For Good Friday, Nancy Bowker offers this sung poem of lament, “De Profundis,” Psalm 130. Click below for the sound recording.
Nancy Bowker: This song is a spontaneous field recording done in the Sanctuary of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Portland, Maine. You can hear the humble, quiet words of Kathy Elliot, a fellow contemplative of 20 years, as she recites Psalm 130, known as “De Profundis.” We agreed I would sing this for her during her battle with cancer. Her funeral came months later and we played this recording for those at her memorial.
The text is from a collection of psalms Kathy had handwritten to memorize 50 years ago. After hearing her faith-filled voice, I took her well worn copy, a living sacrament to me, and responded with a spontaneous sung prayer. It was a moment of holy communion.
Psalm 130 (NAB)
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.
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