EDP1: Make your first words be of praise

[To begin my Devotionals series “Establishing a Devotional Practice” (EDP), here’s “Make your first words be of praise“]

The very first thing I do when I wake up is to say a prayer. It could be a long hymn or a single sentence, it doesn’t matter. I face the east, lift up my hands to the sun, and praise the new day. Then, I proceed to the altar and greet our household gods. (Note that this is before anything else, even breakfast or checking my phone.)

I’ve read it somewhere that this seems to be what the ancient Romans (or at least their heads of the household) did, too.

Not an actual picture of my morning view, but I wish it were

Not an actual picture of my morning view, but I wish it were

Although not a traditional Hellenistic hymn, I’ve grown fond of Sigrdrífa’s prayer (a hymn that I’ve memorised from the days when I was more German than Greek), so this is what I normally recite at the beginning of each day:

Hail to you, Day!
Hail to you, Day’s sons!
Hail to you, Night
and you, daughters of Night!
Look on us here
with loving eyes,
and give victory to those seated.

Hail to the Gods!
Hail to the Goddesses!
Hail to you, bountiful Earth!
Give to us wisdom
and goodly speech,
and healing hands in this life.

It’s a beautiful prayer, Heathen or not, and it’s always started my day ‘right’. Whatever your religio-cultural inclinations are, may your first words be of praise.

sigrdrifa

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