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 118 (Heb. 119)

Antiphon: In the way of your testimonies is my joy,
more than in boundless wealth.

How happy are all without fault,
who walk in God's laws;
and happy they who pursue his commands,
who seek him with all their heart.

No evil is found in their lives,
for they walk in his ways;
Lord, you laid down your decrees
to be kept without fail.

If only my feet can stay firm
in pursuit of your will;
for then I shall not be ashamed,
if I observe your commands.

I will praise you in purity of heart,
as I see how you judge;
I resolve to obey all your laws,
abandon me not, O Lord.

How can a youth remain pure?
If he keeps your commands.
My whole heart has sought for your ways,
do not take your law away.

In my heart I have kept all your laws,
I will not fail in your sight;
how bless'd is your name, O Lord,
instruct me in your ways.

My lips will repeat aloud
all the judgements of your lips;
in the way of your testimonies is my joy,
more than in boundless wealth.

Your precepts are the centre of my thoughts,
I examine your decrees;
I find such delight in your commands,
your commandments I ever recall-

Antiphon: Open my eyes and I will see
the wonders of your law.

Be good for your servant and I will live,
I will keep your decrees;
open my eyes and I will see
the wonders of your law.

A pilgrim I am on the earth,
do not hide your commands;
with longing, my soul is consumed,
with desire for your decrees.

You rebuke the proud, they are dismayed,
for they neglect your commands;
deliver me from their insults and contempt,
I have kept all your ways.

Though the rulers take counsel to kill,
I pursue your decrees;
in your testimonies I find great delight,
in them alone good advice.

My life lies bruised in the dust,
revive me by your word;
I consider my deeds, you are near,
so teach me your will.

Expound all the paths of your law,
your wonders I pursue;
in sorrow, my soul is perplexed,
by your words give me strength.

Turn my feet aside from false paths,
in your goodness instruct me;
I have chosen to follow your truth,
in your judgements I delight.

I stay close to your precepts, O Lord,
let me not be put to shame;
I make haste to obey your commands,
you will widen my heart.

Antiphon: Guide me in the way of your commands,
for there alone is my joy.

Teach me, Lord, the sense of your laws,
I will obey them always;
explain, and I will observe your decrees,
I will keep them with all my heart.

Guide me in the way of your commands,
for there alone is my joy;
incline my heart to fulfil your will,
and not towards wealth.

Preserve my eyes from things of no worth,
renew me according to your word;
keep the promise you made to me of old,
as to all who love your word.

Deliver me from the insults I fear,
for your judgements are good;
see, I desire your commands,
give me life, you are just.

Reveal your great love, O Lord,
your salvation that you swore;
to their insults I will answer with truth,
since I trust in your word.

Never rob me of your truthful word,
for your judgements are my hope;
at all times I will observe your law,
in the ages still to come.

Set me free to pursue my course,
I have sought your decrees;
of your testimonies I will speak before kings,
and will not be ashamed.

Your commands are the source of delight,
I love them with great love;
at Your commandments I lift up my hands,
I will ponder your decrees.

Antiphon: In my torment, my soul was consoled,
since your promises give life.

Remember your words to your servant,
you renewed me in hope;
in my torment, my soul was consoled,
since your promises give life.

The proud have beaten me about,
but I never left your law;
I remember your judgements of old,
I am comforted, O Lord.

I am full of rage to see them do wrong,
for they abandon your ways;
I make songs of all your decrees,
here in exile on earth.

I remember your name in the night,
I consider your law;
my happiness lies in one thing:
obeying your commands.

You are all my desire, O Lord,
I will keep your commands;
I beseech you with all my heart,
have mercy as you have sworn.

I reflect on the way that I live,
I will follow your decrees;
I will hasten and not delay,
to confirm to your will.

The wicked lay traps for my life,
I forget not your law;
I rise at midnight to give thanks,
for your judgements are just.

I am close to all who adore you,
who keep your laws;
your love, O Lord, fills the earth,
teach me your decrees-

Antiphon: If you show your goodness, I shall live,
for your law is my delight.

To your servant, Lord, you are good,
your promises are sure;
teach me to be sensible and wise,
for I trust your commands.

Before I was afflicted, I went astray,
now I obey your word;
how good you are, and how kind,
teach me your command,.

I am snared by the lies of the proud,
my heart remains true;
their minds cannot understand this
I have joy in your law.

My afflictions have done me much good,
I have learned your decrees;
how precious is the law of your lips,
more than millions in silver or gold.

By your hands I was fashioned and made,
give me knowledge of your law;
when they see, you, people will be glad,
in your promises I trust.

I know, Your judgements are right,
I am troubled, you are just;
may your love be for ever my comfort,
as your servant once heard.

If you show Your goodness, I hall live,
for your law is my delight;
the proud bear false witness, to their shame,
I will keep your decree,.

