Glory to God for All Things

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep…

guardian-angel.jpg

This delightful old English prayer said by children and their parents at bedtime has long ago been shortened to only its last verse. There is more (as I was taught):

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,

Bless the bed that I lie on.

The are four corners to my bed,

Four angels round my head,

One to watch, and one to pray,

And two to bear my soul away.

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take.

If you know more of the tradition of this prayer please share it.

130 Responses to “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep…”

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  1. Thanks for providing more of the prayer than I was accostomed to. It reminds me of:

    Evening Prayer from the opera Hansel and Gretel

    Engelbert Humperdinck

    When at night I go to sleep,
    Fourteen angels watch do keep:

    Two my head are guarding,
    Two my feet are guiding,

    Two are on my right hand,
    Two are on my left hand,

    Two who warmly cover,
    Two who o’er me hover,

    Two to whom ‘tis given to guide my steps to heaven.

  2. Patty in WA says:

    Many children who learn only the last for lines these days learn this:

    Now I lay me down to sleep;
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
    Thy love guard me through the night,
    And wake me with the morning light.
    ——
    This is to remove any reference of scary death. My son was taught this version in Sunday School; when I told him the “scary” version, he insisted that we switch because THAT was something worth praying.

    Here is a piece of trivia for you: John Adams, the second president of the US, said this prayer every day of his life.

  3. Irina says:

    I used to sing “All night, all day” to my daughters when they were small, which has the last four lines as its verses:

    Chorus: All night, all day
    Angels watching over me, my Lord
    All night, all day
    Angels watching over me.

    When I lay me down to sleep (Angels…)
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep (Angels…)

    Chorus

    If I die before I wake (Angels…)
    I pray the Lord my soul to take (Angels…)

    I wish I’d known the “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John” part so I could have sung that too, they could never get enough of it!

  4. Andrea,

    I like the fourteen angels. The more the merrier. I was once told that a priest was given 4 extra angels to aid him in his ministry. I often send mine out to rouse the faithful from their slumbers and urge them to Church while I am in the altar doing the Proskomedie and praying for each of the souls in my parish. So if any of my parishioners feel an extra tug on Sunday morning….

  5. Father,

    Your angels probably didn’t have to work so hard yesterday guiding the parishoners to heaven with the extra hour of sleep. : ) I think we should gain an hour every weekend.

  6. Anna says:

    In our family, we sing an additional verse:

    If I live another day, I pray the Lord to guide my way.

    I think it gives a more positive feeling.

  7. Mary Lowell says:

    All I every knew of this prayer was the “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

    But one evening, after praying the Orthodox evening prayers with my sweet octogenarian mother for whom I cared the last eleven years of her earthly passage, she launched that Old English prayer and added a verse I had never learned … “Should I be granted other days, I pray Thee Lord to guide my ways.”

    What could be more complete, take my soul in death, guide my soul in life!

    Mary

  8. fatherstephen says:

    Andrea,

    I would definitely vote for that!

  9. fatherstephen says:

    Mary,

    I’ve never found a complete written source on the prayer. I wonder what other parts I’ve not heard?

  10. I just found another version perhaps complete:

    Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, bless the bed that I lie on. Before I lay me down to sleep, I give my soul to Christ to keep.

    Four corners to my bed, four angels there aspread, two to foot, and two to head, and two to carry me when I’m dead.

    I go by sea, I go by land, the Lord made me by his right hand. If any danger comes to me, Sweet Jesus Christ, deliver me.

    He’s the branch, and I’m the flower, pray God send me a happy hour. And if I die before I wake, I pray that Christ my soul will take.

  11. Michael O. says:

    Here’s another version:

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
    When in the morning light I wake,
    Teach me the path of love to take.

    It seems another attempt to avoid mention of death

  12. Anam Cara says:

    If you know more of the tradition of this prayer please share it.

    You have combined two different “nursery rhymes.”

    “Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John” was once the best known prayer in England, used more often than the Lord’s prayer. It was called the “White Paternoster” and considered a “night spell.” A distored cersion was called the “Black Paternoster” and was an enchanment used by witches. No one can say how old it is – it is half Celtic and half Christian.

    “Now I lay me down to sleep” is first found in print in Thomas Fleet’s New England Primer, the first edition is from 1737.

    As a nursery rhyme, it first appeared in 1840 in London Jingles by J G Rush. It was printed there as:
    I lay me down to rest me,
    I pray to God to bless me;
    If I should sleep and never wake,
    I pray the Lord my soul to take.

    One of my ancestors is the sister of the real Mother Goose, Elizabeth VerGoose (nee Foster) who was born in Boston in 1665. Her daughter married Thomas Fleet. Thomas heard Elizabeth as she calmed her grandchildren with her stories. He published them in a book: Songs for the Nursery or Mother Goose’s Melodies in 1719.

    Now you probably know far more than you ever cared about this prayer…….

  13. I never know far more than I care to about anything. :) For a descendant of Mother Goose (by way of her sister) to visit my site is a great honor indeed. I found a number of Dutch versions of the prayer which might be of interest as well. Although it is interesting that I found sources with the Matthew, Mark, Luke and John attached as I had learned it. But my family is of English and Celtic origin and there’s no telling what all got mixed in.

    As for ancestors whose sisters or brothers were famous – I did research for my older brother who was interested in joining the sons of the American Revolution. I had to sadly inform him that we only qualified for the nephews of the American Revolution because our direct ancestor seems not to have fought, though his brother was in the North Carolina Militia. All of that seems such a long time ago…

  14. Philippa Alan says:

    I say this prayer, the last 4 lines as I learned it, every night before I go to bed. And to be honest, it was this nightly prayer which led me to Orthodoxy.

    As a Baptist Christian who once believed, once saved/always saved, how could I say a prayer that said, “If I should die before I wake, I pray my soul the Lord to take”? Why would I ask the Lord to take my soul if I believed He _already had_ my soul since I was _already_ saved?!

    I started reading back to the Reformation, kept on going…and here I am…3 years in the Orthodox Church.

    God’s ways are mysterious!

  15. Margaret says:

    I actually did learn the last four verses while young. It was good to find out about all the angels standing guard and waiting to help out when I got older!

