Fifty Shortest Psalms in the Psalter
FIFTY SHORTEST PSALMS IN THE PSALTER
Penitents who are living the Rule of 1221 are bound by Article 23 to pray for the deceased. The Article states "Thereupon each member within eight days of the demise shall say for the soul of the deceased: a Mass, if he is a priest; fifty psalms, if he understands the Psalter, or, if not, then fifty Our Fathers with the Requiem aternam at the end of each."
Any fifty psalms may be chosen. Those with time constraints may appreciate knowing that the following fifty shortest psalms in the psalter may be prayed to fulfill this Article of our Rule.
FIFTY SHORTEST PSALMS IN THE PSALTER
Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked, nor go the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers. Rather, the law of the LORD is their joy; God's law they study day and night. They are like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season; its leaves never wither; whatever they do prospers. But not the wicked! They are like chaff driven by the wind. Therefore the wicked will not survive judgment, nor will sinners in the assembly of the just. The LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.
How many are my foes, LORD! How many rise against me! How many say of me, "God will not save that one." Selah But you, LORD, are a shield around me; my glory, you keep my head high. Whenever I cried out to the LORD, I was answered from the holy mountain. Selah. Whenever I lay down and slept, the LORD preserved me to rise again. I do not fear, then, thousands of people arrayed against me on every side. Arise, LORD! Save me, my God! You will shatter the jaws of all my foes; you will break the teeth of the wicked. Safety comes from the LORD! Your blessing for your people! Selah
Answer when I call, my saving God. In my troubles, you cleared a way; show me favor; hear my prayer. How long will you people mock my honor, love what is worthless, chase after lies? Selah Know that the LORD works wonders for the faithful; the LORD hears when I call out. Tremble and do not sin; upon your beds ponder in silence. Offer fitting sacrifice and trust in the LORD. Many say, "May we see better times! LORD, show us the light of your face!" Selah But you have given my heart more joy than they have when grain and wine abound. In peace I shall both lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me secure.
O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth! You have set your majesty above the heavens! Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have drawn a defense against your foes, to silence enemy and avenger. When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place-- What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them little less than a god, crowned them with glory and honor. You have given them rule over the works of your hands, put all things at their feet: all sheep and oxen, even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatever swims the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how awesome is your name through all the earth!
In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to me, "Flee like a bird to the mountains! See how the wicked string their bows, fit their arrows to the string to shoot from the shadows at the upright. When foundations are being destroyed, what can the upright do?" The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD'S throne is in heaven. God's eyes keep careful watch; they test all peoples. The LORD tests the good and the bad, hates those who love violence, and rains upon the wicked fiery coals and brimstone, a scorching wind their allotted cup. The LORD is just and loves just deeds; the upright shall see his face.
Help, LORD, for no one loyal remains; the faithful have vanished from the human race. Those who tell lies to one another speak with deceiving lips and a double heart. May the LORD cut off all deceiving lips, and every boastful tongue, those who say, "By our tongues we prevail; when our lips speak, who can lord it over us?" "Because they rob the weak, and the needy groan, I will now arise," says the LORD; "I will grant safety to whoever longs for it." The promises of the LORD are sure, silver refined in a crucible, silver purified seven times. LORD, protect us always; preserve us from this generation. On every side the wicked strut; the shameless are extolled by all.
How long, LORD? Will you utterly forget me? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I carry sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look upon me, answer me, LORD, my God! Give light to my eyes lest I sleep in death, lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed," lest my foes rejoice at my downfall. I trust in your faithfulness. Grant my heart joy in your help, That I may sing of the LORD, how good our God has been to me!"
Fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." Their deeds are loathsome and corrupt; not one does what is right. The LORD looks down from heaven upon the human race, To see if even one is wise, if even one seeks God. All have gone astray; all alike are perverse. Not one does what is right, not even one. Will these evildoers never learn? They devour my people as they devour bread; they do not call upon the LORD. They have good reason, then, to fear; God is with the company of the just. They would crush the hopes of the poor, but the poor have the LORD as their refuge. Oh, that from Zion might come the deliverance of Israel, that Jacob may rejoice, and Israel be glad when the LORD restores his people!
LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy mountain? Whoever walks without blame, doing what is right, speaking truth from the heart; who does not slander a neighbor, does no harm to another, never defames a friend; who disdains the wicked, but honors those who fear the LORD; who keeps an oath despite the cost, lends no money at interest, accepts no bribe against the innocent. Whoever acts like this shall never be shaken.
The LORD answer you in time of distress; the name of the God of Jacob defend you! May God send you help from the temple, from Zion be your support. May God remember your every offering, graciously accept your holocaust, Selah grant what is in your heart, fulfill your every plan. May we shout for joy at your victory, raise the banners in the name of our God. The LORD grant your every prayer! Now I know victory is given to the anointed of the LORD. God will answer him from the holy heavens with a strong arm that brings victory. Some rely on chariots, others on horses, but we on the name of the LORD our God. They collapse and fall, but we stand strong and firm. LORD, grant victory to the king; answer when we call upon you.
The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me; you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name. Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage. You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.
To you, LORD, I call; my Rock, do not be deaf to me. If you fail to answer me, I will join those who go down to the pit. Hear the sound of my pleading when I cry to you, lifting my hands toward your holy place. Do not drag me off with the wicked, with those who do wrong, Who speak peace to their neighbors though evil is in their hearts. Repay them for their deeds, for the evil that they do. For the work of their hands repay them; give them what they deserve. They pay no heed to the LORD'S works, to the deeds of God's hands. God will tear them down, never to be rebuilt. Blessed be the LORD, who has heard the sound of my pleading. The LORD is my strength and my shield, in whom my heart trusted and found help. So my heart rejoices; with my song I praise my God. LORD, you are the strength of your people, the saving refuge of your anointed king. Save your people, bless your inheritance; feed and sustain them forever!
Grant me justice, God; defend me from a faithless people; from the deceitful and unjust rescue me. You, God, are my strength. Why then do you spurn me? Why must I go about mourning, with the enemy oppressing me? Send your light and fidelity, that they may be my guide And bring me to your holy mountain, to the place of your dwelling, that I may come to the altar of God, to God, my joy, my delight. Then I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God. Why are you downcast, my soul? Why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God.
All you peoples, clap your hands; shout to God with joyful cries. For the LORD, the Most High, inspires awe, the great king overall the earth, who made people subject to us, brought nations under our feet, who chose a land for our heritage, the glory of Jacob, the beloved. Selah God mounts the throne amid shouts of joy; the LORD, amid trumpet blasts. Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise. God is king over all the earth; sing hymns of praise. God rules over the nations; God sits upon his holy throne. The princes of the peoples assemble with the people of the God of Abraham. For the rulers of the earth belong to God, who is enthroned on high.
Why do you glory in evil, you scandalous liar? All day long you plot destruction; your tongue is like a sharpened razor, you skilful deceiver. You love evil rather than good, lies rather than honest speech. Selah You love any word that destroys, you deceitful tongue. Now God will strike you down, leave you crushed forever, Pluck you from your tent, uproot you from the land of the living. Selah The righteous will look on with awe; they will jeer and say: "That one did not take God as a refuge, but trusted in great wealth, relied on devious plots." But I, like an olive tree in the house of God, trust in God's faithful love forever. I will praise you always for what you have done. I will proclaim before the faithful that your name is good.
Fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." Their deeds are loathsome and corrupt; not one does what is right. God looks down from heaven upon the human race, To see if even one is wise, if even one seeks God. All have gone astray; all alike are perverse. Not one does what is right, not even one. Will these evildoers never learn? They devour my people as they devour bread; they do not call upon God. They have good reason to fear, though now they do not fear. For God will certainly scatter the bones of the godless. They will surely be put to shame, for God has rejected them. Oh, that from Zion might come the deliverance of Israel, That Jacob may rejoice and Israel be glad when God restores the people!
O God, by your name save me. By your strength defend my cause. O God, hear my prayer. Listen to the words of my mouth. The arrogant have risen against me; the ruthless seek my life; they do not keep God before them. Selah God is present as my helper; the Lord sustains my life. Turn back the evil upon my foes; in your faithfulness, destroy them. Then I will offer you generous sacrifice and praise your gracious name, LORD, because it has rescued me from every trouble, and my eyes look down on my foes.
