O’erwhelmed In Depths Of Woe

This hymn is a hymn for Lauds on the Friday after Sexagesima Sunday, dedicated to the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The text comes from the Office of the Instruments of the Passion, or the Passion Offices, and was translated by Fr. Caswall for the Lyra Catholica in 1849.

This is the original text as it appears in Fr. Caswall’s Lyra Catholica (1849):

O’erwhelm’d in depths of woe,
Upon the tree of scorn,
Hangs the Redeemer of mankind,
With racking anguish torn.

See how the nails those hands
And feet so tender rend;
See! down His face, and neck, and breast,
His Sacred Blood descend!

Oh, hear that awful cry
His Spirit takes its flight;
That cry, it pierc’d his Mother’s heart
And whelm’d her soul in night.

Earth hears, and to its base
Rocks wildly to and fro;
Tombs burst; seas, rivers, mountains quake;
The veil is rent in two.

The sun withdraws his light;
The midday heav’ns grow pale;
The moon, the stars, the universe
Their Maker’s death bewail.

Shall man alone be mute?
Come, youth! And hoary hairs!
Come, rich and poor! come, all mankind!
And bathe those feet in tears.

Come! fall before His Cross,
Who shed for us his blood,
Who died, the victim of pure love,
To make us sons of God.

Jesu! all praise to Thee,
Our joy and endless rest!
Be Thou our guide while pilgrims here,
Our crown amid the blest.

Words:Roman Breviary, 1827; tr. Fr. Edward Caswall, 1849.
Tune:St. Bride” Samuel Howard, 1762.
Meter: 6.6.8.6

This is the text as it appears in  Hymns Ancient and Modern (1867):

O’erwhelmed in depths of woe,
Upon the Tree of scorn
Hangs the Redeemer of mankind,
With racking anguish torn.

See how the nails those Hands
And Feet so tender rend!
See down His Face, and Neck, and Breast
His sacred Blood descend!

Oh, hear that awful cry
Which pierced His Mother’s heart,
As into God the Father’s Hands
He bade His Soul depart.

Earth hears, and trembling quakes
Around that Tree of pain;—
The rocks are rent;—the graves are burst;—
The veil is rent in twain.

The sun withdraws his light;—
The mid-day heavens grow pale;—
The moon, the stars, the universe
Their Maker’s Death bewail.

Shall man alone be mute?
Have we no griefs, or fears?
Come, old and young, come, all mankind,
And bathe those Feet in tears.

Come, fall before His Cross,
Who shed for us His Blood;
Who died, the Victim of pure Love,
To make us sons of God.

Jesu, all praise to Thee,
Our Joy and endless Rest;
Be Thou our Guide while pilgrims here,
Our Crown amid the blest. Amen.

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

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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 5. The Crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Authorship Debated, Unknown, To Be Determined, Chant Tone Unknown, Edward Caswall, English Translation of Non-English Hymn, Good Friday, Holy Week, Hymns By The Greats, Jesus Christ Our Lord, Lent, Morning Prayer/Lauds, Non-English Hymns, Offices of the Breviary, Ordinary Time, Passion Offices/Office of the Instruments of the Passion, Pre-Lent (EF), Roman Breviary, Sexagesima Sunday, The Church Year, The Devotional Offices, The Holy Rosary, The Liturgy of Hours/Breviary, The Liturgy of the Church, The Passion, The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Sorrowful Mysteries. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to O’erwhelmed In Depths Of Woe

  1. Pingback: Sævo Dolorum Turbine | Saint Augustine's Lyre

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