Psalms from Taize

Selected psalms arranged for singing and meditation
by Brother Anthony of Taize

These versions of the Psalms were prepared in Davao City in the Philippines 1977-9. They were published by Mowbray in 1983. They have been out of print for many years. 

Part I (Psalms 1 - 50)     Part II (Psalms 53 - 117)     Part III (Psalms 118 - 150)   Music

Psalm 1

Antiphon:  The Lord will bless us,
          if we walk in the way of peace.

How happy is the man, how bless'd,
Who refuses the counsels of the doomed;
not passing where the sinful pass,
nor sitting with the foolish who mock,
but his delight is the Law of the Lord,
and he ponders it, night and day.

He is like a tree which is set
on the edge of a flowing stream;
he gives fruit when the season comes,
on his branches, no wilting leaves;
all that he does goes well,
not so the wicked, not so!

They are like straws in the wind,
borne away without trace;
when judged, unable to stand
or join with those who are true;
the Lord is the guide of the just
but the wicked man's way leads to doom.

Psalm 2

Antiphon:    The Lord has set his Son upon a throne on high,

Why do the nations rebel?
What folly all their peoples speak!
The kings of the earth stand up,
the rulers conspire against God
     -against his king!
'How long must we carry their bonds?
Come, let us throw off their yoke.'

The Lord reigns and sees from on high,
he laughs and puts them to scorn;
for then in his wrath he speaks,
and his fury fills them with dread-
'It is I who have set my king
on Zion, my holy hill.'

The Lord has said: You are my Son,
begotten by me this day;
only ask, and all the nations are yours,
to the uttermost ends of the earth;
yours to inherit and to rule,
to shatter with a sceptre of steel.

Kings, pay heed to my words,
Take note, rulers of the world;
come, serve the Lord with awe,
tremble before him, bow low;
for if ever his fury should blaze,
your lives will come to an end.

Psalm 3

Antiphon: Lord, give your people your joy.

So many my enemies, O Lord!
So many rise up against me,
so many voices proclaim:
No salvation for him in his God.

But you are my Glory and my Shield,
my God, you lift up my head;
I cry out, I call to the Lord,
from his holy height he replies,

I lie down and I take my rest,
then I wake, for the Lord is my guard;
I am not afraid, though vast crowds
stand against me on every side.

Stand up, O Lord, now and save me,
Lord, give your people your joy.

Psalm 4

Antiphon:  In the night, I can take my rest;
  you alone keep my life secure.

When I call, you give heed, O Lord, righteous God;
free me from my anguish, pity, hear my prayer.

How long will they all remain hard of heart'?
How long will their lies and their vanity endure?

Remember, the Lord does wonders for his friends,
the Lord will hear when I call on his name.

Do not sin but tremble;
as you lie on your bed, in silence reflect,
offer praise and worship, trust in the Lord.

Many sigh as they pray: Lord, show us your joy;
when shall we see the light of your face?

In my heart you have poured the fullness of joy,
far richer than their harvests of corn and wine.

In peace I lie down and sleep comes at once,
for you, Lord, alone, keep my life secure.
Praise the Father, the Son, praise the Holy Spirit,
now and for ever and world without end.

Psalm 5

Antiphon:  Lord, you bless all who are just,
           your kindness surrounds us with good.

O Lord, give heed to my words,
listen as I cry;
hear me when I call for help,
my Master and God.

I pray to you, Lord, each day,
you hear me at dawn;
I rise and stand in your sight,
with an eager heart,

You do not approve sinful men,
the proud are not your friends;
the arrogant cannot draw near,
no place in your sight.

But kindly you bring me with love
to the place where you dwell;
I fall down, filled with awe,
and worship your name.

You know all my enemies, O Lord,
show me where to go,
the path where your justice guides.

No, they are not to be trusted,
they will only destroy;
their lips are a gaping tomb,
though their words are so sweet,

But for all whom you defend there is joy,
they will rejoice evermore;
you bless them and give them delight
in your boundless love.

Psalm 6

Antiphon: How much longer, O Lord, how long?
                Come to my rescue in love.

Do not overwhelm me, O Lord,
do not chastise me in wrath;
have pity on my weakness, O God,
heal my wounded heart,
the anguish deep in my soul.

How much longer, O Lord, how long?
Quickly, save me, return,
come to my rescue in love,
for who recalls in the tomb?
And where are you praised by the dead?

See, I am too weary to sigh,
at night I fall down and weep,
my fears have flooded the night,
for sorrow my eyes are dim,
I grow old, filled with grief.

Now away, all doers of wrong!
For my groaning is dear to the Lord;
he has heard my voice as I called,
lie has welcomed my trusting prayer,
my enemies are put to shame,
routed and driven away.

Psalm 8

Antiphon:  How great is you name, O Lord our God,
               how glorious your name!

How great is your name, O Lord our God,
how glorious your name!

Set high over all the earth,
majestic to highest heaven;
you fashion the praises of babes,
you silence the boasts of your foes.

When I see the moon and the stars,
the sky which your hand has formed
what is man, then, that you love him,
the children of men, that you care?

Less than an angel you made him,
you crowned him with honour and light;
all things created are his:
'Take charge of the world I have made.'

Both sheep and cattle you gave him,
and even the wildest beasts,
birds flying, the fish of the sea,
with all that dwells in the deep.

How  great  is your name, O Lord our God,
how glorious your name!

Psalm 9 (extract) (Heb. 9 & 10)

Antiphon: The Lord defends the oppressed,
              in trouble he defends the poor.

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart,
I will tell all the wonders you have done;
I will exult and rejoice, O God,
I will sing and praise your name.