Let your friends come near to me now,
all who know your commands;
my heart will be perfect in your ways,
I will not be put to shame@,.

Antiphon: I am yours, save me, O Lord,
I pursue Your commands.

My soul is longing for your salvation,
my trust is in your word;
my eyes look for your promise in vain,
I wonder, will you come?

I was nothing but a wineskin in the smoke,
yet I did not forget;
how long must your servant still wait?
Will my oppressors be repaid?

Proud men have dug pits for my feet,
they challenge your law;
save me, Lord, your commandments are true,
men torture me with lies.

They have almost destroyed me on earth,
but I keep your commands;
restore me, on account of your love,
that I may follow your laws.

Everlasting, O Lord, are your words,
eternal in the heavens;
for age after age, your truth,
you founded the earth to endure.

All things remain by your will,
by them all you are served;
if your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished for grief.

I will never forget what you taught,
you have kept me alive;
I am yours, save me, O Lord,
I pursue your commands.

Though the wicked lie in wait for my soul,
I will ponder your laws;
I have seen: all things have an end,
your will alone endures.

Antiphon: Your commands are y inheritance for ever-
they are the joy of my heart.

How I love your law, O Lord God,
I observe it all day long;
your commandments are always at hand,
I grow wiser than my foes!

More than all my masters, I understand,
since I ponder your law;
in discernment I excel any sage,
for I keep your commands.

I will shun every path of wrong,
and I long to keep your words;
I will not neglect your decrees,
since they come from your hand.

Your testimony is sweet on my lips,
like honey on my tongue;
by your precepts, intelligence is mine,
I detest every way of lies.

Your Word is a lamp on my path,
and a light for my steps;
I have sworn and will keep my oath:
I will observe your just laws.

My sufferings are terrible indeed,
give me life by your Word
accept the prayers that I bring,
and teach me your commands

My life is in peril all day long,
I remember your law;
for my soul, the wicked lay a trap,
I will obey your decrees.

Your commands are my inheritance for ever,
they are the joy of my heart;
I am firmly resolved to obey,
for an eternal reward.

Antiphon: Hold me, I will be safe with you,
my eyes fixed on your commands.

I detest men divided of heart,
but your law I love;
Lord, my defender and shield,
in your words I trust.

Away from me, sinful men!
I will obey God's commands;
uphold me as you promised, I shall live,
do not disappoint me in my hope.

Hold me, I will be safe with you,
my eyes fixed on your commands;
you abandon those who turn from your law,
too foolish in their deceit.

The godless are removed from the earth,
so I love what you teach,
I tremble with awe before your face,
your judgements fill me with fear.

I have done what is righteous and good.
save me from those who kill;
Lord, swear that your servant will be safe,
stop the wickedness of the proud.

My eyes yearn to see your salvation,
the justice that you swore;
defend now your servant in your love,
and teach me your commands.

I am your servant, let me understand,
and tell me your will;
it is time, Lord, now you must act,
for your law is not obeyed.

I love your commands more than gold,
than the finest gold;
therefore I adhere to your law,
and I hate the way of lies.

Antiphon. To your servant reveal your face,
instruct me in your laws.

How wonderful are all your decrees,
I will obey every one;
as your Word is revealed, it gives light,
and the simple understand.

Open-mouthed, I thirst for your commands,
so great is my desire;
turn towards me, have mercy in your love,
show justice to your friends.

As you promised, make my steps sure,
keep wrong-doing far away;
deliver me from those who oppress,
I will obey your commands.

To your servant reveal your face,
and instruct me in your laws;
my eyes are streaming with tears,
since they will not keep your laws.

How righteous you are, O Lord!
How just in your ways!
You lay down the demands of your truth,
with faithfulness and love.

My zeal is aflame in my breast,
my foes ignore your commands;
your promises survive every trial,
so your servant holds them dear.

Downcast I am and despised,
but your precepts I recall;
your justice is eternal and right,
there is truth in your law.

I am broken with trouble and distress,
but your decrees bring me joy;
your message is just in every age,
I understand and I shall live.

Antiphon: I lie awake all night long,
and think of your laws.

I call with my whole heart, give heed,
I will keep your commands;
I call: save me, O Lord,
I will observe your law.

I implore your aid before the dawn,
I put my trust in your words;
I lie awake all night long,
and think of your laws.

In your mercy and love, hear my prayer,
by your justice give me life;
wrong-doers are gathering around,
they are far from your law

But you are close, O my Lord,
there is truth in your commands:
long ago I learned of your laws:
that they are sure to endure.

Consider my pain and set me free,
for I did not forget your law;
defend my cause and send me help,
as you promised, give me life.

Your salvation is far from wicked men,
they have no care for your laws;
but great is your compassion, O Lord,
by your justice, give me life.

How many are my rivals and my foes!
Yet I keep your commands;
I feel ashamed when I see them betray,
they will not keep your commands.

