Dies Irae

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Dies Irae

Written by an anonymous 13th c. Franciscan
(possibly Thomas of Celana, d. ca. A.D. 1255, biographer of St. Francis),
the Dies Irae is prayed during Masses for the Dead and on All Souls Day.

Latin version:

Dies irae, dies illa,
solvet saeculum in favilla,
teste David cum Sibylla.

Quantus tremor est futurus,
quando iudex est venturus,
cuncta stricte discussurus!

Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulcra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum.

Mors stupebit et natura,
cum resurget creatura,
iudicanti responsura.

Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus iudicetur.

Iudex ergo cum sedebit,
quidquid latet apparebit:
nil inultum remanebit.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
quem patronum rogaturus?
cum vix iustus sit securus.

Rex tremendae maiestatis,
qui salvandos salvas gratis,
salva me, fons pietatis.

Recordare Iesu pie,
quod sum causa tuae viae:
ne me perdas illa die.

Quarens me, sedisti lassus:
redemisti crucem passus:
tantus labor non sit cassus.

Iuste iudex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis,
ante diem rationis.

Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus:
supplicanti parce Deus.

Qui Mariam absolvisti,
et latronem exaudisti,
mihi quoque spem dedisti.

Preces meae non sunt dignae:
sed tu bonus fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.

Inter oves locum praesta,
et ab haedis me sequestra,
statuens in parte dextera.

Confutatis maledictis,
flammis acribus addictis.
voca me cum benedictis.

Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis:
gere curam mei finis.

Lacrimosa dies illa,
qua resurget ex favilla.
iudicandus homo reus:
huic ergo parce Deus.

Pie Iesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. Amen.

English version:

That day of wrath, that dreadful day,
shall heaven and earth in ashes lay,
as David and the Sybil say.

What horror must invade the mind
when the approaching Judge shall find
and sift the deeds of all mankind!

The mighty trumpet’s wondrous tone
shall rend each tomb’s sepulchral stone
and summon all before the Throne.

Now death and nature with surprise
behold the trembling sinners rise
to meet the Judge’s searching eyes.

Then shall with universal dread
the Book of Consciences be read
to judge the lives of all the dead.

For now before the Judge severe
all hidden things must plain appear;
no crime can pass unpunished here.

O what shall I, so guilty plead?
and who for me will intercede?
when even Saints shall comfort need?

O King of dreadful majesty!
grace and mercy You grant free;
as Fount of Kindness, save me!

Recall, dear Jesus, for my sake
you did our suffering nature take
then do not now my soul forsake!

In weariness You sought for me,
and suffering upon the tree!
let not in vain such labor be.

O Judge of justice, hear, I pray,
for pity take my sins away
before the dreadful reckoning day.

You gracious face, O Lord, I seek;
deep shame and grief are on my cheek;
in sighs and tears my sorrows speak.

You Who did Mary’s guilt unbind,
and mercy for the robber find,
have filled with hope my anxious mind.

How worthless are my prayers I know,
yet, Lord forbid that I should go
into the fires of endless woe.

Divorced from the accursed band,
O make me with Your sheep to stand,
as child of grace, at Your right Hand.

When the doomed can no more flee
from the fires of misery
with the chosen call me.

Before You, humbled, Lord, I lie,
my heart like ashes, crushed and dry,
assist me when I die.

Full of tears and full of dread
is that day that wakes the dead,
calling all, with solemn blast
to be judged for all their past.

Lord, have mercy, Jesus blest,
grant them all Your Light and Rest. Amen.