  16. anonymous says:

    Growing up Roman Catholic, we were taught only the first two lines in my religious education classes as a device to help remember the names and order of the gospel texts. I somehow picked up the last four lines somewhere else along the way, though I don’t recall when and where.

  17. Anam Cara says:

    I did research for my older brother who was interested in joining the sons of the American Revolution. I had to sadly inform him that we only qualified for the nephews of the American Revolution because our direct ancestor seems not to have fought, though his brother was in the North Carolina Militia.

    As a member of the DAR, I can tell you that one need not to have FOUGHT in the American Revolution to join. Your ancestor need only to have proided patriotic service. In other words, if he was the baker who supplied the troops, that counts.

  18. Anam,

    I pass the news on to my brother. He’s promoted from nephew to son! He’ll be pleased.

  19. Dave Wells says:

    Father,

    I’ve never heard the first part of this prayer before, just the last part. I find it interesting that the invocation of the saints (the Holy Evangelists) was retained in a Protestant children’s prayer!

  20. Anam Cara says:

    The first part is so old that when the Celts were saying it, there was no such thing as a “Protestant” prayer. EVERYONE was Orthodox!

  21. Fr Nicholas says:

    I was raised Catholic and this was what we were taught to pray morning and evening by my devoutly Irish Grandmother: ( I still do).

    Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love entrusts me here, ever this night (day) be at my side to light, to guard, to rule, and to guide. From sinful stain O keep me free, and at death’s hour my helper be. Amen.

    The other prayer was to St. Michael the Archangel:

    St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray and do thou, O Prince of the Powers On High, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who roam about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

  22. Isabella says:

    It can be traced back to something called the White Paternoster….or the Petite patenostre blanche.

    Though some claim it is even older, and was a christianized “charm” or a pagan incantation to keep evil spirits away. There’s countless countries in Europe, that has something that shows traces of a common origin.

    There is even a reference to it in one of Chaucer’s tales:

    “Lord Jhesu Chist, and seynte Benedyht
    Bless this hous from every wikked wight,
    Fro nyghtes verray, the white Paternostre
    When wonestow now, seynte Petres soster.”

    Interesting note: In the Catholic tradition, the 14 angels were 14 martyrs, who had a reputation for fighting evil.
    In Protestant countries these were changed to angels.

    A couple that haven’t been mentioned yet:

    Germany:
    guardian angels are dispensed with,
    but the angels are retained in force.
    fourteen angels in a band
    every night around me stand
    two to my let hand
    two to my right
    who watch me ever
    by day and night
    two at my head
    two at my feet
    to guard my slumber
    soft and sweet
    two to wake me
    at break of day
    when night and darkness
    pass away
    two to cover me
    warm and nice
    and two to lead me
    to paradise

    Venice:

    I go to bed
    I know not if I shall arise
    thou lord who knowest
    keep good watch over be
    before my soul separates from my body
    give me help and good comfort
    in the name of the father son and holy ghost

    Sicily

    I lay me down in this bed
    with Jesus on my breast
    I sleep and he watches
    in this bed where i am laid
    five saints i find
    two at the head,
    two at the feet
    in the middle is st Michael

    Greek

    in my little bed i lie down to sleep
    I lie down with my mother Mary
    the mother Mary goes away
    and she leaves me Christ for company

    I have a couple of research papers on it that I would be happy to email you if you like.

  23. Isabella,

    That’s a fascinating collection. I’m not sure why such prayers would be characterized as charms or incantation, other than the rhyme scheme. But it mostly looks like prayer (easily memorized as rhyme).

    Even pagans prayed.

  24. Kyra says:

    It took me a while to find this prayer that I recall teaching myself after I was baptized (at 16) I liked the rhythm of it and the sweetness of it.

    Four corners of my bed
    Four angels over head
    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
    Bless this bed I lay upon

    Four corners to my bed,
    Four angels ’round my head,
    One to watch, one to pray,
    And two to bear my soul away.

    I go by sea, I go by land,
    The Lord made me with his right hand,
    If any danger come to me,
    Sweet Jesus Christ, deliver me.

    For he’s the branch and I’m the flower,
    Pray God send me a happy hour,
    And if I die before I wake,
    I pray the Lord my soul to take.

    I lay my head on our Lady’s knee
    Jesus come this night to me
    Heart of Joseph I adore thee
    Heart of Mary I implore thee
    Heart of Jesus pure and just
    In those three hearts I place my trust.

    Teach me to always to say what’s true.
    Be willing in each task I do.
    Help me to be good each day,
    and lead me in thy holy way.

    I pray whatever wrongs I’ve done,
    You will forgive me every one.
    Be near me when I wake again, and
    Bless all of those I love. Amen.

  25. LucyMoments says:

    Love your site. I found it trying to find the lyrics to a song that my Dad used to sing or recite each night at bedtime. It came to me recently that he had done that. I say came to me because he died Dec. 27, 1968, just 3 days after my 13th Christmas Eve birthday. I have wonderful memories of he and Mom coming in each night to hear us say our prayers.

    He said or sang a ditty about 4 angels round my bed two at my head and two at my feet.. and that’s all that came to me this year on my birthday. Almost like a gift from Daddy and Mom for Christmas. Can anyone help with the tune and the lyrics? Thanks a bunch and HAPPY NEW YEAR.. Blessings to you!!

  26. Theodora says:

    Thankyou for the prayer of 14 angels. I am born in Holland and before Christmas we were talking about when we were babies in Holland and mum asked if we remembered saying this particular prayer. We didn’t but I Googled it as I really wanted to have it. I found it at your site. I will give it to my mother. She will love to read it also although she knows the Dutch version.
    I wish you a very happy and fulfilling 2008.
    Thea

  27. Madeline says:

    another version of prayer: Now I lay me down to rest, Angels guard my little nest. Like a wee bird in a tree, loving Father care for me. Glad and well may I awake. This I ask for Jesus sake. Amen

  28. Scott Houston says:

    I was in a small shop in Savannah Georgia last fall and saw an embroidered wall hanging on which was worked the lines of this prayer, one that I had been saying to myself most nights since I was very young.
    It was more antiquated and had two other lines. The use of thee made is more conversational with God.