See how I love your decrees,
by your mercy give me life;
truth is the foundation of your law,
your righteous judgements never fail.

Antiphon: No, I did not forget your commands,
let my soul have life for your praise.

Great princes have pursued me for no cause,
but my heart will keep your Word
joy in your promise for my soul,
as on finding hidden gold.

I hate and detest every lie,
and I cleave to your law;
seven times a day I give you thanks,
all your judgements are true.

Great peace for all who love your law,
they cannot be brought down;
I wait for your salvation, O Lord,
I live by your commands.

All that you have taught, I observe,
for therein is my love;
I obey your precepts and commands,
all my deeds are in your sight.
Let my tears have value in your sight,
give me wisdom by your Word;
let my prayer come before your face,
save my life as you have sworn.

My lips will ever give you praise,
for you teach me your will;
my tongue will sing of your decrees,
all your orders are sure.

Stretch out your hand, give me help,
I have chosen your commands;
I long for your salvation, O Lord,
in your law is my delight.

Let my soul have life for your praise,
may your judgements be my help;
I am astray, a sheep that is lost,
come in search of my soul.

Psalm 119 (Heb. 120)

Antiphon: In my distress, I prayed and called to the Lord,
then he replied.

In my distress, I prayed to the Lord,
I called and he replied;
Lord, save me from the lies of their lips,
from the deceit on their tongues.

Now what shall he give as your reward,
you treacherous tongues?
An archer's sharp arrows, perhaps,
or embers from the hearth?

For too long now my soul has lived
where people hate peace;
my desire is for peace, but if I speak,
they make ready for war.

Psalm 120 (Heb. 121)

Antiphon: All my help will come from the Lord
who made both heaven and earth.

I lift up my eyes to the hills,
where shall I look for help?
All my help will come from the Lord,
who made both heaven and earth.

He will not let you stumble or fall,
your guardian will not sleep.
No, the Guardian of Israel
never falls asleep.

The Lord is your Guardian and your shield,
he will stay close at hand;
the sun will not strike you by day,
nor the moon in the night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm,
he will guard your soul;
he will guard you as you come and go,
both now and evermore.

Psalm 121 (Heb. 122)

Antiphon: O what joy as I made my way
up to the House of the Lord!

I was glad when they said: Let us go
to the House of the Lord;
and now we have stayed our steps
in Jerusalem's gates.

Jerusalem! Built as a city,
one, unified whole!
The tribes go up to her gates,
all the tribes of the Lord.

To give thanks to the name of the Lord,
for such is his command,
in the place where his justice is throned
since David was king.

So pray that Jerusalem has peace:
Peace upon your friends!
May peace be seen in your walls
and peace in your homes.

For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will pray for your peace;
for the sake of the House of the Lord,
I will pray that you be bless'd.

Psalm 122 (Heb. 123)

Antiphon: To you, Lord, I lift up my eyes,
when will you come to my aid?

To you I lift up my eyes,
as you throne on high;
my eyes, like a slave's, intent
on his master's hand;

or like the eyes of a maid
on her mistress's hands:
so our eyes are fixed on the Lord,
until his mercy is revealed.

Have mercy on us, Lord, in your love,
we are despised far and wide;
too long have we been despised
and scorned by the proud.

Psalm 123 (Heb. 124)

Antiphon: Like birds, our souls flew away
from the fowler's net.

If the Lord had not been on our side
-let Israel now say-
if the Lord had not been on our side
when they rose to attack,
they would surely have swallowed us whole,
so inflamed was their rage.

The waters would have swept us away,
overwhelmed by the flood;
the waves would have covered our beads,
the storm-tossed waves;
so bless the Lord! We were not left
as prey in their grasp

Like birds, our souls flew away
from the fowler's net;
the snare was broken and torn,
so now we are free!
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 124 (Heb. 125)

Antiphon: Happy are they who trust in the Lord,
they cannot be moved, for ever they abide.

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
it cannot be moved, for ever it abides.

As Jerusalem is hedged round with hills,
so the Lord embraces his flock,
both now and for evermore.

A scepter of evil shall not remain
in the land of the just;
lest the just be tempted to turn
their hands to wrong.

Do good, O Lord, to the good,
to all the upright of heart.
May Israel see peace!

Psalm 125 (Heb. 126)

Antiphon: All who went in tears and sorrow
return with shouts of joy!

When the Lord brought Our prisoners home,
it felt like a dream!
Every mouth was filled with laughter,
and our lips with songs!

In other lands, people said: What wonders
the Lord has done for them!
The Lord has done marvels indeed,
bow great is our joy!

Bring back our captives, O Lord,
like streams after rain;
then the sowers who sowed in tears
will harvest in joy.

They went out with sobbing and tears
when the seed was sown;
now they come with laughter and with songs,
for the sheaves are gathered!

