Category Archives: Psalms

Lent 2019 – Day 4 – Psalm 42: 1-7

As the deer longs for the water-brooks, *
    so longs my soul for you, O God.

My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God; *
    when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

My tears have been my food day and night, *
    while all day long they say to me,
    Where now is your God?”

I pour out my soul when I think on these things; *
    how I went with the multitude and led them into the
                   house of God,

With the voice of praise and thanksgiving, *
    among those who keep holy-day.

Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
    and why are you so disquieted within me?

Put your trust in God; *
    for I will yet give thanks to him,
    who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

Leave a comment

Filed under Psalms

Psalm 72:1-7;18-19

Give the King your justice, O God, *
   and your righteousness to the King’s Son;

That he may rule your people righteously *
   and the poor with justice;

That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, *
   and the little hills bring righteousness.

He shall defend the needy among the people; *
   he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.

He shall live as long as the sun and moon endure, *
   from one generation to another.

He shall come down like rain upon the mown field, *
   like showers that water the earth.

In his time shall the righteous flourish; *
   there shall be abundance of peace till the moon shall be no more.

Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, *
   who alone does wondrous deeds!

And blessed be his glorious Name for ever! *
   and may all the earth be filled with his glory.
   Amen. Amen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Hebrew Bible, Psalms

I was glad

I was glad when they said unto me,
We will go into the house of the Lord.

Our feet shall stand in thy gates,
O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is builded as a city,
That is at unity with itself:

O pray for the peace of Jerusalem,
They shall prosper that love thee.

Peace be within thy walls,
And plenteousness within thy palaces.

–Words: Psalm 122;
–Music: C. Hubert H. Parry (1848-1918)

Leave a comment

Filed under Hebrew Bible, Other Music, Psalms

I’ll praise my maker while I’ve breath

I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past
while life and thought and being last,
or immortality endures.

How happy they whose hopes rely
on Israel’s God, who made the sky
and earth and seas with all their train;
whose truth forever stands secure,
who saves the oppressed and feeds the poor,
and none shall find God’s promise vain.

The Lord pours eyesight on the blind;
the Lord supports the fainting mind
and sends the laboring conscience peace.
God helps the stranger in distress,
the widowed and the parentless,
and grants the prisoner sweet release.

I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past 
while life and thought and being last,
or immortality endures.

–Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748); paraphrase of Psalm 146
–Tune: OLD 113TH, melody from Straßburger Kirchenamt, 1525

  

Leave a comment

Filed under Hymns, Psalms

The Spacious Firmament on High

The spacious firmament on high,
with all the blue ethereal sky,
and spangled heavens, a shining frame,
their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun from day to day
does his Creator’s power display;
and publishes to every land
the work of an almighty hand.

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
the moon takes up the wondrous tale,
and nightly to the listening earth
repeats the story of her birth:
whilst all the stars that round her burn,
and all the planets in their turn,
confirm the tidings, as they roll
and spread the truth from pole to pole.

What though in solemn silence all
move round the dark terrestrial ball?
What though no real voice nor sound
amid their radiant orbs be found?
In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
and utter forth a glorious voice;
for ever singing as they shine,
“The hand that made us is divine.”

–Words: Joseph Addison (1672-1719); paraphrase of Psalm 19:1-6
–Music: CREATION, Franz Josef Haydn (1732-1809)

Audio recording of this hymn was captured on September 13, 2015 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle, Washington.

Leave a comment

Filed under Hymns, Psalms

Lord, thou hast searched me

Lord, thou hast searched me and dost know
where’er I rest, where’er I go;
thou knowest all that I have planned,
and all my ways are in thy hand.

My words from thee I cannot hide;
I feel thy power on every side;
oh, wondrous knowledge, awful might,
unfathomed depth, unmeasured height!

Where can I go apart from thee,
or whither from thy presence flee?
In heaven? It is thy dwelling fair;
in death’s abode? Lo, thou art there.

If I the wings of morning take,
and far away my dwelling make,
the hand that leadeth me is thine,
and my support thy power divine.

