Once More The Solemn Season Calls

This hymn was used for Lauds on Sundays and Weekdays during Lent from Ash Wednesday to Passion Sunday in the Paris Breviary (1736).

This is the text of the hymn as it appears in Hymns Ancient & Modern (1867):

Once more the solemn season calls
A holy fast to keep;
And now within the temple walls
Both 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. Amen.

Words: Fr. Charles Coffin, 1736.; tr. John Chandler, 19th Century.
Tune:Hereford (Ouseley)” Frederick A. G. Ouseley, 1861.

Here is the original text of the hymn from John Chandler’s 1837 Hymns of the Primitive Church:

The solemn season calls us now
A holy fast to keep:
And see within the temple how
Both priest and people weep.

But come not thou with tears alone,
Or outward form of prayer:
But let it in thy heart be known
That penitence is there.

Thy breast to beat, thy clothes to rend,
God asketh not of thee:
Thy stubborn soul he bids thee bend
In true humility.

Oh! let us, then, with heartfelt grief,
Draw near unto our God,
And pray to Him to grant relief,
And stay th’ uplifted rod.

Oh! righteous Judge, if thou wilt deign
To grant us all we need,
We pray for time to turn again,
And grace to turn indeed.

Blest Three in One, with grief sincere,
To Thee we humbly pray,
That fruits of mercy may appear
To bless this fasting-day.

The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.



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, Breviaries, Charles Coffin, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Hymns By The Greats, John Chandler, Lent, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Paris Breviary, Subsections of Breviaries, The Church Year, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Once More The Solemn Season Calls

  1. Pingback: Solemne Nos Ieiunii | Saint Augustine's Lyre

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s