“Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo: ne in aeternum irascaris nobis” (Spare your people Lord: Be not angry Lord with your people forever) is a Bible Verse derived from Joel 2:17. According to Liber Usualis it is used for the Ash Wednesday Mass during the distribution of ashes. It can also be used as the Antiphon to any Lenten Hymn used from the Quadragesima Sunday (First Sunday in Lent) until the Saturday before Passion Sunday. This antiphon is often used together with the following hymn (Text and translation from: Catholic Chant):
|Flectamus iram vindicem,
ploremus ante Judicem;
clamemus ore supplici,
dicamus omnes cernui.
Nostris malis offendimus
Dans tempus acceptabile,
Audi, benigne Conditor,
|Let us entreat His avenging wrath
and weep before the Judge’s feet,
and cry for mercy, one and all,
in prayer together let us fall.
Thy grace have we offended sore,
Giving us an acceptable time,
Hear, O good Seasoner,
The Antiphon is to be repeated after each verse. These four verses seems to be put together from parts of an ancient hymn called Ex more docti mystico (English: The Fast, as Taught by Holy Lore) which is said to be written by Pope St. Gregory the Great (540-604). In the Roman Breviary this hymn is used in its entirety for Matins from the first Sunday in Lent until the Saturday before Passion Sunday. The first and second verses in our hymn here are taken from the “Ex more docti mystico” (verse 5, 6); while the third verse of our hymn concurs with the second verse of O sol salutis intimis.
The Scores for this hymn: