James O'Donnell – Psalm 139

Service for the reception of Her Majesty The Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall
Choir of Westminster Abbey and the choir of His Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace
James O’Donnell (b 1961) Psalm 139: 1-18, 23-end

O LORD, thou hast searched me out, and known me:
thou knowest my down-sitting, and mine up-rising;

thou understandest my thoughts long before.
Thou art about my path, and about my bed :
and spiest out all my ways.

For lo, there is not a word in my tongue :
but thou, O Lord, knowest it altogether.

Thou hast fashioned me behind and before :
and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for me :
I cannot attain unto it.

Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit :
or whither shall I go then from thy presence?

If I climb up into heaven, thou art there :
if I go down to hell, thou art there also.

If I take the wings of the morning :
and remain in the uttermost parts of the sea;

even there also shall thy hand lead me :
and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Peradventure the darkness shall cover me :
then shall my night be turned to day.

Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee,
but the night is as clear as the day :
the darkness and light to thee are both alike.

For my reins are thine :
thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks unto thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made :
marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.

My bones are not hid from thee :
though I be made secretly, and fashioned beneath in the earth.

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect :
and in thy book were all my members written;

which day by day were fashioned :
when as yet there was none of them.

How dear are thy counsels unto me, O God :
O how great is the sum of them!

If I tell them, they are more in number than the sand :
when I wake up I am present with thee.

Try me, O God, and seek the ground of my heart :
prove me, and examine my thoughts.

Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me :
and lead me in the way everlasting.

GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost;

as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


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