The glory of these forty days
We celebrate with songs of praise;
For Christ, by whom all things were made,
Himself has fasted and has prayed.
Alone and fasting Moses saw
The loving God who gave the law;
And to Elijah, fasting, came
The steeds and chariots of flame.
So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
Delivered from the lions’ might;
And John, the Bridegroom’s friend, became
The herald of Messiah’s name.
Then grant us, Lord, like them to be
Full oft in fast and prayer with Thee;
Our spirits strengthen with Thy grace,
And give us joy to see Thy face.
O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
To thee be every prayer addressed,
Who art in threefold name adored,
From age to age, the only Lord.
Words: Attr. Pope St. Gregory The Great, 6th Century; tr. Maurice F. Bell, 1906.
Tune: “Spires” Joseph Klug, 1543.
Here is Pope St. Gregory the Great’s original Latin text:
Clarum decus ieiunii
Monstratur orbi coelitus,
Quo Christus auctor omnium
Cibis dicavit abstinens.
Hoc Moyses carus Deo
Legisque lator factus est,
Hoc Heliam per aera
Curru levavit igneo.
Hinc Daniel mysteria
Victor leonum viderat,
Per hoc amicus intimus
Sponsi Iohannes claruit.
Haec nos sequi dona Deus
Tu robur auge mentium,
Dans spiritale gaudium.
Praesta Pater per Filium,
Praesta per almum Spiritum,
Cum his per aevum triplici
Unus Deus cognomine.