Come, let us sing to the Lord;*
 let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving*
 and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God,*
 and a great king above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,*
 and the heights of the hills are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,*
 and his hands have moulded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,*
 and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God,
   and we are the people of his pasture
   and the sheep of his hand.*
 O that today you would hearken to his voice!
   Psalm 95:1-7 (Venite)
Come, let us sing with joy unto the Lord;
let us be glad and heartily rejoice.
Into God's presence come with hymns of praise;
with thankful hearts new psalms and anthems raise,
till all earth's tongues be joined in one great voice.

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
sovereign above all powers of heaven and earth.
Caverns and heights lie both with God's hand,
who made the sea and molded the dry land,
and from whose life all creatures have their birth.

Come, let us kneel before the Lord our God;
to our Creator let all hearts draw near.
This is our God, whose folk and sheep are we,
whose steadfast love endures eternally.
Oh, that today you would God's calling hear!
   Carl P. Daw, Jr.
   Sung to Old 124th


Have mercy on me, O God,
   according to your loving-kindness;*
 in your great compassion blot out my offences.
Wash me through and through from my wickedness*
 and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,*
 and my sin is ever before me.
Against you only have I sinned*
 and done what is evil in your sight.
And so you are justified when you speak*
 and upright in your judgement.
Cast me not away from your presence*
 and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again*
 and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
I shall teach your ways to the wicked,*
 and sinners shall return to you.
Deliver me from death, O God,*
 and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness,
   O God of my salvation.
   Psalm 51:1-5,12-15
God, be merciful to me,
let your love my refuge be;
my offenses wash away,
cleanse me from my sin today.
My transgressions I confess,
grief and guilt my soul oppress;
I have sinned against your grace
and provoked you to your face.

Wash me, wash me pure within,
cleanse, O cleanse me from my sin:
in your righteousness I trust,
in your judgments you are just.
Come, salvation to impart,
teach your wisdom to my heart;
make me pure, your grace bestow,
that your mercy I may know.

Gracious God, my heart renew,
make my spirit right and true;
from my sins O hide your face,
blot them out in boundless grace.
Cast your servant not away,
let your Spirit with me stay;
make me joyful, willing, strong,
teach me your salvation's song!
   Psalm 51, paraphrased in The Psalter, 1912
   in this version Word & Music/Jubilate Hymns
   Sung to Aberystwyth


Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?
Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow;

Which was brought upon me,
which the Lord inflicted
on the day of his fierce anger.

For these things I weep;
my eyes flow with tears;
for a comforter is far from me,
one to revive my courage;

Remember my affliction and my bitterness,
the wormwood and the gall!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;

They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

'The Lord is my portion', says my soul,
'therefore I will hope in him.'

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.

It is good that we should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

It is good to bear the yoke in our youth;
to sit alone in silence when he has imposed it.

For the Lord will not reject for ever,
though he causes grief, he will have compassion,

According to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.
Lamentations 1.12,16a,b; 3.19,22-28,31-33
O sacred head, sore wounded,
defiled and put to scorn;
O kingly head surrounded
with mocking crown of thorn:
What sorrow mars thy grandeur?
Can death thy bloom deflower?
O countenance whose splendor
the hosts of heaven adore!

Thy beauty, long-desirŠd,
hath vanished from our sight;
thy power is all expirŠd,
and quenched the light of light.
Ah me! for whom thou diest,
hide not so far thy grace:
show me, O Love most highest,
the brightness of thy face.

I pray thee, Jesus, own me,
me, Shepherd good, for thine;
who to thy fold hast won me,
and fed with truth divine.
Me guilty, me refuse not,
incline thy face to me,
this comfort that I lose not,
on earth to comfort thee.

In thy most bitter passion
my heart to share doth cry,
with thee for my salvation
upon the cross to die.
Ah, keep my heart thus moved
to stand thy cross beneath,
to mourn thee, well-beloved,
yet thank thee for thy death.

