Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Hymns That We Ought to Sing

While the readers of this blog have read my comments often enough to know that I argue strongly on behalf of the use of the proper antiphons at Mass, I nevertheless do not think that singing hymns in a limited fashion, such as after the Communion antiphon is complete or during the recessional, is necessarily a bad thing.

In fact, we ought to look at this as an opportunity to sing hymns that are traditionally Catholic, such as those sung during the Divine Office.

Hymn writer Kathleen Pluth has translated one such venerable Lenten hymn into English. This hymn, like most of the traditional repertoire, is utterly striking in its dense theocentric character.

Nunc Tempus Acceptabile

Today is the accepted time.
Christ’s healing light, the gift divine
Shines forth to save the penitent
To wake the world by means of Lent.

The light of Christ will show the way
That leads to God’s salvation day.
The rigor of this fasting mends
The hearts that hateful sinning rends.

Keep all our minds and bodies true
In sacrifice, O God, to You,
That we may join, when Lents have ceased,
The everlasting Paschal Feast.

Let all creation join to raise
Most gracious Trinity, Your praise.
And when your love has made us new,
May we sing new songs, Lord, to You.

Translation copyright 2006 by Kathleen Pluth. May be copied freely for use during Lent 2007.

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