Thursday, November 2, 2006

Dies Irae, Dies Illa --- Day of Wrath and Terror Looming

This hymn was regularly sung in Latin by children and was part and parcel of the Tridentine Mass for the Dead

Dies iræ, dies illa!
Solvet sæclum in favilla
Teste David cum Sibylla!

1 Day of wrath and terror looming! Heaven and earth to ash consuming, David's word and Sibyl's truth foredooming!
2 What horror must invade the mind, when the approaching judge shall find, and sift the deeds of all mankind.
3 The trumpet casts a wondrous sound, through the tombs of all around, making them the throne surround.
4 Death is struck and nature quaking, all creation is awaking, to its judge an answer making.
5 The written book shall be brought forth, in which is contained all from which the world is to be judged.
6 So when the Judge shall sit, whatever is hidden shall be seen, nothing shall remain unpunished.
7 What am I, wretched one, to say, What protector implore, when (even) a just person will scarcely be confident?
8 King of awesome majesty, you who save gratuitously those to be saved, save me, fount of pity.
9 Remember, gracious
Jesus, that I am the cause of your journey; do not let me be lost on that day.
10 Seeking me, you sat exhausted; you redeemed me by undergoing the
Cross; let so much toil not be in vain.
11 Just judge of vengeance, grant the gift of forgiveness, before the day of reckoning'.
12 I groan, as one guilty; my face is red with shame; spare, O God, a supplicant.
13 You who forgave Mary [Magdalen], and heard the plea of the thief have given hope to me also.
14 My prayers are unworthy; but you, the Good, show me favour, that I may not be consumed by eternal fire.
15 Grant me a place among the sheep, and separate me from the goats, placing me at your right hand.
16 When the wicked are confounded, doomed to flames of woe unbounded, call me with Thy Saints surrounded.
17 Low I kneel, with heart submission! See, like ashes my contrition! Help me in my last condition!

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