On Mount Sainte-Geneviève 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,
Psalm 51, Miserere mei Deus, one or the seven penitential psalms
was sung or recited at Lauds on the three days of Holy Week and in the Office of the Dead'.
To help the Church bear this heavy burden, I propose that she rediscover one of her venerable traditions--praying the penitential psalms
Clare Costley King'oo's Miserere Mei: The Penitential Psalms
in Late Medieval and Early Modern England (University of Notre Dame Press) was named 2012 Book of the Year.
Septem psalmi poenitentiales quinque vocibus exornati = Sedm kajicich zalmu petihlasem vyzdobenych = Sicben Busspsalmen fur funf Stimmen = Seven Penitential Psalms
for Five Voices.
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.
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 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).
A Commentary on the Penitential Psalms
Translated by Dame Eleanor Hull, ed.
His versions of the Penitential Psalms
(Ricks prints no.
The curious reader may wish to start with the seven penitential psalms
that open the collection.