For see, my enemies have fled,
cast down and overawed by your might;
you have sustained my cause,
high-throned, righteous Lord.

Eternal is the throne of our God,
on high he prepares to judge;
he comes to the world with right,
with justice he governs the earth.

The Lord defends the oppressed,
in trouble he upholds the poor;
all who know you have trust,
you do not abandon those who seek.

Sing praises to the Lord in Zion,
proclaim all his wonderful deeds;
he remembers the blood that was spilled,
he recalls our cries and our pain.

Psalm 10 (Heb. 11)

Antiphon: The Lord is just, he loves justice,
            the righteous will see his face.

The Lord shall be my refuge,
why do you say to my soul:
'Little bird, fly away to the hills?'

'See, the wicked have drawn their bows,
the arrows are poised on the  strings;
they will shoot at the good by night,
who can hope, since the pillars are down?'

But behold the Lord in his splendour,
on high the Lord sits enthroned;
his eyes survey the whole world,
to test and sound every heart.

God knows who is wicked and just,
he rejects every lover of wrong;
on the evil he sends fiery coals,
pouring out storms of flame.

The Lord is just, he loves justice,
the righteous will see his face.

Psalm 12 (Heb. 13)

Antiphon.  In your goodness, O Lord, I put my trust,
             and my heart finds its joy in you,

How long will you forget me, O Lord?  Till I die?
How long, O God, will you hide your face?
How long must my soul pine away in grief?
How long will my enemies boast in pride?

God, my God, look down and reply,
give light to my eyes, that they close not in death;
let my rivals not rejoice: at last we have won!
My enemies will laugh if they see me fall.

In your goodness, Lord, I have put my trust,
my heart will rejoice, you are strong to save;
I will praise your love and your kindness, O God,
for ever I will sing for my Lord, the Most High.

Psalm 14 (Heb. 15)

Antiphon: O Lord, who can approach you,
           or draw near to your holy hill?

O Lord, who can approach you,
or draw near to your holy hill?

The one whose way is with God,
whose paths are justice and right,
whose words are true and sincere,
no trace of slander and lies,

who speaks no ill of his neighbour
and causes his friends no harm,
who honours all who fear God
and is always true to his word;

who will not lend money for gain,
whose judgement cannot be bought;
all who live in this way
will dwell for ever in peace.

Psalm 15 (Heb. 16)

Antiphon: Defend me, God, my refuge and shield;
               I say to the Lord: You alone are my life.

Defend me, God, my refuge and shield;
I say to the Lord: You alone are my life.

Their 'glory' and 'princes' I know to be in vain,
but more and more their idols abound;
they multiply sorrow and they run after grief,
never will I worship or bow to their shame.

O Lord, my lot, my portion and my cup,
you have promised and you will not fail:
a corner of blessing, marked by the cord,
my delight is a land you have sworn to give.

I will bless the Lord who has guided my course,
in the deep of night I wake up in joy;
I will keep the Lord before me all the day long,
since he is at my right I shall not fall.

My heart rejoices and my soul is glad,
my body too lies quiet at rest;
you will not abandon my soul in hell,
no corruption will your servant see.

You will show me the path of life,
before your face is fullness of joy,
by your side is undying bliss.

Psalm 16 (extract) (Heb. 17)

Antiphon:  I will go in justice to behold your face,
          when I awake, you will fill me with joy-

Pay heed, O God, and give justice,
    hear me when I cry;
listen to the sound of my prayer,
   I will speak no deceit;
you will decide in my favour,
   you behold what is right.

You come by night, and you fathom my heart,
you try me but find no shadow of lies,
my tongue has never sinned in the way that men do.

You speak, and I am eager to keep your words,
I follow your paths, those set by your Law;
from your Way, I intend that my feet shall not stray.

I rise and I call, you answer me, Lord,
to my anxious voice you incline your ear:
O gracious Saviour, reveal your great love.

They stand up, and menace my life,
save me, I am dear in your sight,
hide me in the shadow of- your wings.

I will go, in justice, to behold your face,
when I awake, you will fill me with joy.

Psalm 17 (Heb. 18)

Antiphon: In anguish I cried out to the Lord,
             from his temple he heard my voice.

I love you, O Lord, my strength,
my Saviour, you have saved me by your power;
the Lord is my rock everlasting,
God is my stronghold and shield.

I take shelter in him, he defends me,
like a wall, he defends me from harm;
my shelter, my fortress, I will praise him,
he saves me when I call upon his name.

The floods of death surged around,
huge waves sweeping over my head;
the snares of hell sprang shut
and death had prepared all her traps.

In anguish, I cried out to the Lord,
I pleaded with God for help;
from his temple he heard my voice,
his ear perceived my call.

And the earth trembled, it shook,
the foundations of the mountains were moved,
he came breathing out smoke and flames,
burning coals proclaimed his approach.

He tore open the heavens, he came down,
with dark clouds stretched under his feet;
his mount was a cherub, he flew
throned high on the wings of the wind.

Deepest night was the veil of his presence,
and thick clouds of rain, his royal tent;
lightning cut through the clouds,
hurling hailstones and billows of fire.

Then God spoke from on high,
the thunder of the Most High pealed;
with his arrows he put them to flight,
by his power they were scattered abroad.

The floor of the sea lay uncovered,
the foundations of the world were bare,
when the Lord spoke, the sea fled,
  at the sound of his furious words.

  Then the Lord stretched out his hand,
  he reached down and saved me from on high;
  he pulled me out of the flood,
  away from the power of my foes.

  They were strong, they attacked in force,
  but the Lord was near, my shield;
  he brought me through, set me free,
  he saved me, for great is his love.

Antiphon.  You are my lamp, O Lord,
             you brighten my darkness away.

