Wednesday, May 20, 2015

114. Exaudi Hymn

Exaudi is the mass for the Sunday after the Ascension, which may also possibly be described as the sixth Sunday after Easter or the seventh Sunday of Easter. Its Latin name comes from the introit taken from Psalm 27, beginning with verses 7-8 by way of an antiphon. This Psalm, together with the gospel from John 15:23-16:4 and, to a lesser degree, the epistle from 1 Peter 4:7-11, sets a tone or a theme of sober preparation for persecution of the church and "the end of all things." Even though I'm a bit late for this year's Exaudi Sunday, current events suggest this may yet be a timely bit of devotional verse.

Lord, hear our cry of prayer and pain
And answer us by grace,
Lest Your command should be in vain
That bade us seek Your face.

The end of all things is at hand;
With sober, watchful prayers
Help us to walk the road You planned
And bear each other's cares.

As You have given gifts to each,
So too make fit and call
Some who Your oracles will teach
And minister to all.

Lend us Your Spirit's helpful light,
His witness strong and true,
That we may face men's stinging spite
With faith's eye fixed on You.

Though for Your sake we be cast out,
Though some perhaps be killed,
Our heart is proof against all doubt
If it with You is filled.

With You, Lord, as our saving Light,
What darkness shall we fear?
Though foes and devils fill the night,
Your strong arm yet is near.

When round us camps a brutal host,
Lead us between their ranks!
Give ear not to their lying boast
But to our song of thanks!

One thing we ask of You, dear Lord:
To dwell in Your household,
Fed by the bounty of Your board,
Your beauty to behold.

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