Before the close of the day is the English translation of the first line of the Latin hymn Te lucis ante terminum traditionally sung at compline.The hymn was set to music by Henry Balfour Gardiner (so yes, we are still singing works by composers whose name begins with B).
B is for Balfour Gardiner.
On Sunday 11th September at Choral Evensong at All Saints Church Fulham, the choir performed, what is arguably Balfour Gardiner’s most famous work, Evening Hymn written in 1908.
In Latin, the words are:
Te lucis ante terminum,
rerum Creator, poscimus,
ut solita clementia,
sis praesul ad custodiam.
Procul recedant somnia,
et noctium phantasmata:
hostemque nostrum comprime,
ne polluantur corpora.
Praesta, Pater omnipotens,
per Iesum Christum Dominum,
qui tecum in perpetuum
regnat cum Sancto Spiritu.
The English translation is:
To thee before the close of day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That, with thy wonted favour, thou
Wouldst be our guard and keeper now.
From all ill dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Withhold from us our ghostly foe,
That spot of sin we may not know.
O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Doth live and reign eternally.