Prayer before the Close of day – based on the chant ‘Te Lucis ante terminum’ – for string quartet




This meditation piece was originally written for a tuba and euphonium quartet commissioned and and recorded by the group Tubalate.
The underlying themes are a sequence of shifting chords representing going to sleep and the ancient chant
Te lucis ante terminum (To Thee before the close of day…) (quoted in various parts from bar 20 onwards).

Te lucis ante terminum,
rerum Creator, poscimus,
ut solita clementia
sis præsul ad custodiam.

Procul recedant somnia
et noctium phantasmata;
hostemque nostrum comprime,
ne polluantur corpora.

Præsta, Pater omnípotens,
per Iesum Christum Dominum,
qui tecum in perpetuum
regnat cum Sancto Spíritu.

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.