Liturgy of Lent: February 2009 Archives

Iesu, Quadragenarie

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Vespers II

Jesus! You taught and sanctified
Observance of this Lenten tide;
Be pleased our fast to consecrate,
And by it mend our broken state.

Now unto Paradise once more,
By penitence our souls restore;
Without the gates our souls were thrust
Where thorns and toil turned pride to dust.

Be with your Church in saving pow'r
In this her death and rising hour;
When for the sins of bygone days,
With Word-pierced heart she weeps and prays.

For all our grievous past offence,
Your gracious pardon, Lord, dispense;
Henceforth, O gentle Guardian, shield
From sin each sense by mercy sealed.

So cleansed and chastened in your eyes,
By this our gladsome sacrifice,
May we for Pascha's joys prepare,
Who now a joyful sorrow share.

Infuse us, Father, with your Breath,
The Crucified's last Gift in death;
That in that Spirit we may raise
New paschal hymns of living praise. Amen.

Clarum Decus Jejunii

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Daniel in the lions' den, his hands raised in prayer, is an apt illustration of this hymn for Vigils. The hymns marked I are for Sundays; the hymns marked II are for weekdays. One might also alternate them.

Vigils or Office of Readings II

Bright beauty of the Lenten Fast
By heaven taught, on earth displayed;
Which Christ, in silent desert hid,
By his own fast has sacred made.

On Sinai's height with trumpet blast
The Law to Moses fasting came;
Elijah, fasting, rose aloft
In soaring chariot of flame.

So Daniel, saved from lions, saw
God's mysteries in coming years;
So John, the Bridegroom's loving friend,
In chaste and radiant truth appears.

O grace us, God of love, we pray,
Their paths of temperance to choose;
To those made weak by sin, give strength,
In ev'ry soul your joy infuse.

Grant this, O Father, through the Son,
In Spirit-Breath, bestow your grace,
That when these forty days are passed
We may exult before your face. Amen.

Ex More Docti Mystico

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Vigils or Office of Readings I

Now, with the slow revolving year,
Again the sacred Fast we greet;
Which in its mystic circle moves
In Forty Days to be complete.

That Fast by Law and Prophet taught,
A sacred sign by Christ restored;
He is, of seasons and of times,
The fullness and the timeless Lord.

Henceforth more sparing let us be,
of food and drink, of words and sleep;
And let us by a closer guard
Our roving senses cloistered keep.

Quick! Let us shun whatever things
Distract the careless eye and heart;
And let us shut our minds against
The tyrant tempter’s lying art.

Blest Trinity in Unity!
Uphold our weakness in your love,
That we to death may die with Christ
and rise with Christ to life above. Amen.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory