Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Psalm 51 meditation: Allegri's Miserere

Psalm 51:1-18    Miserere mei, Deus

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your
                            loving-kindness; *
    in your great compassion blot out my offenses.

2 Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
    and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions, *
    and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against you only have I sinned *
    and done what is evil in your sight.

5 And so you are justified when you speak *
    and upright in your judgment.

6 Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *
    a sinner from my mother's womb.

7 For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *
    and will make me understand wisdom secretly

8 Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *
    wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.

9 Make me hear of joy and gladness, *
    that the body you have broken may rejoice.

10 Hide your face from my sins *
    and blot out all my iniquities.

11Create in me a clean heart, O God, *
    and renew a right spirit within me.

12 Cast me not away from your presence *
    and take not your holy Spirit from me.

13 Give me the joy of your saving help again *
    and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.

14 I shall teach your ways to the wicked, *
    and sinners shall return to you.

15 Deliver me from death, O God, *
    and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness,
    O God of my salvation.

16 Open my lips, O Lord, *
    and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

17 Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice, *
    but you take no delight in burnt-offerings.

18 The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; *
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

(Thankful to http://www.bcponline.org/ for making the psalm text available online.)

To read more on the Allegri Miserere or to read the Latin text of the psalm, you can go to the site where I first listened to this particular recording of the setting: