February 16, 2014

God, of Thy Pity, Unto Us Thy Children / Aures Ad Nostras Deitatis Preces

Pour on Our Souls the Radiance of Thy Presence

God, of Thy Pity, Unto Us Thy Children is a translation by Alan G. McDougall (1895-1964) of the Latin hymn: Aures Ad Nostras Deitatis Preces. It was first published in 1916 as part of his collection of 29 translations: Pange Lingua - Breviary Hymns of Old Verses with an English Rendering. Of Aures Ad Nostras Deitatis Preces, the book adds this comment: "Found in ante-Tridentine Roman Breviaries, this hymn has now been superseded by O sol salutes, intimis. It's loss is much to be regretted, as it is one of the most beautiful examples of mediaeval hymnody." God, of Thy Pity, Unto Us Thy Children is set to the the 1630 German tune: Herzliebster Jesu by the Lutheran minister, Johann Heermann (1585-1647) and adapted by Johann Crüger (1598-1662). In the Divine Office (1974) it is used as an optional hymn for Lent.

Tune: Herzliebster Jesu

GOD, OF THY PITY, UNTO US THY CHILDREN tr. by Alan G. McDougall, 1916 (Public Domain)*

1. God, of thy pity, unto us thy children
Bend down thine ear in thine own lovingkindness,
And all thy people's prayers and vows ascending
Hear, we beseech thee.

2. Look down in mercy from thy seat of glory.
Pour on our souls the radiance of thy presence,
Drive from our weary hearts the shades of darkness,
Lightening our footsteps.

3. Free us from sin by might of thy great loving,
Cleanse thou the sordid, loose the fettered spirit,
Spare every sinner, raise with thine own right hand
All who have fallen.

4. Reft of thy guiding we are lost in darkness,
Drowned in the great wide sea of sin we perish,
But we are led by thy strong hand to climb the
Ascents of Heaven

5. Christ, very light and goodness, life of all things,
Joy of the whole world, infinite in kindness,
Who by the crimson flowing of thy life-blood
From death hast saved us,

6. Grant to our souls a holy fount of weeping,
Grant to us strength to aid us in our fasting,
And all the thousand hosts of evil banish
Far from thy people.


1. Aures Ad Nostras Deitatis Preces
Deus inclina pietate sola,
Supplicum uota suscipe precamur
Famuli tui.

2. Respice clemens solio de sancto.
Vultu sereno lampades illustra,
Lumine tuo tenebras repelle
Pectore nostro.

3. Crimina laxa pietate multa
Ablue sordes, uincula disrunpe,
Parce peccatis, releua iacentes
Dextera tua.

4. Te sine tetro mergimur profundo,
Labimur alta sceleris sub unda;
Brachio tuo trahimur ad clara
Sidera coeli.

5. Christe lux uera bonitas et uita
Gaudium mundi pietas immensa
Qui nos a morte roseo salvasti
Sanguine tuo.

6. Insere tuum petimus amorem
Mentibus nostris fidei refunde
Lumen aeternum charitatis auge

7. Tu nobis dona fontem lacrymarum
Ieiuniorum fortia ministra,
Uitia carnis millia retunde
Framea tua.

*Reprinted from pages 18-19 from Pange Lingua - Breviary Hymns of Old Verses with an English Rendering.

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