Psalms 126 and 127 (extract) (Heb. 127 and 128)

Antiphon: From his courts, the Lord send you bliss,
every day of your life.

If the house is not built by the Lord,
the builders will labour in vain;
if a city is not guarded by the Lord,
the guards keep watch in vain.

You rise from sleep early in vain,
and go to rest late, in vain,
You consume the dry bread of your toil
while the Lord feeds his flock as they sleep.

You are happy, revering the Lord,
pursuing his commands;
you shall enjoy the fruit of your hands,
happily, favoured indeed!

From his courts, the Lord send You bliss,
every day of your life;
you shall see how your children grow,
and flourish in peace.

Psalm 128 (Heb. 129)

Antiphon: The Lord has done marvels indeed,
how great is our joy!

They have been after me since I was young,
-Israel may say-
they have been after me since I was small,
but they never brought me down!

The plowers ploughed on my back,
their furrows were long!
But the Lord has destroyed he is just-
all the cords of their snares.

Let them be ashamed and turn back,
all the rivals of Zion;
let them be like grass on the roof,
dried up before it can grow;

with no one to harvest the seed
or to gather the sheaves;
and no passersby to exclaim:
You are bless'd by the Lord!

Psalm 129 (Heb. 130)

Antiphon: I hope in the Lord with all my heart,
I am eager for his Coming.

From the depths I cry to you, O Lord,
give heed to my lament;
let your ear be attentive and hear
the sound of my calling.

If you remember, O Lord, all our faults,
who then can survive?
But with you our pardon is sure,
and therefore we adore you.

My soul is eager for the Lord,
I trust his every word;
my soul is more eager for the Lord
than a watchman for the dawning.

With the Lord is tenderness and love,
his compassion overflows;
so Israel will be saved by the Lord
from all of their failings.

Psalm 130 (Heb. 131)

Antiphon: Put your hope in the Lord,
both now and evermore.

O Lord, my heart is not proud,
my eyes are not harsh;
I am not intent on great things
or achievements sublime.

No, my soul lies at rest,
as quiet as a child;
my soul is as still as a babe
at its mother's breast.

Put your hope in the Lord,
both now and evermore.

Psalm 131 (Heb. 132)

Antiphon: I will give you a King of David's line,
he shall be crowned with endless glory.

Remember David, O Lord,
how great all the hardships he endured;
recall the oath he swore to his God,
the vow made to Jacob's Might:

'I will not enter the house where I live,
nor lie down on the couch where I sleep,
my eyes shall not take any rest,
not one moment my eyelids shall close,
until I find a place for my Lord,
a home for Jacob's God.'

You see, in Ephratha we heard:
out in the fields of the forest it was found!
Let us enter, go in where he dwells,
bow down before his throne and adore!

Now arise to your resting-place, O Lord,
you and the Ark of your Might;
may your priests be decked in righteous deeds,
let the faithful cry out and rejoice;
for your servant, for David's sake,
reject not your chosen king.

To David the Lord once swore,
an oath which he will not forget:
A son of your own will be king,
I will set him after you on the throne.

If your sons observe my commands,
if they keep the decrees I have taught,
then their sons in turn, evermore,
shall inherit the throne which was yours.

For Zion is the choice of the Lord,
he has chosen to make it his home:
Here is the place where I will rest,
here I will dwell, such is my will.

I will bless her with abundance of corn,
her poor I will satisfy with bread;
with salvation her priests shall be robed,
all her faithful shall sing and be glad.

I will raise up David's descent,
I will set there a lamp for the King;
I will cover his enemies with shame,
on his brow the diadem will shine.

Psalm 132 and 133 (extracts) (Heb. 133 and 134)

Antiphon: Come, give praise to the Lord,
all you servants of our God.

See, how pleasant it is, and good,
when brothers and sisters are one!

It is dew on the heights of Hermon,
descending on Zion,
the blessing of the Lord is there,
and eternal life.

Come, give praise to the Lord,
all you servants of our God;
as you stand in the House of the Lord,
by night in the courts of our God.

In his Temple, lift up your hands,
in deep night, sing praise to our God;
may the Lord bless you from Zion,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 134 (Heb. 135)

Antiphon: All that God wills, he performs,
in heaven, on earth, in the deep.

Give praise to the name of the Lord,
exult, you servants of God!
As you stand in the House of the Lord,
in the courts of the House of our God!

Sing praise to the Lord, he is good,
give praise to his name, he is kind;
for Jacob was the Chosen of God,
and Israel he has made his Own.

I know how great is our God,
our Saviour above all gods!
For all that he wills, he performs,
in heaven, on earth, in the deep.

Clouds race from the ends of the earth,
while lightning and rain lash down,
from his storerooms he brings wild storms

He performed his wonders and signs
far away in Egypt's midst;
then he gave a promised land
to Israel whom he chose in his love.

Your name, O Lord, evermore!
Your renown, O God, never fades!
For our Lord is our strong defence,
to his servants, the Lord is good.

Other nations have idols of gold,
all fashioned by human hands-
they have mouths but they do not speak,
their eyes are unable to see!

With their ears no word can be heard,
no breath will pass through their lips;
so shall be all who make them,
with those who believe in their power.

House of Israel, give praise to the Lord!
House of Aaron, give praise to the Lord!
House of Levi, give praise to the Lord!
All believers, give praise to the Lord!

Psalm 135 (Heb. 136)

Antiphon: God alone performed mighty deeds,
to all flesh in compassion he gives bread.

Offer thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
-He is our God, love without end!
Offer thanks to the Lord, the God of Gods!
-He is our God, love without end!
Offer thanks to the Lord of all Lords!
-He is our God. love without end!

He alone performed mighty deeds!
-He is our God, love without end!
His hands with wisdom made the heavens!
-He is our God, love without end!
He set the dry land in the seas!
-He is our God, love without end!

He created the givers of light,
-He is our God, love without end!
The sun that thrones upon the day,
-He is our God, love without end!
The moon and the stars that rule the night,
-He is our God, love without end!

He divided the ocean in two parts,
-He is our God, love without end!
And led his people to the shore,
-He is our God, love without end!
But Pharaoh and his army he destroyed,
-He is our God, love without end!

Through the desert his people he brought,
-He is our God, love without end!
He struck mighty kings for their sake,
-He is our God, love without end!
He felled mighty princes for our sake,
-He is our God, love without end!

All their lands to our fathers he gave,
-He is our God, love without end!
their pastures he intended for our flocks,
-He is our God, love without end!
He saved us in all our despair,
-He is our God, love without end!

He has feed us from the hands of our foes,
-He is our God, love without end!
To all flesh in compassion he gives bread,
-He is our God, love without end!
So give thanks to the Lord God of Heaven,
-He is our God, love without end!

Psalm 136 (Heb. 137)

Antiphon: In our sorrow we laid our harps aside,
for God's House was far away.

Beside the rivers in Babylon
we fell down and we wept
as our thoughts turned to Zion;
high on the branches of the trees
we abandoned our harps.

And there we were asked
by our captors for songs,
by our jailers for joy:
Sing us now, they would say,
one of Zion's holy songs.

How could we bear to sing
a song of the Lord
in a land not our own?
If I forget Jerusalem
let my right hand be consumed.

I would rather that my tongue
should cleave to my lips
if ever I forgot:
if Jerusalem is less
than the highest of my joys

Psalm 137 (Heb. 138)

Antiphon: I will make songs for the Lord,
let his angels adore!

I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart:
you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of angels I will sing,
towards your temple I will bow down.

I give you thanks for your kindness and your truth,
all your promises excel your renown;
when I called, you answered my prayer,
you increased the strength of my soul.

All the kings of the earth will give you praise,
for they have heard the words of your mouth;
they shall sing of the ways of the Lord:
Great is the glory of the Lord!

God is high, yet the humble he beholds,
the proud he sees from afar;
though I walk in the midst of distress,
my life is safe from the fury of my foes.

I stand firm, by the actions of his love,
all his promises the Lord will fulfil;
to your mercy, O Lord, there is no end,
so continue the work you have begun.

Psalm 138 (Heb. 139)

Antiphon: The darkest night is no longer dark at all,
the deepest shadow will become bright as day.

O Lord, you have fathomed me and know me,
you know if I sit down or stand,
you follow my thoughts from afar.

You watch as I work and as I rest,
how familiar to you are all my ways!
Before ever a word is on my tongue,
you know it entirely, O Lord!

You surround me, behind and before,
your hand is upon me with power:
such knowledge is too deep for me to bear.
too lofty for me to attain.

So where can I escape from your Spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to heaven, you are there,
if I lie in the tomb, you are near.

If I take the wings of the dawn,
and reside on a distant shore,
there too your hand is my guide,
your right hand still holds me fast.

If I say: I will hide in the dark,
let the light around me be night;
then the darkness for you is not dark,
and the night is as clear as the day.

You created my inmost parts,
as you wove me within the womb;
I give thanks, for the mystery is great:
what wonders all your works reveal!

You know full well, my soul:
all my bones were not unknown,
while secretly I was formed
and fashioned in the depths of the earth.

You saw me before I was born,
and my days were inscribed in your book:
they were all decided and set
before even one came to be!

How precious are your thoughts, O God,
how vast are all your designs!
In number they are more than the sand;
I may dream, but still you remain.

Examine me, O God, explore my heart,
test my thoughts, discover my mind:
inspect me for evil within
and guide me to eternal paths

Psalm 139 (Heb. 140)

Antiphon. O God, my Master, my Saviour and Strength,
in the battle you cover my head

Save my life, O Lord, from wicked men,
preserve me from violent hands;
from those whose hearts devise evil deeds,
who stir up disputes all day long;
they sharpen their tongues like a deadly snake's,
viper's venom is upon their lips!

Protect me from the hands of the wicked, O Lord,
save me from violent men;
those who have plans to make me fall,
they stretch out a cord for my feet;
to catch me, proud People have hidden a trap,
along my path, their snares are concealed-

To the Lord, I say: But you are my God!
So hear my voice when I plead;
O God, my Master, my Saviour and Strength,
in the battle you cover my head;
O Lord, grant not what the wicked desire,
their plans must never succeed.

I know that the Lord will give justice and right,
he is good to the afflicted and poor;
yes, the just will give thanks to your name,
the upright will live in your sight

Psalm 140 (Heb. 141)

Antiphon: Like incense, my prayer rise up in your sight,
and my hands like an offering by night.

O God, hear my prayer, make haste to my help!
Pay heed to my voice when I call on your name;
like incense, my prayer rise up in your sight,
and my hands like an offering by night.

Set a watch, O Lord, at the gate of my lips,
let a guard be posted before my tongue;
let my heart be inclined to no evil ways,
nor engage in mischief with those who do wrong.

No, I will never partake of their delights,
if a just man strikes or reproves me, it is good;
but the unction of the wicked I will sternly reject,
no matter what they do, I will continue to pray.

Their judges are cast down! They fell from the crag
when they heard how gracious my words could be;
like a rock that is split and shattered in the field,
their bones lie strewn on the edge of the Pit.

To you, O Master, I lift up my eyes,
with you I seek refuge, deliver my life!
Save me from the nets and the snares they have laid,
I will pass by the traps of the wicked unscathed.

Psalm 141 (Heb. 142)

Antiphon: In the land of the living,
the Lord is my all!

I call to the Lord for help,
I plead with the Lord in loud cries:
I pour out before him my complaint,
I lay bare my distress in his sight;
within me, my spirit grows faint:
but you know full well all my ways.

On the path along which I walk
my foes have concealed a trap;
when I look around me, I see
there is not one who pays heed!
I have no hope of escape,
since no one is concerned for my life.

I call out to you, O Lord,
I say: Lord, my Defence!
In the land of the living, my All!
Give heed to the sound of my prayer,
for now I am brought to despair.

Save me from the men who pursue,
since they are too strong for me;
deliver my soul from distress,
that I may give thanks to your name;
then the just will gather around,
we will praise your goodness, O Lord.

Psalm 142 (Heb. 143)

Antiphon: Show me the way to go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

O Lord, give heed to my prayer,
and listen to the sound of my plea;
you are faithful and good, make reply,
put not your servant on trial,
for no one is just in your eyes.

The enemy is in pursuit of my soul,
he has crushed my life to the ground,
he has left me alone in the dark,
like those already long dead;
my breath within me is faint
and my heart is shaking with dread.

I remember the days of old,
and I ponder on ail your works;
I consider the wonders of your hands
and I lift up my heart to you,
I thirst for you with all my soul.

Make haste to answer, O Lord,
for I have lost all hope;
hide not your face from me,
lest I become like those in the Pit.

Let me hear of your love at dawn,
for in you is my trust:
show me the way to go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

Save me from my enemies, O Lord,
as my hope is in you;
teach me to follow your will
since you are my God;
the goodness of Your Spirit be my guide:
lead me to level ground.

For the sake of your name, O Lord,
in your justice set me free;
deliver my soul in distress,
for you alone I will serve.

Psalm 143 (Heb. 144)

Antiphon: You are bless'd, O Lord, my Rock,
my Shield in whom I can trust!

You are bless'd, O Lord, my Rock!
He trains my hands for the fight,
makes ready my fingers for war.

My companion he is, and my defence,
my stronghold, the One who can save,
my shield in whom I can trust,
the nations are subdued by his might.

What is man that you heed him, O Lord?
The child of man, that you care?
For he is nothing more than a breath,
his days are a fleeting shade.

Incline your heavens and come down,
touch the mountains and they will smoke,
flash lightning and put them to flight,
shoot arrows and make them disperse.

Stretch out your hand from on high
and snatch me from the terrible flood;
to my God, I will sing a new song,
I will sing for his praise with the lyre.

Psalm 144 (Heb. 145)

Antiphon: I proclaim your greatness, O God,
I will bless your name evermore!

I proclaim your greatness, O God,
I will bless your name evermore.

I long to praise you every day,
I will bless your name evermore;
God is great and highly to be praised,
in his glory beyond compares

Every age will praise you for your deeds
and will tell the coming age of your might;
of your splendour and glory they will speak,
I will ponder the wonder of your deeds.

They admire the power of your hands,
while I exclaim: How great is our God!
They boast of the Lord in his love,
acclaiming your kindness with joy.

The Lord is merciful and good,
slow to anger, abounding in love;
the Lord is bounteous to all,
he has compassion on all that he has made.

All your creatures, Lord, give you thanks,
let your friends recount your deeds;
they will tell the glory of your might,
they will speak of the wonder of your power.

All shall hear of the marvels you have done,
of the splendour and glory of your reign;
for your kingdom is eternally a kingdom,
your dominion will endure evermore.

Our God is faithful when he speaks,
in all his works he is good;
he lifts up each soul in distress,
he raises up all who are down.

The eyes of all look to you in hope,
and you give in due time their food;
you open wide your hands
and satisfy their every desire.

The Lord is just in all his ways,
full of love in all that he does;
to those who call him he is near,
to all who invoke him in truth.

He supplies the needs of his friends,
he hears their cry and he saves,
the Lord keeps their souls in his love.

I will sing to the praise of the Lord
let all flesh give thanks to his name,
he is holy, now, evermore!

Psalm 145 (Heb. 146)

Antiphon: At all times the Lord is true,
he gives justice to all the oppressed.

Praise the Lord, O my soul,
I will praise the Lord while I live,
I will sing for my God while I endure.

In the princes of men put no trust,
for no human strength can save;
their breath spent, they return to the dust,
on that day their plans are in vain.

Happy man if Jacob's God is your help,
if your hope is the Lord our God;
his hands made the heavens and the earth,
with the sea and all that it contains.

He keeps faith, at all times he is true,
he gives justice to all the oppressed:
he offers the hungry bread,
the Lord sets the captives free.

The Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord raises all who are down,
the stranger and the homeless he defends,
both orphans and widows he sustains.

The Lord loves all who are just,
but the plans of the wicked he thwarts;
for ever the Lord is king,
O Zion, your God evermore!

Psalm 146 (Heb. 147A)

Antiphon: He heals the broken in heart,
he binds up all their wounds-

Praise the Lord, it is good to sing praise!
Sing for our God, it is right to adore!

The Lord restores Jerusalem again,
he makes the exiles return;
he heals the broken in heart,
he binds up all their wounds;
he tells the number of the stars,
and he calls them each by their name.

Truly, great and almighty is our God,
to his wisdom there are no bounds,
the Lord lifts up the lowly,
the wicked he casts to the ground;
sing, give thanks to the Lord,
give praise on the harp to our God.

For he robes the heavens in clouds
and pours out rain for the earth;
on the mountains the grass springs up,
many plants for the service of men;
he gives to the cattle their food,
to the young of the ravens that cry.

He takes no delight in a horse,
the strength of our bodies he ignores;
his delight is in those who adore him,
with all who trust in his love.

Psalm 147 (Heb. 147B)

Antiphon: Give the glory to God, Jerusalem,
and worship the Lord, Zion, sing praise!

Give the glory to God, Jerusalem,
and worship the Lord, Zion, sing praise-

He has made strong the bars of your gates,
he has bless'd all who live within your walls;
he preserves the land in perfect peace,
you are nourished with the finest of wheat.

He gives his commands to the earth,
and all his words are quickly obeyed;
for the snow like a blanket he spreads,
and like dust he scatters the frost.

He hurls down hailstones of ice,
no one can stand the cold that he sends;
he commands, the snow melts away,
winds blow, the streams flow again.

To his people the Word was proclaimed,
to Israel, his laws and decrees;
what other lands did he treat in this way?
Not one ever heard his commands.

Psalm 148

Antiphon; Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth!

Praise the Lord in the heavens,
praise the Lord in the height;
praise the Lord, angel choirs,
praise the Lord, all his mighty hosts!

Praise the Lord, sun and moon,
praise the Lord, stars of light;
praise the Lord, highest heavens,
praise the Lord, heavenly waters high!

Let them praise the name of God,
he commanded and they stood;
he established evermore
a law which shall never fail.

Praise the Lord from the earth,
sea-creatures in the deep;
fire and hail snow and mist,
storm and gale, you fulfil his word.

You mountains and all hills,
trees with fruit, cedars tall,
you creatures wild and tame,
crawling beasts, little birds that fly:

you kings and all mankind,
with the princes and the wise,
all girls and all young boys,
ancient heads and tiny babes:

praise the name of the Lord,
for his glory is supreme
and the splendour of his fame
rises far over all the earth.

He exalts his chosen race,
he is praised by all the saints,
he is bless'd in Israel's songs,
he is praised by his faithful friends.

Give glory to the Father
and glory to the Son,
give glory to the Spirit
now and evermore. Amen.

Psalm 149

Antiphon: The Lord delights in his own,
with triumph the humble he arrays.

Now sing a new song to the Lord,
offer praise in the gathering of the saints;
in his Maker, let Israel be glad,
let Zion's children rejoice in their king!

