Sunday, March 21, 2010

O Sacred Head Now Wounded

O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, Thine only crown;
How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.*

In the days of the Middle Ages, the word 'pity' did not mean the milky, soft emotion that it does now. It came from the word 'piety', and meant a divine compassion shot through with strength and truth, inspired by the Father of all Piety. May we pray that on this day, a day of such gravity for the future of our nation, the Almighty may look on our prayers with his 'pity without end', and renew our nation.

*From 'O Sacred Head Now Wounded' by Bernard of Clairvaux


Joy said...

I also pray this. Romans 8:28-39 is a passage I find especially comforting lately, in light of the direction our nation's headed.

Camille Rose Wolaver said...

Thank you for the verses. Such a singularly beautiful and hopeful passage, considering all that has been happening. It is so wonderful that we can trust God in His infinite wisdom to guide us and protect us from all harm, as long as we obey His commandments.

Katelyn LaRee Mahoney said...

I am fond of that song too. I can’t remember the last time when I heard it sung. I looked up O Sacred Head Now Wounded in the “101 More Hymn Stories” by Kenneth W. Osbeck. The part I thought was interesting was that it was taken from a lengthy, medieval poem Rhythmica Oratio, in seven parts, with each part addressing various members of Christ’s body as He suffered on the cross. The hymn was taken from the seventh portion of the poem and was originally entitled “Salve Caput Cruentatum.” (sorry I can’t translate the Latin) It then was translated to German then English.

Camille Rose Wolaver said...

Thanks for commenting Katelyn. The history behind the song was very interesting. I'll have to look it up. The old hymns and stories of the saints and heros of Christendom are so wonder-full. Thanks again!

Kathryn Hall said...

Thank you Camille, for going into detail about that one word "pity"...that was an eye opener and I enjoyed learning about it. It makes that song (one of my favorites) all the more glorious! I will be using the words to that song to use as a prayer for our nation...thanks for the idea. Oh, these magnificent hymns and the truth that they proclaim! I sing hymns a lot to arm myself for spiritual battle, as it keeps my heart and mind stayed upon Him. Only then can peace come, yes? Thank you for praying for our nation is so vital. Love you much and you were all prayed for this morning!