This hymn is used for Matins on Sundays and Weekdays in Lent from the First Sunday in Lent through Passion Sunday in the Extraordinary Form. It is used in its first four verses for Office of Readings on Sundays and its remaining verses are used for Lauds/Morning Prayer on Sundays in Lent until Holy Week in the Ordinary Form.
Now with the slow-revolving year,
Again the Fast we greet;
Which in its mystic circle moves
Of forty days complete.
That Fast by Law and Prophets taught,
By Jesus Christ restor’d;
Jesus, of seasons and of times
The Maker and the Lord.
Henceforth more sparing let us be
Of food, of words, of sleep;
Henceforth beneath a stricter guard
The roving senses keep.
And let us shun whatever things
Distract the careless heart;
And let us shut the soul against
The tyrant Tempter’s art;
And weep before the Judge, and strive
His vengeance to appease;
Saying to Him with contrite voice,
Upon our bended knees:
“Much have we sinn’d, O Lord! and still
We sin each day we livve;
Yet pour thy pity from on high,
And of thy grace forgive.
Remember that we still are thine,
Though of a fallen frame;
And take not from us in thy wrath
The glory of thy name.
Undo past evil; grant us Lord,
More grace to do aright;
So may we now and ever find
Acceptance in thy sight.”
Blest Trinity in Unity!
Vouchsafe us in thy love,
To gather fro these fasts below
Immortal fruit above. Amen.
Words: Pope St. Gregory the Great (I), 6th Century; tr. Fr. Edward Caswall, 1849.
Music: “Ex More Docti Mystico” Gregorian Chant, Tone I, traditional.
The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.