Here is my translation of the hymn “Mundi secuta lubrica” (G. Fabricius), for the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. By the example of St. Mary Magdalene, we are consoled in the forgiveness offered and and by Jesus, who freely forgave Mary despite her many sins, when she repented the same, and showed by her actions her faith toward Him who alone has the power to offer such forgiveness and to save from eternal death. The melody is a variant of one of the most common (in many regional forms) assigned for the hymns of later authorship in Reformation cantionals.
SHE who the world’s brief joys pursued,
And flesh’s passions, vile and crude,
In grief a sighing suppliant bowed
To praise the very Son of God.
2. Not daring there to lift her face,
But in the dust with silent grace
She bent, with tears to bathe His feet,
And wipe them with her tresses sweet.
3. To God her heart within her cried,
And faith was deeply stirred inside
Tow’rd Him who tenderly doth own
And not deplore the mourner’s groan.
4. In Christ as God, confiding yet,
Her every hope she firmly set;
Th’ unrighteous to the Righteous prayed,
From sin was loosed, and righteous made.
5. Thee, Christ, we ask with humble plea
To pardon our iniquity;
The Father sent Thee, us to save
And not to lose us to the grave. Amen.
Translation © 2014 Matthew Carver.
1. Mundi secuta lubrica Blandaeque carnis noxia, Dolendo suspirans Dei Supplex adorat Filium.
2. Non ausa vultum tollere, Humi recumbit cernua, Pedes rigavit fletibus,Tersitque muta crinibus.
3. Cor clamat intus ad Deum, Fidesque pulsat intimum, Non abjicit suspiria, Deus pie gementium.
4. Quae plurimam,_in Jesu Deo, Confisa, spem locaverat, Injusta Justum deprecans, Fit justa, crimen tollitur.
5. Te, Christe, nostra vox rogat, Remitte, quod peccavimus, Servare nos, non perdere, Tuo_a Parente missus es. Amen.