This canticle was introduced in the 1979 Prayer Book and recommended to be used as the first Canticle in Morning Prayer on Fridays outside of Lent, and the first Canticle in Evening Prayer on Tuesdays.
Seek the Lord while he wills to be found; * call upon him when he draws near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways * and the evil ones their thoughts;
And let them turn to the Lord, and he will have compassion, * and to our God, for he will richly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, * nor your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, * so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as rain and snow fall from the heavens * and return not again, but water the earth,
Bringing forth life and giving growth, * seed for sowing and bread for eating,
So is my word that goes forth from my mouth; * it will not return to me empty;
But it will accomplish that which I have purposed, * and prosper in that for which I sent it.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Taken from Isaiah 55, this canticle starts off with a penitential tone: “Seek the Lord while he wills to be found… Let the wicked forsake their ways… let them turn to the Lord.” But this penitential aspect doesn’t overpower the Canticle; the bulk of Quaerite Dominum focuses on God’s redemptive work, especially with images of creation. God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours, the water cycle is a picture of God’s providence, the harvest cycle is a picture of God’s providence, the cycle of God’s Word is a picture of God’s providence. Furthermore, the accomplishment of God’s purpose and the prospering of his Word at the end of the Canticle together suggest eschatological themes, pictures of the End of the Age, making Quaerite Dominum appropriate not only for Lent but also Advent.