Friday, March 30, 2018

Psalm for Good Friday: "My God look apon me why has thou forsaken me"

Psalm 22 (from the parish psalter, verses one to twenty-three)

My God, my God, look upon me; why hast thou forsaken me: and art so far from my health, and from the words of my complaint?
2)  O my God, I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not: and in the night-season also I take no rest.
3)  And thou continuest holy: O thou worship of Israel.
4) Our fathers hoped in thee: they trusted in thee, and thou didst deliver them.
5) They called upon thee, and were holpen: they put their trust in thee, and were not confounded.
6) But as for me, I am a worm, and no man: a very scorn of men, and the outcast of the people.
7) All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying,
8) He trusted in God, that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, if he will have him.
9) But thou art he that took me out of my mother's womb: thou wast my hope, when I hanged yet upon my mother's breasts.
10) I have been left unto thee ever since I was born: thou art my God, even from my mother's womb.
11) O go not from me, for trouble is hard at hand: and there is none to help me.
12) Many oxen are come about me: fat bulls of Basan close me in on every side.
13) They gape upon me with their mouths: as it were a ramping and a roaring lion.
14) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart also in the midst of my body is even like melting wax.
15) My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my gums: and thou shalt bring me into the dust of death.
16) For many dogs are come about me: and the council of the wicked layeth siege against me.
17) They pierced my hands and my feet; I may tell all my bones: they stand staring and looking upon me.
18) They part my garments among them: and cast lots upon my vesture.
19) But be not thou far from me, O Lord: thou art my succour, haste thee to help me.
20) Deliver my soul from the sword: my darling from the power of the dog.
21) Save me from the lion's mouth: thou hast heard me also from among the horns of the unicorns.
22 I will declare thy Name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23) O praise the Lord, ye that fear him: magnify him, all ye of the seed of Jacob, and fear him, all ye seed of Israel.

Here are these words set to a chant composed by S.S. Wesley and sung about fifty years ago by the choir of King's College, Cambridge directed and accompanied by Sir David Willcocks on the organ.

(The painting is "Christ on the Cross" by Peter Paul Rubens.)

1 comment:

Chris Whiteside said...

This psalm, which was quoted by Jesus on the cross and reflects his position at that time to an extreme degree, is offered as a meditation for those who already believe that Jesus was the son of God and not as an attempt to convince those who do not. I'm very happy to have that debate on another occasion.