Let them praise his name in the dance,
let them sing with cymbals and harps;
for the Lord delights in his own,
with triumph the humble he arrays-

In glory let the faithful exult,
let them sing for joy through the night,
all the praise of God on their lips,
for that is the glory of his friends!

Psalm 150

Antiphon: Praise the Lord,
everything that lives!

Praise the Lord in the holiest of heights,
praise the Lord in his firmament of power,
praise the Lord for the wonder of his deeds,
praise the Lord, his glory is supreme!

Praise the Lord with a trumpet blast,
praise the Lord with the harp and the lyre,
praise the Lord with the strings and with flutes,
praise the Lord with dances and drums!

Praise the Lord, all cymbals resound!
Praise the Lord, loud cymbals resound!
Praise the Lord, everything that lives!
Praise the Lord! Praised be the Lord!


The Psalms were written to be sung. The present version was written with the singing-method of Father Gelineau in mind, a few of his melodies being included in this volume. However, it is also possible to have one or two soloists improvise on the words while the whole assembly regularly intervenes with some short chorus for example, the Berthier canons so widely used by the people who know Taize. In each line of these Psalms there are a number of 'focal points': usually 3, sometimes 2 or 4. It is the rhythmical progression of these 'points' that gives the musical structure. They should not be stressed unduly, although some emphasis is natural as the melodic line follows. The first word of a line is usually not one of these 'points', although it may be, while the final syllable of each line usually takes the value of a long note and is therefore the point of main emphasis. At times the final 'point' is a 'feminine' ending, the strong syllable being completed by a short weak one.
Parallelism is the basic structure of the Psalms, the old practice of dividing the assembly into two sections which alternate in reciting is a restful and meditative way of singing the longer texts. In this case, the usual division will be two lines, answered by two lines.

Antiphons, sung at the beginning and end of a Psalm, and after the Gloria, give a framework and expose either the theme of the Psalm or of the liturgical season. Antiphons for the liturgical year will be found at the end of this volume. The antiphons of most Psalms here are designed for use with the 'simple formulae', a single modulated line, which is usually preceded by a line in monotone. However, a certain number of antiphons are composed for the melodic antiphons which are part of the Gelineau system in its more developed form. It is hoped that it may be possible later to provide a musical edition of these antiphons, as well as a more complete musical system.

Simple Formulae
Any Psalm may be sung in unison following the treble voice of the following accompaniments. Each bar represents one line; in the case of 6 line Psalms, repeat the first two bars. In the case of 3 or 5 line groups, omit the penultimate bar. The Antiphon should be monotoned freely, pausing between the lines, up to the final cadence.


Melodic Formulae
These more melodic formulae may be sung in unison or in harmony by mixed voices. The first and second are for Psalms with regular lines of 3 'focal points' --the great majority-- having 3, 4, 5 or 6 line sections. The first melody is more meditative, the second more joyful. The third formula is for 4 line sections with lines of 3 and 2 focal points alternating.


Of the Melodic Formulae given here it can be said that the first  is used for Psalms 1, 62, 91. the second for Psalms 8, 32, 94, 112, 134, 149 and 150. The third may be used for Psalms 41, 42, 64, 96 and 99. Of course, each formula may also be used to sing many other Psalms, but in some cases, since this is not a 'singing edition' and the 'focal points' are not marked, some experimentation will be required.
    The first note for each line in these melodic formulae corresponds to any syllables coming before the first 'focal point' (stress); if the first syllable of  a line contains the first stress, the note is ignored in singing but should be played briefly in accompanying.

(for use with any psalm)

Advent: Almighty Lord, come and revive us,
shine upon us and we shall be saved.


Come, Lord, and visit us in peace.

Christmas: The Word was made flesh
and dwelt among us.


This is the sign of the great King,
salvation and Peace for the World.

Epiphany: The Magi worship the Child,
the joy of the world is in him.


All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.

Purification (Feb. 2): Lord, now let your servant depart in peace,

Lent: Return, O Lord, deliver my soul,
save me for the sake of your love.


Have pity on me, my strength is gone,
Lord, how long till you return?

Holy Week: Behold the Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of the world.


Give light to my eyes,
or they will close in death.

Easter: Alleluia, alleluia!


Christ is risen from the dead,
the first of all who have fallen asleep.

Ascension: Your love is high as the heavens,
Your faithfulness as the clouds.

Pentecost: The Holy Spirit will teach You everything,
He will lead you into all the truth.


Come Holy Spirit,
renew the face of the earth.

Trinity: Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God of heaven and earth.


Let us worship and proclaim
the wonder of the thrice-holy God.

Mary: The Almighty chose her for his wonders,
holy his name,


You are bless'd among women,
and bless'd is your child.

Saints: Whoever shall confess the name of Jesus,
God shall dwell in him and he in God


Their message covers the world,
good news to the ends of the earth,

Transfiguration (Aug. 6): In the shadow of the bright cloud,
 the glory of the living God!