Alleluia, Song of Sweetness

I can’t remember where I first came across this, but it’s an eleventh century hymn that I use in the run-up to Ash Wednesday. It captures quite nicely the thought revived by Sancrosanctum concilium that Lent is a time in which we prepare “to celebrate the paschal mystery”:

Alleluia, song of sweetness,
voice of joy that cannot die;
alleluia is the anthem
ever raised by choirs on high;
in the house of God abiding
thus they sing eternally.

Alleluia thou resoundest,
true Jerusalem and free;
alleluia, joyful mother,
all thy children sing with thee;
but by Babylon’s sad waters
mourning exiles now are we.

Alleluia cannot always
be our song while here below;
alleluia our transgressions
make us for awhile forgo;
fort the solemn time is coming
when our tears for sin must flow.

Therefore in our hymns we pray thee,
grant us, blessed Trinity,
at the last to keep thine Easter,
in our home beyond the sky,
there to thee for ever singing
alleluia joyfully.

 

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