Post by Admin on Feb 4, 2018 21:00:00 GMT
The Seven Penitential Psalms
The Penitential Psalms or Psalms of Confession, so named in Cassiodorus's commentary of the 6th century AD, are the Psalms 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142.
Psalm 6 – Domine, ne in furore tuo arguas me. (Pro octava). (O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation. (For the octave.))
Psalm 31 – Beati quorum remissae sunt iniquitates. (Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven.)
Psalm 37 – Domine ne in furore tuo arguas me. (in rememorationem de sabbato). (O Lord, rebuke me not in thy indignation. (For a remembrance of the Sabbath.))
Psalm 50 – Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam. (Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy.)
Psalm 101 – Domine, exaudi orationem meam, et clamor meus ad te veniat. (O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto thee.)
Psalm 129 – De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine. (Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord.)
Psalm 142 – Domine, exaudi orationem meam: auribus percipe obsecrationem meam in veritate tua. (Hear, O Lord, my prayer: give ear to my supplication in thy truth.)
These psalms are expressive of sorrow for sin. Four were known as 'penitential psalms' by St. Augustine of Hippo in the early 5th century. The fiftieth Psalm (Miserere) was recited at the close of daily morning service in the primitive Church. Translations of the penitential psalms were undertaken by some of the greatest poets in Renaissance England, including Sir Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, and Sir Philip Sidney. Before the suppression of the minor orders and tonsure in 1972 by Paul VI, the seven penitential psalms were assigned to new clerics after having been tonsured.
Perhaps the most famous musical setting of all seven is by Orlande de Lassus, with his Psalmi Davidis poenitentiales of 1584. There are also fine settings by Andrea Gabrieli and by Giovanni Croce. The Croce pieces are unique in being settings of Italian sonnet-form translations of the Psalms by Francesco Bembo. These were widely distributed; they were translated into English and published in London as Musica Sacra; and were even translated (back) into Latin and published in Nürnberg as Septem Psalmi poenitentiales. William Byrd set all seven Psalms in English versions for three voices in his Songs of Sundrie Natures (1589). Settings of individual penitential psalms have been written by many composers. Well-known settings of the Miserere (Psalm 50/51) include those by Gregorio Allegri and Josquin des Prez; yet another is by Bach. Settings of the De profundis (Psalm 129/130) include two in the Renaissance by Josquin.
By order of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216), these prayers are to be prayed during the days of Lent. If they can't be said on each day of the Season, they can at least be prayed on Lenten Fridays (or one could pray one prayer on each of the 7 Fridays of Lent. One kneels when praying these Psalms, begins and ends with a short antiphon, and recites a Gloria in between.
To download these Psalms in Microsoft Word format (10 pages), in both English and Latin, with Antiphons and Glorias, click here.
O Lord, rebuke me not in thy anger,
nor chasten me in thy wrath.
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.
My soul also is sorely troubled.
But thou, O Lord -- how long?
Turn, O Lord, save my life;
deliver me for the sake of thy steadfast love.
For in death there is no remembrance of thee;
in Sheol who can give thee praise?
I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.
My eye wastes away because of grief,
it grows weak because of all my foes.
Depart from me, all you workers of evil;
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my supplication;
the Lord accepts my prayer.
All my enemies shall be ashamed and sorely troubled;
they shall turn back, and be put to shame in a moment. Glory...
Domine, ne in furore tuo arguas me,
neque in ira tua corripias me.
Miserere mei, Domine, quoniam infirmus sum;
sana me, Domine, quoniam conturbata sunt ossa mea.
Et anima mea turbata est valde,
sed tu, Domine, usquequo?
Convertere, Domine, eripe animam meam;
salvum me fac propter misericordiam tuam.
Quoniam non est in morte, qui memor sit tui,
in inferno autem quis confitebitur tibi?
Laboravi in gemitu meo, lavabam per singulas noctes lectum meum;
lacrimis meis stratum meum rigabam.
Turbatus est a maerore oculus meus,
inveteravi inter omnes inimicos meos.
Discedite a me omnes, qui operamini iniquitatem,
quoniam exaudivit Dominus vocem fletus mei.
Exaudivit Dominus deprecationem meam,
Dominus orationem meam suscepit.
Erubescant et conturbentur vehementer omnes inimici mei;
convertantur et erubescant valde velociter.