The following song is an alternative, metrically rhymed version of the Ash Wednesday antiphons and responsory. It is provided to accompany a prolonged giving of ashes. It is especially suitable in situations where there is no cantor or choir, since the melody would be repeated from one verse to the next and the whole assembly would be able to sing this hymn.
One of the following refrains is sung after each verse:
Spare your people, gracious Lord!
Parce nobis, Domine
Libera nos, Domine
Put on sackcloth, fast and mourn!
Marked with ashes, fit for scorn!
Cry until your hearts are torn!
Young and old and newly-wed,
Turn to God again and shed
Pomp and fashion, every shred!
Priests who serve the Lord, lament!
Cry aloud: O Lord, relent;
Pardon us when we repent!
On this day the Lord intends
All of us to make amends,
Now, before the daylight ends.
Death may take us unawares,
Busy with our own affairs,
Too preoccupied for prayers.
God our savior do not spurn
Sinners longing to return:
Must your wrath for ever burn?
Knowing our excuse is lame,
Still we ask you, end our shame
For the glory of your name.
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