If deepest darkness cover me,
the darkness hideth not from thee;
to thee both night and day are bright,
the darkness shineth as the light.

–Words: The Psalter Hymnal, 1927; paraphrase of Psalm 139:1-12
–Music: TENDER THOUGHT, from Kentucky Harmony, 1816

From the album Appalachian Sketches:

Leave a comment

Filed under Hymns, Psalms

O bless the Lord, my soul!

O bless the Lord, my soul!
His grace to thee proclaim!
And all that is within me join
to bless his holy Name!

O bless the Lord, my soul!
His mercies bear in mind!
Forget not all his benefits!
The Lord to thee is kind.

He will not always chide;
he will with patience wait;
his wrath is ever slow to rise
and ready to abate.

He pardons all thy sins,
prolongs thy feeble breath;
he healeth thine infirmities
and ransoms thee from death.

He clothes thee with his love,
upholds thee with his truth;
and like the eagle he renews
the vigor of thy youth.

Then bless his holy Name,
whose grace hath made thee whole,
whose loving-kindness crowns thy days:
O bless the Lord, my soul!

Words: James Montgomery, 1819 (paraphrase of Psalm 103:1-5)

altar flowers

Leave a comment

Filed under Hymns, Psalms

Lenten Reflection – Day 11

I lift up my eyes to the hills;
from where is my help to come?
My help comes from the LORD,
the maker of heaven and earth.
(Psalm 121:1-2)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
(John 3:16-17)

These two excerpts from the Psalms and the Gospel of John are two of the most known words of the bible. In this sermon from the Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, Dean Hall reflects on the words of these two scriptures, and how they might apply to our everyday lives, specifically during the days of Lent.

Click here to watch the sermon.

Click here to watch the entire worship service.

The Very Rev. Gary Hall

The Very Rev. Gay Hall

Leave a comment

Filed under New Testament, Psalms, Reflections, Sermons

O God, you search me and you know me

O God, you search me and you know me.
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down you are before me:
Ever the maker and keeper of my days.

You know my resting and my rising.
You discern my purpose from afar,
And with love everlasting you besiege me:
In ev’ry moment of life or death, you are.

Before a word is on my tongue, Lord,
You have known its meaning through and through.
You are with me beyond my understanding:
God of my present, my past and future, too.

Although your Spirit is upon me,
Still I search for shelter from your light.
There is nowhere on earth I can escape you:
Even the darkness is radiant in your sight.

For you created me and shaped me,
Gave me life within my mother’s womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you:
Safe in your hands, all creation is made new.

Words: based on Psalm 139, written by Bernadette Farrell (b. 1957)
Tune: Farrell, by Bernadette Farrell

Leave a comment

Filed under Hymns, My Favorites, Psalms

Miserere Mei, Deus (Allegri)

To me, this is one of the most beautiful choral renditions of a Psalm I have ever heard…it’s up there with one of my other favorites (Sicut Cervus). It was written in the seventeenth century by Gregorio Allegri, composed as part of the Tenebrae service held in the Sistine Chapel during Wednesday and Friday of Holy Week. The words are based on Psalm 51. What I find most beautiful about this piece is its alternation between harmony and chant. When singing in harmony, the contrast between the bass and mezzosoprano is fantastic.

The words of the audio rendition skip over the italicized portion of the Latin text (provided below). The embedded YouTube clip includes the text in its entirety.

(above clip comes from the album Classical Chill Out, and is sung by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge)

Miserere mei, Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.
Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci: ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum: et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me hysopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam: et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis: et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
Cor mundum crea in me, Deus: et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
Ne proiicias me a facie tua: et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.
Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui: et spiritu principali confirma me.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas: et impii ad te convertentur.
Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, Deus salutis meae: et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.
Domine, labia mea aperies: et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.

Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique: holocaustis non delectaberis.
Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum, et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.
Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion: ut aedificentur muri Ierusalem.
Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, oblationes, et holocausta: tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.

For a translation of the Latin text into English, click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Hebrew Bible, My Favorites, Other Music, Psalms