My days are few, O fail not,
with thine immortal power,
to hold me that I quail not
in death's most fearful hour;
that I may fight befriended,
and see in my last strife
to me thine arms extended
upon the cross of life.
   Robert Bridges, 1899    Sung to Passion Chorale


The royal banners forward go,
the cross shines forth in mystic glow;
where he in flesh, our flesh who made,
our sentence bore, our ransom paid.

Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
life's torrent rushing from his side,
to wash us in that precious flood,
where mingled water flowed, and blood.

Fulfilled is all that David told
in true prophetic song of old,
amidst the nations, God, saith he,
hath reigned and triumphed from the tree.

O tree of beauty, tree of light!
O tree with royal purple dight!
Elect on whose triumphal breast
those holy limbs should find their rest.

Blest tree, whose chosen branches bore
the wealth that did the world restore,
the price of humankind to pay,
and spoil the spoiler of his prey.

Upon its arms, like balance true,
he weighed the price for sinners due,
the price which none but he could pay,
and spoiled the spoiler of his prey.

O cross, our one reliance, hail!
Still may thy power with us avail
to give new virtue to the saint,
and pardon to the penitent.

To thee, eternal Three in One,
let homage meet by all be done:
whom by the cross thou dost restore,
preserve and govern evermore.
   Venantius Fortunatus, 569;
   trans. trans. John Mason Neale, 1851

   Sung to Vexilla regis
Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended,
that man to judge thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee.
'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee:
I crucified thee.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
the slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
for our atonement, while we nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

For me, kind Jesus, was thy incarnation,
thy mortal sorrow, and thy life's oblation;
thy death of anguish and thy bitter passion,
for my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay thee,
I do adore thee, and will ever pray thee,
think on thy pity and thy love unswerving,
not my deserving.
   Johann Heermann (1585-1647);
   trans. Robert Seymour Bridges, 1899

   Sung to Herzliebster Jesu


Phos hilaron

O gracious Light,
pure brightness
of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!

Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises, O God:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

You are worthy at all times
to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of Life,
and to be glorified through all the worlds.
    The Book of Common Prayer (1979)
O gladdening light,
of the holy glory of the immortal Father
heavenly, holy, blessed,
O Jesus Christ.

Now that we have come to the setting of the sun,
and see the evening light
we give praise to God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Worthy are you at all times
to be worshipped with holy voices,
O Son of God and giver of life:
therefore all the world glorifies you.
    Common Worship: Daily Prayer, 2002

O gladsome Light, O grace
of God the Father's face,
the eternal splendor wearing;
celestial, holy, blest,
our Savior Jesus Christ,
joyful in thine appearing.

Now, ere day falleth quite,
we see the evening light,
our wonted hymn outpouring;
Father of might unknown,
thee, his incarnate Son,
and Holy Spirit adoring.

To thee of right belongs
all praise of holy songs,
O Son of God, Life-giver;
thee, therefore, O Most High,
the world doth glorify,
and shall exalt for ever.
    Robert Bridges, 1899
    Sung to Le Cantique de Siméon.
O brightness of the immortal Father's face,
most holy, heavenly, blest,
Lord Jesus Christ, in whom his truth and grace
are visibly expressed:

The sun is sinking now, and one by one
the lamps of evening shine;
we hymn the eternal Father, and the Son,
and Holy Ghost divine.

Worthy art thou at all times to receive
our hallowed praises, Lord.
O Son of God, be thou, in whom we live,
through all the world adored.
    Edward W. Eddis,, 1864
    Sung to St. Nicholas.

            See also #25 and #26 in The Hymnal 1982 for "O gracious Light, Lord Jesus Christ"

The psalms are from Celebrating Common Prayer
(Mowbray), (c) The Society of Saint Francis
1992, which is used with permission.

The second Phos hilaron translation is from
Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
, copyright © The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The paraphrase of Psalm 51 © by Words & Music/Jubilate Hymns, Ltd.
(admin. by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188).
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:
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