1 Once more the solemn season calls
A holy fast to keep;
And now within the temple walls
Both priest and people weep.
2 But vain all outward sign of grief,
And vain the form of prayer,
Unless the heart implore relief,
And penitence be there.
3 We smite the breast, we weep in vain,
In vain in ashes mourn,
Unless with penitential pain
The smitten soul be torn.
4 In sorrow true then let us pray
To our offended God,
From us to turn His wrath away,
And stay the uplifted rod.
5 O God, our Judge and Father, deign
To spare the bruisèd reed;
We pray for time to turn again,
For grace to turn indeed.
6 Blest Three in One, to Thee we bow;
Vouchsafe us in Thy love
To gather from these fasts below
Immortal fruit above.
Source: Hymnal: according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America #48