During Lent some beautiful pieces of Dominican chant are sung in the office of Compline. One of these is the responsory ‘Media Vita’ (which is said to have moved St Thomas Aquinas to tears) and which may be translated as follows:
“In the midst of life we are in death; of whom may we seek help but you, O Lord, who for our offences are justly displeased?
Yet, O God most holy, O holy and mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, give us not over unto bitter death.
Cast us not away in the time of our old age; forsake us not, O Lord, when our strength fails us.
Yet, O God most holy, O holy and mighty, O holy and merciful Saviour, give us not over unto bitter death.”
Below is a recording of the Dominican students at Blackfriars singing this chant: