Watchers in the night

Faith at work

"Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.” So begins one of my favorite prayers, from the service for compline in the Episcopal prayer book. What a good thing it is, before going to bed, to remember those whose rest comes with the dawn. I think it would be an excellent way of putting a child to sleep, to imagine with her not only those who go to bed when she does—her grandparents in New Jersey, her friends in the village, the deer in the woods—but those others who work and watch and, yes, who weep while others sleep.


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