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer! From the brink of Sheol I call; my heart grows faint. Raise me up, set me on a rock, for you are my refuge, a tower of strength against the foe. Then I will ever dwell in your tent, take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah O God, when you accept my vows and hear the plea of those who revere your name in prayer: "Add to the days of the king's life; may his years be many generations; May he reign before God forever; may your love and fidelity preserve him"-- Then I will sing your name forever, fulfill my vows day after day.
May God be gracious to us and bless us; may God's face shine upon us. Selah So shall your rule be known upon the earth, your saving power among all the nations. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you! May the nations be glad and shout for joy; for you govern the peoples justly, you guide the nations upon the earth. Selah May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. May God bless us still; that the ends of the earth may revere our God.
Graciously rescue me, God! Come quickly to help me, LORD! Confound and put to shame those who seek my life. Turn back in disgrace those who desire my ruin. Let those who say "Aha!" turn back in their shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. May those who long for your help always say, "God be glorified!" Here I am, afflicted and poor. God, come quickly! You are my help and deliverer. LORD, do not delay!
God rises in the divine council, gives judgment in the midst of the gods. "How long will you judge unjustly and favor the cause of the wicked? Selah Defend the lowly and fatherless; render justice to the afflicted and needy. Rescue the lowly and poor; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." The gods neither know nor understand, wandering about in darkness, and all the world's foundations shake. I declare: "Gods though you be, offspring of the Most High all of you, yet like any mortal you shall die; like any prince you shall fall." Arise, O God, judge the earth, for yours are all the nations.
The LORD loves the city founded on holy mountains, loves the gates of Zion more than any dwelling in Jacob. Glorious things are said of you, O city of God! Selah From Babylon and Egypt I count those who acknowledge the LORD. Philistia, Ethiopia, Tyre, of them it can be said: "This one was born there." But of Zion it must be said: "They all were born here." The Most High confirms this; the Lord notes in the register of the peoples: "This one was born here." Selah So all sing in their festive dance: "Within you is my true home."
The LORD is king, robed with majesty; the LORD is robed, girded with might. The world will surely stand in place, never to be moved. Your throne stands firm from of old; you are from everlasting, LORD. The flood has raised up, LORD; the flood has raised up its roar; the flood has raised its pounding waves. More powerful than the roar of many waters, more powerful than the breakers of the sea, powerful in the heavens is the LORD. Your decrees are firmly established; holiness belongs to your house, LORD, for all the length of days.
Sing a new song to the LORD, who has done marvelous deeds, Whose right hand and holy arm have won the victory. The LORD has made his victory known; has revealed his triumph for the nations to see, has remembered faithful love toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth; break into song; sing praise. Sing praise to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and melodious song. With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout with joy to the King, the LORD. Let the sea and what fills it resound, the world and those who dwell there. Let the rivers clap their hands, the mountains shout with them for joy, before the LORD who comes, who comes to govern the earth, To govern the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.
The LORD is king, the peoples tremble; God is enthroned on the cherubim, the earth quakes. The LORD is great on Zion, exalted above all the peoples. Let them praise your great and awesome name: Holy is God! O mighty king, lover of justice, you alone have established fairness; you have created just rule in Jacob. Exalt the LORD, our God; bow down before his footstool; holy is God! Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel among those who called on God's name; they called on the LORD, who answered them. From the pillar of cloud God spoke to them; they kept the decrees, the law they received. O LORD, our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God, though you punished their offences. Exalt the LORD, our God; bow down before his holy mountain; holy is the LORD, our God.
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; worship the LORD with cries of gladness; come before him with joyful song. Know that the LORD is God, our maker to whom we belong, whose people we are, God's well-tended flock. Enter the temple gates with praise, its courts with thanksgiving. Give thanks to God, bless his name; good indeed is the LORD, Whose love endures forever, whose faithfulness lasts through every age.
I sing of love and justice; to you, LORD, I sing praise. I follow the way of integrity; when will you come to me? I act with integrity of heart within my royal court. I do not allow into my presence anyone who speaks perversely. Whoever acts shamefully I hate; no such person can be my friend. I shun the devious of heart; the wicked I do not tolerate. Whoever slanders another in secret I reduce to silence. Haughty eyes and arrogant hearts I cannot endure. I look to the faithful of the land; they alone can be my companions. Those who follow the way of integrity, they alone can enter my service. No one who practices deceit can hold a post in my court. No one who speaks falsely can be among my advisors. Each morning I clear the wicked from the land, and rid the LORD'S city of all evildoers.
