Monday, April 15, 2013

Tenebrae/33 - Psalm 91



The Third Nocturn of Tenebrae for Holy Saturday is entirely composed of psalms we have already looked at earlier in this series (viz Psalms 53, 75 and 87), so today we move onto the Lauds section of Tenebrae for Holy Saturday.

Psalm 91 is an obvious pick for Holy Saturday since its title suggests that in the Jewish tradition it was said on the Sabbath (ie Saturday), and it is believed that it was said while the Sabbath sacrifice of the lamb took place.  The Old Roman Office (ie pre-1911) retained that position for it; interestingly though, St Benedict actually places it at Lauds on Friday instead, as a symbol  that it is on Fridays that the saving sacrifice of Christ occurs.

It is, though, one of those psalms that encompasses several different messages, and is, on the whole, a rather upbeat hymn that points to the coming Resurrection.

In this psalm, I think we are called on to contemplate the deep mystery of God’s plan (vs 5). The fool, the psalmist states in verse 6, fails to understand: to him, St Paul points out, the Cross is a scandal.

Yet the Cross enables all of us to be reconciled to God through Christ. Indeed, the Fathers interpreted verse 10, talking about the exaltation of the horn of the unicorn, as a direct reference to Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Horned animals were sacrificed to God, as Our Lord became the Lamb of God on the Cross.

Psalm 91

Psalm 91 (92): Bonum est confiteri Dominum

Vulgate
Douay-Rheims
Psalmus cantici, in die sabbati.
A psalm of a canticle on the sabbath day.
1 Bonum est confitéri dómino: * et psállere nómini tuo, altíssime.
It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to your name, O most High.
2  Ad annuntiándum mane misericórdiam tuam: * et veritátem tuam per noctem
3 To show forth your mercy in the morning, and your truth in the night:
3  In decachórdo, psaltério: * cum cántico, in cíthara.
4 Upon an instrument of ten strings, upon the psaltery: with a canticle upon the harp.
4. Quia delectásti me, Dómine, in factúra tua: * et in opéribus mánuum tuárum exsultábo.
5 For you have given me, O Lord, a delight in your doings: and in the works of your hands I shall rejoice.
5  Quam magnificáta sunt ópera tua, Dómine! * nimis profúndæ factæ sunt cogitatiónes tuæ
6 O Lord, how great are your works! your thoughts are exceeding deep.
6  Vir insípiens non cognóscet: * et stultus non intélliget hæc.
7 The senseless man shall not know: nor will the fool understand these things.
7  Cum exórti fúerint peccatóres sicut fœnum: * et apparúerint omnes, qui operántur iniquitátem.
8 When the wicked shall spring up as grass: and all the workers of iniquity shall appear:
8  Ut intéreant in sæculum sæculi: * tu autem Altíssimus in ætérnum, Dómine.
That they may perish for ever and ever: 9 But you, O Lord, are most high for evermore.
9  Quóniam ecce inimíci tui, Dómine, quóniam ecce inimíci tui períbunt: * et dispergéntur omnes, qui operántur iniquitátem.
10 For behold your enemies, O lord, for behold your enemies shall perish: and all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
10. Et exaltábitur sicut unicórnis cornu meum: * et senéctus mea in misericórdia úberi.
11 But my horn shall be exalted like that of the unicorn: and my old age in plentiful mercy.
11  Et despéxit óculus meus inimícos meos: * et in insurgéntibus in me malignántibus áudiet auris mea.
12 My eye also has looked down upon my enemies: and my ear shall hear of the downfall of the malignant that rise up against me.
12  Justus, ut palma florébit: * sicut cedrus Líbani multiplicábitur.
13 The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Libanus.
13  Plantáti in domo Dómini, *  in átriis domus Dei nostri florébunt.
14 They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God.
14  Adhuc multiplicabúntur in senécta úberi: * et bene patiéntes erunt,  ut annúntient:
15 They shall still increase in a fruitful old age: and shall be well treated, 16 that they may show,
15  Quóniam rectus Dóminus, Deus noster: * et non est iníquitas in eo.
That the Lord our God is righteous, and there is no iniquity in him.

Tenebrae of Holy Saturday

Nocturn I: Psalms 4, 14, 15
Nocturn II: Psalms 23, 26, 29
Nocturn III: Psalms 53*, 75*, 87*
Lauds: 50*, 91, 63, [Is 38], 150

And for the next part in this series, go here.

No comments:

Post a Comment