Morning has broken!

A morning reflection for the feast of St. Francis
by Fr’s Derek and Luke

Morning has Broken

There are few things better than to wake on a warm morning, with clear blue skies and a gentle breeze blowing. Then going out to hear the sound of birds chirping, a black bird filling the air with its song and then coming to bathe in our bird bath, a short distance away, it was a good start to the day. As I gazed around our garden, during Springtime, with the flowers coming into bloom, our small vegetable patch is showing positive signs of growth and then the fragrances. With all this going you could be excused getting all Franciscan and thinking of his Canticle of Creatures. (The whole Canticle of Creatures is at the end of the reflection, as an appendix)

For Francis the birds, fire and wind are brothers. The moon, stars and water are sisters and our planet Earth who nourishes us is Mother. We grasp this beauty and inspiration with the Father, The Creator in mind, creation is fullness, life and community. There is so much to celebrate.

Let us listen to or join in to Yusef/Cat Steven’s song Morning has Broken: click here to listen

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dew fall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass

Mine is the sunlight
Mine is the morning
Born of the One Light Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word

‘Morning has broken’ is a lovely gentle song of praise from the 1970’s. It sets the right tone for the beginning of the day. However, we can move our thoughtful prayer to a different level by reflecting on something that has been part of morning prayer for generations.

Morning Prayer & the Benedictus


© Sieger Köder

In the beautiful picture above, we see someone at prayer; hands in the orans position*, eyes closed, focused on their conversation with God – they have a good prayer position. The sleeping person and the blue in the picture suggest an early morning.

* The Orans position is a body position for praying, usually with the arms in and palms up towards God.

The Benedictus, or Song of Zechariah, is a canticle * typically said in Mattins/Lauds – prayers said in the early morning.

*  A Canticle is typically a song of praise with words taken from scripture but not the Psalms.

It contains one of the central concepts of Christianity by way of a single line:-

“to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.”

Every time we read this line, we are reminded of this fact – salvation for all through forgiveness of sins. It is hard to imagine a more powerful thought with which to start your day. We are forgiven. We are saved. Who provides the forgiveness? God. Who saves us? God.

Put yourself in a physical environment that is in sync with prayerfulness.

Be in a comfortable position.

Embrace s i l e n c e.


Allow the thinking part of your brain to take over – do this by looking at the picture above, and focus on what you look like when you pray in your imagination.

Listen to your inner dialogue…

… then let it pass.

Repeat the positive chant – “I am saved. I am forgiven” – ten times, slowly.

Thank God.


Canticle of Creation

O Most High, all-powerful, good Lord God,
to you belong praise, glory,
honour and all blessing.
Be praised, my Lord, for all your creation
and especially for our Brother Sun,
who brings us the day and the light;
he is strong and shines magnificently.
O Lord, we think of you when we look at him.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Moon,
and for the stars
which you have set shining and lovely
in the heavens.
Be praised, my Lord,
for our Brothers Wind and Air
and every kind of weather
by which you, Lord,
uphold life in all your creatures.
Be praised, my Lord, for Sister Water,
who is very useful to us,
and humble and precious and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, for Brother Fire,
through whom you give us light in the darkness:
he is bright and lively and strong.
Be praised, my Lord,
for Sister Earth, our Mother,
who nourishes us and sustains us,
bringing forth
fruits and vegetables of many kinds
and flowers of many colours.
Be praised, my Lord,
for those who forgive for love of you;
and for those
who bear sickness and weakness
in peace and patience
– you will grant them a crown.
Be praised, my Lord, for our Sister Death,
whom we must all face.
I praise and bless you, Lord,
and I give thanks to you,
and I will serve you in all humility.

St. Francis of Assisi