I hadn’t intended to try to make up missed posts, but this one presented itself this evening.
How could I have forgotten? Well, I didn’t–not really. But tonight’s Office of evening prayer featured both Psalms 36 and 130, the themes of which are mercy and…mercy. This repetition of the notion of mercy always puts me in mind of Mary Gauthier’s “Mercy Now.”
However, I know Psalm 130 best through John Rutter’s musical setting of it in his exquisite, painful, and yet reassuring Requiem. After my beloved and prized great-grandmother, Grandma Gracie, died in 1983, and we could not go to see her or even attend her funeral, it took me many years to process her loss, and one of the key factors in that processing was Rutter’s Requiem the first time I heard it, on the late KFAC 92.3 FM, in the wee small hours of the night.
The lyrics of this piece are Psalm 130 verbatim, in my favorite version–old-school Shakespeare-style poetry, and you can listen here, if you’re so inclined (turn up the volume):
Out Of The Deep (Psalm 130)
Out of the deep have I called unto thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
O let thine ears consider well the voice of my complaint.
If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss:
O Lord, who may abide it?
For there is mercy with thee: therefore shalt thou be feared.
I look to the Lord; my soul doth wait for him,
and in his word is my trust.
My soul fleeth unto the Lord: before the morning watch, I say,
before the morning watch.
O Israel trust in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy:
and with him is plenteous redemption.
And he shall redeem Israel from all his sins.