Duffy notes that literate members of all social classes are known to have possessed primers, which included the penitential psalms
, (The Stripping of the Altars, 209-32).
The bishop instructed them to perform a sacred task upon the conclusion of the ceremony: "All those who have been promoted to the first tonsure, or the four minor orders, say once the seven penitential psalms
with the litany, versicles, and orations." (8) The bishop accepted their affirmative responses and concluded the ceremony with the last gospel, the Prologue of St.
Stanzas figure in many core sections of the primer--the Calendar, Gospel Lessons, Hours of the Virgin, Short Hours of the Cross, Seven Penitential Psalms
, and Office of the Dead--although not consistently in every edition.
To begin at the beginning, the earliest music being examined here is the volume of seven penitential psalms
, plus one penitential motet, by Simon Bar Jona Madelka (d.
The table of contents itself almost reads like a credo: "Invocation," "Creed," "Thy Kingdom Come," "Intercession," "Penitential Psalms
," "Five Lessons on Piety," "I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body," "Communion Box," "A Catechism." One could trace the weaving of any one of these ecclesiastical concepts through Paper House, but communion especially becomes one of Janzen's central images to answer the mystery of mortality.
She then includes English translations of selections from Matraini's prose writings: Spiritual Meditations, Considerations on the Seven Penitential Psalms
of the Great King and Prophet David, A brief Discourse on the Life and Praise of the Most Blessed Virgin and Mother of the Son of God, and Spiritual Dialogues.
I MUST CONFESS THAT OUT OF ALL THE PSALMS IN THE BIBLE, my favorite is Psalm 51, known as the Miserere, the psalm's first word in its Latin translation, which means "to pity." This psalm is often said to be the greatest of the seven "Penitential Psalms
" (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143), each of which expresses sorrow for sin.
Modelled originally on books for the clergy, they ordinarily contained the little hours of the Virgin, penitential psalms
, the office of the dead, seasonal variations, vernacular prayers and rhymes and sometimes, in the more expensive, the owner's personal choices.
The last section focuses on Wyatt and Surrey, and here, though firmly grounding his discussion on intellectual history, Walker leaves room also for textual analysis, offering the reader an elegant and illuminating commentary on some of Wyatt's less-frequented works, such as his Paraphrase of the Penitential Psalms
or the surprising "My Mother's Maids." The overall purpose of the book may unduly lead the interpretation of the individual text: it is difficult to share Walker's opinion that "The Soot Season" contrasts "the stable continuities and spontaneous renovative energies of the natural world ...
119) and Wyatt's Penitential Psalms
not until the twentieth, but the underlying implications for textual transmission are never probed.
The gentle brothers pray for him, sing penitential psalms
, and assure him that Christ's own suffering will bring him salvation.
It is the fourth and likely the most well-known of the seven penitential psalms
, of which Luther declared "Here the true doctrine of repentance is set forth before us" (Luther's Works 12:305).