“Shield this child by morn and eve”

This hymn caught my eye earlier today. It’s a baptismal hymn, but I think it applies almost equally well as a prayer for any infant – particularly those who are vulnerable; particularly the unborn:

Lord Jesu Christ, our Lord most dear,
As thou wast once an infant here,
So give this child of thine, we pray,
Thy grace and blessing day by day.
O holy Jesu, Lord Divine,
we pray thee guard this child of thine.

As in thy heavenly kingdom, Lord,
All things obey thy sacred word,
Do thou thy mighty succour give,
And shield this child by morn and eve.
O holy Jesu, Lord Divine,
we pray thee guard this child of thine.

Their watch let angels round him keep
Where’er he be, awake, asleep;
Thy holy Cross now let him bear,
That he thy crown with saints may wear.
O holy Jesu, Lord Divine,
we pray thee guard this child of thine.

The words are by Heinrich von Laufenburg, 1459, translated (like so many great German hymns) by Catherine Winkworth.

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