Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences/Lauda, Mater Ecclesia
Lauda, Mater Ecclesia.
Exalt, O mother Church, to-day
The clemency of Christ thy Lord;
By seven-fold grace Who wipes away
The guilt of seven-fold crimes abhorred.
Sister of Lazarus that was dead,
She, that in such transgressions fell,
To the bright gates of Life was led
Up from the very jaws of Hell.
The great Physician she pursues,
Bearing the precious ointment cruse:
And by His only word is she
From manifold disease set free.
With heart dissolved in penitence,
And tears that flowed apace, she came,
And piety of deed;—and thence
She found the cure of sin and shame.
Pardon of guilt hath made her soul
A golden for an earthen bowl:
And for a vessel of disgrace
A precious vessel finds its place.
To Christ, arisen from the dead,
And Death's great Conqueror, as she pressed,
His earliest sight she merited
Who loved Him more than all the rest.
To God alone be honour paid
For grace so manifold displayed:
Their guilt He pardons who repent,
And gives reward for punishment. Amen.
[Adapted in one or two recent Hymn Books: also in the complete edition of Day Hours of the Church Of England.]