God rewards me because I am just,
I am pure so he opens his heart;
I have kept the laws of the Lord,
and never turned from my God.

All his commands, I have kept,
and his laws are ever in my sight;
see, I am sinless in his eyes,
he knows, I have done no wrong.

He rewards me because I do right,
before him I am free of guilt;
you are a friend of all friends,
true with all who are true,

pure with those who are pure,
but cunning with the men who deceive;
you save the humble and poor,
all who boast are brought down.

For you are my lamp, O Lord,
you brighten my darkness away;
you give me strength to advance,
with God, I scale every wall.

Our God--how perfect his ways!
All his words are tested and true;
he alone is the shield
of all who seek his help.

Who is God, other than the Lord?
What rock can compare with our God?
He girdles me round with strength,
he keeps me safe in his ways.

He gives me feet agile as a deer's
as I climb from peak to peak;
he trains my hands in warfare,
my arms to bend a bow of steel.

You defend me, God, and you save me,
your love and power are my shield;
you guide my steps, keep me free,
you uphold me, I shall not fall.

God lives, praised be my Rock!
Exalt in the Lord who saves!
The victory comes from his hand,
see, my enemies fall in awe.

I am saved from the raging of my foes,
you lift me up, high above their heads;
you defend me from the violence of men,
I will praise you in all the world.

God gives great triumphs to the King,
he reveals to his Chosen One his love,
love for David and his line;
praised be the Lord evermore!

Psalm 18 (Heb. 19)

Antiphon: The Word of the Lord is true indeed,
           it brings life everlasting.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God,
the firmament declares the work of his hands;
each day repeats the tale to day,
and night confides the knowledge to night.

No word of speech, no sound is heard,
silence is the voice they use,
yet all the earth perceives the news,
their gospel runs to the ends of the world.

On high there is set a dwelling for the sun,
he strides each day like a bridegroom from the door,
rejoicing to begin his triumphant course-

At heaven's end his race begins,
his setting touches the farthest extreme,
and nothing is hid from his scorching beams.

How perfect, the Law of the Lord,
     it comforts the heart;
all his commandments are sure,
     his wisdom overflows.

The precepts of- God are true,
     delight of the soul;
how just are all his commands,
     the light of our lives-

The worship of God is pure,
     for ever it endures;
the judgements of the Lord are just,
     both fair and good.

All, more desirable than gold,
     than purest gold;
sweeter than honey, his commands,
     than nectar in the comb.

 So your servants learn from your laws,
      to keep them brings great gain;
 but who can perceive his own faults?
      Forgive my secret sin.

Preserve your servant from pride,
      let me not be its slave;
 then I shall be blameless and pure,
      unstained by any sin.

 Accept all the words of my mouth,
       and the thoughts of my heart,
 all the days of my life, O Lord,
       my Redeemer, my God.

Psalm 19 (Heb. 20)

Antiphon: in days of distress, may the Lord be your help,
              may your safety come from the God of Jacob.

In days of distress, may the Lord be your help,
may your safety come from the God of Jacob-

From his sanctuary, may the Lord send you help,
may he send you his aid from Zion,
may he accept the gifts you offer,
be pleased with your sacrifice of praise.

May he give you your heart's desire,
the fulfillment of all you plan;
we will shout for joy, we will sing,
and celebrate the name of our God.

Now I know that the Lord
gives victory to the King of his choice;
he speaks from his holy height
with saving deeds of power.

Chariots and horses their strength,
but our trust is the name of God;
they will stumble and fall,
while we stand upright and firm.

Lord, give victory to the King,
answer us whenever we call.

Psalm 20 (Heb. 21)

Antiphon: We will praise you, Lord, for your might;
           we will sing and proclaim your power.

The King rejoices, O Lord, in your strength,
he is glad because of the victory you gave;
from you he has received his heart's desire,
you did not refuse the request of his lips-

You poured out blessings beyond compare,
on his head you set a diadem of gold;
he asked for life, you gave him his desire:
a long, a lasting life you bestowed.

Great is his glory, for you are his help,
you have put upon him majesty and fame;
Yes, for ever your blessings will endure,
you have crowned him with joy before your face.

Yes, the King puts his trust in the Lord,
the love of the Almighty will keep him secure;
his hand will come down on all his foes,
his right hand will seize them and hold them fast.

We will praise you, Lord, for your might,
we will sing and proclaim your power.

Psalm 21 (Heb. 22)

Antiphon:  We worship you, Lord, upon the Cross,
            and your Resurrection in power we proclaim.

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Far from my cry, from the sound of my prayer!
By day I call, you make no reply,
when I call in the night, no respite comes-

Yet you are enthroned on high,
Holy God of Israel's praise;
in you our fathers put their faith,
they trusted you and they were saved;
when they cried to you, they escaped,
their hope was never in vain.

But I am no man, a mere worm,
scorned and mocked by all in the streets;
if any behold me, they laugh,
they scoff, then they shake their heads:
'He trusts in God!  Let him save him,
deliver him, if truly he cares"

It was you that took me at birth,
you loved me in my mother's arms;
since the day I was born, you have held me,
from the womb, you have been my God;
do not go away, the agony is near,
and see, I have no help.

Like wild beasts they gather around,
fierce bulls to left and to right,
their jaws are flashing wide
like lions devouring their prey.

Like water, my strength is dried up,
my bones are all out of joint;
my heart is like melted wax,
dissolving within my breast;
my throat is dry like dust,
my tongue cleaves to the roof of my mouth.

The wolves crowd around me in wait,
evil men closing in for the kill;
they have pierced my hands and my feet;
I am left for dead in the dust.

I can number all my bones,
my enemies stand now and stare;
they begin to share out my clothes,
for my garments they are casting lots.

Do not stay far away, O Lord,
my strength, come quickly, save me;
rescue my soul from the sword,
my life from the prowling dogs;
deliver my soul from the beasts,
save me from the horns of the bull.

I will proclaim to my brethren your name,
where the people gather for praise;
bless the Lord, all who serve him,
sons of Jacob, honour his name,
worship him, Israel's sons.

He neither neglects nor ignores
the afflictions that befall the poor,
he does not veil his face,
when they cry, he hears their prayer.

To you I give thanks in the Assembly of praise,
performing my vows before all who love God;
the poor shall eat until they are filled,
all who come to the Lord will give him praise:
may they flourish and prosper, year after year.

The farthest ends of the earth will see and recall,
every nation will turn and bow down to the Lord;
the Kingdom is God's, he is Master of the world;
the children of men will draw near and adore,
all mortal flesh will fall to worship his name.

And my race shall live for him, my children serve,
proclaiming the Lord to ages unborn,
his justice to nations yet to come:
     Such are God's deeds!

Psalm 22 (Heb. 23)

Antiphon: My Shepherd is the Lord,
           see, how my cup overflows!

The Lord is my shepherd,
     so nothing I shall lack;
he leads me across green fields,
     and there I find rest;
he brings me to quiet waters
     where he quenches my thirst.

He guides me along safe paths,
     because of his love.
When the hills loom dark around
     I shall fear no harm,
you are close with your rod and staff,
     to deliver my soul-

You spread before me a banquet
     when the enemy draws near;
you perfume my head with oil,
     my cup overflows.

Your goodness and kindness will pursue
     every day of my life;
in the house of the Lord I will live
     through the ages to come.

Psalm 23 (Heb. 24)

Antiphon: Open wide, gates of everlasting praise,
                 rise up and hail the King of Glory.

All the earth, and its fullness, is the Lord's,
the world, with all that it contains;
he founded and built it in the deep,
grounded it firm in the flood.

Who may ascend the Mountain of the Lord,
who may enter his Holy Place?
One with clean hands, a pure heart,
who is not set on falsehood and wrong.

On him is the blessing of the Lord,
the favour of his saving God;
for such is the race of those who seek,
who long for your face, O Lord.

Gates, lift up your heads,
open wide, eternal doors,
here is the King of Glory!

Who is the King of Glory?
It is God, almighty and strong,
our God, victorious in war.

Gates, lift up your heads,
open wide, eternal doors,
here is the King of Glory!

Who is the King of Glory?
It is God, Lord of all the worlds,
he is the King of Glory!

Psalm 24 (Heb. 25)

Antiphon: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul in hope,
          for when we trust in you, we are not deceived.

To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul,
to you, my God.

In you I trust, let me not be put to shame,
let my foes have no cause to exult;
I have faith, I shall not be put to shame,
but woe to all who rebel.    I

Teach me, Lord, and show me your ways,
O God, let me learn your paths,
instruct me in the truth of your Law,
for you are my Saviour and my God.

In you. all day long, I hope
because of your compassion, O Lord;
remember your kindness, O God,
and your goodness, as ever of old;
forgive all the errors of my youth
and remember me, Lord, in your love.

The Lord is righteous and good,
he leads sinners back to his ways,
he guides the humble in justice,
to the simple he reveals his will,

All his paths are faithfulness and love,
to all who keep his commands.
According to your promises, O God,
forgive all my many sins.

Is there one that would honour the Lord?
He will guide him in the path he must choose;
all his days will be days of joy,
his children will possess the land;
the Lord is close to all who obey him,
he gives them his covenant and truth.

I lift up my eyes to the Lord,
for he frees my feet from the snare;
see how weak and lonely I am,
come soon, have mercy on me.

Relieve the torments of my heart,
console my soul in distress;
see my anguish and my pain,
forgive me for all my sins.

See how many are my foes,
with what hatred I am despised;
save me, deliver my soul,
give me shelter, keep me from shame;
may goodness and justice be my guards,
in you I trust, O God.

Psalm 25 (Heb. 26)

Antiphon:  Lord how I love all the beauty of your house,
            the place of your glory, O God!

Give sentence for me, O Lord!
See, I do what is right,
I believe in God, with all my heart-

Test me now and fathom my thoughts,
discern all the longing of my heart;
your constant love is my guide,
I will walk in the steps of your truth.

I will not sit with those who love wrong,
with the hypocrites I do not consort,
I hate their gatherings of evil,
from the wicked I turn my steps aside.

In Innocence I wash my hands,
I worship at your altar, O Lord;
my tongue sings out hymns of praise,
I will tell all the wonders you have done.

Do not count me as one who does wrong,
see, my hands are not stained with blood;
though many do evil all day long,
their hands ever open for bribes.

As for me, I do what is right,
Lord, redeem me, have mercy on me;
my foot stands firm, I am safe,
I will praise you with your people, O Lord.

Psalm 26 (Heb. 27)

Antiphon: The Lord shall be my light and my defence;
              his house shall be my dwelling.

The Lord is my light and my salvation,
so whom should I fear?
The Lord keeps my soul from harm,
then why be afraid?

When the men of evil ways draw near,
to destroy my life,
it is they, my rivals and my foes,
who stumble and fall.

Though an army lies camped around,
my heart will not fear;
though war be declared on my soul,
I will not lose hope.

One thing that I ask of the, Lord,
the thing that I seek-
to dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to marvel at the goodness of God
and to pray for help.

I will shelter beneath his tent
when troubles arise
and there, in his Temple, I hide,
in safety on the rock.