The LORD says to you, my lord: "Take your throne at my right hand, while I make your enemies your footstool." The scepter of your sovereign might the LORD will extend from Zion. The LORD says: "Rule over your enemies! Yours is princely power from the day of your birth. In holy splendor before the daystar, like the dew I begot you." The LORD has sworn and will not waver: "Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever." At your right hand is the Lord, who crushes kings on the day of wrath, who, robed in splendor, judges nations, crushes heads across the wide earth, who drinks from the brook by the wayside and thus holds high the head.
Hallelujah! Praise, you servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD both now and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting let the name of the LORD be praised. High above all nations is the LORD; above the heavens God's glory. Who is like the LORD, our God enthroned on high, looking down on heaven and earth? The LORD raises the needy from the dust, lifts the poor from the ash heap, seats them with princes, the princes of the people, gives the childless wife a home, the joyful mother of children. Hallelujah!
When Israel came forth from Egypt, the house of Jacob from an alien people, Judah became God's holy place, Israel, God's domain. The sea beheld and fled; the Jordan turned back. The mountains skipped like rams; the hills, like lambs of the flock. Why was it, sea, that you fled; Jordan, that you turned back? You mountains, that you skipped like rams? You hills, like lambs of the flock? Tremble, earth, before the Lord, before the God of Jacob, who turned rock into pools of water, stone into flowing springs.
Praise the LORD, all you nations! Give glory, all you peoples! The LORD'S love for us is strong; the LORD is faithful forever. Hallelujah!
The LORD answered me when I called in my distress: LORD, deliver me from lying lips, from treacherous tongues. What will the Lord inflict on you, O treacherous tongue, and what more besides? A warrior's sharpened arrows and fiery coals of brush wood! Alas, I was an alien in Meshech, I lived near the tents of Kedar! Too long did I live among those who hated peace. When I spoke of peace, they were for war.
I raise my eyes toward the mountains. From where will my help come? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. God will not allow your foot to slip; your guardian does not sleep. Truly, the guardian of Israel never slumbers nor sleeps. The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. By day the sun cannot harm you, nor the moon by night. The LORD will guard you from all evil, will always guard your life. The LORD will guard your coming and going both now and forever.
I rejoiced when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD." and now our feet are standing within your gates, Jerusalem. Jerusalem, built as a city, walled round about. Here the tribes have come, the tribes of the LORD, As it was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. Here are the thrones of justice, the thrones of the house of David. For the peace of Jerusalem pray: "May those who love you prosper! May peace be within your ramparts, prosperity within your towers." For family and friends I say, "May peace be yours." For the house of the LORD, our God, I pray, "May blessings be yours."
To you I raise my eyes, to you enthroned in heaven. Yes, like the eyes of a servant on the hand of his master, Like the eyes of a maid on the hand of her mistress, So our eyes are on the LORD our God, till we are shown favor. Show us favor, LORD, show us favor, for we have our fill of contempt. We have our fill of insult from the insolent, of disdain from the arrogant.
Had not the LORD been with us, let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us, when people rose against us, they would have swallowed us alive, for their fury blazed against us. The waters would have engulfed us, the torrent overwhelmed us; seething waters would have drowned us. Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us to be torn by their fangs. We escaped with our lives like a bird from the fowler's snare; the snare was broken and we escaped. Our help is the name of the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
Like Mount Zion are they who trust in the LORD, unshakeable, forever enduring. As mountains surround Jerusalem, the LORD surrounds his people both now and forever. The scepter of the wicked will not prevail in the land given to the just, Lest the just themselves turn their hands to evil. Do good, LORD, to the good, to those who are upright of heart. But those who turn aside to crooked ways may the LORD send down with the wicked. Peace upon Israel!
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, then we thought we were dreaming. Our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD had done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us; Oh, how happy we were! Restore again our fortunes, LORD, like the dry stream beds of the Negeb. Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy. Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, Will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves.
Unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build. Unless the LORD guard the city, in vain does the guard keep watch. It is vain for you to rise early and put off your rest at night, To eat bread earned by hard toil-- all this God gives to his beloved in sleep. Children too are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate.
