Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

by Sr Fidelis    

Kind Discerner of Hearts

The Lenten Vespers service begins with the prayer Deus in adiutorium meum intende (O God, come to my assistance), to which the congregation responds: Domine, ad adiuvandum me festina. (O Lord, make haste to help me). This is then followed by a beautiful hymn, the text of which was most likely penned by Gregory the Great in the 6th century. Audi, benigne Conditor sums up all that we hope will transpire between ourselves and God during this season.

My favorite verse is the second one. “Kind discerner of hearts, you know the weakness of our strength”.

Below are the verses in English.  Listen to the ebb and flow of this Mode II melody.

Hear, kind Creator, our prayers poured out with tears,
spread out in the abstinence of these sacred forty days.

Kind discerner of hearts, you know the weakness of our strength;
to those who return to you, show the grace of forgiveness.

Greatly indeed have we sinned, but spare those who trust in you;
to the praise of your name, confer a healing cure on the languishing.

Grant that the body be so worn away on the outside by abstinence,
that the sober soul might fast wholly from the stain of sins.

Grant this, O blessed Trinity, allow, O single Unity, that these gifts of
temperance may be fruitful to those who are yours.  Amen.



This entry was posted in God, Gregorian Chant, Lent, Liturgy of the Hours by Sr. Fidelis. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sr. Fidelis

I am 46 years old, and have been a Sister at the Community of Jesus for 26 years. Having grown up here, I have been singing Gregorian chant since I was 10! I was very blessed to study Gregorian chant with Dr. Mary Berry in Cambridge, England and here at home. Recently, I have been able to do some radio and tv interviews, sharing about the blessings of Gregorian chant. I love leading chant workshops, and have been able to do that in the US and abroad.

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