PHOS HILARON

EveningLight

O gladsome light, O grace
of God the Father’s face,
the eternal splendour wearing:
celestial, holy, blessed,
our Saviour Jesus Christ,
joyful in thine appearing.

Now, ere day fadeth quite,
we see the evening light,
our wonted hymn outpouring;
Father of might unknown,
thee, his incarnate Son,
and Holy Spirit adoring.

To thee of right belongs
all praise of holy songs,
O Son of God, life-giver;
thee, therefore, O Most High,
the world doth glorify,
and shall exalt for ever.

HERE’S THE CANTICLE that was always on the tip of my tongue when I first encountered evening light in the Lake District, and in my training years in the sublime Cathedral Close in Salisbury. The gradation of light can move me to tears as to prayer and praise. This light speaks of a carefulness and a graciousness in Creation that is infinitely generous. Black and white might get the job done but the spectrum from morning to evening brings forth the “hymn outpouring”. Silent evening light in Greystoke, or across the water meadows in Salisbury, or over the waters of the Golfe du Morbihan, equals an evensong. The Divine photographer moves me. Writing with light.