Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison. Miserere mei, Deus, secundum misericordiam tuam; secundum multitudinem, miserationum tuarum dele iniquitatem meam.
Suddenly, in the night, the day of the Lord shall come! Like a wily thief who walks in darkness, a robber bold in the black night who suddenly assails those fast in slumber lying in wait for the unwary and the unprepared. From the four regions of the earth’s realms from the uttermost corners of the earth all shining angels in unison sounding, shall blow their trumpets. The earth shall tremble. Loud are the trumpets clearing the stars—singing from south and north, from east and west, over all creation.
Loud are the trumpets mighty and deafening a measureless blast. The doomed turn to the towering flames, some above, some below. The dark fire seizes all, the seas, the earth and the high heavens, bright with stars. The earth shall moan in misery in that awful hour. Suddenly! suddenly from south and east comes the Creator like the sun—gleaming in splendor through the arching heavens. Then comes the wondrous presence of Christ, the glory of the great King, cordial and kind. The Lord of kings, comes to the Judgment, the glorious Ruler. And round about him, the best of companies, his Holy Legions, the blessed army of the angel host.
Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus.
The Holy Legions shall rise to Judgment when the Lord of Life looses death’s bond. Who will not heed the mild and merciful teaching of God and the bitter pain he bore, that we might gain a home in glory world without end? (Amen!) I descended, a son to his mother. I only was born to comfort the wretched. They wrapped me about with weeds of the lowly, wound me about with dark clothing. For the world I endured it—it seems little. On a hard stone I lay—a babe in a manger to banish death and the hot woe of hell that in life everlasting you might shine holy and blessed through the pangs I bore freed from sin.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Receive life from the Lord while body and soul may be together. Cherish with gladness the soul’s grace—working God’s will.
Agnus Dei, dona nobis pacem. Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.
—Old English poem The Last Judgment; tr. Charles W. Kennedy; select verses from Psalm 51, also text from the Mass Ordinary