Lord, through all generations
You have been our strength and our home.
Before the mountains were born
Or the oceans were brought to life,
For all eternity, you are.
A thousand years in your sight
Are like yesterday when it passes.
You return our bodies to the dust
And snuff out our lives like a candleflame.
You hurry us away; we vanish
As suddenly as the grass:
In the morning it shoots up and flourishes,
In the evening it wilts and dies.
For our life dissolves like a vision
And fades into the air like a cloud.
We live here for seventy years,
Or eighty, if we are strong —
Years filled with pain and suffering;
They pass, and we fly away.
Teach us how short our time is;
Let us know it in the depths of our souls.
Show us that all things are transient,
As insubstantial as dreams,
And that after heaven and earth
Have vanished, there is only you.
Fill us in the morning with your wisdom;
Shine through us all our lives.
Let our hearts soon grow transparent
In the radiance of your love.
Show us how precious each day is;
Teach us to be fully here.
And let the work of our hands
Prosper, for a little while.
–Translation adapted from Stephen Mitchell, A Book of Psalms