and petition or statement from the Schola Cantorum (a group of lead singers) and then requires a response from us. This mantra-like chant opens up, to those disposed to the Spirit, relationship with the Sacred. The music is simple and does not get in the way of the words spoken, but elevates them so that we have both word and music praising and glorifying the Father through the Son by means of the Holy Spirit.

A LAY CISTERCIAN LITANY OF PRAISE AND GLORY

I have composed a Litany of Praise and Glory to the Father, using some of the Saints I know and people who have died in the peace of Christ. The first part is sung by the Schola Cantorum and the response is sung by the congregants (in italics)

Lord, Have Mercy Lord, Have Mercy

Christ, Have Mercy Christ, Have Mercy

Lord, Have Mercy Lord, Have Mercy

To the Father Who Creates All That Is Praise and Glory be to you

To the Son Who Set us Free Praise and Glory be to you

To the Holy Spirit who Gives us Strength Praise and Glory be to you

You are the God who is, who was, and who is to come at the end of the ages

Praise and Glory be to you

All you who stand before the throne of God Pray for us

Holy Mary,  Pray for us (repeat after each line)
Holy Mother of God, 
Holy Virgin of virgins,
St. Michael, 
St. Gabriel, 
St. Raphael, 

All you Holy Angels and Archangels, 
St. John the Baptist, 
St. Joseph, 
All you Holy Patriarchs and Prophets,

St. Peter, 
St. Paul, 
St. Andrew, 
St. James, 
St. John, 
St. Thomas, 
St. James,
St. Philip, 
St. Bartholomew, 
St. Matthew, 
St. Simon, 
St. Jude, 
St. Matthias,
St. Barnabas, 
St. Luke, 
St. Mark, 
All you holy Apostles and Evangelists, 

All you holy Disciples of the Lord, 
St. Stephen, 
St. Lawrence, 
St. Vincent, 
Sts. Fabian and Sebastian, 
Sts. John and Paul, 

St. Ignatius of Antioch

St. Polycarp
Sts. Cosmas and Damian, 
All you holy men, Saints of God

St. Anthony,
St. Benedict, 
St. Bernard, 
St. Dominic,  
St. Francis, 

St. Ignatius
All you holy Priests and Levites, 
All you holy Monks and Hermits,

John Cassian

All you Cistercian monks and nuns


All you Cistercian Martyrs and Martyrs of Atlas

Father Anthony Delisi

Francisco Ambrosetti

All you holy Lay Cistercians living and dead Pray for us

All you Holy Women, Saints of God Pray for us

St. Mary Magdalene, 
St. Agatha, 
St. Lucy, 
St. Agnes, 
St. Cecilia, 
St. Anastasia,
St. Catherine, 

St. Mother Theresa

Sr. Mother Theodore Guerin

St. Scholastica

O Lord, be merciful Lord, save your people (repeat after each verse)

O Lord, give us your peace

O Lord, may our capacity to love you grow every day

O Lord, sustain us in our search for you

O Lord, move us from self to you

O Lord, protect us from the temptation of relativism

O Lord, may we listen with the ear of the heart

O Lord, may our prayers permit us to approach you in Faith

O Lord, give us humility of heart

O Lord, may we be always close to your heart

O Lord, grant us the grace of silence and solitude

O Lord, that in all things may we have the mind of Christ

O Lord, give us the grace to experience the Holy Spirit in each other

We sinners, we beseech Thee, hear us (repeat after each line)
That you wouldst spare us,
That you wouldst pardon us,
That you wouldst bring us to true repentance,
That you wouldst bless those who follow the Rule of St. Benedict
That you would bring all of together as one
That you wouldst sustain and preserve us in Thy holy service,
That you would give us your own energy to love one another as you have loved us
That you wouldst render eternal blessings to all our family, friends and those who help us
That you would give us your own Spirit to stand vigil before the Blessed Sacrament
That you would grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed, Lay Cistercians, monks and nuns
That you would give us the strength to practice Lectio Divina and Liturgy of the Hours for your glory and honor

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of
    the world, have mercy on us
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of
    the world, have mercy on us
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of
    the world, grant us peace

Christ, hear us, Lord Jesus, hear our prayer.
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer. Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord have mercy on us. Lord have mercy on us

Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, graciously hear us

Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.

uiodg

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