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray thee Lord my soul to keep,
    And should I die before I wake,
    I pray thee Lord my soul to take
    And should I live another day,
    I pray thee Lord show me the way.

    I like this version better and now think of it as I am falling asleep

  29. Trina Doddson says:

    I am actually interested in some information regarding the Angel picture on this website. You see I have one that was my grandmothers. She has had this picture for at least 50-60 years framed. I do not want to take it out of the frame for information for fear of damage. Can you tell me it’s origin, who did it, when it was done and so on?

    Thank you,
    Trina

  30. Angelita says:

    Hey Everyone =)
    I just strolled along this, and Needless to say, I’m still here. haha
    how about this one…

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
    When at dawn I greet the day,
    Teach me, Lord, to walk thy way.
    God bless Mommie, Daddy, too.
    Not just now, but all life through.
    God bless little creatures small,
    Feed and shelter, one and all.
    God bless everyone we love,
    Here on earth and up above.
    Little children, where’er they be,
    God bless them, and God bless me.
    Help me to be kind and true.
    Gentle loving — just like You.
    Let me always thankful be
    For all the blessings given me.

  31. Cheri Dickinson says:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Is this website still active? I would like to discuss the meaning of the prayer.

    Thank You

  32. Yes the website is quite active, this article is a little old but active. What are your thoughts on the prayer?

  33. LaughingRain says:

    I believe that at the time the die before i wake part was said at a time when death in the form of plague came and it was seen to be a comfort to them to know they would be carried to heaven by loving hands if they died in the night. We must understand the times. This said, I found a little plate with the “when in the morning light I wake, Help me the path of love to take.” I taught this version to my daughter. I would sing her the sandman lullaby my mother sang to me and her mother sang to her and so forth. Also i sang a hymn to her she still sometimes requests, therefore completing a more comforting bedtime.
    The chorus says surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days, all the days of my life-repeat-and i shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever and i shall feast at the table spread for me-repeat refrain

  34. Beverly says:

    I am SO glad to have found this THREAD! I too am haunted by a sketchy memory of a beautiful melody to the

    “When At Night I Go To Sleep 14 Angels Round Me Keep” song

    Any one know where I can find a recording??? YouTube would be great but i have a feeling that’s asking a bit much for our culture. . . no?

    I’m only running windows 2000 and don’t have the i-pod technology

  35. audrey bennetsen says:

    I have an Enesco Foundations figurine that has this rendition of the prayer,

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
    Thy love betwith me through the night
    and keep me safe till morning light.

  36. Merrill Petrow says:

    If you look up this website, they have information on publication of the first four lines in 1659
    http://www.rhymes.org.uk/lost-lyrics-old-nursery-rhymes.htm

    I found it while looking for the children’s prayer in an old Elizabeth Goudge novel which, as I remember it, went:

    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
    Bless the bed that I lie on.
    Five (or six) angels watch me while I sleep,
    Two at my head, two at my feet,
    One (or two) at my heart my soul to keep.

    Too long ago to remember exactly, but definitely not either four or fourteen angels. I don’t know whether she changed it, or whether it was how she had learned it
    .Merrill

  37. Catherine says:

    Wanted to share another version of the ending I recite with my children:

    “may angels watch me through the night, and wake me in the morning light”.

    We say this every night. It really settles my kids down.

  38. Victor says:

    My late father (born 1917) taught me this prayer circa 1964; I’m pretty sure some of the words were not the exact ones he taught me but here is the way I pray it now and I teach it to my nephews and nieces.

    Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
    If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
    If I should live another day, I pray the Lord to guide my way.

    Loving Father, put away
    all things wrong I’ve done today.
    Make me gentle, true, and good.
    Make me love You as I should.

    Amen.

  39. Joanna says:

    I was taught by my parents and passed this version to our children:
    “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
    Watch and guard me through the night
    and keep me safe ’till morning’s light.”

  40. Sharon Doran says:

    Would Father Stephen or whomever in responsible for this website please contact me with an e-mail address so I can talk to you about this picture called the Guardian Angel. This is very important. I would rather be sent a telephone number so I can talk one on one. Thank you for your time.
    Sharon J Doran
    276-225-1757

    Hiltons, Va.

  41. Liz says:

    My mom taught me and my brothers this version of “Now I lay me down to sleep.”

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
    If I should die before I wake,
    I pray the Lord my soul to take.
    In my little bed I lie,
    Heavenly Father, hear my cry;
    Lord, protect me through this night,
    And keep me safe ’till morning’s light.
    Amen

  42. Andy says:

    Hmmm, i know another version.

    matthew, mark, luke, and john
    bless the bed that i lie on.
    Four angels to my bed,
    Two to bottom, two to head.
    Two to hear me when i pray.
    two to bear my soul away.

  43. carol smith says:

    the opera hansel and gretel has the song (childrens prayer)
    when at night i go to sleep 14 angels watch do keep
    2 my head are guarding
    2 my feet are guiding
    2 are on my left hand
    2 are on my right hand
    2 above me hover
    2 who warmly cover
    2 to whom is given to guide my steps to heaven
    also heard it sung in an old movie (black and white)about a pastor and his church. the last song was another favorite, the church’s one foundation.

  44. Gary J says:

    Father Stephen, and all whom have contributed thank you!! I stumbled across this site looking to remember the prayers I learned as a child to pass to my son. I have not only found it but an amazing wealth of information to teach him about the prayer. This has truley inspired me. thank you all again.

  45. Samantha says:

    I was raised by a baptist mother and non-religious father and I was taught:

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray the lord my soul to keep,
    May angels watch me through the night,
    And keep me safe till mornings light,
    But if I should die before I wake,
    I pray the lord my soul to take.

    I don’t know why my families version is longer than most but I still say it every night before I go to bed and once my daughter is old enough to talk I will teach it to her also.

  46. Richard says:

    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
    If I should die before I wake
    I pray the Lord my soul to take.
    If I should live another day
    I pray the Lord will lead the way.

    Taught to me by my loving Mother sometime around 1957. We recited this prayer together and John 3:16 each and every night. May God rest her soul.

  47. angela says:

    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
    If I should die before I wake
    I pray the Lord my soul to take.

