Friday, January 22, 2010

De Profundis

In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church , Psalm 129(130) is traditionally used as a prayer for the dead. It is used in the Office of the Dead , which is a set of prayers said or sung for the deceased that are part of the Liturgy of the Hours , a large set or cycle of psalms and prayers which are said or sung every day throughout the year. In modern bibles it appears as Psalm 130 but its traditional number in Catholic worship is 129, as it appears in the Vulgate, the Latin translation of the Bible. Psalm 129(130) is traditionally called by its first words in Latin, the "De Profundis".

In the Liturgy of the Hours it's also used at other times. For instance, it's currently used on Wednesdays for Compline, or Night Prayer. It is also one of the Penetential Psalms , psalms used traditionally to express remorse and pray for forgiveness.

1 Out of the depths I have cried to you, O Lord:

2 Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.

3 If you, O Lord, will mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it.

4 For with you there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of your law,
I have waited for you, O Lord. My soul has relied on his word:

5 My soul has hoped in the Lord.

6 From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.

7 Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption.

8 And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities

The composer Josquin des Prez set the psalm to music. His setting can be heard performed by the Hilliard Ensemble here:

Josquin: De Profundis Clamavi

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