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, 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."
His "repentance-informed outlook of history" (15) leans on fourteen "potencies" of repentance that he identifies in the penitential psalms
, Psalms 6,32,38,51,102, and 143 (following the Hebrew numbering) (23).
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.
In the Septem Psalmi of 1538, Macrin presents the seven penitential psalms
in Aeolic verse.
"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'.', writes Catherine Cessac in the excellent CD essay.
The translation or reinterpretation of traditional models is also explored in Patricia Demers' reflections on 16th-century women's translations and commentaries on the Penitential Psalms
, particularly Psalm 51 or the Miserere, as well as in Renee-Claude Breitenstein's study of Madeleine and Georges de Scudery's Femmes illustres ou les harangues heroiques.
Praying the penitential psalms
is a tradition that was inexplicably discarded following the Second Vatican Council, but it need not be irretrievably lost.
624-632); they introduce each of the Hours of the Virgin and the Seven Penitential Psalms
. None of the cuts from this set, however, makes an appearance in the later duodecimos--STC 15936 and, by inference, STC 15941--which take all but one of their illustrations from de Worde's smaller and less sophisticated French Home border series (Hodnett nos.
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.
And in "Penitential Psalms
" the poet acknowledges that I have nothing, then, to own or guard, not even these words, my hand loose on this pen, which marks a trail on a white field owned by no one, not even you, reading this, you with your borrowed breath, the stars far above.