In triumph, he lifts up my head,
high above all my foes;
in his tent I will sacrifice with praise
glad offerings of joy.

Pay heed, O Lord, when I call,
have mercy, reply!
My heart repeats your words:
seek his face.

O Lord, I am seeking your face,
do not hide your face;
do not cast away your servant in wrath,
you were always my help.

No, do not forsake me, O Lord,
my Saviour, my God;
if my father and mother deny me,
with you I shall find love.

So guide me along safe paths
and teach me your ways;
bitter foes attack me with lies,
do not leave me, O God.

I shall see God's goodness, I know,
in this present life;
take heart, trust in God and believe,
put your hope in the Lord.

Psalm 29 (Heb. 30)

Antiphon: I will praise you Lord, for you have raised me up
             never you allow my enemies to triumph.

I cried out to you for help,
by you, O God, I was healed.
O Lord, you have snatched my life from the grave,
you restored me to life, though I stood at death's door.

Rejoice in the Lord, all his saints,
give thanks for his holy deeds.
For a moment his anger, a lifetime his love;
night falls with weeping, but day breaks in song.

Boasting in prosperity I said:
Nothing can ever bring me down.
In your favour I stood as firm as the hills,
then you bid your face and I was afraid.

To you, O Lord, I called out,
I implored your mercy, O God.
What good is my blood, will you gain by my death?
Will the dust give you praise or proclaim your truth?

Have mercy, hear me, O Lord,
O God, come to my aid!
You took my sorrow to make it a dance,
you stripped off my grief and clothed me with joy.

So my heart will not cease to sing your praise,
O Lord my God, I will ever give you thanks.

Psalm 30 (Heb. 31)

Antiphon: Into your hands I commend my spirit,
           for you have saved me, O Lord.

I take shelter in you, O Lord,
I shall never be put to shame;
you are just, make haste to save me,
incline your car to my prayer.

Be for me a rock of defence,
a fortress to keep me safe;
Lord, you are my fortress and rock,
so guide me, for your promise is sure.

Keep me safe from the traps they have laid,
for in you I trust
into your hands i commend my spirit,
for you have saved me, O Lord.

God of truth, you detest
all those who serve false gods;
but I will rejoice and be glad
on account of your constant love.

Lord, you saw my distress,
you beheld the trouble of my soul;
you saved me from my enemies' hands,
your love led me out, set me free.

Have pity on me, O Lord,
       for distress is upon me;
my eyes are consumed with tears,
       my body and my sent-

For see, I am weary with grief,
         my life has wasted in tears;
my strength has faded away
         and my bones are destroyed.

My enemies treat me with contempt,
         all my neighbours mock;
my friends shudder at my sight,
         in the streets they flee.

I am banished from living mind,
         as though I were dead,
rejected and thrown aside
like a thing of no use.

Antiphon: Blessed be the Lord, my defence,
              he shows wonders of love.

I hear the muttering of crowds,
         fear on every side!
They are plotting together against me
         to take away my life.

But always I trust in you, O Lord,
         you see, you are my God;
all my life lies in your hand,
         save me from the hands of my foes.

Look kindly on your servant, O Lord,
         save me by your love;
let me not be ashamed when I pray,
         shame on wicked-doers.

Let silence and night be their lot,
         their lies fall still,
the insolent who insult the just,
        arrogant and proud.

How wonderful is your goodness, O Lord,
         the goodness you show your friends;
you are good for all who believe,
         in the eyes of all mankind.

In your presence, you keep them hid,
         far from intrigues of men;
you conceal them all in your tent,
         far from the cursing of tongues.

Yet once I thought in my grief:
         'He has lost me from sight.'
but I called out and you heard my cry
         as I pleaded for help.

So love the Lord, all his saints!
         He takes care of all his friends;
but he claims a high price indeed
         from all who are proud.

The Lord, my defender, be bless'd,
         he shows wonders of love;
be brave and be of good heart,
         all who hope in the Lord.

Psalm 31 (Heb. 32)

Antiphon: I said: I will go to my father,
             and confess my fault.

Happy men, absolved of your sins,
       and whose faults are forgiven;
happy souls, to whom our Lord
       will impute no blame
and whose hearts are clear.

I would not speak, and my bones were consumed,
       all the day I wept;
by day and by night your hand
       bore down on my soul;
my strength was dried up like the dew
       in the midday sun.

At last, I confessed all my guilt,
       no longer I denied my shame,
I said, 'I will go to the Lord
       and confess my fault!'
Then you absolved my sin,
       you forgave every wrong.

So now your people should pray
       in their times of need;
when the waters flow high in flood,
       they are not overwhelmed;
you give me refuge and peace,
       I am safe from harm.

Psalm 32 (Heb. 33)

Antiphon: Cry out for joy to God our Lord, all his saints;
            praise is good when the heart is true!

Cry out for joy to the Lord, all his saints,
praise is good when the heart is true.

offer thanks to the Lord with the harp,
praise God to the sound of the lyre;
sign out new songs to the Lord,
on the harp play hymns to his praise.

True are the words of the Lord,
most faithful are all his works;
he delights in justice and right,
the earth overflows with his love.

By his command, the heavens came to be,
all the stars by the words of his mouth;
he gathered the sea in one place
and enclosed the deep in his store.

All the earth, worship the Lord,
let every nation adore;
he spoke, and the world was made,
he commanded and all stood fast.

He undoes all the nations' designs,
he frustrates all of their plans;
the designs of the Lord endure,
everlasting, the plan of his heart.

Happy land, whose God is the Lord,
the people he has chosen as his own;
from on high, the Lord looks down
and beholds all the children of men.

From the height of his glory he observes
all who dwell on the earth;
he fashions their every thought,
he knows all that they do.

No army can give triumph to a king;
no strength can keep a swordsman safe;
what man gained victory by a horse?
No hope, for all its speed.

But the Lord has eyes for his friends,
all whose trust is set in his love;
he will keep their souls from death,
sustain them in times of need.

Let our hope be set in the Lord,
for he is our help and our shield;
in God, the joy of our he-arts,
our trust, his holy name!

On us, O Lord, be your love,
as we place our hope in you-
Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever.  Amen.

Psalm 33 (Heb. 34)

Antiphon: Yes, I will bless the Lord at all times,
              on my lips the sound of his praises.

I will bless the Lord at all times,
on my lips, the sound of his praise;
give glory, my soul, to the Lord,
all the humble, hear and rejoice.

Come, let us worship the Lord,
with one voice give glory to God;
I cried to the Lord, he replied,
he freed me when I was afraid.

With God is the fullness of joys,
turn to him, you will not be deceived;
when the poor cry out, he gives heed,
he is close to all in distress.

The angel of' God is near,
he defends the faithful of heart;
how good is the Lord!  Taste and see!
What joy when he is our guard!

Adore the Lord, all his saints,
he takes care of his friends in need;
the lions may go hungry, in want,
but the godly will lack nothing good.

Now come, children, pay heed,
I will teach you the service of the Lord;
is there one who longs for life,
to delight in the blessings of days?

Keep your tongue from all that may hurt,
let your lips not utter deceit;
refrain from wrong and do good,
strive for peace with all your heart.

The eyes of the Lord are on the just,
his ears are open to their prayer;
while all who do evil are destroyed,
their names erased from the earth.

In anguish, the just call on God,
he saves them from all their distress;
broken hearts are dear to the Lord,
he raises their souls from despair.

On the just, evils rain down,
but the Lord will save them from all;
he will guard them with tender care,
not one of their bones will be bruised.

But evil destroys the unjust,
those who hate the godly will die;
the Lord has mercy on his friends,
no one turns to our God in vain.

Psalm 34 (extract) (Heb. 35)

Antiphon: Of your goodness my tongue will sing,
            all day long, O Lord, your praise.

Accuse, Lord, for I am accused,
      attack them-1 am attacked,
take up your armour and your shield,
      stand up, be my help.

Brandish both sword and lance
      in the face of those who pursue;
O Lord, speak thus to my soul:
      It is I, I will save.

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord,
      exult, for I am saved;
all my bones will cry out: O Lord,
      who then is like you,
saving the weak from the hands of the strong,
      the poor that they all exploit?

Their witnesses stand up, telling lies,
      what they ask I do not know;
they repay me with evil for good,
      my soul becomes dry.

They were sick, then sackcloth I wore,
      in fasting I bowed
and murmured prayers in my heart,
      as if for a brother or friend,
I wept as if my mother had died,
      overwhelmed in my grief.

How much longer, O Lord, will you look?
Draw my soul from their hands,
            from the lions save my life!
In the Assembly then I will give thanks,
       in the multitude I will give praise.

Break silence, O Master, you have seen,
            do not stay far away;
awake, stand up in my defence,
            give me justice, Lord my God.

Then all will laugh, shout for joy,
            rejoicing that I am found just;
constantly I hear them exclaim:
            Great is our God,
for he wills that his servant see peace!

Of your goodness my tongue will sing,
            all day long, O Lord, your praise!

Psalm 35 (Heb. 36)

Antiphon: In you, O Lord, is the source of life,
             by your light we see true light.

The wisdom of the wicked is sin
       deep in his heart;
no sign of respect for God
       in all that he does.

He esteems himself too much,
       'My sin is not known!'
All his words are lies and deceit,
       he does nothing good.

Instead of good, he plans wrong,
       even while he sleeps;
he persists in ways that are not good,
       refusing to repent.

O Lord, in the heavens, your love!
       Your truth, with the clouds
Your justice, high as the hills'
       Your goodness, like the sea!

You care for both man and beast,
O God, how precious is your love;
the people you defend, O Lord,
find shelter in the shadow of your wings.

We are filled at the feasts in your courts,
refreshed by your living streams;
in you is the source of life,
by your light, we see true light.

Stay close to your friends, O Lord,
be good for all who are just;
save us from the malice of the proud
that their hands do not drive us away.

Psalm 37 (Heb. 38)

Antiphon: Do not forsake me, my Lord,
           do not stay away, O God.

O Lord, do not punish me in rage,
in wrath, do not chastise me, my God.

Your arrows have wounded my flesh,
your hand has struck me to the ground;
through your anger, nothing but pain,
for my sins, my body lies sick.

My sins are a flood where I drown,
a burden too heavy to bear;
bowed down and bent with shame,
I go mourning all day long.

With fever my flesh is on fire,
my body is sick to death;   I
worn out and numb with pain,
I groan in the anguish of my heart.

You know all my longing, O Lord,
you can hear my every sigh;
how my heart pounds in my breast,
my sight and my strength grow faint.

My friends and neighbours draw back,
they stare at my sores from afar;
what snares men have laid for my life,
those who are plotting to kill.

I am deaf, for all that I hear,
like the dumb, my lips are sealed;
it seems that I cannot hear,
for to no one I make reply.

But in you, O Lord, is my trust,
and you are the one who will speak;
they shall not rejoice at my pain,
nor must they laugh at my fall

See, I am almost dead,
my torment is always at hand;
yes, I admit my guilt,
I shudder for all my sins.

My foes are so healthy and strong,
they are many that hate me for no cause;
they repay all my kindness with harm,
they blame me for what I did right.

