Sunday, September 12, 2010

Psalm for a Rainy Sunday Afternoon

I sang a sparer, far less elegant version of Psalm 51 yesterday evening at the vigil Mass. The Miserere — from the first word in the Latin translation of this psalm - is one of my favorite psalms, despite its penitential character. I appreciate having words to directly acknowledge the ways I fail — no waffling — but I also love the way the psalmist pleas, not just for mercy, not just for forgiveness, but for wisdom, for growth.

It's rainy and cool here today — a soft healing rain that we need badly, a surcease from the heat of summer. This somber, gentle arrangement of Psalm 51 - Bach's riff on Pergolesi's Stabat Mater - fit my contemplative mood.

Pergolesi's Stabat Mater is another favorite. When I made the Long Retreat, one of the other three women along wanted music to accompany her through the contemplations of the Passion. I (who wanted utter shattering silence) lent her my iPod for the week, loaded with the music she'd wanted (Bach's St. Matthew's Passion) plus the rest of my Lenten list, and a note saying that if she needed help with the device to ask our mutual director for help. A couple of days later, my director wanted to know just how many different versions of the Stabat Mater I'd left Yvonne! More than I could tell him offhand....

Cross posted from the RevGalBlogPals.

Related posts:

1. Dangerous Mirrors (thoughts about Allegri's setting of Psalm 51)
2. All things counter, original, spare, strange


  1. I've just listened to both - beautiful - but not sure that's where I want to go on retreat.

  2. I promise not to leave such a playlist outside your room!

  3. The rain was needed and came during set up at Doylestown and caused for one of the worse days we have ever had at a show... but it was so needed. And it forced us to look at the weekend as a whole. Not just parts.

  4. I would love to know what your different playlists were for different liturgical seasons and the like. That could make for an interesting post. :) Pretty please?