Once More The Solemn Season Calls

Once more the solemn season calls
A holy fast to keep;
And now within the temple walls
Let priest and people weep.

But vain all outward sign of grief,
And vain the form of prayer,
Unless the heart implore relief,
And penitence be there.

We smite the breast, we weep in vain,
In vain in ashes mourn,
Unless with penitential pain
The smitten soul be torn.

In sorrow true then let us pray
To our offended God,
From us to turn His wrath away
And stay the uplifted rod.

O God, our judge and father, deign
To spare the bruisèd reed;
We pray for time to turn again,
For grace to turn indeed.

Blest Three in One to Thee we bow;
Vouchsafe us, in Thy love,
To gather from these fasts below
Immortal fruit above.

Words: Anonymous, Paris Breviary, 1736.; tr. John Chandler, 19th Century.
Tune:Hereford (Ouseley)” Frederick A. G. Ouseley, 1861.

Here is the original Latin text of the hymn:

Solemne nos ieiunii
Nunc tempus ad planctum
vocat;
Plorat sacerdos; flebili
Clamore templa personant.

Lugubris at frustra sonus
Ad Numen iratum venit,
Ni corde pulsus intimo
Sensum doloris indicet.

Nil frontibus sparsus cinis,
Nil scissa vestis proderit,
Ni fracta scindantur simul
Vivo dolore pectora.

Vultum rigantes fletibus
Flectamus iram Numinis,
Quae, criminis nostri memor,
Intentat ultrices minas.

O iuste Iudex! O Deus!
Sis lentus ad poenam, Pater;
Das poenitendi tempora,
Et cor simul da poenitens.

Praesta, Beata Trinitas;
Concede, Simplex Unitas;
Ut fructuosa sint Tuis
Ieiuniorum munera. Amen.

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About Noah

musings of a young Catholic aspiring to be faithful to his Lord and God Jesus Christ through His Holy Catholic Church
This entry was posted in Ancient & Mediaeval Hymns, Latin Hymns, Lent, Non-English Hymns, The Church Year. Bookmark the permalink.

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