Reflecting on the words of Psalm 139 evokes a feeling of being loved and cared for:
“You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”
Hertford College Chapel. Accredited to soundcloud.com
Through Lent, Psalm 139.1–18 is sung at Compline (candlelit night prayer) in the chapel. This is a simple Gregorian tone set to the moving words of the psalm. An antiphon (short, melismatic phrase) is sung at the beginning and end, and Gloria Patri (“Glory to the Father…”) is sung after the last psalm verse and before the final repeat of the antiphon. There is a meditative pause at the middle of each verse.
Sung by the Chaplain, the Reverend Gareth Hughes.