Happy are all who fear the LORD, who walk in the ways of God. What your hands provide you will enjoy; you will be happy and prosper: like a fruitful vine your wife within your home, like olive plants your children around your table. Just so will they be blessed who fear the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Zion, all the days of your life That you may share Jerusalem's joy and live to see your children's children. Peace upon Israel!
Much have they oppressed me from my youth, now let Israel say. Much have they oppressed me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed. Upon my back the plowers plowed, as they traced their long furrows. But the just LORD cut me free from the ropes of the yoke of the wicked. May they be scattered in disgrace, all who hate Zion. May they be like grass on the rooftops withered in early growth, never to fill the reaper's hands, nor the arms of the binders of sheaves, with none passing by to call out: "The blessing of the LORD be upon you! We bless you in the name of the LORD!"
Out of the depths I call to you, LORD; Lord, hear my cry! May your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, LORD, mark our sins, Lord, who can stand? But with you is forgiveness and so you are revered. I wait with longing for the LORD, my soul waits for his word. My soul looks for the Lord more than sentinels for daybreak. More than sentinels for daybreak, let Israel look for the LORD, For with the LORD is kindness, with him is full redemption, and God will redeem Israel from all their sins.
LORD, my heart is not proud; nor are my eyes haughty. I do not busy myself with great matters, with things too sublime for me. Rather, I have stilled my soul, hushed it like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother's lap, so is my soul within me. Israel, hope in the LORD, now and forever.
How good it is, how pleasant, where the people dwell as one! Like precious ointment on the head, running down upon the beard, upon the beard of Aaron, upon the collar of his robe. Like dew of Hermon coming down upon the mountains of Zion. There the LORD has lavished blessings, life for evermore!
Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD Who stand in the house of the LORD through the long hours of night. Lift up your hands toward the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. May the LORD who made heaven and earth bless you from Zion.
By the rivers of Babylon we sat mourning and weeping when we remembered Zion. On the poplars of that land we hung up our harps. There our captors asked us for the words of a song; our tormentors, for a joyful song: "Sing for us a song of Zion!" But how could we sing a song of the LORD in a foreign land? If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand wither. May my tongue stick to my palate if I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem beyond all my delights. Remember, LORD, against Edom that day at Jerusalem. They said: "Level it, level it down to its foundations!" Fair Babylon, you destroyer, happy those who pay you back the evil you have done us! Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock.
I thank you, LORD, with all my heart; before the gods to you I sing. I bow low toward your holy temple; I praise your name for your fidelity and love. For you have exalted over all your name and your promise. When I cried out, you answered; you strengthened my spirit. All the kings of earth will praise you, LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth. They will sing of the ways of the LORD: "How great is the glory of the LORD!" The LORD is on high, but cares for the lowly and knows the proud from afar. Though I walk in the midst of dangers, you guard my life when my enemies rage. You stretch out your hand; your right hand saves me. The LORD is with me to the end. LORD, your love endures forever. Never forsake the work of your hands!
With full voice I cry to the LORD; with full voice I beseech the LORD. Before God I pour out my complaint, lay bare my distress. My spirit is faint within me, but you know my path. Along the way I walk they have hidden a trap for me. I look to my right hand, but no friend is there. There is no escape for me; no one cares for me. I cry out to you, LORD, I say, You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Listen to my cry for help, for I am brought very low. Rescue me from my pursuers, for they are too strong for me. Lead me out of my prison, that I may give thanks to your name. Then the just shall gather around me because you have been good to me.
Hallelujah! Sing to the LORD a new song, a hymn in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel be glad in their maker, the people of Zion rejoice in their king. Let them praise his name in festive dance, make music with tambourine and lyre. For the LORD takes delight in his people, honors the poor with victory. Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, cry out for joy at their banquet, with the praise of God in their mouths, and a two-edged sword in their hands, to bring retribution on the nations, punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains, shackle their nobles with irons, to execute the judgments decreed for them-- such is the glory of all God's faithful. Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy sanctuary; give praise in the mighty dome of heaven. Give praise for his mighty deeds, praise him for his great majesty. Give praise with blasts upon the horn, praise him with harp and lyre. Give praise with tambourines and dance, praise him with flutes and strings. Give praise with crashing cymbals, praise him with sounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath give praise to the LORD! Hallelujah!