The Glory of These Forty Days

This is a hymn for Lent.  The words are based on Clarum decus jejunii, a 6th century Latin hymn written by Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great). 

It was translated by Church of England priest, vicar and hymn-writer, Maurice F Bell (1862-1947), and first published in 1906.

With meter, tunes it is set to include:
  • ERHALT UNS, HERR, also known as SPIRES - composer unknown, from the "Geistliche Lieder," Wittenberg, 1543 - the most commonly used tune
  • OLD HUNDREDTH - attributed to French composer Louis Bourgeois ( c. 1510 - 1561)


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Choir with organ:

Choir with organ, professional recording:

Singer with guitar - good version for learning the tune:

Singer with organ:

Singer with piano:

Congregation with organ:

Instrumental - piano:

Instrumental - organ:


1 The glory of these forty days
we celebrate with songs of praise,
for Christ, by whom all things were made,
himself has fasted and has prayed.

2 Alone and fasting, Moses saw
the loving God who gave the law.
And to Elijah, fasting, came
the steed and chariots of flame.

3 So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
delivered from the lion’s might.
And John, the Savior’s friend, became
the herald of Messiah’s name.

4 Then grant, O God, that we may, too,
return in fast and prayer to you.
Our spirits strengthen with your grace,
and give us joy to see your face.

5 O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
to you be every prayer addressed.
Who are in threefold name adored
from age to age the only Lord.

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