An old musical and a much older prayer

If you are old enough, or interested enough in old Broadway musicals, to remember Godspell from 1971, then some of the words of this prayer will sound familiar. They are included in the song “Day by Day” in Act I.  They seem so much more meaningful to me now than they did as an adolescent when I first heard them, likely at Sunday mass, where guitars and songs like that were used on a limited basis.

The prayer that inspired the song is actually way older than I ever knew.  It is worth quoting and praying in its entirety.

Thanks be to Thee my Lord Jesus Christ
For all the benefits which Thou hast given me;
For all the pains and insults Thou hast borne for me. 
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
May I know Thee more clearly;
Love Thee more dearly;
And follow Thee more nearly. Amen.

– Richard of Chichester (1197-1253), who served as Bishop of Chichester from 1245 to 1253.

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