Ash Wednesday to Pentecost


Part i.

  1. Hold on, my soul!
    Though the night is far from over;
    Seek out that light
    Which stillness can discover:
    Each time I sink the task is harder still
    And saps the last drops of my shrivelled will.
  2. Hold on, my soul!
    You know this gloomy history;
    But if you hold
    The line there is the mystery
    Of how, in stillness, comes the saving light
    Which, once again, dispels the gloom of night.
  3. Hang on, my soul!
    So often saved and tended,
    Shine forth at last,
    supported and befriended:
    Stay and the Spirit will ignite the fire
    Which brings weak hope to Heavenly desire.

Part ii.

  1. In times of danger, hear us, Lord;
    When we are overwhelmed and in retreat
    Guide us to Thy protecting fold, assured
    Of counsel in the meaning of defeat.
  2. We are so weary and worn down,
    Swimming against the tide of worldly wealth,
    Weakened in fighting for what we now own,
    Knowing that each unleashed the tide himself.
  3. Now we are reconciled at last,
    Though often tempted to revoke our peace,
    Help us to pass through storms we made at last
    To reconciliation and release.


Part iii.

  1. O gentle Jesus, plunged in Thy bloody passion
    For countless times we have faltered, then lost our way;
    How can we sin so casually in our fashion
    When we have lived with Thee through that bitter day?
    How can such pain, so witnessed be forgotten
    Unless Thy cherished creatures have turned rotten?
  2. Thy tortured form caresses and never leaves me
    And Yet I sin, forgetting it nestles there;
    Yet for Thy sake, I know how the failing grieves me
    And I repent, returning again to prayer:
    If I should not return thy blood is wasted
    But I have come and I Thy blood have tasted.
  3. Why should I ask for Thee to look down upon me
    When I should look up at Thy redeeming face?
    It is not much that I should return Thy torture
    By an attempt to put myself in Thy place:
    That I can live through Thee is my salvation
    Not rotten yet but ripe in Thy creation.

Part iv.

  1. Thy arms stretched wide upon the cross
    Open for me the Heavenly gates;
    That triumph born of pain and loss
    Still shatters and reverberates:
    That shock which tore away the stone
    Blasted a highway to Thy throne.
  2. Thy flesh so bruised and torn for me
    Now heals my torn and aching soul;
    The Blood shed in Thy agony
    Pours into me and makes me whole:
    The sacrifice of one restored
    All of Thy creatures to Our Lord.
  3. Even in gloom the trumpet sounds
    To cheer Thy pilgrims on their way;
    Nightly Thy fiery core confounds,
    The cloudy pillar still by day,
    Thy foes whose ceaseless presence brings
    More vigour to our witnessing.
  4. I will aspire with gentle heart
    To love Thee in a quiet way;
    To suffer when that may impart
    The truth of what Thou died to say:
    My triumph not in earthly bounds
    But in the shelter of Thy Wounds.