One of the things at Banstead Community Church we’ve been trying to do more of is sing the Psalms.
This Sunday we are going to be singing Psalm 39.
What options are available?
12 verses in Sing Psalms or 11 verses in Seedbed Psalter to Common Metre. 8 verses in The Trinity Psalter Hymnal to the 10 10 10 10 metre.
The Book of Psalms for Worship splits the Psalm into two parts of 4 verses. We’ve opted to sing the first part which covers verses 1 to 9. A good alternative would be the six verse version in the Praise! which can be sung to the same tune.
From The Book of Psalms for Worship which can be sung to the tune for Immortal honours rest on Jesus’ head:
I said, “I will keep watch and guard my ways,
And I will keep my tongue from sinful stain.
As with a bridle I will keep my mouth,
While in my presence wicked men remain.”
Silent, I ceased from speaking even good;
My heart within was hot, my sorrow stirred.
And while I mused a fire began to burn;
Then with my tongue I spoke this earnest word:
“LORD, make me know my end, my numbered days;
And let me know how fleeting is my life;
For You have made my days a handbreadth long;
My lifetime is as nothing in Your sight.
“Each man at best is but a fleeting breath.
Man, like a shadow, wanders to and fro;
Surely an uproar he creates in vain;
He never knows to whom his riches go.”
From Praise! which can be sung to the tune for Immortal honours rest on Jesus’ head:
I kept my mouth from every sinful word,
lest evil thoughts the wicked overheard;
but silence made my pain intensify,
so with a burning heart I made my cry:
‘Show me my end, the measure of my days,
how fleeting are my years beneath your gaze;
life’s little span, so short from birth to death,
within your hand is nothing but a breath.
‘The merest shadow, moving to and fro,
busy in vain, how soon we come and go,
we heap up wealth, our future all unknown,
then strangers come and reap where we have sown.
‘What do I wait for? Lord, I hope in you,
all my transgressions cover from your view;
do not let fools rejoice when I’m cast down;
my mouth was silenced, humbled by your frown.
‘Remove the scourge my soul cannot withstand,
my life is crushed beneath your chastening hand,
for you rebuke us when we go astray;
our wealth consumed, like breath we pass away.
‘Lord, hear my cry; do not neglect my tears,
I feel an exile, with a stranger’s fears;
avert your eye, and make my torment cease,
restore my joy and let me die in peace.’
(Photo: David Beale)