This is the text of William Drummond’s translation of Audi Benigne Conditor as it appears in Hymns Written and Adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year. Heber designates it for use on Ash Wednesday or the First Sunday of Lent.
This hymn is used for Vespers on Sundays and Weekdays in Lent from the First Sunday in Lent through Passion Sunday in the Extraordinary Form. It is used for Vespers on Sundays in Lent until Holy Week in the Ordinary Form.
Oh merciful Creator! hear
Our prayer, to Thee devoutly bent,
Which we pour forth with many a tear
In this Thy holy fast of Lent!
Thou mildest Searcher of the heart,
Who know’st the weakness of our strength,
To us forgiving grace impart,
That we may seek Thy face at length.
We all have sinn’d, we own our shame,
But spare us who our sins confess,
And for the glory of Thy name
To our sick souls afford redress.
Grant that the flesh may so be pined,
By means of outward abstinence,
As that the sober watchful mind
May fast from spots of foul offence!
Grant this, oh Blessed Trinity!
Pure Son of God! to this incline,
That of our fast the fruit may be
A grateful recompense for Thine!
Words: Pope St. Gregory the Great (I); tr. William Drummond, 1619.
Tune: “Audi Benigne Conditor” Gregorian Chant, Tone II, traditional.
The original Latin text of this hymn may be found here.