Thursday, May 13, 2021

304. Hymn for Pre-Lent

From the old one-year lectionary that was in use until about the time of Vatican Council II – and that still has some adherents – comes a now vanished season, or transitional phase between seasons, of the Church Year. Some call it Gesimatide, in reference to the three Sundays between Transfiguration (the last Sunday of the Epiphany season) and Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent). Their names are Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima, which are Greek for 70, 60 and 50 respectively: as it were, a countdown to the 40-day season of Lent. Obviously, the names aren't to be taken literally, as if there are 10 days in a week. Everything involved in liturgics has a funny name, so deal with it.

Anyway, Useful Hymns had a hymn for every Sunday of the Church Year according to the historic lectionary, but it didn't have a hymn for the Season of Pre-Lent, or Gesimatide if you will. The following hymn is an attempt to remedy that, for inclusion in the "Seasonal Meditation" section of the upcoming sequel, Edifying Hymns. As in my Lent and Advent midweek-sermon-series hymns, my intention is that the first and last stanza be sung each week during Pre-Lent with the appropriate verse between them for that Sunday. And so, with the help of God ...
When it came to pass, dear Lamb and Lord,
That You as drink-offering must be poured,
Acknowledging that the time was come
You set Your face toward Jerusalem.

The sorrows of death encompassed me.
I cried to the Lord in misery.
From out of His shrine He heard my voice;
In Him, my strong Rock, shall I rejoice.

Lord, why do You sleep? Why hide Your face?
Arise, cast us not away from grace!
Forget not our woes, souls bowed with grief;
Speed forth with redemption and relief!

Lord, be my strong Rock and safe Redoubt!
Both guide me and guard me round about!
For sake of Your name, which I shall bless,
Deliver me in Your righteousness!

Hosanna, Christ Jesus! God who came
That all might have life who trust Your name:
Do good to Your people; heal our land,
And lead Your beloved by the hand!

UPDATE: Here's a tune I whipped up just now for this hymn, titled GESIMATIDE. The same words could also be sung to my tune COMMITTAL, which you can find here.

No comments: