I'm picking up where I left off for my discipline this year. I ask your prayers as I once again attempt to write forty chants in forty days. Below is today's chant on Psalm 39. I wrote a single chant that moves from c-minor to c-major because the verses of the psalm frequently express multiple emotions in a single verse. For example, verses 5-7 expound upon the shortness and transience of life. Then verse 8 reads,
And now, what is my hope?The despairing question of the first line is followed by the assured declaration of the second.
O Lord, my hope is in you.
1. I said, "I will keep watch up- | on my ways,*
so that I do not | of-fend | with my | tongue.
2. I will put a muzzle | on my | mouth*
while the wick- | ed are | in my | presence."
3. So I held my tongue | and said | nothing;*
I refrained from rash words; but my | pain be- | came un- | bearable.
4. My heart was hot within me; while I pondered, the fire burst | into | flame;*
I | spoke out | with my | tongue:
5. Lord, let me know my end and the number | of my | days,*
so that I may know | how short | my life | is.
6. You have given me a mere handful of days and my lifetime is as nothing | in your | sight;*
truly, even those who stand erect are | but a | puff of | wind.
7. We walk about like a shadow, and in vain we | are in | turmoil;*
we heap up riches and cannot tell | who will | ga- ther | them.
8. And now, what | is my | hope?*
O Lord, | my hope | is in | you.
9. Deliver me from all | my trans- | gressions*
and do not make | me the | taunt of the | fool.
10. I fell silent and did not | open my | mouth,*
for surely it | was you | that did | it.
11. Take your af- | fliction from | me;*
I am worn down | by the blows | of your | hand.
12. With rebukes for sin you punish us; like a moth you eat away all that is | dear to | us;*
truly, everyone is | but a | puff of | wind.
13. Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear | to my | cry;*
hold not your peace at my tears.
14. For I am but a | sojourner with | you,*
a wayfarer, as | all my | forebears | were.
15. Turn your gaze from me, that I may be | glad a- | gain,*
before I go my | way and | am no | more.