O Merciful Creator, Hear!
Attributed to Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). In the Roman Breviary this hymn is used at Vespers during Lent for both Sundays and the ferial Office from the first Sunday in Lent until the Friday before Passion Sunday. In the Liturgia Horarum it is used at Vespers for the Sunday Office from the first Sunday until the Saturday before Holy Week.
| AUDI, benigne
nostras preces cum fletibus,
sacrata in abstinentia 1
| O MERCIFUL
To us in pity bow Thine ear:
accept the tearful prayer we raise
in this our fast of forty days.
| Scrutator alme cordium,
infirma tu scis virium;
ad te reversis exhibe
| Our hearts are open, Lord, to Thee:
Thou knowest our infirmity;
pour out on all who seek Thy face
abundance of Thy pardoning grace.
| Multum quidem peccavimus,
sed parce confitentibus,
tuique laude nominis 2
confer medelam languidis.
| Our sins are many, this we know;
spare us, good Lord, Thy mercy show;
and for the honor of Thy name
our fainting souls to life reclaim.
| Sic corpus extra conteri
dona per abstinentiam,
ieiunet ut mens sobria
a labe prorsus criminum. 3
| Give us self-control that springs
from discipline of outward things,
that fasting inward secretly
the soul may purely dwell with Thee.
| Praesta, beata Trinitas,
concede, simplex Unitas,
ut fructuosa sint tuis
haec parcitatis munera. Amen.
| We pray Thee, Holy Trinity,
one God, unchanging Unity,
that we from this our abstinence
may reap the fruits of penitence. Amen.
From the Liturgia Horarum, translation by T. A. Lacey (1853-1931) and others.
Changes made by Pope Urban VIII in 1632 to the Roman Breviary:
1 in hoc sacro ieiunio.
2 ad nominis laudem tui.
3 Concede nostrum conteri/ corpus per abstinentiam/ culpae ut relinquant pabulum/ ieiuna corda criminum.