    God bless my mother
    God Bless my father
    God Bless my…

  48. Phil Lamrock says:

    The version I was taught is :
    Here I lay me down to sleep
    I know that God his child will keep
    I know in him my life is nigh
    In him I live I cannot die

    There are other verses. One had the words ” unfailing quick ”
    Does anybody now this version? Phil

  49. Lucian says:

    Inger, Ingerasul meu,
    ce mi te-a dat Dumnezeu,
    totdeauna fii cu mine
    si ma-nvata sa fac bine.
    Eu sunt mic, tu fa-ma mare,
    eu sunt slab, tu fa-ma tare;
    in tot locul ma-nsoteste
    si de rele ma fereste.
    Doamne, Ingerasii Tai
    fie pazitorii mei.
    Amin.

  50. jennifer says:

    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep
    If I should die before I wake
    I pray the Lord my soul to take
    To keep me safe throughout the night
    So I may see the morning light

    **for my children I add

    Thank you God for my beautiful babies
    Help them to grow up to be strong and confident
    Kind and generous
    Able to achieve all their dreams

    We say it every night at bedtime.

  51. chris windsor says:

    i was taught
    IN MY LITTLE BED I LIE
    GENTLE JESUS HEAR MY CRY
    LORD PROTECT ME THROUGH THE NIGHT AND WAKE ME UP WITH SUN SHINE BRIGHT

    MY GRAND MOTHER TAUGHT ME THAT WHEN I WAS 4 MAYBE 5 NOW 43 TEACHING MY 4 YEAR OLD

  52. Karen Kinkade says:

    My mother had a similar prayer to say upon waking in the morning. I had the words written down so I would not forget, but now cannot find the paper. If anyone has the “morning” version, please post it. Thank you.

  53. Karen Kinkade says:

    The lost is found — here are the words to the children’s prayer to say upon waking…

    Now I’m awake and see the light,
    God has kept me through the night.
    Unto Him I lift my voice and pray
    That He might keep me through the day. AMEN

  54. Georgia says:

    Here is an old bedtime prayer from Psalm 4 and Christ’s words on the Cross:

    I will lay me down in peace
    and take my rest:
    for it is Thou Lord only
    that makest me dwell in safety.
    Into Thy hands, O Lord,
    I commend my spirit,
    for Thou hast redeemed me,
    O Lord Thou God of Truth.
    Amen.

    Lancelot Andrewes

    English clergyman, 1555 – September 25, 1626, feast day in Anglican church.

  55. Sam Lawhorn says:

    Hi Father. I hadn’t heard about the four extra angels for a priest–I had heard that a priest gets 33 extra angels!

    Also, I had read about this prayer years ago in a book about Orthodox England. As referenced above by others, it was called the White Paternoster even then. But the book went on to discuss the origins of other rhymes, and the one that comes to mind is London Bridge Is Falling Down. Apparently, “My Fair Lady,” was the common phrase used to refer to the Virgin Mary, and is a much better translation of “gynai”, the word used by Christ when he spoke to his mother from the cross: “Fair Lady, behold thy son. Son, behold thy mother.” At the time, “gynai” was the polite way of addressing to a lady.

    Anyway, sometime in the 900’s, London was attacked by warring Vikings led by Olaf Tryvgasson from modern day Norway or Sweden. They tied ropes to the supports of London Bridge and pulled them out, causing the bridge to collapse. The people of London gathered behind the clergy of London, who processed with an ancient icon of the Virgin (one painted by the Apostle Luke), asking for her intercession and protection (and unfortunately, that icon was destroyed at the order of Henry VIII in the 1500s along with the Christmas Bush, though the latter survived in a cutting taken to Glastonbury).

    In the rhyme, the verses confess that nothing of earthly origin can protect them:

    “Build it up with wood and clay…”
    “Wood and clay will wash away…”
    “Build it up with brick and mortar…”
    “Brick and mortar will not stay…”

    Instead, only the heavenly protection of the Virgin (“My Fair Lady) will protect them. A miracle occurred, whereby the Vikings became suddenly afraid of something–what exactly is anybody’s guess, though some think the appearance of the Virgin herself–and they fled. Olaf Tryvgasson, interestingly, eventually converted to Christianity (if I’m not mistaken, he was baptized in Iceland) and is an Orthodox saint. His body was found to be incorrupt.

    The English took this love for the Virgin Mary with them when they fled England after the Battle of Hastings to avoid Norman and Roman Catholic rule. Accounts of masses of ships–anywhere from 200 to 350–headed for the East, primarily Constantinople. Some ships left as late as the 1100’s, I believe (the last known Orthodox bishop in England reposed in prison in 1072). One such convoy arrived at the capital during a Muslim siege. The English disembarked and fought and defeated the invaders. As a token of gratitude, they were given extensive lands by the Emperor in modern day Ukraine, an area they aptly named “New England” (I personally find it fascinating that the first New England was in a Soviet Block country). 4,300 of the best warriors, however, were taken into the Emperor’s personal garrison and were called “The Varangian Guard” (The Eastern Romans called everyone from way up North Varangians). They built two churches next to Hagia Sophia: one dedicated to a saint (I’m thinking either St. Augustine of Canterbury or St. Olga) and the other to Panaghia Varangiotissa (the Virgin Mother of the English), where they held services and prayers in their native tongue. The first couple lines of The White Paternoster predate the others (the Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John part), and it is presumed that some form of them was among those prayers. St. Patrick’s Lorica was also likely among them.

    The Princess of England, meanwhile, fled to modern day Kiev, where she married into the royalty there. Though there had been a strong connection between the English, the Nordic countries, and Ukraine before this time, the great influx of English at the time likely influenced and strengthened the Orthodoxy of Slavic Rus. I would be willing to bet that some version of the White Paternoster can be found among early Slavic prayers as well. Perhaps Isabella (above) knows.

  56. Sam,

    I first heard about a priest getting 4 angels in the West – they probably discounted the number, suspecting Byzantine inflation in the number 33. But I will accept the 33 because I frequently need more than 4! Thirty-three seems a fine number, though 40 would have been expected.

  57. Craig says:

    I am actually curious about the picture that accomponies this article. It is a very popular depiction of a Guardian Angel behind two children crossing a rickety bridge. This seems to be a Western image, but I have never been able to discover its origin. Does anyone know? Thanks.

  58. Craig,
    I’ll research it. A copy hung in the front room of my maternal grandmother’s home. When I served as a hospice chaplain in the mountains of East Tennessee – it was almost ubiquitous (as well as Christ praying in the Garden).

  59. I absolutely, love this prayer, I have a four month old grandbaby, who I want to teach to pray before bedtime, this prayer will help me teach her how to pray.

    Bless the bed that I lie on.

    The are four corners to my bed,

    Four angels round my head,

    One to watch, and one to pray,

    And two to bear my soul away.

    Now I lay me down to sleep,

    I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

    If I should die before I wake,

    I pray the Lord my soul to take.

  60. Josh says:

    Hello all,

    I don’t remember all of the prayer I was taught as a young boy, my parents had a picture of some sort with the prayer in it that went something like this:(I know there are other verses I just can’t remember them all)

    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep
    Thy Angels guard me through the night
    And keep me safe til Morning light.

    Lord, make me a boy who’s brave of heart,
    Willing and strong to do my part,
    Lord please help to be good each day
    And always honest in my play

    Lord bless all those I love.
    Amen

  61. Josh says:

    actually, I just found the prayer I used to say, surprisingly on someone’s facebook/myspace:

    NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP
    I PRAY THEE, LORD, MY SOUL TO KEEP.
    THY ANGELS GUARD ME TROUGH THE NIGHT
    AND KEEP ME SAFE TIL MORNING LIGHT.

    LORD MAKE ME A BOY WHO’S BRAVE OF HEART,
    WILLING AND STRONG TO DO MY PART.
    LORD PLEASE HELP ME TO BE GOOD EACH DAY,
    AND ALWAYS BE HONEST IN MY PLAY.

    LORD, WHILE I LIVE I WANT TO BE FROM QUICK AND ANGRY PASSIONS FREE, WITH GENTLE THOUGHTS AND HAPPY FACE,
    AND PLEASANT WORDS IN EVERYPLACE.
    I PRAY WHATEVER WRONGS I’VE DONE
    YOU WILL FORGIVE THEM EVERY ONE.

    BE NEAR ME WHEN I WAKE AGAIN,
    AND BLESS ALL THOSE I LOVE.
    AMEN

  62. Alex says:

    I was just reading through Henry Chettle’s play The Tragedy of Hoffman, published in 1616 and in it Martha (a duchess) says

    “I lay me down, and rest in thee my trust,
    If I wake never more, till all flesh rise
    I sleep a happy sleep, sin in me dies”

    It has to fit in with the metre, but it really reminds me of this prayer.

  63. Victor Jones says:

    The version that I was taught as a small boy living in Northern England was;

    As I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray thee Lord my soul to keep,
    If I should die before I wake,
    I pray thee Lord my soul to take,
    There are four corners to my bed,
    There are four angels round my head,
    Mathew, Mark, Luke and John,
    Bless this bed that I lie on.

  64. Adele Prindle says:

    My mom use to sing me to sleep with 14 angels, I never really knew it’s true title, her words were a bit different, can’t remember them all, but I did remember them many years back when I sang to my son. Can you give me another version of this beautiful lluabye?8

  65. Dana Ames says:

    Adele,
    that song is from the operetta “Hansel and Gretel” by Engelbert Humperdinck (not the singer from the ’70s, but the much older composer from whom Gerry Dorsey took his stage name…), and before that I think it was a German poem to help children pray.

    When at night I go to sleep, fourteen angels watch do keep:
    two are at my head, two are at my feet,
    two are at my right hand, two are at my left hand,
    two to cover me, two to awaken me,
    two to lead me to Heaven.

    Look up “fourteen holy helpers” at Wikipedia.

    Dana

  66. tom gibson says:

    The version I grew up on was –
    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
    If I should die before I wake,
    I pray the Lord my soul to take.
    If I should live for other days,
    I pray Thee, Lord, to guide my ways.

    Our Jewish forebears must have had some similar bedtime prayer, for they have a beautiful prayer to be prayed upon rising in the morning, which goes –
    I offer thanks to You
    living and eternal King
    for you have mercifully restored my soul within me;
    Your faithfulness is great.

    It lacks that good old English ryme scheme, but is a wonderful complement to the bedtime prayer’s request for taking and keeping the soul, by thanking God for it’s safe return, to use another day.

    Perhaps we could Anglcize it thus –
    Now I rise up from my bed
    I thank you, God, that I’m not dead.
    My soul I trusted into your hands
    now lead and guide by Your commands.
    Amen

  67. Cathy says:

    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep
    If I should die before I wake
    I pray the Lord my soul to take

    Oh angel of God my guardian dear
    To whom Gods love commits me here
    Ever this day be at my side
    To light & guard to rule & guide.
    Amen.

    This is the prayer we always said at night when I was growing up…. Any buddy recognize this version?

  68. Vinson Vaz says:

    Dear LucyMoments,

    Well like your dad mine taught the same prayer to me. I am desperately trying to find the beginning. There are I presume first four lines which I have forgotten, the rest are as follows

    “Four angels around my bed.
    One to sing, one to pray,
    Two to carry my soul away.

    Mathew, Mark, Luke and John,
    Bless the bed that I lay on.
    And if I die before I wake,
    I pray to God, my soul to take.”

    If anyone here can match the first four lines please send me the same via email at vinvu3feo@gmail.com

    Kind regards,

    Vinson Vaz

  69. kim says:

    now i lay me down to sleep i pray thee the lord my soul to keep thy love stay with me through the night and wake me with the morning light armen

  70. suzanne says:

    does anyone remember a song or hymn as a child it started like this
    HANDS TOGETHER SOFTLY SO (this is all i can remember) i would love my granddaughter to learn it . thanx suzanne

  71. Adele Prindle says:

    I have been searching for “14 angels” for years, only recently to find it is called a “childs prayer” my Mom use to sign this to me at night when I was going to bed. I think – her version was something like:
    When at night to bed I creep
    14 angles guide my sleep
    2 are on my right side
    2 are on my lift side
    2 are above me
    2 are below me
    2 will hold me
    2 will fold me
    2 will guide my way along the path to paradise

  72. Jill Lee says:

    Here is the version I learned from my mama in Georgia in the 1930s:

    Mathew, Mark, Luke and John,
    Bless this bed I lie upon.
    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
    I pray the Lord, his life is mine,
    I live in Him, I can not die.
    God is my health, I can’t be sick.
    God is my strengh, unfailing quick.
    God is my all, I know no fear,
    since Life and Truth and Love is here.
    Forever and ever. Amen.

