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By precepts taught of ages past,
now let us keep again the fast
which, year by year, in order meet
of forty days is made complete.
The law and seers that were of old
in diverse ways this Lent foretold,
which Christ himself, the Lord and guide
of every season, sanctified.
More sparing therefore let us make
the words we speak, the food we take,
deny ourselves in mirth and sleep,
our bounden watch more strictly keep;
Avoid the evil thoughts that roll
like waters o'er the heedless soul;
nor let the foe occasion find
our souls in slavery to bind.
In prayer together let us fall,
and cry for mercy one and all,
and weep before the Judge, and say,
O turn from us thy wrath away.
Thy grace have we offended sore
by sins, O God, which we deplore;
pour down upon us from above
the riches of thy pardoning love.
Remember, fallen though we be,
that, yet thine handiwork are we;
nor let the honor of thy Name
lie by another put to shame.
Put all our evil deeds away,
enlarge the good for which we pray;
that we, though late, our wanderings o’er,
may please thee now and evermore.
Blest Three in One, and One in Three,
almighty God, we pray to thee,
that thou wouldst now vouchsafe to bless
our fast with fruits of righteousness.