So do not forsake me, my Lord,
do not stay away, O God;
quickly, come to my aid,
Lord, my Saviour, my God.

Psalm 38 (Heb. 39)

Antiphon: Lord, to whom shall we go?
           You have the words of eternal life.

I said, 'I must always take care,
I will watch what I say and not sin,
I will curb my tongue and not speak
while the wicked are standing near.'
So I stood there, silent and still,
but my torment only grew worse.

My heart was on fire in my breast,
from my thoughts sprang up tongues of flame;
so at last I ventured to speak:
'O Lord, let me know my end;
what is the span of my days?
Remind me how little is a life.

How small is the number of my days,
before you my life is naught;
our human span is one breath,
then we pass away like a shade;
our deeds are one breath of wind.
Our riches?  A stranger's joy.'

So what can I hope for, O Lord?
I will wait, I will rest in you;
only save me from sin,
and save me from the mockery of fools;
I am quiet, I will not say one word,
since you are the Author of all.

But spare our backs from the scourge,
strike us no more-we shall die;
with rebukes, you chasten our guilt,
while all that we love dissolves
like a moth, like a breath of air;
receive my prayer, O God.

Pay heed to my heart's request,
do not ignore all my tears;
I am only a pilgrim on earth,
your guest, as my fathers were;
turn aside for a while, let me breathe,
before I must rise and be gone.

Psalm 39 (Heb. 40)

Antiphon: All who long for your face shall be glad,
           rejoicing and songs!

I hoped in the Lord with firm hope,
     he heard the sound of my voice,
     he paid heed to my cry.

He pulled me out of the pit,
     from the quicksand's snare;
he set my feet on the rock
     and I stood secure.

in my mouth he put a new song:
     praise to our God!
Many shall see and shall fear,
     they will trust in the Lord.

How happy, the people who believe,
     who have faith in the Lord,
not taking the way of the proud
     who run to false gods.

Such great works you have done, O Lord!
     Vast wonders untold'
All manner of plans for our good,
     too many they are to count!

No sacrifice, no offering you ask,
     but our ears for your word;
burnt-sacrifice you do not require:
     I said, 'Here I am.'

In the book, my part is laid down:
       your will, O God;
how I long to do your will,
       your Law is stamped on my heart.

My lips have proclaimed your good news
       to the people around;
Yes, I spoke, I did not refrain,
       you saw and you know.

Your love does not stay concealed
       in my silent heart;
all the time, I proclaim your truth,
       to the people, your grace.

Your mercy is vast, without end,
       for me, O Lord;
preserve me by your kindness and truth
       all the days of my life.

But evils come crowding around,
       more than the hairs on my head;
on my back my sins rain down,
       my heart grows faint.

Save me, O Lord, he my help!
       Rescue me, my God!
Let those who would destroy my life
       all be put to shame.

Those who look and rejoice at my distress
       shall retreat in disgrace;
and the people who enjoy my grief
       --let them say: we were fools.

All who long for your face shall be glad,
     rejoicing and songs!
Let those who enjoy you, pace
     say: How great is our God!

Your servant is weak and so poor,
     but you do not forget;
Yes, you are my Saviour and my God,
     make haste to my aid.

Psalm 40 (Heb. 41)

Antiphon: Your hand will guide me, I will stand,
             alive you will set me before your face.

How happy all who care for the poor,
on the day of distress, the Lord is their help;
the Lord is their guard, their Saviour and joy,
never shall they fall into the power of their foes;
the Lord is there, whenever they fall sick,
he restores their health if their strength grows weak.

I said in my heart: Take pity on me, Lord!
Heal my soul for against you I have sinned.
All my enemies laugh as they wait for me to die:
When will he die and his name be destroyed?
At my bedside they talk, but their words ring false
-their malice is hid, they gossip outside.

As my foes embrace they exchange bad news,
for them my distress is a source of delight:
His body is wracked with a dreadful disease,
it is sure he will not rise again from his bed!
Even my companion, the friend I love most,
who once was my guest, now stands with my foes.

O Lord, be merciful, restore me to health,
let them see your power, they shall be repaid;
they will all be disgraced, since you are my friend
-your hand will guide me, I will stand,
alive, you will set me before your face'.
Give praise to our God for ever, Amen!

Psalm 41 (Heb. 42)

Antiphon: My soul is thirsting for the Lord,
            when shall I see him face to face?

Like a deer that yearns
      for a cooling stream,
so my soul is athirst
      for you, my God.

My soul is thirsting for God,
      for the living God;
when shall I come and behold
      the face of God?

Tears are my only food
      by night and by day;
always I hear them say:
      Where is your God?

Once I went with the throng
      to the House of our God,
with shouts of rejoicing and praise
      on the lips of the crowd.

What weighs you down, my soul'?
      Why faint in my breast?
Hope in God: I will praise him still,
      my Saviour, my God.

When my heart is about to break
      I turn my thoughts
from Jordan and Hermon's land,
      from the lowly hill.

The deep summoning the deep,
      the roaring of the flood!
The might of your raging waves
      overwhelms my soul.

If by day the Lord is pleased
      to reveal his love,
his song in my heart by night
      prays the God of my life.

I implore my defender, my God:
      Why did you forget?
 Why must I now go in grief,
      oppressed by the foe?

All my bones are crushed with shame
      at the insults I endure;
always I hear them say:
      Where is your God?

What weighs you down, my soul?
      Why faint in my breast?
Hope in God: I will praise him still,
      my Saviour, my God.

Psalm 42 (Heb. 43)

Antiphon: I will go to the altar of God,
           he is the fountain of joy!

Give sentence in my favour, O God,
     against the godless men;
from the power of the wicked and the false
     deliver my soul.

