Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lenten Lament: Parce Domine

R. Parce Domine, parce populo tuo: ne in aeternum irascaris nobis.

(Spare, O Lord, spare Your people: lest You be angry with us forever.)

1. Flectamus iram vindicem, ploremus ante Judicem; clamemus ore supplici, dicamus omnes cernui.

(Let us bow before the avenging wrath, let us weep before the Judge; let us cry out with words of supplication, let us all speak, falling prostrate.)

2. Nostris malis offendimus tuam Deus clementiam; effunde nobis desuper remissor indulgentiam.

(O God, by our wickedness we have offended Your clemency; pour forth on us from above, O forgiving One, Your pardon.)

3. Dans tempus acceptabile, da lacrimarum rivulis lavare cordis victimam, quam laeta adurat caritas.

(Giving us an acceptable time, grant to purify, in the rivers of our tears, the sacrifice of our hearts, enkindled by joyful charity.)

4. Audi, benigne Conditor, nostras preces cum fletibus in hoc sacro jejunio fusas quadragenario.

(Hear, O benign Creator, our prayers, with lamentations, poured forth during this holy fast of forty days.)

5. Scrutator alme cordium, infirma tu scis virium; ad te reversis exhibe remissionis gratiam.

(O beloved searcher of hearts, You know the weakness of mortal bodies; show to those returning to You the grace of forgiveness.)

English translations are essentially my own. Verse 3 was a tough one.

The antiphon is based on
Joel 2:17.

Verse 1 is from
Ex more docti mystico (Pope St. Gregory I), verse 5 (according to the revision by Pope Urban VIII). Verse 2 is from Ex more docti mystico, verse 6 (original).

Verse 3 is from
O Sol salutis initimis (Pope Urban VIII), verse 2 (revision of Iam, Christe, sol iustitiae).

Verses 4 and 5 are from
Audi, benigne Conditor (Pope St. Gregory I), verses 1 and 2.

1 comment:

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Jeffrey, thank you so much for the work you did on this piece. I've been looking everywhere on the internet for a good English translation of it and yours is the best. (I know a little Latin myself but can't translate.) Also,the sources of the verses are helpful. I'm writing a blog post about Parce Domine and am linking to your site. I am using your translation and crediting you for it. The sacred liturgy is my first love and I am an Extraordinary Form devotee who likes to pass my knowledge on to others. Now if I could just find a history of the use of this hymn... New Advent had nothing and none of the other searches I did elicited anything. Thanks for this great site. I'm sure I'll be using it many times.