Sacred hymns hold quite a prevalent place within the life of a Marian Sister, and for anyone who fosters a liturgical spirit. To a religious, the hymns given by the Church become the the very breath throughout one's day.
The first audible words we utter in the morning are in singing a Eucharistic hymn to our Lord as He is exposed in the Blessed Sacrament for Holy Hour. After a half hour of meditation - our prayer of the heart to our Beloved - we begin the chanting of the Divine Office which, after the invitatory, opens with the Lauds hymn. Our morning continues in sending sweet notes of the soul to God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Beginning the day with sacred hymns can set the tone for the religious' whole day. As she goes about her daily duty in simple silence, her heart is recollected, yet the lyrics of the hymns she just chanted sing loudly in her soul as a prayer to God. The sacred text which just flowed forth from her lips contain profound depth and penetrate her heart like a river flowing through a field, budding forth new sentiments and quenching the thirst of a heart yearning for God alone.
For the first four Sundays of Lent, we wish to share with you the words of the Divine Office hymns we chant and invite you to contemplate their truths with us this Lenten season. May they be a source of great prayer and bring you to a great understanding of the graces our Lord is lavishing upon you this Lent.
Now Christ, Thou Sun of Righteousness
Hymn for Lauds
Now Christ, Thou Sun of righteousness,
let dawn our darkened spirits bless:
the light of grace to us restore
while day to earth returns once more.
Now days of grace with mercy flow,
O Lord the gift of tears bestow,
to wash our saints in every part,
whilst heav'nly fire consumes the heart
Rise, crystal tears, from that same source
from whence our sins derive their course,
nor cease, till hardened hearts relent,
and softened by thy streams, repent.
Behold, the happy days return,
the days of joy for them that mourn,
may we of their indulgence share,
and bless the God who grants our prayer.
Let all the world from shore to shore
Thee, gracious Trinity, adore;
right soon Thy loving pardon grant,
that we our new-made song may chant. Amen.