This is quite a scene. An aged, holy man talking to God as he looks into the face of the two-month-old child he is holding in his arms.The old man speaks of peace and light and salvation and glory. His name – Simeon (Hebrew for “God has heard”) – characterizes him as a man of hope.
Simeon’s words have become part of the Church’s official night prayer, and are recited at the end of every day of the year. This prayer is called the “Nunc Dimittis,” which is Latin for the first words of the prayer, “Now you may dismiss your servant . . .”
That’s a good way to end each day. We go to bed, entrust ourselves into the hands of God, and rest in peace.
We can do it in Simeon’s words, or we can use our own. Just one short sentence would do it: “Lord, as I got to sleep I place myself in your good hands.”
It seems a holy thing to do. And a healthy thing too.
Night prayer is an old tradition.
One worth keeping.
- Little Blue Book, December 29