On Mount Sainte-GeneviÃ¨ve a sort of Job of the Middle Ages, for the space of thirty years, chanted the seven penitential psalms
on a dunghill at the bottom of a cistern, beginning anew when he had finished, singing loudest at night, magna voce per umbras , and to-day, the antiquary fancies that he hears his voice as he enters the Rue du Puits-qui-parle--the street of the "Speaking Well."
Chapter 3 compares two different commentaries on the first Penitential Psalm
(6) written by two Renaissance thinkers.
The interpretations fall into four groups: the depths as mythological waters of chaos, as difficulties besetting the person praying (with references to the lives of David or Jonah), as sinfulness (Psalm 130 as a penitential psalm
), and as humility or sincerity.
Reciting a penitential psalm
(sigu) is always connected with days 6, 16, 26, and 28.
So it is proclaimed in the Psalm we intone at every High Mass, in the Penitential Psalm
of David, the Asperges me: "With the water of the hyssop cleanse me and I shall become whiter than the snow."
During Lent and Advent I would recite the beautiful penitential Psalm
51 ("Have mercy on me, O Lord").
Opting to bypass breadth of study, however, Goodblatt goes for depth (for very good reasons which are explained in chapter one), restricting her assessment of Donne's Hebraism to his sermons on the Penitential Psalms
6 (chapter two) and 32 (chapter three) and the sermons on the Penitential Psalm
38 and the Prebend Psalms (chapters four and five).
Although usually identified as a penitential psalm
, Psalm 130 is also clearly a song of hope.
Art historian Katharina Urch provides a penetrating and informative perspective on court painter Hans Mielich (1512-1572), whose insufficiently recognized miniatures embellish and illustrate the so-called Penitential Psalm
Codex (Bavarian State Library Mus.ms.
The poetic use of the seven penitential psalms
checks the figure of anger, represented by Ajax (one of the classical figures listed in sonnet 232, together with Alexander the Great, Tydeus and Valentinianus, 159-160), by tempering this base instinct through the teaching role of Laura, who at the end of Part 1 of the RVF becomes "an Apollo figure in advance of her death" (164).
Not only was Psalm 50 (the Miserere) 'sung in church more frequently than the other Penitential Psalms
', (42) it was often excerpted and paraphrased in Middle English lyrics because 'reading or reciting [it], in Latin or in English, was thought to confer special spiritual benefits on the soul', including an understanding of (and protection against) sin.