    This version doesn’t have any “scary” lines either. Enjoy.

  73. Crystal says:

    The prayer that my Nanny taught me was slightly different.

    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
    God bless the bed that I lay on.
    Four corners to my bed.
    Six angels lay aspread.
    Two at head, two at feet,
    and two to guard my soul at sleep.
    Amen.

  74. Graham says:

    Interestingly, at least to me, this prayer scared the *#$#* out of me when I was 7 or 8. At that time I had had no particular guidance in “church” things. My parents (now both deceased) were English and I do not recall the three of us going to church together until my sister was Christened. I was 12 at the time.

    In any case, as a 7-8 year old, I did not know what dying was but it did not seem like a good thing. By the time I got to “if I should die” I was DONE. Quick, hide under the bed or in the closet, somewhere, anywhere. HIDE!

    I am 57 now, both may parents are gone. I have no real concept of prayer or of how to pray. Some tell me that it is no different than having a conversation with God. Of course, that should make prayer all the easier. Somehow, having a conversation with God, the Maker of all things and the Creator if Life seems a bit beyond what I am capable of doing.

    I hope that there is hope for me and for my having a relationship with God.

  75. Robyn says:

    My memories of this prayer are: –

    Mathew, Mark, Luke and John,
    Bless this bed that I lie on;
    Four corners to my bed,
    Four Angels ’round my head;
    One to sing and one to pray,
    And two to watch till break of day.

    Evening Prayer

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray thee lord my soul to keep.
    Thy love guide me through the night,
    And wake me with the morning light.
    Amen

  76. Irene says says:

    This is the longer version my mom use to say with me at bedtime

    Here I lie down to sleep
    I give my soul to God to take
    If anything should hurt or harm me
    O blessed Virgin waken me

    There are four corners around my bed
    there are four angels at my head
    Mathew, Mark, Luke and John
    God bless this bed that I lie on,

    If I should sleep and never wake
    I give my soul to God to take
    to thee the closing of this day
    creator we humbly pray,

    for thy want of mercy sake
    me into thy protection take
    nothing in my mind excite
    nor dreams of phantoms of
    this night.

  77. solomon says:

    Thank you very much for god help me everything.

  78. kelly says:

    thank you when my girls were babies i said everynight the now i lay me down to sleep

  79. awesome says:

    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray thy Lord my soul to keep
    If I live for one more day
    I pray thy Lord to guide my way

  80. Marie says:

    I was very young when I found this prayer and I can’t remember the book so it may have been one I borrowed from the library or school. There were probably a few ‘doths’ and ‘thees’ dotted through it, but this is how I remember it:

    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
    Bless this bed that I lie on.

    Four corners to my bed,
    Four angels lay a-spread,
    Two at the foot and two at the head.

    If any ill thing does me betide,
    Beneath your great wings my body hide.

    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
    Bless this bed that I lie on.

    I may have even made the last part up, about the wings and all – I certainly can’t find this version online. It was almost 30 years ago…

  81. Michael says:

    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
    bless the bed that I lie on.
    If I should die before I wake,
    please my soul to heaven take. Amen

  82. julie says:

    I lay awake the other night in the pitch dark trying to remember the words to the pray. All i could remember was ” if i should die before i wake” I am nearly fifty and I nearly rang my dear mum to get her to complete the missing lines. But here today sat with my darling son I was able to find it on line. I will look for a happier ending to say together each night. The dying bit has always bothered me, very sad to teach a child

  83. Simon says:

    My Mom taught me this version (it may well be her own but seems a hybrid of the many variations)
    Matthew, Mark, Luke & John
    Bless this bed that I lay on
    Two angels at my head
    Two angels at my feet
    One to guide me
    One to guard me
    and two to keep me safe all day
    God bless Mommy and daddy (and insert all those you want blessing)…and everyone else in the whole wide world.
    Amen

  84. I am so thankfulto have found the original version(s) of this prayer. We are an Orthodox family and used the “Now I lay me…” version w/our boys but embellished with personal add-on’s at the end. Plan to collect all the different prayers in the comment threads. Thank you again and again.
    Harriette Jacobs

  85. Iain Turnbull says:

    I came across this site by accident. I’m a 63 year old twice divorced male & remember my mother teaching me the Now I lay me down to sleep/ God bless,,,,,,,,,,,, version 60 years ago. I (Second Marriage) have a 5 year old son & he has been taught it. Great to know its extensive history,

  86. whitney says:

    Im 21 years old and i still say the prey(sp) now i lay me down to sleep. it was my favroite pray when i was little. i always talk to god at night(: i ask him to keep me safe at night. and when i do i can feel his warm n arms around me until i fall a sleep(=

  87. Dany1974 says:

    I laid here restless all night long I’ve had death in my family and since then I have had a hard time falling asleep I thank u all for these comforting prayers I know I’m well beyond child hood but this really helped me to relax my thoughts and anxieties after reading every post my mind stop going and focused on the prayers here and I was at peace all praise to god for laying his hand upon me that he guided me to this site

  88. Theresa McGee says:

    A lovely site. I came across this while searching for words of inspiration. My former mother-in-law passed away yesterday. Though the family structure changed, we stayed in touch, a testament that love can remain and evolve. My heart is heavy with her loss, and looking for a way to honor her, as there will be no memorial or service of any kind, per her wishes. I’ve turned to music as a means of expressing my grief, and as a way to honor her. As a professional musician (though not a trained composer), I’ve found a lovely folk song that is perfect for her, and I will add alternate text based on the myriad versions of the prayer found on this site. I am moved by the tenderness of these words and memories, and inspired to create in honor of Alice S. McGee – a great person, mother, and friend.

  89. Paul says:

    Thank you for posting this. Tried to remember from my childhood.

