The Canticle of Francis

Most people are familiar with Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures. In Italy this song is still used as means of learning the language. The words and depth of this canticle about "Brother Sun" and "Sister Moon" have lasted through the centuries.

Last Transitus I adapted Francis' canticle to be used for a procession to for the vigil. I've heard "All Creatures of Our God and King" and "Canticle of the Creatures" enough times at this point that I wanted something new. So I decided to write my own version.

Unfortunately I've not done anything with it since. I decided to share this version to either be read, sung, or chanted. I've included the tone changes and, should anyone be interested, I can share the music I used originally when writing it.


The Canticle of Francis
Francis of Assisi
adapted by Br. Vito Martinez, OFM Cap.

Unto you Lord, Most High, your praise we sing
You reveal your glor-y in all things

To you alone all blessings do belong
None of us worthy to speak your Holy name

Praise be to You, My Lord, through Brother Sun
Bringer of day, he greets us with the dawn

VĂ­-brant and warm his rays of light
And bears likeness to you, O God on high

Praise be to you, my Lord, through Sister Moon
And through the stars that gleam and light the sky

Praise be to you, my Lord, through Brother Wind
He brushes our face, then races through the trees

Praise for the air, both cloud-y and serene
Breathes in life to all creatures of our King

Praise be to you, my Lord, through Sister Water*
Useful, humble, precious, a-nd pure

Praise be to you, My Lord, through Brother Fire
Illumines the night as he guides us on our way

Beautiful, playful, ro - bust, and strong
Giver of warmth, he dances for us all

Praised be to you, through Sister, Mother Earth
The off’ring of bread and wine, she grants to us first

Sustainer and the gov'ness of our lives
Abundance and beauty we see in all she provides*

Praised be to you, my Lord, through Sister Death
From her hand no mortal can escape.

* While the last part of each line is a three-note interval, some strophes have a 4-syllable ending. In those instances I've either shortened "fire" to one syllable or shortened the length of the note: "all she.."

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