Psalm 32, 31 Mar ’19

Psalm 32 (31 Vulg.) seen on the choir stalls of an old church in northern France during a cycling tour. Click on image to expand and see the familiar refrain and chanting tone arrangement with variations.

Psalm 32 is one of the psalms of penitence — this theme takes up the first half of the song — but also of refuge: “You are my hiding-place” (vv. 6 -7).

Then it changes direction, breaks into other riffs of guidance or wisdom (8-9) and finally circling back to the initial theme of thanksgiving.

Of the seven traditional penitentials, David in this song is particularly conscious of personal failings, confession and forgiveness. A tweet by Ben Myers summarising the psalms captured it cleverly with a positive twist:

Psalm 32: When I finally got the courage to confess my sins, I discovered You weren’t even listening. You were singing to me. #psalmtweets

Throughout, a strong sense forgiveness after error is a cause for rejoicing.

🎵

Psalms for all seasons suggests You are my hiding place, which many groups will enjoy.

Together in Song offers a very traditional 17th century hymn How blest are those, TiS 20.

A memorable and lilting Isaac Everett antiphon draws on the prayer guidance for guidance in verse 8 with, chords slipping easily from minor to relative major sequences and back again in short order:

Emin                C                    F                                    B
Show me the way to go,  counsel me with your eye upon me

If a few good sight-readers are available, two short trios are worth a look:

Ps32Lassus

  • Orlando di Lasso, Dixi confitebor, verse 5 only; starts simply but becomes more complex; excerpt shown in the illustration. Readers may recall that Lassus wrote a famous and impressively ambitious set of Penitential Psalms with one motet per verse.
  • Thomas Tomkins, Blessed is he, verses 1 and 2.

One thought on “Psalm 32, 31 Mar ’19

  1. Will be there Brendan. Lyn G.

    On Mon, 25 Mar. 2019, 11:00 am Psalms in the South BrendO posted: ” Psalm 32 is one of the psalms of penitence — this theme > takes up the first half of the song — but also of refuge: “You are my > hiding-place” (vv. 6 -7). Then it changes direction, breaks into other > riffs of guidance or wisdom (8-9) and finally cir” >

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