Example 12: Psalm 139 (Hallock)

Words: The Book of Common Prayer 1979.
Music: Peter R. Hallock (b. 1924), written mid-1980s.

Recording: The Compline Choir, CD “Feathers of Green Gold,” 1994.

(the first half of verse 1 is used as an antiphon before and after the psalm)

Lord, you have searched me out and known me; *
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.

You trace my journeys and my resting‑places *
and are acquainted with all my ways.

Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *
but you, O Lord, know it altogether.

You press upon me behind and before *
and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *
it is so high that I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go then from your Spirit? *
where can I flee from your presence?

If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

If I take the wings of the morning *
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there your hand will lead me *
and your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, *
and the light around me turn to night,”

Darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day; *
darkness and light to you are both alike.

For you yourself created my inmost parts; *
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I will thank you because I am marvelously made; *
your works are wonderful, and I know it well.

My body was not hidden from you, *
while I was being made in secret
and woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
all of them were written in your book; *
they were fashioned day by day,
when as yet there was none of them.

How deep I find your thoughts, O God! *
how great is the sum of them!

If I were to count them, they would be more in number than the sand; *
to count them all, my life span would need to be like yours.

Oh, that you would slay the wicked, O God! *
You that thirst for blood, depart from me.

They speak despitefully against you; *
your enemies take your Name in vain.

Do I not hate those, O Lord, who hate you? *
and do I not loathe those who rise up against you?

I hate them with a perfect hatred; *
they have become my own enemies.

Search me out, O God, and know my heart; *
try me and know my restless thoughts.

Look well whether there be any wickedness in me *
and lead me in the way that is everlasting.

Back: Example 11: O Christ, you are both light and dayNext: Example 13: Slowly the rays of daylight fade

One thought on “Example 12: Psalm 139 (Hallock)

  1. Pingback: The monks of Broadway | Another Year of Insanity

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