Poem on the Introits for Lent

A good devotion for Lent, and really any time of the Church year, is to review the Introit for each upcoming Sunday. At Trinity and St. Paul we use the Historic Lectionary, and the following is a poem I have written based on the Introits beginning with Invocabit (Lent 1) and ending with Palm Sunday.

Tune: Kommt Her Zu Mir (ELH 189)

Invocabit (Psalm 91:1-2, 9-10, 13, 15-16)
O Jesus, in eternity
You’ve dwelt in full divinity
Within the Father’s dwelling.
Begotten from the Lord Most High,
You now in flesh to me draw nigh,
Above all pow’rs excelling.

I ask You, Lord, as Satan sneers,
To crush his head and dry my tears,
Which o’er my sins are flowing.
The serpent you did trod beneath
Your feet.  So Lord, to me bequeath
Your bright salvation glowing.

Now, as You rose from death’s dark tomb
And sealed the lying tempter’s doom,
So grant me Your protection
From ev’ry evil, ill, and sin.
I trust your Word of truth wherein
I find Your love’s affection.

Reminiscere (Psalm 25:1-2, 6-8, 11)
O God, remember now Your grace
Remember not what brings disgrace
By my own thoughts and actions.
That lying snake, my enemy,
Persists to try and conquer me
With worldly, vain attractions.

My soul I lift unto the Lord,
Who pardons and shows mercy t’ward
Each sinful heart and nation.
My foolish sins of youth I pray
That He would therefore wash away.
His Name is my Salvation.

Oculi (Psalm 25:1-2, 15-18, 20)
My eyes are ever toward the Lord.
I trust my God who by His Word
Gives comfort in affliction.
He rescues me from sin and death,
For by His final dying breath
He spoke this benediction:

“Your sins I cover and forgive
You shall not die, but you shall live.
I bore your pain in sadness.
For all that causes your distress,
For all the sins, which on you press,
I die to give you gladness.”

I therefore shall not be ashamed
When, trusting in my God who claimed
My flesh and sin to save me,
I pray to Him; He turns his heart
To hear my plea and to impart
His goodness and his mercy.

Laetare (Isaiah 66:10-11; Psalm 122:1-2, 6, 8)
Now in the church I will rejoice,
For there I hear my Savior’s voice
Amidst this world’s vexation.
Though in my life I struggle still
With sin, his blood my Lord did spill
To save me from damnation.

I therefore enter through the gates
Of peace with God, for joy awaits
Within His holy city
Where sorrows will be turned to glee.
Till then, may I, a sinner, flee
To God who shows me pity.

Judica (Psalm 43:1-5)
O God, the wisdom of this age
With pompous pride will rant and rage
Against my faith’s confession.
So vindicate Your Word, O God,
And bring to light the devil’s fraud,
Which scowls in vain aggression.

Your light and truth will lead me still
To Calv’ry’s sacrificial hill
Where Christ, my Lord and Savior,
Was crucified to save my soul.
Now I approach what makes me whole –
The altar of Your favor.

My soul, be not depressed, but wait!
Your God will open up the gate
Where praise replaces sighing.
Though now you feel temptation’s hour,
Your God has crushed the tempter’s pow’r.
So hope in Him when dying!

Palmarum (Psalm 22:1, 7-8, 11, 19, 21)
My Savior hangs in helplessness
While begging for His God’s redress,
His enemies surrounding.
Though He is also Lord of all,
He suffers for His brother’s fall
With grace and truth abounding.

“My God,” says He, “Why have You now
Forsaken Me?”  His sweaty brow
Is bruised with foes providing
His bread of curse and toil and shame.
And He, while bearing all our blame,
His majesty is hiding.

And yet He trusts in God His Lord
To rescue Him from death’s sharp sword,
Him from the grave restoring.
The One who rode upon the beast
As King of Kings is now the Priest,
His blood for sinners pouring.


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