02 June 2009

'A Confession & Prayer for Forgiveness, by St Dunstan'

I was hoping to get to this yesterday, St Dunstan’s feast itself, but I guess better late than never. F. Vere Hodge calls it ‘A Confession and Prayer for Forgiveness, by St Dunstan’, and according to him, St Dunstan ‘built this prayer upon the framework of the “Kyries”, the ancient petitions (in Greek) ‘Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy’, each repeated three times’ (Glastonbury Gleanings [Norwich, UK: The Canterbury Press, 1991], p. 15). I have thus followed him in italicising the words of the 'Kyries' themselves:

O Lord, O King, resplendent in the citadel of heaven, all hail continually; and of Thy clemency upon Thy people still do thou have mercy.

Lord, Whom the hosts of cherubim in songs and hymns with praise continually proclaim, do Thou upon us eternally have mercy.

The armies aloft, O Lord, do sing high praise to Thee, even they to Whom the seraphim reply, ‘do Thou have mercy’.

O Christ, enthroned as King above, Whom the nine orders of angels in their beauty praise without ceasing, deign Thou upon us, Thy servants, ever to have mercy.

O Christ, Whom Thy one only Church throughout the world doth hymn,
O Thou to Whom the sun, and moon, and stars, the land and sea, do service ever, do Thou have mercy.

O Christ, Whose holy ones, the heirs of the eternal country, one and all with utter joy proclaim Thee in a most worthy strain, do Thou have mercy upon us.

O Lord, O gentle Son of Mary free, O King of kings, Blessed Redeemer, upon those who have been ransomed from the power of death, by Thine own blood, ever have mercy.

O noblest unbegotten, yet Begotten Son, having no beginning of age, yet without effort (in the weakness of God) excelling all things, upon this Thy congregation in Thy pity, Lord have mercy.

O Sun of Righteousness, in all unclouded glory, supreme Dispenser of Justice, in that great Day when Thou shalt strictly judge all nations, we earnestly beseech Thee, upon this Thy people, who here stand before Thy presence, in Thy pity, Lord, then have mercy upon us.

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