Hymn for Lent (Day 4): As longs the deer
The first evening psalm appointed for today is Psalm 42, hence this hymn. We always sing this one at the Great Vigil of Easter. It’s great to sing a capella and savor the harmonies.
As longs the deer for cooling streams,
in parched and barren ways,
so longs my soul for you, my God,
and your refreshing grace.
For you, my God, the living God,
my thirsting soul will pine:
O when shall I behold your face,
your majesty divine?
My tears have been my constant food,
in sorrow I have prayed,
I know the taunts: where is your God,
and where his promised aid?
Why restless, why cast down, my soul?
Hope still, and you shall sing
the praise of him who is your God,
your health’s eternal spring.
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
the God whom we adore,
be glory as it was, is now,
and shall be evermore.
Text: Nahum Tate (1652-1715) and Nicholas Brady (1659-1726)
Bonus: Here’s C. H. H. Parry’s chorale prelude on the tune usually associated with this text, Martyrdom.
Image: From an Iranian children’s book, courtesy of flickr user A Journey Round My Skull.