Category Archives: Psalms

Beati quorum remissae (Psalm 32) – Wadsworth

“Beati quorum remissae” by American composer Zachary Wadsworth (b. 1983) is a setting of portions of Psalm 32, the second of the seven Penitential Psalms. This intense setting alternates the English text with the Latin. It begins with verse 3 which relates to us the consequences of remaining silent and keeping our sins to ourselves. While I held my tongue, my bones withered awaybecause of my groaning all day long.… Read More »

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God” (Psalm 51) – Handel

The importance of Psalm 51 in Christian music and faith cannot be underestimated. It is significant in that it provides for us an example of deep and heartfelt repentance which is at the heart of our faith. The story involves a king who after having an adulterous affair and getting a woman pregnant, gets wrapped up in an elaborate cover-up that leads to deceit, treachery, murder, and despair. The full… Read More »

I Will Lift up Mine Eyes (Psalm 121) – Walford Davies

Having grown up in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, Psalm 121 has always been a favorite: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills.” We were literally surrounded by mountains. In the distance on either end of the valley the mountains cascaded over each other in infinite shades of blue and green. As we looked southeast towards Mt. Hagen, we could see the rugged mountain range over which the… Read More »

Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge (Psalm 90) – Vaughan Williams

Below is a link to a video of “Lord, Thou Has Been Our Refuge,” a setting of Psalm 90 by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). In this setting Vaughan Williams combines an original setting of Psalm 90 with the great hymn “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” a paraphrase of Psalm 90 by Isaac Watts (1674-1748). The complete text of Vaughan William’s setting is below the video. You will note… Read More »

O Come, Let Us Sing Unto the Lord” (Psalm 95) – Handel

The Chandos Anthems by Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759) are among the hidden gems of sacred music. Here is a setting of selected verses of Psalm 95. Psalm 95 is an exhortation to sing and praise God for all He is and all that He does. For this work Handel uses five verses from Psalm 95 and adds to them selected verses of similar sentiment from other psalms. The verses used… Read More »