For you are my defender, O God,
     why cast me aside?
And why must I endure such pain
     at the hands of my foes?

Send out your light and your truth,
     let them be my guides;
bring me back to your holy hill,
     to the house where you dwell.

I will go to the altar of God,
     he is the fountain of joy;
I will play on the harp, I will sing
     to praise you, O God.

What weighs you down, my soul?
     Why faint in my breast?
Hope in God: I will praise him still,
     my Saviour, my God.

Psalm 44 (extract) (Heb. 45)

Antiphon: For ever, O God, you throne on high,
                  justice, your sceptre, for the people you rule.

My heart overflows with beautiful words,
hear the song I have made for the king,
my tongue is dancing to nimble words!

You are far more handsome than all other men,
such graceful eloquence flows from your lips,
surely you are blessed in the eyes of God.

Gird now your sword, great king, at your side,
ride on in might, most glorious lord,
for truth and justice pursue your way.

Perform great deeds, for your arrows are sharp,
the peoples lie still, nations fall at your feet:
to see your power, your enemies lose heart.

For ever, O God, you throne on high,
justice, your sceptre, for the people you rule,
you are just of heart, injustice you abhor.

So God, who chose you, anoints your head,
with perfumes of gladness he marks your brow,
your robes are fragrant with aloes and myrrh.

Psalm 45 (Heb. 46)

Antiphon: Our help is the Lord of hosts,
            no fortress other than Jacob's God.

God is with us, our shelter and strength,
our help in distress, he is close at hand;
then how should we fear, though the earth gives way
or the mountains are hurled to the depths of the sea?
if waves come pounding with violence and rage,
so that hills are shaken by the breakers' roar.

      Our help is the Lord of hosts,
      no fortress other than Jacob's God.

Like a stream, joy flows to the house of God,
its waters gladden his holy place;
God is there, it cannot be destroyed,
God will send help at the dawn of day;
the nations tremble, great kingdoms shake,
he lifts up his voice, the earth melts away.
      Our help is the Lord of hosts,
      no fortress other than Jacob's God.

Behold and see what the Lord has done,
deeds that fill the whole world with awe;
his hand stops wars to the ends of the earth,
bows he has broken, lances destroyed,
'Now be still, and confess that I am God,
supreme in all nations, supreme upon earth.'

      Our help is the Lord of hosts,
      no fortress other than Jacob's God.

Psalm 46 (Heb. 47)

Antiphon: Clap your hands for joy, all the world,
           sing out to God, to his holy name.

Clap your hands for joy, all the world,
sing out to God, to his holy name;
for the Lord, the Most High is to be feared,
great King to the ends of the earth.

He brings the nations to our feet,
great peoples under our yoke;
he has chosen a land where we may live,
the pride of the people he loves.

God goes up in shouts of joy,
the Lord, to the trumpet-blast;
sing praises to God, sing praise;
praise to our King, sing praise.

He is King over all the world,
so praise him with music and song;
he rules the nations of the earth,
set high on his sacred throne.

The rulers of the world unite
with the people of Abraham's God;
all the might of the earth is the Lord's,
on high he reigns supreme.

Psalm 47 (Heb. 48)

Antiphon: We remember your love,
           in your courts, O Lord.

Great is the Lord and worthy of all praise
     in the city of our God!
His holy hill is the fairest of all,
     joy for all the world.

Here is Zion, the mountain of God,
     and the city of kings;
God, for all in her walls,
     is a sure defence.

Great kings took council for war,
     they advanced to attack;
when they saw, they were struck with dread,
     full of awe, they took flight.

There, they trembled with fear,
     like a woman in birth,
great ships broken on the rocks
     by the fury of the storm.

As we had heard, now we have seen
     how great is the Lord;
in the city of' the Lord of hosts
     he is forever our strength.

We remember your love, O God,
     in the courts of' the Lord;
your fame and your praise, O God,
     have covered the earth.

You govern the nations with right,
    let Zion be glad;
let the cities of Judah rejoice
    for your judgements are good.

Come to Zion, examine with care
    the number of her towers,
inspect her fortresses with awe,
    take note of her walls.

You shall tell your children in turn:
    This God is our God;
for all time, for evermore,
    he is our guide.

Psalm 50 (Heb. 51)

Antiphon: Have mercy on me, God, in your love,
          I confess the wrongs I have done,
          you will give me again songs of gladness.

Have mercy on me, God in your love,
in your compassion blot out all my sin;
wash away the stain of my faults,
let me be pure from all my misdeeds.

I will confess the wrong I have done,
I remember all my sins;
I have sinned against you alone,
I have done what is evil in your sight.

So now it is right that I be judged,
with reason I am condemned;
yes, in sin I was born,
at fault from my mother's womb.

You require sincerity of heart,
so instruct me in the depths of your truth;
wipe out my sins, that I may be clean,
and wash me whiter than snow.

Give me the sound of gladness and joy,
let the bones you have broken dance;
turn your face from all my faults,
wipe out all trace of my sins.

So give me, O God, a pure heart,
my spirit make new within;
do not thrust me far from your face,
do not take your Spirit away.

Give me back the joy of your love,
a heart willing to obey;
I will teach transgressors your ways,
the lost will return to your path.

Save me from guilt, O God, and from death,
your justice shall become my song,
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

You desire no sacrifice, O Lord,
burnt offerings you would not accept;
all I offer is a contrite heart,
a broken heart you will not disdain.

Be kind to Zion, for her joy,
build high Jerusalem's walls;
you will accept the sacrifice we bring,
all we offer at the foot of your throne.

Part II (Psalms 53 - 117)    Part III (Psalms 118 - 150)

Copyright 1999 Brother Anthony of Taize