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Solemne nos jejunii.
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.

3 We smite the breast, we weep in vain,

In vain in ashes mourn,
Unless with penitential pain

The smitten soul be torn.

4 In sorrow true then let us pray

To our offended God,
From us to turn His wrath away,

And stay the uplifted rod.

5 O God, our Judge and Father, deign

To spare the bruised reed;
We pray for time to turn again,

For grace to turn indeed.

6 Blest Three in One, to Thee we bow,

Vouchsafe us in Thy love,
To gather from these fasts below

Immortal fruit above. Amen.



Audi, benigne Conditor.
O MERCIFUL Creator, hear
Our prayers to Thee devoutly bent,
Which we pour forth with many a tear
In this most holy fast of Lent.
Thou mildest Searcher of each heart,
Who know'st the weakness of our strength,
To us forgiving grace impart,

Since we return to Thee at length.
3 Much have we sinnéd, to our shame,

But spare us, who our sins confess ;
And, for the glory of Thy Name,

To our sick souls afford redress.
4 Grant that the flesh may be so pined

By means of outward abstinence,
As that the sober watchful mind
May fast from spots of all offence.

5 Grant this, O blessèd Trinity !

Pure Unity! vouchsafe us this ;
That the effects of fasts may be
Increase in fruits of righteousness. Amen.

Attributed to St. Gregory.

W. Drummond. (tr.*)

O LORD, turn not Thy face from me,

Who lie in woful state,
Lamenting all my sinful life
Before Thy mercy-gate :




A gate which opens wide to those

That do lament their sin :
Shut not that gate against me, Lord;

But let me enter in.

3 And call me not to strict account

How I have sojourned here;
For then my guilty conscience knows

How vile I shall appear.
4. The circumstances of my crimes,

Their number and their kind,
Thou know'st them all, and more, much more,

Than I can call to mind.

5 Therefore, with tears, I come to beg

Of my offended God,
For pardon; like a child that dreads

His angry parent's rod.
6 So come I to Thy mercy-gate,

Where mercy doth abound,
Imploring pardon for my sin,

To heal my deadly wound. 7 O Lord, I need not to repeat

comfort I would have :
Thou know'st, O Lord, before I ask,

The blessing I do crave.
8 Mercy, good Lord, mercy, I ask,

This is the total sum ;
For mercy, Lord, is all my suit ;
Lord, let Thy mercy come ! Amen.

Book of Common Prayer.



FORTY days and forty nights
Thou wast fasting in the wild ;
Forty days and forty nights
Tempted, and yet undefiled.


Sunbeams scorching all the day;
Chilly dew-drops nightly shed ;
Prowling beasts about Thy way ;
Stones Thy pillow ; earth Thy bed.

3 Shall not we Thy sorrow share,

And from earthly joys abstain,
Fasting with unceasing prayer,
Glad with Thee to suffer pain?

4 And if Satan, vexing sore,

Flesh or spirit should assail,
Thou, his Vanquisher before,
Grant we may not faint or fail.

5 So shall we have


divine ;
Holier gladness ours shall be ;
Round us, too, shall angels shine,
Such as ministered to Thee.

6 Keep, o keep us, Saviour dear,

Ever constant by Thy side ;
That with Thee we may appear
At th' eternal Eastertide. Amen.

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Psalm LI.

mercy, Lord, on me!
As Thou wert ever kind,
Let me, oppressed with loads of guilt,

Thy wonted mercy find.


Wash off my foul offence,

And cleanse me from my sin; For I confess my crime, and see

How great my guilt has been.

3 Make me to hear with joy

Thy kind forgiving voice; That so the bones which Thou hast broke

May with fresh strength rejoice.

4. Blot out my crying sins,

Nor me in anger view ;
Create in me a heart that's clean,

An upright mind renew.

5 Withdraw not Thou Thy help,

Nor cast me from Thy sight; Nor let Thy Holy Spirit take

His everlasting flight.

6 A broken spirit is

By God most highly prized ; By Him a broken contrite heart Shall never be despised.

Now Version.

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