Monday, March 3, 2014

"Hear us, O Lord . . ." (The Lent Prose)

With Lent just around the corner, I thought I’d share with you a recording of cantor and congregation singing the English language version of the 10th Century Mozarabic hymn, Attende Domine, which we have come to know simply as “The Lent Prose.” Here George Curnow, Senior Cantor at the Church of St Martin in Roath (Wales) leads the congregation. It takes me back to my own parishes where we learned to sing the Lent Prose in this way. A commentator wrote that “this is a very good rendition, fuller, more red-blooded than unaccompanied unison or plainsong versions, which are a bit hairshirtlike for today’s congregations.” I think he’s right. What a pity that the recording cuts out just before the end!

I wish all my regular readers and visitors to this blog a good beginning to Lent. May it be a time of fruitful penitence, renewal, and openness to the love of God.

Hear us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: 
for we have sinned against thee.

To thee, Redeemer, on thy throne of glory: 
lift we our weeping eyes in holy pleadings: 
listen, O Jesu, to our supplications.  Hear us, O Lord . . .

O thou chief cornerstone, right hand of the Father: 
way of salvation, gate of life celestial: 
cleanse thou our sinful souls from all defilement.  Hear us, O Lord . . .

God, we implore thee, in thy glory seated: 
bow down and hearken to thy weeping children: 
pity and pardon all our grievous trespasses.  Hear us, O Lord . . .

Sins oft committed, now we lay before thee: 
with true contrition, now no more we veil them: 
grant us, Redeemer, loving absolution.  Hear us, O Lord . . .

Innocent captive, taken unresisting: 
falsely accused, and for us sinners sentenced, 
save us, we pray thee, Jesu, our Redeemer. Hear us, O Lord . . .

- The English Hymnal 736


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