Psalm 121 ("Greek numbering: Psalm 120) is the 121st "psalm from the "Book of Psalms. It is one of 15 psalms categorized as ""A song of ascents" (Shir Hama'alot), although unlike the others, it begins, Shir LaMa'alot ("A song to the ascents").
As a "song of ascent it is recognized that this "psalm was sung by "pilgrims on their way to "Jerusalem. At the beginning of the pilgrimage, in the mountainous region of the Judean Hills, the pilgrim makes sure the Lord's help. The one who trusts in the Lord is certain that He will bring him protection day and night. Prayer moves from the first to the second person in verse 3, and even takes the form of a "blessing in verses 7 and 8. This will conclude the prayer of different singers by the prospect of change.
Psalm 121 has the "Latin "incipit, Levavi oculus. In the "Anglican "Book of Common Prayer, it is prescribed for use on day 27 of each month, at "Morning Prayer. The first verse is frequently quoted on monuments and memorials commemorating those inspired by mountains or hills. A well known example is a "stained glass window in "Church of St Olaf, Wasdale in the English "Lake District National Park, which quotes Psalm 121 as a memorial to members of the "Fell & Rock Climbing Club who were killed in the "First World War. "Spurgeon called it a soldier's song as well as a traveller's hymn while "Livingstone read the Psalm with his family dockside on his leaving for "Africa.
Around 530, St. "Benedict of Nursia chose this Psalm for the third office during the week, specifically from Tuesday until Saturday between "Psalm 120 (119) and "Psalm 122 (121). Indeed, attributing Psalm 119 (118), whichever is longer, to the services on Sunday and Monday, he structured offices of the week with nine suivants psalms.
In the Liturgy of Hours today, Psalm 121 is recited Vespers Friday of the second semaine6. In the liturgy of the Word, it took the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, year C. It is during this period that the Church prays for refugees.
Musical settings for the Latin text have been composed by "Orlando di Lasso, "Hans Leo Hassler, and "Herbert Howells amongst others. Settings composed for the English text include "John Clarke-Whitfeld, "Charles Villiers Stanford and "Henry Walford Davies. "Hungarian composer "Zoltán Kodály composed his Geneva Ps CXXI (mixed chorus "a cappella) for the Hungarian translation. "Felix Mendelssohn composed the famous Hebe deine Auge auf (looks up), which was originally a trio of his oratorio "Elijah (op. 70, 1846). "Heinrich Schütz created a version for four voices and "basso continuo (SWV 31). A setting by "William McKie was sung at the "funeral of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2002.
Israeli "Hasidic singer-songwriter "Yosef Karduner composed a popular Hebrew version of Psalm 121, Shir LaMa'alot (2000), which has been covered by many Israeli artists and is a staple amongst synagogue youth groups in Israel and Canada.
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