  90. The way I know this prayer, which I said for many years together with my children is:
    There are four corners on my bed
    There are four angels at my head
    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, bless the bed I sleep upon. Then we would sometimes name people we were praying for.

  91. One additional thing I really like about this prayer is if you know it, you know the order of the Gospels in the New Testament.

  92. frank says:

    This delightful old english prayer ? Give your head a shake.
    If i should die before i wake ? What a lovely sentiment for children to recite before going to bed.

  93. Frank,
    I always found the prayer comforting as a child. Strangely, I was raised with an awareness that people die, and that my trust was in a good God who would preserve my soul. Many of the sentiments passed on to children today are just that, “sentiments.”

  94. dorothy says:

    This is quite a long-running thread – and I’m so glad I found it! The version I remember from childhood is the following, but it’s entirely possible I cobbled together several versions from our children’s prayer books in order to make a whole prayer that resonated with me – I was creative like that. :

    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
    Bless the bed that I lie on
    There are four corners to my bed
    And four angels ’round me spread
    Two to foot and two to head
    Makes four to carry me when I’m dead
    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep
    If I should die before I wake
    I pray the Lord my soul to take
    Amen

    Death is mentioned twice in the prayer, which might be scary to some children, but I found the prayer comforting because the angels would lift and carry me and the Lord would take me in and keep me safe. I was born in 1966, so the Vietnam War was going on when I was young and my own father was overseas – maybe that’s why I found the prayer so comforting.

  95. krissy says:

    I have a small doll that was passed on from my nephew to my son. I love the prayer it says:

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
    That the angels watch me through the night,
    And keep me in their bless-ed sight.
    Amen

  96. Leigh says:

    The night version:

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep.
    If I should die before I wake,
    I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to take.
    If I should live for other days,
    I pray Thee, Lord, to guide my ways.
    Amen.

    The morning version:

    Now I wake and see the light,
    ’tis God that kept me through the night.
    Now I lift my voice to pray,
    that God will keep me through the day.
    Amen.

  97. Leigh says:

    To “suzanne Says:” who posted:
    September 14, 2010 at 3:36 pm
    “does anyone remember a song or hymn as a child it started like this – HANDS TOGETHER SOFTLY SO (this is all i can remember) i would love my granddaughter to learn it . thanx suzanne”

    Here it is, from the online free printable/downloadable The children’s hymnal and service-book (circa 1929 – Publisher: Philadelphia, Pa. : The Board of Publication of the United Lutheran Church in America) with sheet music from:
    http://www.archive.org/details/MN41989ucmf_0

    and simple lyrics at
    http://ingeb.org/spiritua/handstog.html

    Hands Together, Softly So
    By Florence Hoatson, 1881-1964

    Hands together, softly so,
    Little eyes shut tight;
    Father, just before we go,
    Hear our prayer tonight.

    We are all thy children here,
    This is what we pray,
    Keep us when the dark is near,
    And through every day.

  98. Leigh says:

    This hymn sounds so lovely (from The children’s hymnal and service-book at http://www.archive.org/details/MN41989ucmf_0):
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Jesus, Tender Shepherd, Hear Me
    By Mary Lundie Duncan (1814-1840) & John Stainer (1840-1901)

    Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me;
    Bless Thy little lamb tonight;
    Through the darkness, be Thou near me;
    Keep me safe till morning light.

    Through this day Thy hand has led me;
    And I thank Thee for Thy care;
    Thou hast warmed me, clothed and fed me,
    Listen to my evening prayer.

    Let my sins be all forgiven;
    Bless the friends I love so well;
    Take me when I die, to heaven,
    Happy there with Thee to dwell.
    Amen.

  99. PJ says:

    I remember saying different versions of the “Lay Me Down To Sleep” prayer. Both my grandmothers had different versions, one was from England and a Baptist, the other from Germany and a Catholic. I was glad to find this website as I have found both versions here and now I can pass them along to my children and grandchildren.

  100. TRON says:

    If I should live another day…
    I pray the lord to guide my way…

    “Listen to the sounds, and not the words”
    Just some thoughts learned…..

  101. Jasmin says:

    My mom taught me this way:
    ‘Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thy Lord my soul to keep. Guide me safely though the night, and wake me up with morning light.’

  102. Margaret says:

    So there is a new comment and I have shared this post with Facebook. I’d like to add the song that my mother sang to me and I sang tomy daughter for a few years:

    Now the day is over,
    Night is drawing nigh,
    Shadows of the evening,
    steal across the sky,

    Jesus, give the weary
    Calm and sweet repose;
    With Thy tend’rest blessing
    May mine eyelids close.

    When the morning wakens,
    Then may I arise
    Pure and fresh and sinless
    In Thy holy eyes.

  103. Robbie Cranch says:

    We adapted this version for our children when they were toddlers:

    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray to God my soul to keep.
    Guard me through the starry night,
    Wake me safe with sunshine bright.
    I shall live for many days;
    I pray Thee, God, to guide my ways.

  104. I would like to know this prayer with it being 2012 and all the world is supposed to end on december 21 and i choose not to believe it and i pray to GOD every night begging and asking him for the world to never end

  105. Suzanne says:

    Fr Stephen
    Thanks for the blog about this prayer…its been very interesting to read so many different stories about it. My sister passed away on November 1st of 2011. My husband wrote a poem about her struggle and passing with the last stanza containing the 1st line of the short version of this prayer…”Now I lay me down to sleep”. Thanks again!
    Suzanne

  106. Melissa says:

    Angels on my left and right; To keep me safe all through the night.

