Tenebrae: Oratio Jeremiae Prophetae
Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; behold, and see our disgrace!
Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to aliens.
We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows.
We must pay for the water we drink, the wood we get must be bought.
With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven; we are weary, we are given no rest.
We have given the hand to Egypt, and to Assyria, to get bread enough.
Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities.
Slaves rule over us; there is none to deliver us from their hand.
We get our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the wilderness.
Our skin is hot as an oven with the burning heat of famine.
Women are ravished in Zion, virgins in the towns of Judah.
Princes are hung up by their hands; no respect is shown to the elders.
Young men are compelled to grind at the mill; and boys stagger under loads of wood.
The old men have quit the city gate, the young men their music.
The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning.
The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!
For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim,
for Mount Zion which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it.
But thou, O Lord, dost reign for ever; thy throne endures to all generations.
Why dost thou forget us for ever, why dost thou so long forsake us?
Restore us to thyself, O Lord, that we may be restored! Renew our days as of old!
Or hast thou utterly rejected us? Art thou exceedingly angry with us?
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, turn again to the Lord your God.
The Prayer of Jeremiah, from the Dominican Office of Holy Saturday, is presented here by the English Blackfriars at Oxford. (H/T The New Liturgical Movement.)