  107. Melissa says:

    I’ll add another version…this is what I have sang to my son since he was just itty bitty (he’s almost 9 now), it’s the only way to get him to peaceful sleep quickly:

    now i lay me down to sleep
    I pray the lord my soul to keep
    if i die before i wake
    i pray the lord my soul to take
    four corners over head
    four post upon my bed
    matthew, mark, luke and john
    bless this bed i lie upon
    john, matthew, luke and mark
    grant my wish and keep it dark
    angels watching over me
    from heaven high above
    wake me with the morning light
    protect me with his love
    amen

    the weird part is, I didn’t know there was such a thing as the MML&J nursery rhyme…I made it all up one VERY Sleepy night…It stuck and now he sings it with me… :)

  108. karen oteri says:

    I found this prayer in my Mother”s Bible after her Passing Thanksgiving morning 2003.I have the original in her handwriting and made a baby quilt with the quote do not know from whence it came.
    Now i lay me down to sleep
    I pray thee Lord. thy child to keep
    Thy love go with me all the night
    and wake me with the morning light.
    I say my prayers and hop into bed,
    straighten the pillow and smooth the spread.
    Someone is coming you can easily see…
    to dreamland we’ll go…my Lord and me…

    Thank you for letting me share

  109. TRON says:

    If I should live another day
    I pray the lord to guide my way

  110. allyson says:

    My mother-in-law insist that this prayer is a witches spell. She is harrassing my children about saying it. Here it is…
    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
    Bless this bed I lay upon
    Four corners to my bed
    Four angels to my head
    One to watch, one to pray
    And two to carry my troubles away.

    I thought this was a very sweet prayer and easy to remember. Who is right, me for believing it was a prayer or her for believing it is a witch’s spell?

  111. fatherstephen says:

    You. It has a very ancient Christian history. Witches don’t ask for blessings. If it troubles you, add: “In Jesus name, Amen.”

  112. Ashley says:

    Growing up my grandmother taught me to pray this after the Lord’s prayer
    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep
    If I should die before I wake
    I pray the Lord my soul to take

    Ive taught my daughter
    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep
    The angels watch me thru the night, and keep me in thier blessed night

  113. Robin says:

    Found this site when searching for the prayers I was taught as a child , I want to teach my 2 year old granddaughter …. I simply love it & have spent 90 minutes reading every comment …. Thank you all .

  114. Freya says:

    I was looking for an old book of nursery ryhmes with a version of this in because I wanted something to say before I go to sleep, I’ve gone through all the comments and found some really beautiful prayers and songs, I can remeber being read this prayer about nine years ago when I was really small, and as I said, I wanted something to say before going to sleep.
    Thank you

  115. Nancy E Pordon says:

    This is the morning prayer that I remember.

    Now I wake me up to work.
    I pray the Lord I will not shirk.
    Guide my steps along the way,
    and help me honor You this day.

  116. drewster2000 says:

    Fr. Stephen,

    The picture. Since a number of people asked about it in this thread, I took a second look at it and realized that my parents have a copy of it that I’ve always liked. Did you ever find anything else about it in your research?

  117. drewster2000 says:

    Guardian Angel picture:

    Wikipedia says it was from a German postcard around 1900, that the author was unknown but the work is similar to that of Fridolin Leiber:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Guardian_Angel_1900.jpg

  118. PhiDor says:

    I learned this prayer almost as soon as I could speak. It was the “if I die” version. I recently changed it to this version that I say every night.

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I pray thee Lord,our/my soul(s) to keep.
    Hold us safely in your arms tonight,
    And wake us with the morning light.

    I think the last two lines make it a calming, restful closure to the day.

    I learned about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John later in life, but am happy to find out it was all the same prayer.

    God Bless everyone.

  119. Chey says:

    I remember learning the apparently more morbid version when I was little, and when I was about 8, and my little sister was around 2 and starting to learn to say prayers, I found the angels prayer, which I taught her added on to the end of the first, but apparently I was missing a line.
    “Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the lord my soul to keep
    If I should die before I wake
    I pray the lord my soul to take.
    Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
    Four corners ’round my bed
    Four angels ’round my head
    One to watch and one to pray
    And two to keep all harm away.”

  120. Ange says:

    When I was expecting my child, I had grown up knowing this prayer…I thought it was morbid. Whe my child was born, I changed it… “Please help me sleep till morning light, and keep me safe all through the night”. That is the only version they know, now…and it hasn’t anything to do with “If I should die before I wake…” I did the same thing with Rockabye Baby. I changed the lyrics so it wasn’t so morbid. Why do people write children’s songs to sound so horrible?

  121. sunday dare says:

    I only knew the first line when i was in school, our teacher thought us but i just discover that this poem is meaningless, ‘Four corner of my bed’ but i search on google to show my the lyric of the poem that is how i get here. Thanks for letting me know this.

  122. My Nana taught me this prayer when I was very young, probably at around three years of age. I said it most every night until I was in my teens. When I taught it to my children, we replaced the scary words with, “Thy love guard us through the night.” I included it in my memoir, JoyRide, because it is such a fond and lovely memory for me.

    Until I found your article, I had no idea there were additional verses. Thank you for sharing this.
    Blessings, Pamela

  123. Tracy Jones says:

    I only knew the “scary” version as a child, then my daughter taught me this one when she was just 7-8yrs old. I still say it today and she is now 26. :-)

    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
    May Angels guide me through the night
    And keep me safe til morning light.
    Bless my home and all those in it
    Each and every single minute
    And when I wake again I pray:
    Dear Lord stay with me through the day.
    Help me to grow kind and strong
    Watch over me the wole day long
    And when it’s time to sleep again
    Please tuck ne in with Love, Amen

  124. Rejoice says:

    Thanks father stephen for this wonderful site, i’ve been searching for the full version of this rhyme/prayer for a very long time and I finally found it. I learnt the rhyme as a child, I’m Nigerian and roman catholic. It was lovely reading all the comments, thanks to everyone who contributed to making this site what it is.

  125. Brittany says:

    This is the version that my Grandfather learned as a child being raised in Christian Science. It’s similar to one that Jill Lee shared on here on 10/11/10 from Georgia, but my Grandpa was raised in Wisconsin! It comforted and helped him as he fought in the Korean War, and I plan on having my son say it every night at bedtime.

    Now I lay me down to sleep,
    I know that God, His child will keep,
    I know that God, my Life, is nigh
    I live in Him and cannot die.
    God is my health, I can’t be sick
    God is my strength, unfailing quick
    God is my all, I know no fear
    For God, and Love and Truth are here

  126. Thanks for teaching me something new. Without knowing that, I recently wrote an article about the last part which I say every night with my daughter. If you have a chance, check it out: http://364daysofthanksgiving.com/daddy-dont-want-die/
    I would be curious to hear what y’all think. Thanks!

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Orthodox Christianity, Culture and Religion, Making the Journey of Faith
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